JAMESTOWN — Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said his pride in being an alumni of Jamestown High School isn’t found in the Red Raider logo, it’s found the experiences in the halls of the school.
Sundquist discussed the possible mascot change for JHS with WNYNewsNow in a recent interview.
“The reality is that if there is a culture appropriation, we need to seriously look at that and actually make some decisions, actually make some changes,” Sundquist said.
He explained his pride is not based on a logo or mascot or team name.
“As a proud high school graduate of Jamestown public schools, I understand the passion and the energy behind the Red Raider. But, when we have our native American colleagues telling us that this is the wrong cultural appropriation, it’s time we start to look at our policies and make some serious changes,” Sundquist said.
He noted that discussions about race and culture are always uncomfortable, but need to takeplace to reach progress.
“The reality is it’s not a logo that defines us. It’s not a logo that defines who you are and what school you went to. It’s the pride behind it, it’s the experience behind it,” explained Sundquist.
When in school, Sundquist said he called himself a Red Raider because that’s what students did.
“The reality is Jamestown is what I’m most proudful about. I’m proud to be an alumni of Jamestown High School. I don’t need to be a Red Raider in order to be proud.”
Sundquist said people’s views need to grow with the times.
“We need to ensure we understand what the ramifications are as a community, sometimes having things that are culturally appropriate aren’t for the best for our community and we need to grow as the times grow,” he said.