Paper 2 - Michael Guertin American Studies 301 Professor...

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Michael Guertin American Studies 301 Professor Gustafson T.A.: Lisa Ybarra November 24, 2008 Touchdown Seminoles? Maybe not . . . It’s fourth and goal from the two yard-line as the Florida State University Seminoles walk up to the line of scrimmage in front of a capacity crowd of 82,300 wild fans on their feet at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida. Here’s the snap; the quarterback hands off to the running back who darts into the end zone and nearly a hundred thousand FSU fans erupt into a frenzy. In unison, the entire stadium performs the tomahawk chop by repetitiously bending their arm at the elbow intended to symbolize a tomahawk swinging down. Florida State fans have embraced the chop as an integral part of their war chant and it has become a widely recognized tradition across the nation. But do the fans even know anything about the history of the tribe they mimic at sporting events? Do die-hard Florida State University fans know that the Seminole tribe fell victim to the Indian removal policy enacted in the 1830s by the United States government? Over 1,500 U.S. soldiers died during a series of wars against the Seminoles in hopes of driving them west of the Mississippi River. Do FSU fans realize that they’re school mascot, which may be a funny show to some when they see an Indian dance next to a white horse during halftime, suffered from U.S. discrimination 170 years ago and the use of the mascot simply perpetuates this idea? When FSU fans look at the red tomahawk on the shiny, gold football helmets, most would immediately interpret it as a fighting sports spirit instead of
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2009 for the course AMST 301g taught by Professor Gustafson during the Fall '06 term at USC.

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Paper 2 - Michael Guertin American Studies 301 Professor...

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