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Group pushing to retire 'racist' Gaston County school mascot name to hold virtual meeting

Multiple Native American tribes have called on Gaston County Schools to retire South Point High School's Red Raiders mascot, saying it's racist.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A group trying to remove South Point High School's Red Raiders mascot will hold a virtual panel discussion with other activists Monday evening. 

Four different Native American tribes have been calling on the Belmont high school to retire what they say is a racist mascot. They say it does not accurately represent indigenous people. 

The panel is set for 7 p.m. on Facebook. Speakers will include activists from Radnor for Reform and Change the Name to share how they successfully convinced schools in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to retire Red Raider mascots. 

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"The way that they portray the actual mascot is very demeaning," Hayley Brezeale, a member of Retire the Red Raider Coalition, said last November. "It's stereotypical, and a lot of the activities that they actually participate in, like the tomahawk chop, does not accurately represent indigenous people."

The Retire the Red Raider Coalition plans to work with the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs to get a statewide ban on Native American mascots.

A Change.org petition to "Retire the Red Raider" was created in 2020 and has more than 11,000 signatures in support.

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