COMMENTATORS:  Is Word ‘Indian’ Even Offensive?

From Our Comments Section

Is Word ‘Indian’

Even Offensive?

Editor’s Note: Here are reactions that appeared on’s comment section regarding an aritcle, “Village Board Concludes: It’s Time To Revisit Use Of Word ‘Indian’ On Plaques, Statues,” posted Monday evening, June 22.

►JOE BRANT – If you really want to be sensitive to Native Americans we should return to them the lands that were taken in Cooperstown. I am sure Trustee Sternberg’s house with a view of Otsego Lake was occupied by native Americans, as was Trustee MacGuire’s mother’s house, where he lives. Isn’t that the correct way to be sensitive to the original inhabitants of the village?

►ANONYMOUS – From the website of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian: “What is the correct terminology: American Indian, Indian, Native American, or Native?
“All of these terms are acceptable. The consensus, however, is that whenever possible, Native people prefer to be called by their specific tribal name. In the United States, Native American has been widely used but is falling out of favor with some groups, and the terms American Indian or indigenous American are preferred by many Native people.”
►DOREEN BUSH – Be very careful not to take away or minimize the real history of the village.

►JOHN WARD – If the signs need to be changed, then the Indian hunter statue needs to be taken down, as it depicts a Native American in a stereotypical appearance that could offend someone, and the name is no different than the name on the state signs. James Fenimore Cooper wrote “in defense of slavery”. That dictates that his statue in Cooper Park should be taken down (and the name of the park changed), and the name “Fenimore Museum“ needs to be changed. William Cooper, the founder
of Cooperstown and father of James Fenimore Cooper, owned slaves right here in Cooperstown. Thus, the very name of the village needs to be changed. Since the Village Board has opened the door these
actions are the only logical thing to do – how can the village board possibly pick and choose what might be considered offensive and insensitive to others? What is the standard used? Best to take it all down and change all the names. George Orwell would be proud.

►ALEX D. TOCQUEVILLE – Why has our village thwarted our constitutional right to elections? With the primary elections being held (Tuesday, June 23), we should be able to vote Benton out of office. However, the village has allowed him to act unabatedly, continuing to suppress our right to vote and have effectively kept him in office indefinitely. This is not democracy! And the Democrats thought it would be Trump postponing elections to stay in power – pot meet kettle in Cooperstown.

►DOM – Why not change everything and start over.

►BRIAN HINDENBRAND – Who in the h… said “Indian” is racist? No white person has that right? And if it was offensive, don’t you think it would have been changed years ago!! All of a sudden white people are afraid of offending “1” person in the world, so the world should change! Well I tell you what, the thought of these type of changes in history offends ME big time. Now back off young Mr. Benton: Learn about the Indians and Cooperstown history before thinking about walking the streets and saying, “change this, change that.”

►JOHN DINEEN – Ridiculous

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