Help us make JCHS a true place of possibilities!
As recent events have pushed everyone to question how unintentional biases and racism have their ways of penetrating daily life, even subconsciously, it is important to push these questions even further. As the Caldwell/West Caldwell community, we are bound together by our school mascot and town-wide unifier, The Chiefs. While our town has seen some of our brightest moments when all connected as one, it is the title of the ‘chiefs’ that often even unknowingly continues to perpetuate stereotyping and the appropriation of a culture that does not belong to us.
In our community, all issues of intolerance are connected. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We are cultivating an exclusionary environment by allowing our mascot to continue as is. By sending the message that our mascot is permissible, it contributes to a climate at the school that not all offensive behavior is problematic, as long as one claims they personally are not offended. This lends towards a culture where women, the LQBTQ+ community, students of color, disabled students and other minorities are receiving a message that their experience with oppression can be easily dismissed when those in power deem it ‘not offensive enough’ to change. Students are watching, listening and depending on a significant change to be made and message to be sent that their voices matter. Racism and prejudice of all kinds must be addressed, starting with changing our racist mascot and team name.