Native American Mascot Discussed at San Diego State

October 10, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On October 10, 2000, The Los Angeles Times reported that "the controversy over whether San Diego State University mascot Monty Montezuma should be banned as racist has spread far off campus, with Web sites, petitions, news conferences and now even a vote scheduled today by the county Board of Supervisors. Two supervisors announced Monday they will ask their three colleagues to join them in pleading with university President Stephen Weber that 'it's extremely important to us to continue the proud tradition of the Aztec mascot.' All five supervisors are graduates of San Diego State, which has called its teams Aztecs since 1925 and has had a fully costumed Monty, representing the 16th century Aztec emperor, at its football and basketball games since 1941. The student council, at the urging of the Native American Student Alliance, has recommended that Weber dump Monty and also study whether the university should retain the Aztec name and logo. The logo, a fierce-looking, red-faced warrior in full headdress, is used on innumerable best-selling campus souvenirs.

"'There is absolutely nothing demeaning, nothing racist about Monty,' said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. 'If anything, Monty helps instill pride, honor and culture. This is about maintaining the traditions of San Diego State University.'...Meanwhile, Weber is not commenting on the issue, pending a nonbinding vote by the full student body later this month. This follows a vote by the student council on a motion with nine 'whereas' clauses and 11 'resolved' clauses that noted Weber's commitment to 'internationalism and diversity.'... Weber has been deluged with hundreds of pro-Monty comments from alumni... 'People should not be mascots,' Chicana/Chicano studies major Melissa Castro wrote in the student newspaper, the Daily Aztec. 'All this talk about honor makes me sick. Where is the honor when Monty Montezuma mocks our sacred ceremonies at football games?'"