Schools are now so fearful of racism allegations that making a tree a mascot is considered a concern because black Americans were once hanged using trees.
In Portland, Oregon, Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School has delayed a vote to adopt an evergreen tree as its mascot because some fear such a mascot would be reminiscent of lynching, the Portland Tribune reported. The school’s current mascot is the Trojans but was set to be changed to evergreens following the suggestion from a committee “comprised of students, staff and community members,” the outlet reported.
“But just before the Portland Public Schools Board of Education’s vote to approve the new mascot Tuesday, March 30, Director Michelle DePass shared community concerns of an unwanted correlation between Ida B. Wells—the historic Black activist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who documented and crusaded against lynching—and a tree which could conjure up reminders of hanging people with ropes from branches,” the Tribune reported.
DePass asked the mascot committee if they