Colorado panel passes bill limiting Native American mascots

Colorado lawmakers have advanced legislation to prohibit the use of Native American mascots at schools unless tribes give permission.

The bill cleared its first committee Monday on a 6-5 party-line vote with Republicans in opposition. The vote came after a debate that was tense and uncomfortable at times.

Supporters of the bill presented a slideshow displaying caricatures with offensive names for Hispanic, Asian, and black people. Bill sponsors said they were showing how Native Americans feel when their images are used as mascots.

Rep. Rhonda Fields, a black lawmaker who supported the bill, asked the sponsors to stop the slideshow, saying they had made their point.

Bill opponents say it could prove costly for schools to change logos and uniforms, and that for some the names are a source of honor, not disrespect.

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Online:

House Bill 1165: http://bit.ly/1CfwQRo 

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