Big ‘Red’ Debate from Pennsylvania to Kahuku

The Kahuku logo, adapted from a Native American theme in the 1990s, then evolved into a Polynesian look in the 2010s, has been always popular with Red Raider fans. (Photo by Paul Honda)

(Update: Bellefonte High School in Pennsylvania is still debating on a possible name change.)

In Pennsylvania, a high school may cease being the Red Raiders.

In Lubbock, Texas, a prominent university thrives as Red Raiders.

What’s the difference? Possibly, community support. Since the beginning of American democracy, communities create the standards and often times, laws are created to reflect those values, for better or worse.

At Kahuku, where “Red Raiders” as an identity has been set in stone since 1950, a petition to change the nickname. Kainoa Kester’s “Change Kahuku’s Racist Mascot” petition on has registered 681 signatures as of Thursday, 8:30 p.m. That’s an impressive run in just over 48 hours.

However, a counter “Petition Against Dumb Petition” started by Fatu Te‘o-Tafiti drew 1,121 signatures as of Thursday, 8:30 p.m.

Since the petitions hit social media and the initial story surfaced on Hawaii Prep World, debate has gained momentum on both sides of the aisle.

Can Kahuku withstand a name change? At Bellefonte High School in Pennsylvania, a petition began in June. By June 11, the story was at center stage in the Centre Daily Times.

>> The mascot invokes racism and prejudice by referring to Native Americans as “red” and “raiders,” Bellefonte Area High School graduate and petition co-organizer Steph Herbstritt said.

Kester went into detail about the essence of the nickname.

“The ‘Red Raider’ (is) a racist stereotype of the indigenous peoples of North America. Just like the NFL team named the ‘Washington Redskins’ and the MLB team named the ‘Cleveland Indians’, the ‘Red Raider’ term and mascot is racially derogatory and demeaning towards the indigenous peoples of North America,” Kester wrote on the petition home page.

Historically, Kahuku adopted “Red Raiders” as a nickname after receiving red jerseys from ‘Iolani School. The jerseys had the name “Raiders” on them, and the name has stuck for seven decades.

Along the way, ‘Iolani dropped “Red” from its nickname. The football team uses a school logo, an “I” shield, on its helmets.

“The best time to change the Kahuku High mascot was 70 years ago when it was first made official, but the second best time is today. The National Congress of American Indians has been working for years to remove racist mascots from schools,” Kester added.

Te‘o-Tafiti doesn’t see the school nickname that way.

“The color red in the name of our mascot is referring to the color of our school. Which was chosen because of the red soil of the Kahuku hills. It in fact has no relation to any race at all. In addition to this, to hear the word red and to think of Native Americans is kind of a racist thought process in and of itself,” he wrote on the petition home page.

“A few years ago Kahuku did make changes to the mascot to make it clear to everyone that it’s a Polynesian figure and ideal. As a Native American and Native Hawai’ian I don’t see this as a large issue that needs to be addressed immediately, if at all.”

At Texas Tech, they were known as the Matadors, a suggestion of the head football coach’s wife in 1925. Students picked the colors scarlet and black a year later.

Meanwhile, in 1927, the silent film “The Red Raiders” was released. Director Ken Maynard’s story was set in 1868, pitting two factions of Sioux, one befriending white settlers and other refusing to trust them. Two lines in the movie, shown by, bring clarity to the term, “Red Raider.”

>> “Don’t be too sure, Lieutenant. The pesky red-hides are raidin’ worse’n ever, and the troops don’t seem able to check ’em.”

>> “While a sentimental contest is in progress at the fort, Lone Wolf leads his red raiders on a campaign of destruction.”

Back to Lubbock, the hometown of Texas Tech. The nickname Red Raiders came along in 1936. Collier Parrish of the Lubbock Morning Avalanche coined the football team after seeing its all-red uniforms and a tough coast-to-coast schedule.

1937 was the debut of the “Masked Rider” who rode on a galloping palomino and led the football team onto the gridiron before each home game.

Horses, cowboys, matadors all played a part in the school’s athletics history. No Native American nuances in name or logos. So the name has stuck through generations.

The sting of the “Red” isn’t felt heavily in the islands, but on the continent, it still stirs up painful memories. In a CNN story, Suzan Shown Harjo recalled being a 6-year-old walking into a shop with her grandfather in El Reno, Okl. She wanted something cold to drink on a hot summer day.

The storekeeper: “No black redskins in here.”

Harjo later became emboldened enough to become an activist, taking aim at professional sports franchises that use Native Americans as mascots.

The question in Kahuku’s case is this: is a Red Raider the same as a Redskin? For Harjo, the latter R-word is as extreme and negative as the N-word.

More from the CNN story:

>> The Seminole tribe in Florida made an agreement with Florida State University to allow the use of its name that allows the university to continue competing in the NCAA. The university says its relationship with the Seminole tribe is one of mutual respect.

However, the Seminole nation in Oklahoma, comprised of the descendants of a majority of the Seminoles forced from their lands by the Indian Removal Act, has voiced its opposition to FSU’s mascot.

The real Chief Osceola fought U.S. soldiers in the Seminole Wars. He was captured in 1837 under a flag of truce and died in prison. Before his burial, the soldiers chopped off the head of the Indian warrior to keep as a trophy. That Osceola serves as a mascot at FSU doesn’t sit well with the Seminoles in Oklahoma and many other Native Americans.

“Native Americans feel offended, they feel hurt. They feel their identity is being trivialized,” says Carol Spindel, who wrote “Dancing at Halftime,” a book that explored native mascots.

For the record, the definition of “raider” in the Mirriam-Webster dictionary:

: one that raids; such as
a. a fast lightly armed shp operating against merchant shipping
b. a soldier specially trained for close-range fighting
c. one that attempts a usually hostile takeover of a business corporation

Innocent enough, right? But go to Roget’s Thesaurus.

>> attacker
>> assailant
>> robber
>> burglar
>> thief
>> looter
>> marauder
>> invader
>> holdupper

If the definition and meaning of “raider” was negative and criminal in years past, it certainly doesn’t fit the same description by today’s dictionary. Should that matter? That would depend on who is being asked.

As of July 2, Bellefonte High School still has its Red Raiders, according to a more recent Centre Daily Times report.

The school board did not have the name change idea on its agenda for a recent meeting, but many residents provided nearly an hour of public comment. The discourse came from both sides, anti-Red Raiders and pro-Red Raiders.

Close to 4,000 signed a petition for change.

A counter petition has nearly 5,000 signatures.


  1. David July 10, 2020 10:44 am

    Hawaii is a melting pot, meaning mix race of people, for years we call each other by race or color we was never offended, then people comes to our island a says we are racist people, we are not we respect each other and never disrespect other people, now the new people come and say you need to change because where we from it’s like that, well remember where you come from is screw up and now you come here to us up wanting us to be like you from the mainland. Remember you can into a land we’re native people still roam this land, we have culture you don’t, you screwed every culture you set your foot on, cause you don’t have a culture and last, you not native Americans and you screwed the Native American culture too. So where that leave you, lost and want everyone to be like you, Sorry, don’t like here move, we be okay, just silently move or you can see the sunset. Aloha Dkkk

  2. Always Ask Why July 10, 2020 10:30 pm

    The origins of the Iolani Red Raiders may not be related to the Seminole Indians. In the 1930s, a very popular comic strip was Terry and the Pirates. Terry and his friends were searching in China for gold mines, so the story went. Their arch-enemies were the Chinese pirates who wore red and black garments, and were also known as the Chinese Bandits and Red Raiders, the fiercest fighters of the time. The Iolani Red Raiders-labeled Football uniforms given to the Kahuku’s Team 60-plus years ago most likely had no relations to Florida State University mascot. In those days, very few of us in Hawaii ever heard of FSU or Seminoles.

  3. Zee July 10, 2020 10:40 pm

    Something is wrong with your mentality if you’re easily affected by a sports team name. We have such a diverse community that we tease, joke, and love each other all the same….well unless you have no “Ha”. Please don’t bring your ideology to the island and try to change us. If you don’t like it…guess what?

  4. MKG July 10, 2020 11:11 pm

    The context of the name and where it is derived from is what matters. Not the idea of what someone not privy to our area thinks it should be because others use it in a different manner elsewhere. The rich Red Soil that helped to build and define a village that made up a diverse set of people which thrived is where we get a part of our name from. Not the color of one’s skin which is referred to and associated with on the mainland. Although in the past an Indian was chosen to represent the logo of the school it is not what the meaning of the name is. If one wanted to get PC, we could also argue that Hawaiians or Polynesians and all the ethnicities that toiled in the RED dirt on the sugar plantation for that matter are indigenous people with skin emblazoned brown or reddish from the long hours in the sun. I think that simple fact would give the people of Kahuku the ability to use the name Red Raider.

  5. Coconut Wireless July 11, 2020 8:48 am

    Kester, you killing me, you and the others, stop jumping on the bandwagon and comparing Red Raiders with the Redskins, 2 different animals here. Enough already, let it be. This not the mainland. Please don’t tell us you live on the North Shore and in the Kahuku area.

  6. Walter Nakamura July 11, 2020 12:19 pm

    I’m a proud KHS grad (1956) and I think someone is trying to get us mixed up in the Mainland issue of “racist” sports mascots. Besides, when we cheer on the Red Raiders, are we denigrating them? We are cheering them on, you dumb buggahs!

  7. roots July 11, 2020 2:01 pm

    When you do the tomahawk chop, you are mocking Native Americans, even if that is not the intent.

  8. So irritating July 11, 2020 5:46 pm

    Omg….then tell everyone stop selling the Hawaiian pizza, cuz Pineapple on pizza doesn’t make it Hawaiian and I’m so affected by it. It hurts me real bad….wtf

  9. bandits1 July 11, 2020 7:46 pm

    I’m pretty neutral on this subject at the moment, but reading the responses here brings up a couple of questions. If the “Red” in “Red Raiders” is not now and has never been associated with Native Americans, why was the original mascot/logo a Native American that had to be subsequently changed to look more Hawaiian? And if there’s zero Native American connection, what’s with the tomahawk chop?

  10. Good natured July 11, 2020 11:20 pm

    Who cares about the tomahawk chop. That’s the fans not the school. They can find some other way to cheer that’s fine. But don’t compare the mainland where they specifically they had ties to native people.

    Regarding the past mascot verse this one? I don’t know why it changed but it’s good to Because this one is much more obviously Polynesian with the facial tattoo. At least the school is forward looking enough that they on their own wanted to make the red raider look more Polynesian.

    As the article says, there a whole story behind the name, the current mascot is Polynesian. So what is the complaint?

    Regarding the “chop” did you guys know many Polynesians also had war clubs… What you guys think only North American indigenous people had them. People who no HA who have misappropriated indigenous people now turning to Hawaii to force their ideas on the people or Hawaii. Please leave well enough alone.

  11. roots July 12, 2020 9:37 am

    @bandits1, those are some great points.

  12. GoodStoory July 12, 2020 10:57 am


    I think that the original mascot which (by the way I believe came out years after the name) wasn’t clearly enough distinguishable. Your focus is on why the change, my focus is on the fact that the school updated it. They gave it more easily identifiable Polynesian traits.

    So the name came, years later a mascot, now a new obviously Polynesian mascot.

    Where is the problem?

  13. roots July 12, 2020 11:16 am

    Here is a public statement made by Aly McKnight. I found it to be very powerful.

    “Behne (hello in Shoshoni, my indigenous language). My name is Aly, I am an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe of Fort Hall, Idaho and I’m putting this out here for all the ignorant people I see. Your choice to diminish my cultures suffering all because you don’t take offense or are ignoring when your heritage is being stolen, used for parties, graduations, celebrations, etc. is a sorry excuse for not wanting to take responsibility for not being anti-racist. I will not sugar coat this for you because if you’ve read through the thorough and labored comments and through the educational resources available then you knowingly choose to be racist towards your relatives, the Native Americans. You’re choosing to minimize both your culture and mine and that is the problem. By choosing to not change and to resist education on this matter you’re aiding to the problem of racism and the complex issues that come with it. I encourage you to reevaluate your unconscious prejudices that you hold, I know that its something I have to do every single day because it’s the reality of the world and system we live in today. Ask yourself why you’re ignoring an entire culture’s history and their current existence. To those of you that have taken the time to understand this complex issue, I give you my thanks and my respect. You didn’t ask for it and don’t need it but just know that I understand the labour of changing your perspective and going against the grain for the sake of change is uncomfortable and potentially a longer and harder road than you could have thought but your efforts are seen and are appreciated. Oose.”

  14. roots July 12, 2020 11:19 am

    Here is a public statement from Ocean Eale. I also talked to some old timers from the Laie/Kahuku area. They agree that the name Red Raiders have nothing to do with the color of the soil. But only to do with the jerseys they received.

    “With all due respect, if some of my fellow Kahuku alum actually bothered to learn about Kahuku’s history, they would know that we became the “Red Raiders” in the Fifties when Iolani School gave us their hand-me-down football jerseys–and that the “Red Raiders” do not represent the red dirt that Kahuku sits on, nor does it represent the fierceness of our football team, but rather a derogatory term to describe Indigenous people in the Americas.

    The sad irony though is that some of the diehard defenses I’ve seen from fellow alum on social media are being perpetuated by folks whose ancestors suffered the same colonialist/imperialist stereotypes and indignities. Seriously think about it though: folks whose ancestors were genocided out of the islands are standing up for their right to make another group who was genocided out of the Americas their mascot.”

  15. roots July 12, 2020 11:31 am

    Please read this. It is totally applicable to Polynesian Inspired mascots too.

  16. 96730to89 July 12, 2020 3:48 pm

    A tough debate with great arguments on both sides. I usually side with telling people to be stronger and not let words destroy you, but the “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” argument has proven wrong time and time again as the own words in our schools history books have been causing pain in many lives by teaching ignorance and misguided information.

    I’m a huge Kahuku fan, but it’s now or never to send the right message to our future keiki that it’s never too late to correct the wrongs of our ancestors. Even if it wasn’t the intent to hurt anyone, it did.

    Kahuku, now is the time to do what’s right. Here is a few suggestions to start with, because it’s always easy to point out problems, but very few people help with solutions. Hopefully others can add recommendations as well. Red+Raider is a no go die to it’s historical reference, but I figure the use of Red remains available. The red dirt does represent a symbol of digging deep into the soil to earn your successes.

    Kahuku…Red Kings/Queens, Red Soldiers, Red Royalty, Squad, Prides of the North Shore.

  17. Good Story July 12, 2020 4:28 pm

    Don’t fall for it folks. “Roots” , “bandits1” and some of the other posts is the same person. Started as “Education First” and I’m more than convinced that it’s
    Kainoa Kester. Let him argue with himself and all day long.

  18. roots July 12, 2020 4:44 pm

    @Good Story,

    It’s sad how you try to deflect from the point at hand with some comments that’s irrelevant.

    The moderator can easily tell you that I’m not the people you list nor am I Mr. Kester.

    It’s disappointing that instead of reading the evidence posted, you choose to off off topic with a feeble attempt to lead the audience away from the topic.

    I notice you don’t choose to use any evidence to support your point of view. May I ask why?

  19. roots July 12, 2020 4:47 pm


    Great Points!

  20. Posted July 12, 2020 7:35 pm

    This is racism at its finest but not the way you think.

    Here you have the Kester petition, purposefully calling out Kahuku Red Raiders Mascot as “the same” as others that have obvious indigenous roots.

    They don’t, and just because some choose to think these apply doesn’t mean it does.

    If anything racism here is Mr. Kester against Polynesians. He cannot distinguish between a Polynesian Warrior and what resembles North American natives. I’m sorry we aren’t all the same.

    Try looking up those schools and other institutions who have clearly found that they are appropriating native indigenous people. This doesn’t fit.

    Name – comes from humble beginnings receiving donated gear. It’s documented. Get over it.

    Mascot – could have at one time not been specific enough to easily be recognized as Polynesian. They updated it.

    I think people here are being completely mislead by Kesters petition.

  21. bandits1 July 13, 2020 11:35 am


    I already said I haven’t yet formed an opinion either way on this matter. I’m still reading, learning and thinking, unlike some others here. I don’t have a “problem” with Kahuku’s name or mascot, not at this moment, anyway. What I do have a “problem” with is some posters making stuff up or straight up lying just to protect the Red Raider name.

    I understand and appreciate that Kahuku changed the logo to appear more Polynesian(BTW, “change” and “update” mean basically the same thing in this context). The original logo, regardless of when it was created, was clearly a Native American warrior, so those that are claiming there isn’t and never was a Native American tie-in are either are ignorant or lying. And the tomahawk chop is also clearly a reference to Native Americans. I’d suggest at the very least, if you claim the school and it’s Red Raider mascot have zero connections to Native American culture, to knock that off and think of something original to do.

  22. 88 July 13, 2020 2:33 pm

    The original Logo was never an American Indian. It was a hat wearing menehune holding a spear. Maybe you need to do a little more research so YOU don’t come off as ignorant…

  23. roots July 13, 2020 3:49 pm

    I believe he is talking about the logo after they received the donated uniforms.

    Regardless if it was a Menehune, a Mailbox, the Pokeshop down the street, or whatever, the name and logo are offensive to a lot of people.

    The tomahawk chopping motion is offensive to some people.

    The issue isn’t who did the best research. The issue is the name and past logos are offensive to some people. And if you read the petition, many of them are Native Americans.

  24. bandits1 July 13, 2020 6:45 pm

    Yes, of course I was talking about the logo AFTER Iolani’s charitable donation of their old, used uniforms. Maybe 88 should do a little more contextual reading so HE doesn’t seem so lost. Why would I care what Kahuku’s origianl mascot/logo was? This is much more about Native Americans than it is about Kahuku HIgh School.

    Do the right thing, Kahuku, knock off that tomahawk chop you stole from those mainland teams. And then think of an original name instead of rehashing Iolani’s old one.

  25. 88 July 13, 2020 7:25 pm

    But the Kahuku logo is not a Native American. It is a Polynesian Warrior. Do you not see the picture of the Kahuku Helmet at the top of the article. Maybe If you took the time to do the research there wouldn’t be an issue.

  26. roots July 13, 2020 8:08 pm

    What is there to research. Like others have said.

    1. Iolani gave the uniforms to Kahuku. That is how the “RED RAIDER” name came to be. The nickname has nothing to do with some red soil.

    2. There was a logo featuring a Native American before. At that time, people started to do the Tomahawk Chop and make Native American chants in the stands.

    3. Even though the log was modified to look like a Polynesian, the Tomahawk Chopping and Native American chanting is still going on.

    That means even though the logo was adjusted, the fanbase still associates with some Native American rituals.

    And as seen by posts made on Facebook and, there are a pretty large amount of Native Americans who are uncomfortable by the nickname and chanting/chopping or pretty offended.

    Now if the logo was changed and the chanting/chopping was done away with, maybe it wouldn’t be offensive. But it hasn’t.

    Trying to defend it just is insensitive and uneducated. But then again, I am sure you wouldn’t say these things behind your real name.

    So when using a fake name, you can just write the most ridiculous things with no consequence.

  27. 88 July 13, 2020 9:39 pm

    Waite, how do you know the Red in Red Raiders has nothing to do with the red dirt here in Kahuku? Oh thats right, you read somewhere where someone said its not true. Well i have a Grandfather who worked the old Sugar Mill that says otherwise.
    I don’t think that when Kahuku received those old jerseys from Iolani with Red Raiders printed on them that the image of an American Indian was what they thought of. If it was they would have used the image of an Indian back in 1950 instead of waiting until the 90’s to use it. Like i told you earlier if you took the time to do your research this wouldn’t be an issue.
    As for the TomaHawk Chop well thats fans being fans. I had a few classmates who are of Native Amercian descent and they had no problem doing it with everyone else in the stands during my playing time at Kahuku. However if some of our Native Amercian bro. and sis. find it offensive than i agree it must change.
    Oh one more thing, can you set the example and use your real name when you post so it doest look like your just writing ridiculous things with no consequences.

  28. MW8 July 13, 2020 10:05 pm

    All I know is that no matter what happens someone will be offended. Someone will call racism. Someone will cry foul when something isn’t to their liking. Hey, someone might be offended by my comments for all I know.

    But, what’s in a name? Should I be offended if a non-hawaiian gives their child a hawaiian name? Should a police officer or thief be offended because children play cops and robbers? Should I demand that mainland businesses stop selling luau costumes and decorations because they’re offensive to my culture? Should I demand that others stop doing the hula because it’s ours and they have no right to it? Come on. Really?

    These schools, with all their different mascots, have been around for a long time. Multiple island schools have the name Red Raiders. So why is only Kahuku being singled out? Iolani is mentioned because they were nice enough to loan the Kahuku team of long ago their jerseys. So why Kahuku? Because they’re the most visible, the most vocal, the most spirited, the most videoed and the most featured.

    Yes Kahuku does the tomahawk. So do their opponents. Yes, Kahuku does the drums and the chanting. So do their opponents. Kahuku has their sea of red. Their opponents have their own sea of colors. If you don’t believe me then you’ve never been to an OIA or State final where Kahuku was an opponent. EVERYONE is out in force AND filming.

    But, the one thing I do know is that everyone identifies with their school and mascot. It unifies them with alumnus around the world and becomes a heritage for those coming after them. People take pride in their schools and communities. So yes, they will defend what all those generations have fought for and built. We’re sorry our name and actions offend you. Currently, your actions are doing the same thing to us.

    Oh, in case you’re wondering I didn’t attend Kahuku, but my warrior mascot would probably offend someone too.

  29. roots July 14, 2020 7:13 am

    I talked to my Uncle Junior Ah You and he said the name is from the jerseys that Iolani donated to Kahuku. I trust him more than anyone else.

    I have no problem using my real name. I will do so after you do since I called you on it first and your best comeback was to mimic.

  30. 88 July 14, 2020 7:29 am

    Set the example cuzzin…

  31. roots July 14, 2020 8:56 am

    After you ma’am (88).

  32. 88 July 14, 2020 9:01 am

    Please lead the way…. Or are you just talk?

  33. roots July 14, 2020 12:02 pm

    It seems you are. You were called out first to disclose your name. Yet you have deflected it back towards me.

    Is there a why I asked you first and declined to do so? Instead of showing the world how tough you are, you choose to try to turn it around on me.

    I find it hilarious that you talk so big on so many posts. You puff your chest. But instead of answering with who you are, you try to make me do it.

    I mean, that is kind of sad. Nothing wrong with being yourself. You don’t need to pretend to be tough. It’s okay to be scared.

    We all know you are just talk. But then again, you have been all talk for the past years.

  34. Wala'au July 14, 2020 12:11 pm

    I’m curious…what was Kahuku’s nickname before the donated uniforms?

  35. ILoveHawaii July 14, 2020 12:14 pm

    Red dirt. Cmon. You peoples is reaching.

    Just admit that you never even thought about it until now that someone is threatening change.
    Be a leader, practice what you preach and like Micheal Jackson said “make that CHANGEEEEEE”.

    The thing is, now if you take time to sit down and really reflect upon it, deep down you know this is the right thing to do. Your school is no longer that school that needed hand me downs, you are a self-made nationally ranked powerhouse football program that deserves your own identity. No matter how much success the program has had, the commentators always, really always bring up the uniform thing. As if, you needed a handout, like the homeless person at 7-11 always asking for “dollah”.

    Gain some national recognition, collaborate with the community and come up with a name that more aptly represents the pride, ohana, respect, diversity of the North Shore. Maybe this could be the rallying point for the community to begin addressing the many disparities that exist in that part of the island.

  36. Jerry Campany July 14, 2020 1:44 pm


  37. Wala'au July 14, 2020 3:41 pm

    Mahalo, Jerry! How about Red Ramblers? Why not stay true to the original nickname, instead of hanging on to the “donated jersey” nickname? Still have the Red (from the dirt, hahahaha ok whatever), and the Ramblers name would give the Kahuku faithful the ability to keep using RRFL! RED RAMBLERS FOR LIFE!!! The mascot could be a refurbished 1954 AMC Rambler painted Red!

  38. roots July 14, 2020 4:09 pm

    Great name @ Jerry Campany.

  39. Good Story July 14, 2020 10:57 pm


    How bout you mind your own business

  40. ILoveHawaii July 15, 2020 8:37 am

    Good Story.

    Great argument. You MUST be a Rambler.

    Must be hard not being able to fly your state championship flags and wearing your state championship shirts to Windward Mall, the horror.

    I digress. Sorry bout it.

    Why not change the name??

  41. roots July 15, 2020 1:41 pm

    @ ILoveHawaii,

    There is so much ignorance on here. I agree with you on the name change after reading all of your posts.

    I am sure Homer #1 and #2 (88 and Good Story) will disagree with you.

  42. RedRaider July 15, 2020 2:16 pm

    I stand up against racism towards Polynesians. Trying to force upon Kahuku to change their Polynesian Warrior is offensive to me. I know this is hard for some to understand… We take pride in our heritage, we embrace it. We are the Red Raiders.

    Here is why it should stay:

    1. All other groups being targeted for appropriation specifically created mascot and team names that related to indigenous people of north america.
    2. Red Raiders, is not a term that those groups were known as, unlike redskins or indians.
    3. The origin of Kahuku’s use of Red Raider, was from donated jerseys (and or red dirt) whatever the case is it was NOT chosen in relation to some north american native group.
    4. The mascot didn’t come in the same time as the name change to Red Raiders. This furthermore shows that there was no relation to this mascot and name being somehow related to native groups.
    5. The mascot – at one point did not reflect a polynesian warrior and that was corrected to the current one with the tatoos and ti leaf.

    I have read a few of the posts of the anguish that appropriation has caused native groups. I agree, that in those cases where there is obvious appropriation happening that should be dealt with. This isnt one of those cases. They should stop the use of a tomahawk chop, and discourage dressing in clothing that could be construed as north american native.

  43. Cryhyn July 15, 2020 4:19 pm

    I think the name Saints, also took away from the true meaning of religious dignity. I mean, I know of no one that went on to sainthood or even priesthood. Maybe some that went to the hood in general. But in any case, what doe’s the Pope say?

  44. ALLAN July 16, 2020 9:36 am


  45. ALLAN July 16, 2020 9:42 am


  46. rrforlfiebaby July 17, 2020 1:27 pm

    I think Ramblers (or something similar) is correct for the original name of the sports teams.
    Switched to Red Raiders after receiving old uniforms from Iolani School; as far as I can tell, the original Iolani nick name had nothing to do with American Indians.

    The first Mascot I can remember was the fighting Menehune. Changed to Indian head in the 90’s, and along came the war chant.

    The classes from the 90’s messed us up…lol.

    But, the original intent of the Red Raider name had nothing to do with American Indians; so I’m against changing the name. I love the current logo, but I do miss the menehune.

    I love the war chant, and over the years, it starts off as the Indian war chant, but for some reason, has morphed into something else. Other schools started using it, so i’m 50/50 on the war chant. Maybe try incorporating the haka?


  47. roots July 17, 2020 9:39 pm

    Even if the original name didn’t have to do with American Indians, the fact that many people are offended or uncomfortable means there should meaningful discussion.

    There are so many names over history that wasn’t created to offend. But years later it was offensive. And that is why it changed.

    It looks like it’s a good time to change again.

  48. ALWAY ASK WHY July 17, 2020 11:10 pm

    Reply #42. I agree that the Kahuku Red Raider name or logo is not racism, not toward Native Americans or Polynesians, and should be kept. The name is not derogatory. On the contrary, it brings the North Shore Community together; the name is a source of pride. Fr. Kenneth Bray, probably Hawaii’s premier high school sports motivator, and the Iolani Athletic Directory and Football Coach 90 years ago, used the Red Raiders name to motive his band of small-size Asian ball players to compete successfully against Punahou, McKinley, Kamehameha, and St. Louis. As for the logo, I visited the Winnebago and Santee Sioux Reservations years ago. Walking down their main street was like walking down Maunakea Street; they could easily pass for my uncles and aunties. Although being of Asia ancestry, one Sioux child asked me what tribe I was from. And so, what should a Red Raider logo look like. I think, as with many things in life, it is in eyes of the beholder. Anything that is respectful is fine with me.

  49. roots July 19, 2020 1:06 pm


    You are entitled to your opinion. But it seems a large number of people feel different. Many feel the name is offensive. As so, a meaningful discussion between the BOE, DOE, HSTA, School Admin, and community leaders should take place asap.

    Like I have said. The origin of the name isn’t what’s at hand now. It’s that the name is offensive to a large group of people.

  50. ALWAYS ASK WHY July 19, 2020 8:10 pm

    Reply to roots #49. Apparently, you are not concern about the word Raider, but the word Red because of its implications to Native Americans. The word Red is not reserved for Native Americans. Would the word Red Sox, Red Hill, Red Dirt, Red Robin, Red Roses, Red Apple, Red Porsche, or Red Wine be racism? Of course not…unless you want it to be. As for the logo, as mentioned earlier, Native Americans that I visited on their Reservations, looked like people walking down Maunakea Street. If Tomahawk is offensive, change the name to Karate Chop, Kung Fu Khop, or the Kahuku Khop. But don’t change the name Kahuku Red Raiders.

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