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A Car Company Is In “Big Trouble” After They Said One Of Its Vehicles Is Racist….

Jeep has been building the Cherokee SUV since the 1970s, but nearly 50 years later, there’s a chance it could soon be called something else.

It’s time for Jeep and Stellantis, the sizable carmaker that owns the well-known and successful brand, to make good on their debt to the Cherokee Nation of American Indians. Although it won’t be simple or inexpensive, acting morally is the correct thing to do.

Since the first product bearing the brand, an SUV called the Cherokee, went on sale in 1974, Jeep has benefited monetarily from consumers’ good opinions of what “Cherokee” means. This has been the case for nearly 50 years. Currently, Jeep offers two vehicles with the brand and is getting ready to launch a third.

Neither permission nor appreciation for the Cherokee Nation’s contribution was ever sought, now, the Cherokee Nation is calling on Jeep to stop using its name for its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee vehicles.

“The use of indigenous names and images without the consent of the individuals involved grows out of a time when there was not much awareness of indigenous concerns,” said Stacy Leeds, professor of law at Arizona State University and a former justice of the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. “Most people and companies don’t come to it from ill will.”

Arizona State University law professor Stacy Leeds

“Mainstream America presumed these names were theirs for the taking.”

But they’re not. They belong to specific, legally defined groups. Groups whose will have historically been ignored.

Jeep has intermittently used the Cherokee moniker for nearly 50 years; the first Cherokee-badged vehicle was an off-road station wagon with a high ride that was introduced in 1974. Jeep momentarily stopped using the moniker for the North American market in 2001 when the Liberty was released, but it was brought back in 2013.

The Cherokee Nation has more than 380,000 tribal citizens, making it the biggest tribal government in the United States. Its request is one of many from Native tribes in recent years.

There are other manufacturers besides Jeep that use native Americans’ names as the names of their models. The Tuareg, a nomadic people who live in Africa’s Sahara desert, is the source of the term “Touareg,” which Volkswagen gave to its huge SUV. The Nissan Qashqai bears the same name as nomadic clans that live in southern and central Iran.

For decades, Jeep SUVs have essentially been trespassing on other people’s property. Jeep has invested billions of dollars and possesses legal trademarks, but it lacks moral authority.

But the time for that has ended. Jeep and Stellantis would be well-served to be on the front end of this overdue recognition, not dragged to it kicking and screaming, like the NFL’s currently nameless Washington Football Team.

“The Cherokee name belongs to a people,” Charles Hoskin Jr, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation said.

“I think Jeep and its parent company set out to capitalise on the picture people have in their minds about Native Americans and the Cherokee, associate that with a brand, and then make money in the process.”

“I’m saying, categorically, I think it’s wrong to use our name to peddle a vehicle.”

Research by the University of Michigan and coauthored by Arianne Eason, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, found that using Native mascots “damages Native people.” The mascots “decrease Native individuals’ self-esteem, community worth and achievement-related aspirations, she claimed.

“If you’re going to honor somebody, give them an award. If you’re going to name a product after them, you’re selling,” Cobb-Greetham, herself a member of the Chickasaw Nation said.

Sources: Awm, Caranddriver, People




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