SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio College is considering changing their Ranger mascot, asking for public comment during a time of heightened focus on issues of race across the country.
Critics say Antonio the Ranger, unveiled in 2019, reinforces negative stereotypes about Mexican bandits. They also take issue with the association with the Texas Rangers.
"For more than a year, many people and organizations on campus have debated the future of our mascot, The Ranger," said university president Dr. Robert Vela. "The opinions have been strong, the voices even stronger, and there’s a strong sense of urgency to take action."
He said the college council will convene a special session on July 14th regarding the mascot, and he wants people to make their voices heard by submitting feedback before then.
A change.org petition from 2019 took issue with the new mascot.
"Since 1926—shortly after the Texas Rangers lynched thousands of Mexican-Americans from the Texas border to San Antonio—the Texas Ranger has been associated with San Antonio College as its newspaper name and mascot. San Antonio College is a majority Mexican-American student campus and is federally defined as a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
"In addition to ignoring students who find having a symbol of Mexican-American oppression as a long time mascot offensive, San Antonio College has recently adopted a new mascot who is suggested to be a 'masked ranger,' with the appearance of a stereotypical Mexican bandit. When the Texas Rangers lynched Mexican-Americans for refusing to give up their lands, our ancestors were often accused of being bandits and/or of committing crimes in order to justify the atrocities committed by the Texas Rangers.
"The mask was recently removed from the 'masked ranger' but 'Antonio,' as they have named him, is still the mascot. We, the students of Alamo Colleges, along with the Mexican-American organizations listed here would appreciate your support in respectfully requesting that San Antonio College completely disassociate itself with the problematic legacy of the Texas Rangers and removes the Masked Ranger, who we feel is not only problematic, but does not at all represent the students."