17
   

Are tribal mascots racist?

 
 
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 08:58 am
Oregon just banned public schools from having Native American mascots. Gone are the "Indians", "Chiefs", and "Braves". Schools calling their teams "Warriors" can continue using the names as long as they don't include any Native American imagery in association with the school.

It should be noted that none of the schools were using actual mascots -- people dressed in Native garb or doing Native dances or chants.

The argument went that these names/logos relied on images that stereotyped Natives.

Other say that Native culture is a huge part of our history and that none of the teams were using the names/images in a derogatory manner.

Other others say that the ban is an attempt to erase the history of the area.

Do you think these kinds of names/images are racist?
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 09:36 am
@boomerang,
I'm thinking on this. I'm not sure my thoughts will cohere.

West Texas has a bunch of mascots like "tornado," "whirlwind," "zephyr," etc.

Is that insensitive when people have died in tornadoes?

I wonder if something like "Cherokee" would get past the ban? That's a nation not a race.

I do see some validity in pushing back against the stereotypes generated in 1950's Hollywood.

0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 09:38 am
I'm going to go with: No, not racist.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 09:45 am
@boomerang,
Its tough as mentioned above - almost anything could be considered offensive to some one. On the other hand, would a reasonable person be offended by these names/symbols? I think you need to go with common sense on this because it could really end up going over the deep end with PC stuff.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 10:17 am
I've been thinking on it for a few days and can't quite get my thoughts together on it.

I don't see it as racist but just because I don't doesn't mean it isn't.

I'm a bit puzzled over the "Warriors" thing. A lot of the schools here don't want the military to be able to recruit there so how might they now feel about "Warriors" without the Native elements. Would they be okay with the school changing the name to "Soldiers"? I've known a lot of soldiers who are anything but warriors, they might find the name objectionable.

And what about all the "Cowboys"?

Or "Saints" and "Angels"?
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 10:43 am
@boomerang,
I think we've had these types of names around long enough that they don't seem racist but maybe they are. I was trying to mix up the names to see how it would sound with other groups. Calling the team the Africans, Asians, Eurasians, Caucasians, etc doesn't sound very good even though those terms aren't derogatory in themselves. Calling a team the Scots, Irishmen, Mongols might sound a little better but would you really call your team the fighting Mexicans or Somoans? Something like "The Vikings" doesn't sound bad. I wonder if there are teams in other countries called the "Yanks".
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 10:57 am
@boomerang,
Not to muddy the waters, but Shiprock High School has the Chieftains. I guess the Navajo are lucky they didn't get a reservation in Oregon.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:00 am
I say offense is relative. I can understand certain names being offensive to certain groups. Kinda weird to me for anyone not Native American to speak for Native Americans who don't like "braves", redskins", "chiefs", etc.

I guess I wonder just as often why it bothers some people that it bothers some people.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:01 am
@engineer,
What about the Celtics?

Is that racist?
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:01 am
@boomerang,
I ain't Irish - you get what I mean?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:02 am
@roger,
Has anyone complained?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:06 am
@boomerang,
I'm Irish and live in the Boston area - there are so many Irish around here on top of that - probably why the Celtics name is here - as far as I know, not one Irish has complained about it and if anything look at it as a source of pride.

Maybe though where Lucky, the mascot, is a leprechaun - maybe a leprechaun or small person may be offended by him.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:08 am
@boomerang,
No. The students and parents are so close to 100% Navajo and American Indian as not to matter.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:09 am
@snood,
I can understand the opposition to "Redskins" and to "Savages", which used to be a pretty popular name.

I can also see the objection to war cries and the infamous tomahawk chop motion.

But "Chiefs" and "Braves" don't really carry that kind of baggage.

I get your point and agree. Who am I to say?

It seems that some of the schools have worked with area tribes in designing logos and such, scraping the caricature type image in favor of other tribal designs.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:10 am
@roger,
roger wrote:

Not to muddy the waters, but Shiprock High School has the Chieftains.


are any Scottish or Irish people complaining?

Part of the weirdness for me is how some terms have particular meanings in some regions and different meanings in others.

Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:24 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
It seems that some of the schools have worked with area tribes in designing logos and such, scraping the caricature type image in favor of other tribal designs.


Now that seems a reasonable compromise.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:24 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
Or "Saints" and "Angels"?

The heavenly race of angels are upset by the franchise name and mascot not because it's divinist but because the Anaheim Angels suck badly!
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:27 am
@Linkat,
Linkat wrote:

I'm Irish and live in the Boston area - there are so many Irish around here on top of that - probably why the Celtics name is here - as far as I know, not one Irish has complained about it and if anything look at it as a source of pride.

Maybe though where Lucky, the mascot, is a leprechaun - maybe a leprechaun or small person may be offended by him.

I wonder if the Celtics never had their 17 year championship that say if they paralleled the LA Clippers or the Toronto Raptors losing franchise record that if the Irish community in Boston would be up and arms against the team and its mascot....
snood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:35 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Linkat wrote:

I'm Irish and live in the Boston area - there are so many Irish around here on top of that - probably why the Celtics name is here - as far as I know, not one Irish has complained about it and if anything look at it as a source of pride.

Maybe though where Lucky, the mascot, is a leprechaun - maybe a leprechaun or small person may be offended by him.

I wonder if the Celtics never had their 17 year championship that say if they paralleled the LA Clippers or the Toronto Raptors losing franchise record that if the Irish community in Boston would be up and arms against the team and its mascot....


I don't know...
But if you follow your inference to its logical conclusion, does it mean that if the NY Knicks were perennial champions, people in Harlem wouldn't mind them being called the Niggerbockers? (which is a nickname some folks have used over the years to express their opinion about the team demographic)

Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2012 11:40 am
I don't think the Irish would complain about being called the celtics, (sellticks) since it ain't really a word. The Irish are Celts with a hard cee. We are Celtic people.
I don't see the problem with Chief since many, many cultures have chiefs not just natives. Indians is a misnomer in the first place, but the insignia normally isn't. And Braves... well, I think it would be fine if it were wrapped up in the red, white and blue as in soldiers, but as an native warrior..not so much. I can see why natives would get pissed with a stadium filled with white folks doing the tomahawk chop. Since most of these images are bullshit Hollywood personifications.
That being said, I live in a city with a 100 yr old professional football team called the Eskimos. The indigenous people of the north hate being called that, as it means fish eater, they prefer Inuit.
 

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