American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
"[Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea] struck
me as uncannily symbolic of, if I may speak
broadly and loosely, the best and worst
of the 'American character abroad.'"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"But where, I wonder, is Obama's hard choice, in this his
now sixth year of leadership? Where is his defining decision,
against the grain, made solely because it seemed right?
Drone strikes in Yemen?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
"We feel better living in a world with privacy, with intimate, unmonitored communication when desired. Those values mean something to us, and give our lives dignity and humanity."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
nsa-spy-cartoon-4
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
"For all the good things he did and tried to do, in a way, for me, Mandela's greatness lay more in what he did not do. And this, I think, is his greatest lesson for America."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

October 17, 2017

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Author Topic: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots


Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: October 24, 2013, 02:59

National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media and the American Indian Movement on the Declaration of "R" Day
October 22, 2013 01:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time
MINNEAPOLIS----The American Indian Movement (AIM) and the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media (The Coalition) announced today that because non-indigenous people have stolen portions of the sacred culture, heritage, religion and images of the Native American Nations for use and abuse by sports corporations for their profit and amusement, and because all such cultural appropriations by non-indigenous people harm indigenous children through discrimination and desecration, they are calling on all people to stop this injustice once and for all beginning November 7, 2013.

http://www.aimovement.org/moipr/ncrsmPressRel.html
------------------------------------

from National Congress of American Indians

President Cladoosby sends letter in support of DC Council’s Resolution to Change the Washington Football team name

In 1968, NCAI launched a campaign to end negative and harmful stereotypes perpetuated by media and popular culture. These efforts have been rooted in an attempt to achieve social justice and racial equality for Native people. The continued use of racist and derogatory “Indian” sports mascots, logos, and symbols have perpetuated negative stereotypes of America’s first peoples. Rather than honoring Native peoples, these caricatures and stereotypes contribute to a disregard for the diverse cultural heritages of Native people. [...]

http://www.ncai.org/news/articles/2013/11/04/president-cladoosby-sends-letter-in-support-of-dc-council-s-resolution-to-change-the-washington-football-team-name

--------------------------------
The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated -- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause taken so long to gain momentum?



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 7, 2013, 23:52

Image
Image

For those teaching this subject in American Studies classes, you might be interested in this site (it's geared toward high schools, but the material can be adapted to college level).

http://americanindiantah.com/lesson_plans/ml_mascots.html



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 8, 2013, 02:23

Thanks, Mike.
Another important resource... the American Indian Movement's manifesto, "Change the Name, Change the Mascot" (now available in our archives):
http://www.theiramerica.org/change-the-name-change-the-mascot-by-the-american-indian-movement/



Charles-
Fount
New Member
Posts: 1
Charles Fount
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 10, 2013, 14:36

There are three key reasons, I would say, that momentum has not built sooner (and progress hasn't been made) in the effort to change mascot/sports names.
1. The Native American population is really small (and its public voice is even smaller): they make up only about about 1.2% of the U.S. population (compared with about 13% of the population for African Americans).
http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html
2. Several of the names that need to be changed (Washington Redskins above all) are major brands, which have hundreds of millions of dollars tied up in them. Wealthy owners, who are very powerful politically, don't want to risk losing their customers.
3. Most (white) Americans think, as the cartoon above indicates, that these names aren't offensive, and that they are in fact honoring the peoples they caricature. This is an entrenched belief, and it won't be easily dug out. I'm reminded of Noam Chomsky's remark that Americans happily name their weapons (Black Hawk, Apache) after people's they've committed genocide against.

These three reasons don't seem like insurmountable obstacles to me, but they should remind us of how much resistance there is likely to be in making the changes we want to see.



Luis-
Domingos
New Member
Posts: 1
Luis Domingos
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 17, 2013, 22:33

We shouldn't forget that the term Native American is wildly imprecise, being of an instrument used to lump what used to be obstacles to the progession west of the American territory (brushing over the fact that the existence of alliances and feuds amongst "native" indicate that they considered themselves different from one another).

Also, the segregation to which the people were subjected after the end of the so-called American Indian Wars through the reservation system and some enforced Americanization meant that they didn't have the resources to make themselves heard on the state or national level (some of the poorest counties in America by GDP are in reservation land, and there was for decades an education policy which tried to break all ties of children with their heritage through shaming and conformism); it's only in the 1970-80s that we see some advocacy groups pushing forward discussion on themes important to the Native Americans (this time on a more united front to fight for restitution from the Wars of the previous centuries).

Finally, it's also quite interesting from a nation-building perspective to look the atrocities which are glossed over (and the parts which are glamourized) in the name of a rigid national identity that tries to melt divergent ethnic experiences into the norm; changing the narrative employed over tribal leaders and warriors from savages to heros shows that attempt to mask a reality when these people lacked any rights of citizenship.



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 19, 2013, 01:36

Charles -- I reckon the de facto power of Native Americans is now much greater (compared, say, to three or four decades ago) than their 1.3% share of the U.S. population might suggest, and that the chances of getting something done soon(ish) on the ‘mascot issue’ are therefore reasonably good. The progress made by African Americans (and other marginalized groups) in seeking ‘tolerance’ and respect, especially in regard to mainstream cultural representations, has provided a compelling model for Native Americans, and a moral parallel that (as one of the cartoons in the thread above illustrates) could hardly be more direct. Happily, one routinely sees and hears that parallel deployed now (on sports sites, talk shows, and in casual conversations, etc.): that is, if it’s grossly insensitive for whites to wear blackface to costume parties, then of course it’s also grossly insensitive to wear head-dresses and war paint. I’m not quite sure what’s needed to accelerate the mascot cause from here (though another Dances With Wolves would certainly help), but the cultural drift seems generally favorable.

(I must say I was disappointed, though, to hear President Obama, in wishy-washy law professor mode, provide such weak support on the mascot issue: “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it".)

Luis – thanks for your incisive post, which speaks to the troubled history behind the jolly mascot images. My own understanding of (what I’ll call) Native American issues has been informed recently by the work of authors such as Thomas King and Louise Erdrich, who astutely challenge the “rigid national identity” you mention and, encouragingly, reach quite large audiences in North America. Perhaps I’m being too optimistic here (and in my conclusions above), but I’d like to see their success as evidence of a more general receptivity to revisionist, non-triumphalist versions of American history.



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 22, 2013, 14:21

An alternative perspective...

from Chron

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Leon Yazzie speaks fluent Navajo. He grew up on the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona. His grandfather was a medicine man, and during World War II, his uncle was a Navajo code talker.

The 45-year-old long-haired Yazzie is proud to be Navajo, and he's proud to be an "American Indian."

He's also proud of the Chicago Blackhawks, the professional hockey team. Not because he follows the sport so much or knows a great deal of history about Chief Black Hawk, who sided with the British and fought against European-American settlers in Illinois back in the early 1800s.

No, he just digs the jersey with Chief Black Hawk's caricature on the front.

http://www.chron.com/news/article/In-Nev-mixed-feelings-on-Native-American-mascots-4999788.php



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 26, 2013, 15:56

Much of the debate around "Redskins" has to do, of course, with how the word is (or should be) defined and what it's meant to suggest.
The author of this article -- "Native Americans protest the Washington Redskins", http://www.hardingbeacon.com/top-stories/2013/11/25/native-americans-protest-the-washington-redskins/
from a high-school newspaper makes the claim that

"The term “Redskins” refers to the blood running down the face of a Native American who had just been scalped, the action of one cutting anothers scalp off."

... but the word's actual origin seems to be less dramatic (though of course no less objectionable). Here's trusty Wikipedia...

"Redskin" is a racial descriptor of disputed origin for Native Americans. Although by some accounts not originally having negative intent, the term is defined by dictionaries of American English as "usually offensive", "disparaging", "insulting", "taboo" and is avoided in public usage with the exception of its continued use as a name for sports teams.
The term derives from the use of "red" as a color metaphor for race following European colonization of the Western Hemisphere, although initial explorers and later Anglo-Americans termed Native Americans light-skinned, brown, tawny, or russet. According to historian Alden T. Vaughan, "Not until the middle of the eighteenth century did most Anglo-Americans view Indians as significantly different in color from themselves, and not until the nineteenth century did red become the universally accepted color label for American Indians."Slang identifiers for ethnic groups based upon physical characteristics, including skin color, are almost universally slurs, or derogatory, emphasizing the difference between the speaker and the target.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 26, 2013, 22:33

And... for other teachers looking for resources (or for anyone with an interest in this topic), have a look at this recent video from The National Congress of American Indians...



blakejas
New Member
Posts: 1
blakejas
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 30, 2013, 03:15

Here's a naive question: twenty-something years ago, I remember similar debates about the need to change team names.

What happened in the meantime? Or, more to the point, why have the calls to change names occurred now? Is my impression that the problem "went away" or was absent for several years just wrong?



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 30, 2013, 21:36

I'm not sure about this -- attention to the subject seems to rise and fall every few years -- but I think it likely has to do with a recent civil rights complaint filed by the state of Michigan (which came on the heels of new research about the negative impact on Native Americans of racist mascots/names, etc.). (I've copied an announcement about the complaint below.) Unfortunately, the US Dep't of Education's office of civil rights dismissed the case.
The National Congress of American Indians has been fighting the mascot battle since the 1940s (!), and it seems to be leading the way now (they have the issue highlighted on the front page of their website...http://www.ncai.org/)
---------------------

http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138--294605--,00.html

Michigan Department of Civil Rights: Continued Use of American Indian Mascots Hurts Student Achievement
Complaint Asks U.S. Department of Education to End Use of American Indian Mascots

Contact: Leslee Fritz (517) 335-5723
Agency: Civil Rights

LANSING - The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) today filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), asking the federal agency to issue an order prohibiting the continued use American Indian mascots, names, nicknames, slogans, chants and/or imagery (hereafter referred to as "imagery"). MDCR's complaint asserts that new research clearly establishes that use of American Indian imagery negatively impacts student learning, creating an unequal learning environment in violation of Article VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"A growing and unrebutted body of evidence now establishes that the use of American Indian imagery reinforces stereotypes in a way that negatively impacts the potential for achievement by students with American Indian ancestry," the filing argues. "Continued use of American Indian mascots, names, nicknames, logos, slogans, chants and/or other imagery creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights to all current and future American Indian students and must therefore cease."

MDCR asserts, in today's filing, that research now establishes that actual harm occurs as a result of the use of American Indian imagery, thus rendering the subjective debate over intent and offensiveness moot. The filing highlights a number of studies which show decreased achievement, self-esteem and self-identity among American Indian students as well as increased stereotyping of all minority groups. (For a detailed look at the studies cited, see pages 19-26 of the Supporting Argument and Appendix A in the materials available at the link below.)

"Because there is now, for the first time, an objective showing that actual harm is resulting and that it disparately falls on American Indian students, there is no longer any need to question what the school, or what the "reasonable American Indian" thinks about the mascot," the filing argues.

The MDCR complaint asks OCR to determine that the use of American Indian mascots, names, terms, graphics and/or other imagery negatively impacts a minority of primary and secondary students thereby denying them equal protection and opportunity; and that OCR therefore order that:

A. The use of American Indian mascots, names, terms, graphics and/or other imagery (particularly those which portray stereotypical Indian images as warriors), will not be permitted in primary or secondary educational institutions that receive federal funds, (except in the very limited and well defined circumstances described below).
B. The term "Redskins" has historically been used as a racial slur, and for this reason carries particularly negative connotations that accentuate the negative impact of associated stereotypes. Use of the term as a team name by primary or secondary educational institutions that receive federal funds is always impermissible.
C. Where limited uses of images, particularly the use of names of locally significant tribes or tribal persons with tribal support for doing so, can be done in a way that is respectful and which does not reinforce any singular limiting image of Indian Peoples, they may be continued, but only within guidelines provided by OCR.
D. The use of American-Indian names and/or imagery by each of the schools named in this complaint falls within the impermissible uses described above and must cease.
MDCR's complaint addresses only primary and secondary schools, so colleges and universities would not be impacted by any action OCR might take in response. The MDCR complaint identifies 35 public school districts in Michigan that were using American Indian imagery as of the time of the complaint's filing.

To review the complaint and supporting documentation, please go to http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr/0,4613,7-138-5933---,00.html



mahmoud-
badawi
Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
mahmoud badawi
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: December 1, 2013, 12:30

Quote from Mike Langston on November 7, 2013, 23:52
Image

They left out the Coachella Valley High School "Arabs", in California:

"The CVHS mascot, the “Arab” depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a Kaffiay. This imagery is plastered and advertised all over CVHS’s athletic facilities and at sporting events."

Here is the mascot dance, complete with harem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-GrTuRVg7g&feature=youtu.be

The full article in WAFA: http://english.wafa.ps/index.php?action=detail&id=23578



Oliver-
Wells
New Member
Posts: 2
Oliver Wells
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: December 9, 2013, 23:17

Very interesting discussion so far!
One thing I've been encouraged by in the last few years is that offensive remarks/representations of all ethnic groups now get mainstream attention (often thanks to social media). We can shame the racists out there now instantly. A good example of this power can be seen in the reaction to a sign posted recently in Missouri (see link below). I have seen many similar signs in my day, but twenty, even ten years ago, not much attention would be paid to them (except, at most, locally). Things are changing (slowly but surely) -- and, of course, we must keep the pressure on!
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/08/21821339-shockingly-racist-sign-about-chiefs-redskins-brings-restaurant-apology



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: December 11, 2013, 18:40

This one goes in the dubious compliment category (nice to see "Native American" fashion getting some props, but it would be nice if Native Americans were actually involved in some way; if they were, of course, the sacred head-dresses wouldn't be paraded around like this). My favorite line from the article: "The whole 'cowboys and Indians' thing Chanel went for is cute in theory..."

http://fashionista.com/2013/12/chanel-shows-native-american-headdresses/

Chanel staged a Texas-sized pre-fall show in Dallas on Tuesday night, and, like most productions Karl Lagerfeld puts on, it was an over-the-top affair. The collection, shown in a barn-like space at Dallas’ Fair Park, was clearly inspired by the wild west, with cowboy boots and hats, turquoise jewelry, blanket coats and fringes galore playing a huge part in the show.

Another pervasive theme was Navajo prints and American Indian-inspired accessories, which have proven to be a very touchy subject in the fashion industry in recent years. The final two looks of the show featured white, feathered headdresses — the very same style that caused a major controversy at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2012 when Karlie Kloss wore one for the Calendar Girls segment to represent Thanksgiving. Not only did both Kloss and Victoria’s Secret issue apologies for being racially insensitive, the brand removed her look from the show’s national telecast.

A look from Chanel's pre-fall show.
The whole “cowboys and Indians” thing Chanel went for is cute in theory, but with all of the controversy that’s raised season after season about cultural appropriation in the fashion industry, we’re honestly shocked that those headdresses were given the thumbs up to walk down the runway. The thing that we find most troubling about this the fact that, despite how many groups have voiced their disapproval, this keeps happening.

Image



Noelle-
Ahawi
New Member
Posts: 1
Noelle Ahawi
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: December 18, 2013, 01:27

I've been following and enjoying the discussion so far, and I thought I would point out a recent essay by John F. Banzhaf III: "How Fans Convince Themselves 'Redskins' Isn't Racist."
One of the most important points he makes, I believe, is that 'cognitive dissonance' is behind at least some of the resistance to changing racist sports names. There is a great deal of emotional investment in a team like the Washington Redskins, and fans are very reluctant, for understandable psychological reasons, to give up on that investment by changing something as important as a team name. Because of this, they suppress their awareness that there is, in fact, something wrong with the name itself.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/13/how-fans-convince-themselves-redskins-isnt-racist



mahmoud-
badawi
Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
mahmoud badawi
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: December 26, 2013, 00:17

Update on the Coachella "Arabs": http://www.wafa.ps/english/index.php?action=detail&id=23578



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: January 5, 2014, 02:26

And -- some seeming good news on the political front...

The heated debate over Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s refusal to change the name of the NFL franchise’s mascot is making noise in state and national levels of government.

On Thursday, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) joined several congressional colleagues who have denounced “Redskins” and called on Snyder to change the team’s name.

Reid joins House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Barack Obama in urging the Washington football team to rethink its mascot.

Washington State senator Andy Billig, who is also the co-owner of the Spokane Indians baseball team, a Class A Northwest League team affiliated with the Texas Rangers, said that it was time to change the NFL team’s name.

“Of course the [Washington Redskins mascot] name is wrong,” said Billig in an interview with ICTMN. Billig was elected to the Washington State Senate in 2012 representing the 3rd Legislative District and currently serves as the Senate Democratic Whip.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/01/01/tribes-mascot-gives-state-senator-new-perspective-native-issues-152941



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: January 10, 2014, 00:51

And -- more good news (seems like the good sort of slippery slope)!

The Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo has been the topic for much debate because of its cartoonish depiction of Native Americans. Starting in 2014, the team's primary logo will change from the controversial mascot to a traditional block C.
... the Indians will still keep Chief Wahoo on its home caps and jersey sleeves, but the team acknowledged that the logo used by Major League Baseball will change.

http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2014-01-09/cleveland-indians-chief-wahoo-logo-change-mlb-2014-season-hats-jerseys

For reference, here's the current Chief Wahoo (on the left), with the original image (used in the 40s) on the right...
Image



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: January 31, 2014, 11:30

The National Congress of American Indians is appealing to the NFL on Superbowl weekend to change the name of the Washington team.
Here's their PSA:



mahmoud-
badawi
Experienced Their American
Posts: 10
mahmoud badawi
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: February 18, 2014, 12:04

Wisconsin takes a firm step backward: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/12/19/wisconsin-makes-ithardertochallengeracialschoolmascots.html.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: February 24, 2014, 12:43

Great article by Robert McCartney of the Washington Post....

We need a fresh, reliable opinion poll to show what Indians today think of ‘Redskins’ name
By Robert McCartney, Published: February 19
Would somebody please conduct an objective, thorough, scientifically valid opinion poll to find out what American Indians today think of the name of Washington’s professional football team?
I don’t need a poll myself to know the team should change its name. This ardent Washington fan and season ticket holder thinks it’s enough that dictionaries define the word as a racial slur and that national Native American organizations strongly object to it.
Who is open to changing the Redskins’ name?: Opponents call it a racial slur. The team’s owner, Dan Snyder, says he’ll never change it. More and more people are saying he should consider choosing a different name of the NFL franchise for Washington.
But a poll is still necessary because team owner Dan Snyder and the National Football League are relying on a 10-year-old opinion survey of questionable value as pretty much their sole morally acceptable argument for keeping the name.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/we-need-a-fresh-reliable-opinion-poll-to-show-what-indians-today-think-of-redskins-name/2014/02/19/6afdb02c-99a0-11e3-b88d-f36c07223d88_story.html



majajerank-
o
New Member
Posts: 1
majajeranko
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 16, 2014, 16:21

I agree with what has been said so far. What specifically caught my attention was the Chanel's "Cowboys and Indians" pre-fall collection. While I understand that the fashion industry often draws inspiration from different tribes, indeginous people's culture (Aztecs, Indian Americans) or oriental tradition, I did not like the quasi artsy show that Chanel put on with the collection - especially not today when there are so many controversies regarding the Native Americans. Using aztec or oriental prints in fashion (where pieces are made in China of course, not in Peru) is one thing, but using headdresses as fashion pieces is another. One could argue that it was all for the purpose of the lavish, extravagant runway show but the fact that it was held in Texas and that Karl Lagerfeld (creative director of Chanel) described it as "not typical cowboys, they are transposed, very sophisticated" takes it to a whole new level. His utterance once again confirms what has been said so many times: non-natives may still perceive American Indian mascots as interchangeable with the American Indian people. Instead of trying to make Native Americans look "fabulous", designers should rather learn more about the culture of the Native tribes and their history, including slavery and slaughter.



ziva.p
New Member
Posts: 1
ziva.p
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 17, 2014, 14:11

I really enjoyed watching and reading from all the sources that you posted on here. I especially like the video of the campaign for the Washington team to change their name - it is great that videos such as this are made, because they can draw more attention than the written medium. The video nicely shows the diversity of the Indians, their various public roles, the differences between the apparels of different tribes and most importantly it shows that their roles in the society are just the same as the roles of the people of other ethnic groups. Also, when it is said in the video: mother, father, teacher and so on, the solider is one of the last roles listed. And even there a soldier is meant as a part of an army of the United States. Contrary, what team mascots and names do is draw attention only to the aspect of savage fighters, soldiers and so on, conveniently forgetting all the rest. Because of that Indians are not seen as unique individuals but as depersonalized “things” all characterized by aggressive and warrior-like behavior. These stereotypes limit our objective view on them and also the view of themselves by Indian youngsters and make them less successful in school, leading to less job opportunities and lower standard of living later in life. I really think it is important that we keep in mind how stereotypical these mascots really are and that Indians are much more than these images that we have in mind.



UrsaB
New Member
Posts: 1
UrsaB
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 12:04

The use of Native American imagery for sports teams’ mascots and logos, as well as the naming of teams after Native tribes, is problematic. It does in fact reinforce the negative stereotypes about the Indigenous people, as it does nothing to educate the public about specific tribes, their history and culture, but merely uses a concoction of various different tribes in their depiction of the Native Americans. The depiction should be accurate and not just ignorant cultural appropriation, and something in the way of informing the public about the cultural and historical aspects of the concerning tribes should be done. The public should embrace this information instead of forgetting about the history they share with the Indigenous people and just blatantly accepting the fact that derogatory mascots and logos of the peoples that have nearly been annihilated by their ancestors are supposedly there in honour of them and their culture.



TinaG
New Member
Posts: 1
TinaG
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 14:22

Hi there, America!

I must admit - at first I thought this issue to be quite simple: Mascots and names are offensive, Native Americans are against them and the right thing to do is to drop them all. But things are rarely simple now, aren't they. Then I happened to discover arguments such as the one from Leon Yazzie and a couple of others and to my surprise they expressed quite an opposite emotion. Pride, to put a name on it. Here, another proof of that: a poll, conducted to find out whether Native Americans feel that the team names should change: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1025046/
over 80% said no - it's all in good sport!
(the poll was carried out in 2002 though)

So if the Natives themselves don't find them offensive, how can those images be harmful?
Here's the link to one such study that above mentioned MDCR probably had in mind:
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/daphna.oyserman/files/frybergmarkusoysermanstone2008.pdf
It basically shows how the mascots, names and logos, although perceived positively by Native Americans can have negative psychological effect because "they remind them (the Natives) of the limited ways the others see them."
I think this study makes an interesting and quite illuminating read, or if you'd like a short summary, here's an article by Sam Sommers: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-sommers/native-american-mascots_b_1546639.html

Just saw that the above video follows the same idea. I hope it gets through!



ilievc
New Member
Posts: 1
ilievc
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 15:59

As the person above me conveniently points out, there is no actual concrete evidence that these images and names come off as insulting to the Native Americans (as numerous surveys observe) in any way. In fact, I believe that the general consensus is that most Native tribes are fine with this being the case and some of those who might have had certain problems on the matter always worked relatively well with the sports organizations to make sure they are being represented in a way they feel is right.

So what does this say about the issue then? You got activists claiming the Native Americans have such a low self-esteem nowadays that they don’t even recognize whether they are being offended or not. But the activists somehow do? To me, this seems more like a forced manifestation of a problem that was never a that big of an issue to begin with. Activists and their affiliated groups think they have some sort of superior power in declaring who, why and how should be offended as they stand up for the rights of people who, in this case, seemingly didn’t even ask for their involvement.

This is not meant to discredit activists and human rights groups, as I have no doubt that they are an important and respective agent when it comes to protecting and representing the rights and needs of ethnic groups all over the country. But nevertheless, I’m positive that there are much more serious issues that need attending than worrying about something as trivial as sports mascots... Anyone who watches sport to get some sort of educational outlook on Native Americans should have their brained examined in the first place. The names, images and mascots aren't there to give you correct, reliable information on what they are suppose to represent (in this case Native Americans), if that is what people want them to do, they are missing the point completely.



Arijana
New Member
Posts: 1
Arijana
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 16:50

I think that instead of debating whether the mascots and names are inappropriate or not, we should ask ourselves: what do we want to achieve by changing them, and would that even suffice?
These images about Natives that are used by the teams and fans were actually produced by the mass media, and aren't really accurate. This is probably also the reason why most of the Natives aren't offended by them - they know their heritage and history, and don't really feel connected to the images, portrayed by the media. I think the main goal should be education of people, and I doubt that this could be achieved just by banning some team names. We all should be aware of the history and real facts, and learn how to distinguish them from some romanticised, media produced images. If people were able to do so, these names probably wouldn't even be such a problem any more, and maybe the fans themselves would change them voluntarily because these images would lose their 'romantic' spirit. Just a thought.



LizaS
New Member
Posts: 1
LizaS
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 18:47

Hi everybody,

I would like to comment on a cartoon, which was posted on November 7, 2013. The cartoon shows us a hypothetical situation. The implied question is: “What would it be like if other ethnic minorities were depicted in a similar fashion as Native Americans have been depicted for decades?” My guess is that such a situation would deservedly provoke widespread outrage. I don’t understand why Native Americans are treated differently in that respect.
What’s more, I think the mascots are inaccurate representation of Native American people. The images have nothing to do with the lives of Native Americans. They may only reinforce certain negative stereotypes. So I think that activists do have a point.



AnjaD
New Member
Posts: 2
Anja D
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 19, 2014, 18:57

Quote from ilievc on March 19, 2014, 15:59
Anyone who watches sport to get some sort of educational outlook on Native Americans should have their brains examined in the first place. The names, images and mascots aren't there to give you correct, reliable information on what they are supposed to represent (in this case Native Americans), if that is what people want them to do, they are missing the point completely.

I think this argument is a bit shaky, because of course people don't expect to get an educational outlook from sports mascots and of course they know deep down that these are just stereotypes. However, stereotypes usually get ingrained into someone's mind on a subconscious level when they are repeated over and over again. So this is a problem, not just in sports, but in the media as well. The Native Americans presented through Hollywood are mostly portrayed as various type characters, such as “The Beautiful Maiden” (beautiful Native American maiden, sexually available to white men), “The Bloodthirsty Warrior” (tomahawk-wielding barbarian, thirsty for the blood of white men), and “The Magical Medicine Man” (wise man with magical powers, there to guide white characters onto the right path).
I'm certain if you stopped a random stranger on the street and asked them to tell you the first thing that pops into their mind when they hear the term "Indian" or "Native American", the answers would be very stereotypical (along the lines of "tomahawks", "red skin", "warriors", etc.)
Long story short: Just because people are aware these are unreliable portrayals doesn't mean they won't walk away from the game with the stereotypical image of Native Americans in their heads.

That being said, I don't think every single Native American sports team name, logo, and mascot should be banned. Perhaps the best solution is to follow the example of the Florida State Seminoles. They have official permission from the two remaining Seminole Indian groups (the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Seminole Nation in Oklahoma) to use the name for their sports teams. So I agree with you in the sense that the decision should be in the hands of the very people these names/mascots/logos represent.



soma
New Member
Posts: 1
soma
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 20, 2014, 01:29

Personally, I find my place among the opponents. I understand that all the symbolism is not meant derogatory, stereotypical and is not offensive towards the Natives, however, I think the harsh history that took place on the American floor is too cruel to include it in any kind of way in the present life. Let us not forget that there have been even presidents who ordered for the Natives to be tortured and killed. After all the humiliation, exploitation and discrimination I think American Indian symbolism has no place in celebrating or representing admirable American values.

However, the real question is not whether I approve it but whether the Native Americans approve it because as some of you have already pointed out, the topic is about them and they should be the ones expressing their opinion on it. So if they have no problems with it and don't see it is as a hurtful and offensive portrayal of their culture, there's really no reason to ban any of the mascots, logos, or nicknames in American sports teams.



cj
New Member
Posts: 1
cj
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 20, 2014, 07:04

I agree that ultimately it is up to Native Americans to decide whether the use of their insignia in such a way is acceptable. And although there are some Native Americans who think that the mascots and team names honour them, we must be aware that the majority of the opponents are individuals who live among other cultures, outside of reservations. Namely, the ones who have to face those symbols and white people's prejudice every day. Can you imagine there was a team of a non-christian culture which would use the Bible and the cross as their symbols and ridicule them during half-time? Unfortunately, it does not end there. Quite often fans shout extremely offensive and racist chants. Moreover, indigenous people, viewed on the basis of the sports teams and what they represent, can become an easy target for frustrated fans of other ethnicity.



AnjaD
New Member
Posts: 2
Anja D
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 20, 2014, 07:55

Quote from cj on March 20, 2014, 07:04
Quite often fans shout extremely offensive and racist chants.

Speaking of chants, this reminds me of one of the protests during the 2012 Senate election campaigns, when Senator Scott P. Brown’s supporters gathered in Boston, chanting Indian war cries and making tomahawk chops to protest his opponent Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she is of Native American descent. Mr. Brown himself accused Ms. Warren of lying by stating “[she] claimed she was a Native American, a person of color. And as you can see, she is not.” As if he could know that just by looking at her! It's ridiculous. According ot these people, in order to be Native American a person has to look a certain way – in other words, he or she has to conform to a certain stereotype. As David Treuer (a Native American himself) put it: “Thankfully, we American Indians are no longer forced to assimilate to accepted American culture. Instead, as the senator from Massachusetts suggests, we’re expected to assimilate to accepted Indian culture, a stereotype perfected in Boston way back in 1773, when protesters tossed tea into the harbor dressed as Mohawks in war paint.”



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: March 25, 2014, 16:01

Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, just released this letter explaining his decision to keep the 'Redskins' name (and to donate some money to charitable organizations which help Native Americans).
http://files.redskins.com/pdf/Letter-from-Dan-Snyder-032414.pdf
And here's an article in Slate discussing the letter...
http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/03/dan_snyder_washington_nfl_team_the_owner_s_cynical_new_effort_to_squelch.html

Dan Snyder wants to help Native Americans. In an open letter, the owner of the Washington NFL team describes the hardships faced by American Indian tribes and what he’s doing to help fix them. Snyder says his new foundation has distributed 3,000 winter coats, athletic shoes for Native American children, and a backhoe to Nebraska’s Omaha Tribe. “For too long, the struggles of Native Americans have been ignored, unnoticed and unresolved,” Snyder writes. “As a team, we have honored them through our words and on the field, but now we will honor them through our actions.” Oh, and by the way, the team is not changing its offensive nickname: “[O]ur team name captures the best of who we are and who we can be, by staying true to our history and honoring the deep and enduring values our name represents.”



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: April 8, 2014, 18:48

However, the real question is not whether I approve it but whether the Native Americans approve it because as some of you have already pointed out, the topic is about them and they should be the ones expressing their opinion on it.

That's it exactly -- and the current problem we have is that there is no credible, up-to-date 'survey' of Native Americans to confront Dan Snyder (the Washington team owner) with right now...



R Fairlawn
New Member
Posts: 1
R Fairlawn
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: April 18, 2014, 11:24

More offensiveness from the fashionistas!
Heidi Klum has had her "top models" pose in redface...
Image
But at least this is getting attention now.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: May 5, 2014, 13:44

And a quick update on the mascot controversy... Sen. John McCain has given (warmish) approval of the idea of changing the Redsk*ns name. This is significant, I'd say, since it's exactly this demographic, the "tough old white guys," who make up most of the resistance to the change...

Sen. John McCain on NFL’s Redskins name controversy: ‘If Native Americans are offended, then they should be heard’

McCain was discussing the NBA’s ban of Clippers owner Donald Sterling for making racist comments with Dan Patrick, whose sports talk show airs on NBC, when Patrick asked him if Snyder should come under fire as well.

Image

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/sen-mccain-redskins-controversy-change-article-1.1776925#ixzz30rePssA1



Geoff-
Hamilton
Administrator
Posts: 170
Geoff Hamilton
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: June 18, 2014, 16:59

U.S. Patent Office Cancels Redskins Trademark Registration
By KEN BELSON and EDWARD WYATTJUNE 18, 2014

A government agency on Wednesday canceled the trademark registration of the name Redskins for the N.F.L. team, saying that “a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be disparaging.”

The ruling, which ​the team said it would appeal, is the latest indication of mounting disapproval of one of the league’s most established brands.

​Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, has rebuffed criticism of the name and insisted that he will not change it, and Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the N.F.L., who grew up as a Redskins fan, has supported him.

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, was hailed by some Native American groups and members of Congress who have pressured Goodell to force ​Snyder to abandon the name. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/sports/football/us-patent-office-cancels-redskins-trademark-registration.html?hp&_r=0



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: September 20, 2014, 15:42

With the NFL season underway, a renewed effort is being made to eradicate the most prominent ethnic slur in professional sports. THIS year, I'm pretty certain, it will get done!!

Native American Group to Contact Every NFL Owner, Seeking End to 'Redskins'
By Mike Freeman, NFL National Lead Writer

In an unprecedented move in the fight to end the use of the Washington Redskins nickname, several Native American groups on Tuesday will send a letter to every individual owner of an National Football League team, asking each to renounce the name.

On Tuesday, in addition to sending the letter to owners, the Oneida Nation and the National Congress of American Indians will be joined at a press conference by the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, members of congress and about 30 to 40 Native American leaders, according to a person familiar with plans.

What the letter to the owners represents, more than anything, is an escalation of pressure on the NFL, at a time when the league is reeling from a number of scandals, including the Ray Rice domestic violence case and the Adrian Peterson child abuse indictment.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2197880-native-american-group-to-contact-every-nfl-owner-seeking-end-to-redskins



tylerestua-
rt
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Tyler Eliot Stuart
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 9, 2014, 20:49

I recently read an article in the Washington Post featuring a small high school in Arizona. Even though the large majority of students there are Navajo, they proudly call their football team, the "Redskins." When Dan Snyder heard about this, he enticed the team to attend a Washington Redskins game, and paraded them around in franchise t-shirts. A similar event recently happened with the soon ex-president of the Navajo nation, who attended a game with Snyder, and wore a "Redskins" hat. This tactic is widely used by defenders of the status quo. Snyder is trying to manipulate public opinion by making the mascot appear acceptable. 'If Native American's are okay with it, why isn't it allowed?' If we follow that logic, it leads to something like, "I have a friend who is _________, so I can say _________." And yet it is a ubiquitous gambit on shows like Fox News, where they take a black person with a particular perspective, and subtly use it to divert the attention away from a systemic problem of racism in Ferguson. This is akin to a straw man fallacy in that it uses one prop, and ignores the arguments on the other side. But it works. People all over America point to these examples are reason why the mascot name is not just acceptable, but respectful. I lived in New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation for four years, and I was appalled this summer to see that people in my community –– even some Navajo people –– called Amanda Blackhorse "crazy" and a "racist." The degree of ignorance demonstrated by these people is astounding, but it must be acknowledged as ignorance.

Reading the comments above, I see some people have called for a consensus on what native american's think of the term. I am not sure if even that would be useful. Many people, including Native Americans, do not understand the historical connotations and usage of the word. Despite all that, the word is inherently racist. Petty fogging the issue with individual opinions is a tactic to slow the movement to change the name. As a member of the Sappony Nation, I find the term "redskin" offensive. I do not find it personally offensive, because my complexion does not resemble that of my grandfather, but that is beside the point. My feelings are beside the point. The word is a public vestige of blatant racism in America, and it must go.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-arizona-a-navajo-high-school-emerges-as-a-defender-of-the-washington-redskins/2014/10/26/dcfc773a-592b-11e4-8264-deed989ae9a2_story.html



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 40
Mike Langston
Re: Native Americans and Sports Nicknames/Mascots
on: November 16, 2014, 21:58

Increasingly, I feel that some of the big sports news organizations are going to have to take the lead on this issue for us to get anywhere. ESPN, for instance, still uses the name "Redskins" (though other outlets now simply say "Washington's football team" or something like that). Every time ESPN does this, of course, they reinforce the idea that the term is acceptable. More pressure, therefore, ought to be directed where it can really do some good (Snyder doesn't care and will do everything he can to resist the change while he's owner).

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