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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Real Time Mascot Debate - My Own Story by CFT

This is about my son, Dakota, and his football team.

So, Pentucket was very gracious for our Bucs, however, their racist portrayal of a Native American was incredibly offensive. There is no honor in this caricature of our people, especially when that "Hollywood Indian beat" is playing in the back ground (see other post). It did make Dakota play harder, though, so their loss! 

Jay:  Frankly, I am sick and tired of this! Why is this degree of blatant racism even tolerated in this day and age. In a recent poll conducted by MSNBC regarding the change of name of the Washington Redskins the overwhelming response was to "just leave it alone, its not hurting anyone". Really? Since when is racial stereotyping ok? I bet there would be a national outcry if the name of the team was the Micks and the mascot was a cute little drunken Paddy!

Harvey: Why would u call this racism. They simple wear the costume for their school mascot. That is like saying every person who wheres a Mexican hat is a racist i think we have to open our minds then being so close minded. Look up racist and this clearly doesn't qualify
Peg:  consider how America has treated Native people throughout our history. Maybe it's not racism, but it is objectifying and stereotyping a group of people. And we can never "make up for" what was done in the past, but we sure can improve our behavior now.

Harvey:  Peg, like you said stereotyping , Claudia this is not being done with act of meanness. Believe me I truly understand racism. My family comes from Puerto Rico were the Arawak - Taino's were wiped out. But I truly believe the school was not doing this with malice that's all. We are to fast to cry Racism hurts us all
Claudia Fox Tree The Arawak and Taino were not wiped out. Mascots are much larger issue than one school - it's racist and would not be tolerated for other groups.

Harvey:  Claudia you are right if it were gays, blacks it would have stopped. But the fact is most Native Americans don't stick together to push this issue in Congress. Anyway thanks for the forum.

Jay:  frankly I do know how to read, and I do know what the term definition of racism is first hand. Sir, I live it everyday! I know exactly what it means to be nonwhite in America. I know all too well what it is like be racially profiled. Have you ever been spit on and been told to go back to where you came from? Followed around a department store, to the point where you just leave? Or stopped been pulled over in "routine" stop just to see if the expensive car you are driving in is really yours? All of these things have happened to me! As a result, perhaps I have a heightened sensitivity to situations like this. However, I would argue that these are all the outcomes of a social system designed to maintain the bastion of white privilege! To tell me that this is not racist is the same as saying that the old custom of whites wearing black face in the minstrel shows of the 19th and early 20th centuries were forms of paying homage to "Southern Negro" culture. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the impact such imagery has on the ethnic group being stereotyped. It is not the donning of another ethnic groups customs and attire that makes it a racist act, rather it is the actual intent and complete lack of respect and understanding of the culture being mocked. Furthermore, to excuse this mascot as you say "the fact is most Native Americans don't stick together to push this issue in Congress", is yet another example of the cycle of abuse where the victim is further victimized by abuser.

Claudia Fox Tree When racism is not "named" once observed, then it can't be interrupted and changed, and that's an even bigger problem. Racism is about a SYSTEM (see David Wellman) that is and has been in place to raise one group and put another down, often without the "lifted" group having any conscious awareness that it is happening (privilege - see Peggy McIntosh). One reason NA's don't "stick together" is internalized oppression as Jay says. Another is that there are so many more pressing issues (food, water, etc.) on, say, reservations, that have to be met first. (see Look how long it took women to get the right to vote!
How The "Redskins" Debate Goes Over On An Actual Indian Reservation

Harvey:  yes I to have seen the injustice of racism leaving New York for the suburbs of Massachusetts. Being the second Hispanic family in the city. You talk of many incidents you have suffered, as I have as we'll. being told by police not to be seen downtown and slapped in the head with a flashlight at age 14 I to know to well my friend. So believe me when I say I meant no disrespect. The main reason I asked Claudia to friend me was I wanted to learn my couture I would listen to my ancestors talk about the Arawaks/Taino's in Puerto Rico. And one day I see Claudia representing Taino's in a pow wow, I never felt so proud to see her. Claudia your the best !
Below is what that "Hollywood Indian beat" sounds like (in case you were curious, none of our Native American songs use this beat!)