Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's okay, it's just a mascot

Dubois’ talks about movement from general to specific concept of discrimination can be observed in everyday life as he says (Allan, 2007). There are certain blatantly racist behaviors symbolic or overt that we now just take for granted as “just normal” and acceptable, for example, the mascot for the NFL’s Washington team: the Redskins. The team’s name is accepted without a second thought; the degrading aspect it carries is not questioned. In the eyes of most everyone this is just the name of a beloved sports franchise no critical look is taken. In your opinion, why have we become so complacent and accepting of such a racially charged symbol? Do you think we did not just become and have always been this way?

Allan,K. 2007. The Social Lens: An Invitation to Social and Sociological Theory.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press


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  2. I've always thought about this redskins name. The claim that a Native Americans skin is red is very exagerrated of course, but I think that supporters of this term mean it to be that a Native American's skin is red and tough and leathered. Perhaps, people have become indifferent because of the fact that it's just a professional sports team. It isn't representing anything else than a bunch of professional football players and franchise that is in it to make money, it is first and foremost a business. It costs a lot of money to change the name of a team, and with this tough economy, the last thing the Washington team would want is to waste money on changing it's mascot name. Plus older people and fanbases of this franchise might claim that it's tradition and they want to keep it this way. One can also think of the Boston Celtics logo, which has some sort of Irishman dressed in a green vest with clovers. This logo seems outdated and out of place in modern sports, but people and old Celtics fans love it because it symbolizes tradition and steady winning ways.
    We can also think about the New York JETS, I don't know if this has been brought up before but people seem to forget the fact that two JETS crashed into the world trade center in NEW YORK. This name is more controversial to me, it seems like they are trying to ignore it and say, we're not going to change our name because of those terrorists. The mentioning of jet and new york in the same sentence must be terrifying for 9/11 victims, maybe I'm exaggerating, but these examples support the mascot indifference claim in pro sports in America.

  3. I think we have become indifferent to this sort of phenomenon, like the Blase Attitude Simmel spoke of. I wonder what the reaction would be like if we changed the name of the "Redskins" to the Washington "REDNECKS"! Or how about the California "SPICS"? Just because a group is a minority I don't think that gives anyone the right to use such slang terms to characterize a professional football team, or any team for that matter!

    Everyone has focused on the oppression of black people, and I agree there is a reason to, but we conveniently forget how Native Americans were destitute of their home after European settlers came to the Americas. We forget the genocide, the slavery, the oppression they endured for hundreds of years- to the point of near extermination as is evidenced by the diminutive amount of Native American tribes in existence today- there used to be thousands, now we only have a handful. So in answer to your question Mr. Mojo Risin, YES, I think we have always been this way. Until a matter actually affects the majority population personally, it's just another societal problem to add to the pile.

  4. I always wonder why the Washington team want change their mascot name. Many years ago, a group of Native Americans did protest this team about the name of their mascot The group did lose their case against the name change. Yes it cost a lot of money to change a name, but look at how many millions of dollars this team had made over the years. Yes the Native Americans are somewhat ostracized in society. Why not change the name because it was only a small group trying to ge the name changed and your fans are happy about the name and they are not Native Americans. The Washington team should let their fams decide on a new name for the team and give the Native Americans a break.