Indian Mascots

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Indian Mascots
« on: October 22, 2010, 09:32:16 AM »
I thought I might pass along an ethics issue that divided my class more than usual. I already have a strong opinion on the subject, but I'd like to hear what other people think first: Should Indian mascots be legal or not?

Sport teams, schools, and merchandise have been using Indian names and theme's as the subjects, brands, and mascots of their schools. All of them appear to be attempting to honor the Indians when they portray them and create icons of them, but Indians seem to almost unanimously take offense.

According to my teacher, the two sides are essentially arguing this:
People are proud to call themselves by their Indian sports/school name.
(Mascots, are an intended source of pride, not of mechanism of negative social commentary.

Indians feel misrepresented and discriminated against through mascots, because of butchered religious symbols (like sacred eagle feathers on a headdress), being portrayed into stereotypes, and being exclusively picked. After all, it is much less common for other races of people is being targeted for these forms of iconography and (unintended) but inaccurate cultural reference. We do not have sports teams called "The Blacks" or "The Jews", or "The Whites", or "The Pilgrims", et cetera.

 
*When I say "Indian" and am referring to Native Americans, not people from India. It's just shorter to type.

« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 09:43:41 AM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Ichimaru Gin :]

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 09:39:11 AM »
Idk why the Illini chief had to retire but then the Fighting Irish is deemed appropriate  ::)
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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 09:41:52 AM »
If we should remove the Indian named teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs, what about other teams, like the Minnesota Vikings, where they also cartoonify and bastardize a culture, but no one seems to take offense. Should they also be removed?

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 09:50:11 AM »
If we should remove the Indian named teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs, what about other teams, like the Minnesota Vikings, where they also cartoonify and bastardize a culture, but no one seems to take offense. Should they also be removed?
Not trying to make a case one way or the other, but it should probably be noted that both vikings their culture are essentially dead. Their descendants do not take offense because it is not really related to them. Egyptians would also not take offense if we ever decided to make an Egyptian mascot, as they are also gone.
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Ichimaru Gin :]

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 09:52:28 AM »
There are plenty of other living and modern examples such as the Fighting Irish I mentioned.
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 09:57:57 AM »
Idk why the Illini chief had to retire but then the Fighting Irish is deemed appropriate  ::)
So I assume you'd advocate removing the Fighting Irish mascot?
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Ichimaru Gin :]

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 10:01:00 AM »
I'm advocating anything, I'm just saying it's unfair to only target Indian mascots that could be considered offensive.

TBH I'd be all for keeping the mascots.
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Thork

Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 10:07:12 AM »
Robertson's jam were made to change their mascot.



However the memorabilia is now worth a fortune.



Should it have been banned ... it would be politically incorrect for me to say otherwise. But I don't take offence to the mascot below.

He's a little fat white guy. What's the difference?

It seems anyone can take offence, but not if you are a young able-bodied white man. Then you are fair game for anyone. Why might that be?


Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 10:13:36 AM »
Most 'Indian" mascots in the professional and collegiate level get special permission from the Native-American tribe or tribes to use their name or whatever. High School is another story.

In all honesty, who the fuck cares? The native Americans shouldnt be squabbling over this shit while their ethnicity has the highest dropout rate in America. Priorities, there is none.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 10:20:07 AM »

He's a little fat white guy. What's the difference?
Not that I disagree, but when I see the pillsbury dough boy, I don't think of caucasians. I think of dough.

Quote
It seems anyone can take offence, but not if you are a young able-bodied white man. Then you are fair game for anyone. Why might that be?
Do you think that average fit white guys are a serious target of racism?
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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 10:30:24 AM »

He's a little fat white guy. What's the difference?
Not that I disagree, but when I see the pillsbury dough boy, I don't think of caucasians. I think of dough.
That's the point of a mascot. When I see Gollywogs I think of jam. Not black people.
Quote
It seems anyone can take offence, but not if you are a young able-bodied white man. Then you are fair game for anyone. Why might that be?
Quote
Do you think that average fit white guys are a serious target of racism?

So white people are the ones handing it all out? No one from any other culture is ever racist towards white people? We are a heinous race! Different from all others in that only we hate. Or have you just used a racial stereotype about white people?

EDIT: Back on topic I think the American Indians should belt up. If no-one was ever interested in their culture or wanted to use it, they would be forgotten. Maybe this isn't what they have in mind, but there is no such thing as bad publicity.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 10:48:28 AM by Thork »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2010, 12:31:26 PM »
Do you think that average fit white guys are a serious target of racism?

So white people are the ones handing it all out?
Um, I wasn't say that. I just think that white people (being the majority) are targeted a lot less than minorities. Life is just easier if you're white.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 12:33:56 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2010, 12:56:05 PM »
I think that the story of the natives of North and South America is one of the most tragic in all history, and that their present plight is terrible. However, I also think that such icons are almost uniformally positive in tone and emphasis. I don't think there is any social group in America that is owed more than native Americans, but I think they've got it wrong on issues like this.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:19:47 PM by Lord Wilmore »
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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2010, 12:57:36 PM »

He's a little fat white guy. What's the difference?
Not that I disagree, but when I see the pillsbury dough boy, I don't think of caucasians. I think of dough.
That's the point of a mascot. When I see Gollywogs I think of jam. Not black people.
It would depend; Is the gollywogs guy made out of jam? Is his ethnic background one of black people or one of smashed fruit? I feel like the ethnicity of the dough-boy is dough and doesn't cite a real ethnicity. Any connection with caucasians isn't as exercised through mainstream population of racial icons.

Even if that figurine is made of extremely dark jam, it isn't obvious. Especially, with the intense figural and visual portrayal of jet-black skin and red mouths of black people at the time (which was abundant non promotional stereotyping), this seems overshadowed by an already existing meaning and popular use.



The image shares unique and predominant markers from other socially acknowledge racial stereotypes. If he is made of jam, he was seen as black first. I haven't seen racist social commentaries of white people being completely white to imply a race for the doughboy. Albeit, if I had to choose an existing race for him it would obvious be "white", but without the mainstream racial critique already in place, it can change the perceived meaning of the icon.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 01:23:50 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2010, 05:03:51 AM »
Ok, you aren't keen on the dough boy comparison.


How about this fat white guy?


If pixies had little black faces could you use them? What do pixies have to do with puffed rice?

Is this, any different from this?


Who is the posh knowitall?


An Italian Stereotype?

My point is mascots have to be based on something. When you start stripping out minorities for fear of offending them, then they are no longer part of that society. The North American Indians are a part of American Culture. So it makes sense they pop up in its branding, its mascots and its logos. I am with Wilmore on this one, the images aren't any more derogatory than the ones I posted above. None of the images above, offend me in the slightest. I see Ronald McDonald and I think of a Bigmac. He isn't made of Bigmacs. If I were American Indian I would be proud my culture has been chosen as a positive brand. If no one ever showed any interest in it, then I would feel maligned and ostracised from wider society.  

EDIT: I will add, they don't seem to have a problem applying their culture to big business when it suits them.


« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 05:14:16 AM by Thork »

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2010, 08:19:07 PM »
I was saying that my only concern with the banned jam guy was the striking similarity to preexisting racist icons. If those racist icons did not already exist, the jam man would not have been perceived by the population to be nearly as offensive.

Not that its relevant but out of curiosity, was the Jam company founded by or owned by black guys?

Even though 'white' and 'black' are the two terms assigned to these races, literally white skin in logos was not a preexisting racist theme, while literally black skin was. If black people had created well known icons for the purpose of creating racists stereotypes about white people and those icons had literally white skin (and other reoccurring stylized features), the little chef would probably be seen differently.

Believe it or not, my position on the subject is actually to allow critiques of all races and mascots, simply because of the freedom of speech. While racist ideologies and expression may be "in bad taste" in some instances, freedom of speech for a country comes first.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2010, 08:20:43 PM by ﮎingulaЯiτy »
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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 06:28:31 AM »
Not trying to make a case one way or the other, but it should probably be noted that both vikings their culture are essentially dead.
I beg to differ.

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 06:44:22 AM »
Does anyone happen to know the Native American position concerning the large amount of US Military equipment named after their culture(s)?
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Lord Wilmore

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2010, 08:52:07 AM »
My guess is that American Indians have more significant bones to pick with the U.S. military.
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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2010, 09:15:42 AM »
Most 'Indian" mascots in the professional and collegiate level get special permission from the Native-American tribe or tribes to use their name or whatever. High School is another story.

In all honesty, who the fuck cares? The native Americans shouldnt be squabbling over this shit while their ethnicity has the highest dropout rate in America. Priorities, there is none.

Miami of ohio had to change from the blackhawks, a team based on the native american tribe they took their land from to the blackhawks, the bird.

The tribe gets several full ride scholarships to the school a year, has a million different programs connecting them to the school, but doesn't want an indian as the school's mascot anymore.

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ﮎingulaЯiτy

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Re: Indian Mascots
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2010, 09:21:10 AM »
Not trying to make a case one way or the other, but it should probably be noted that both vikings their culture are essentially dead.
I beg to differ.
Hmm, the culture may may evolved so it's not the same. Either way it no longer criticizes the current population. Not the proof I was looking for but several Google results look like this. :P
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