Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Yes, Redskins is racist and no, Cracker Barrel is not. (sigh)

I'm glad that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the Washington Redskins trademark. It's racist. Im disappointed with its supporters who argue that Cracker Barrel is racist and should be next, under this logic.

Actually, Cracker Barrel really just refers to crackers, not a colonization of white people and systemic racism against them... because these things never happened.
I'm tired of ignorant privileged people recontextualizing issues to claim victimhood that doesn't exist and to deflect attention from things that do.

Many people also argue that there are many issues affecting Aboriginal people that should get more attention than the mascots. Of course I agree with this, but racial mascots are a symptom of systemic racism and discussing these mascots is a part of a wider discussion and action about racism against Aboriginals. Redskins wouldn't still be a team name and icon if our society understood this connection and racism against Aboriginals in general.

I imagine that 70 or 80 years ago, a lot of people said blackface was not racist and a "tribute" or "honour" of black people, similarly to defence of the persistent Aboriginal race portrayals. When something is so engrained in our culture and accepted by so many people, it is hard for many people to see the problems.

It struck me to read that many people are under the impression that the anti-mascot movement is new, ie) "Why all the fuss now?" as if this is some sort of bandwagon and its riders are delusional or have a "crazy PC" agenda. Many people have advocated for the elimination of this cultural appropriation for some time; it's just only been getting this level of attention now. I imagine the large #notyourmascot movement had something to do with the reach the message has achieved, which is great. So empowering and educational. A huge reason I love social media.

Of course, with the news and discussion about Redskins, many, if not most, opinions remain unchanged. There's still a lot of work to do, but this is a step in the right direction. 

6 comments :

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  2. Thanks, Matt. I agree. It seems like an education and socialization issue. I haven't encountered any truly hateful defenders. It will take a while, but I think this will finally stop at some point.

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    1. I had to fix some spellinf and grammar errors that were bugging me lol;

      People love to victimize themselves. People TYPICALLY only really recognize racism as offensive when it is directed at them or a group they are associated with. Black face was not looked at as racism in the late 1800's/early 1900's because "white folk" still BELEVED they were above "blacks" so it was simple, comical entertainment. NOW that we don't ALL share that sentiment (because racism is still very much alive) we can see that no, it is offensive. Native Americans are a small minority and unfortunately change only comes when the majority requests it... The states have come a long ways in the world of racism but we still have a ways to go. I know the rest of the world is working on it as well but every country has SOMEONE they discriminate against wether it is the Polish or Brazilians. People who are racist are just not caught up with evolution if you ask me because once you travel around a bit you realize that we humans are really all the same.

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    2. I think it will get much better over time but I beleive we as people have some natural need to be in a group and alianate others.... Sad and I wish it were not so but I think even if we al looked EXACTLY the same we would find ways to discriminate...

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  3. An ever-developing societal sense of right and wrong is apparently an extremely difficult concept.

    It makes a lot of sense to me though: Our experiences change us, and change our sense of right and wrong. What slipped on by us in 1850 or 1950 appears very striking to a sizable portion of us now.

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  4. I just left a comment, but it's nowhere to be seen. Gah!

    Anyway, I wrote that socialization and familiarity play a huge role in what we deem acceptable and what we don't, as you explained. I hope 100 years from now, none of the stuff I wrote about will be tolerated and most people won't believe in this stuff.

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