Thursday, June 19, 2014

So how is it still okay to use some racial slurs?

I am always fascinated by how society deals with it's racism. Some parts advance, see where mistakes were made, and attempt recompense. Others get angry and talk about tradition or over sensitivity. And others just star ever harder into their smart phone and don't want to get involved.

We have activities that we wouldn't dare do, for fear of offense. We have words we won't say, knowing how disgusting they are...Though, even using the N-word or blacking up are things some white folk are completely fine doing. So people are just assholes.

Still, their are words and activities that maintain active support among a larger part of society, like co-opting other cultures for amusement. One culture that many people find no trouble "borrowing" from is the Native American culture (by which I mean the broad caricature of the many many cultures that predated European colonization of the Americas). Headdresses. Outfits. Dances. Props. Calls. Slurs.

Years back I remember when one issue among these activities arose. It involved the baseball team, the Atlanta Braves (which is in reference to Native Americans). They had a fan chant and hand action, the Tomahawk Chop. I remember a point in the 1990's when people were complaining about the fact a mocking cry and the act of whacking away with an ax is insulting to...the people you are trying to mimic. It's a faux-Native American dance/chant.

I actually thought, not paying a lot of attention at the time, that it had been done away with for at least the reason it is so damn tacky, if it offensive. But no, it is still around, along with those foam tomahawks.

That's not good.

But it pales in comparison to the football team of Washington D.C. the R-words. You know, we have a college football team called the Fighting Irish, and I have always looked at that as such a weird choice. But even that isn't an overt racial or ethnic slur.

Now some defenders say that the name was done in honor of a respected early coach. They say the phrase wasn't offensive back in the day. Some even say it isn't that bad know.

Guys? Take the damn offensive, insulting, tacky ass name off that team. Teams change names for lesser reasons than this. Show some social awareness. Show an ounce of compassion. Show you aren't this stupid a group of businessmen.

Get. A. Clue.

To emphasize the point...

From the National Congress of American Indians:

And further from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

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