September 13, 2008

Chinks, Sambos, and Redskins

From a MySpace bulletin written by OkieBowl and posted by Mvskoke_Lady, 9/11/08:

What's the Big Deal??When the subject of the use of American Indians as mascots in schools and sports is broached, a common response is "What's the big deal?" A response that reveals how deeply embedded and institutionalized racism is in this society.

The U.S. Government's systematic and continual practice of marginalizing and eradicating Indigenous peoples has proven to be quite successful. Generations--millions and millions--of Americans have been "educated" to believe that schools and sports franchises are "honoring" American Indians by using tribal names, mythic figures, and caricatures as symbols of "team spirit."

Of course, schools and sports franchises would never dream of using mascots such as The Fighting Chinks or The Hutus or The Hopping Hasidics or The Imams or the Sambos or the Wetbacks or the Micks or...the list goes on. And yet, societially it is acceptable to cheer for the Redskins or the Savages or the Fighting Sioux.

So what could possibly be the common denominator in the perception of the members of this country? Education. However, in actuality, the truthful and accurate history of American Indians and the genocide, cultural decimation, forced assimilation, and the conquering of the Indigenous people of the Americas has yet to come to our schools and the minds of our children. Instead, lies and revisionist history have been the agenda, permeating the curriculum of schools.

Taking a stand and illuminating this core issue is critical. I guess if Rosa decided to not take a stand by sitting down then maybe blacks would continue to sit in the back of the bus. A movement begins small and grows with the increasing awareness and consciousness of those that choose to break the chains of their own institutionalized ignorance.
Comment:  As many people have noted, we'd never tolerate a team named the Chinks or Sambos. But we still tolerate the equally offensive "Redskins." No one has ever explained why some slurs are okay but not others.

Similarly, we wouldn't tolerate modern-day movies showing Asians or Africans as spearchucking savages. But we still tolerate equally stereotypical movies featuring Indians. No one has ever explained that, either.

I guess we know where the publishers and writers of Redskin magazine stand on this issue. Or rather, where they sit on it. Because they haven't stood up to protest it. Rather, they're sitting in the back and laughing at people who think wanting to sit elsewhere is a cause worth fighting for.

"One seat's as good as another," they're saying to themselves. "We're happy where we are. As long as we're making money, who cares where we sit?"

For more on the subject, see The Harm of Native Stereotyping:  Facts and Evidence.

P.S. I made minor corrections to OkieBowl's missive to make it more readable.

Below:  A Chink, a Sambo, and a Redskin.

1 comment:

ed gein said...

Dehumanizing the Native people is done to justify what has been done in the 516 years of Terrorism and Genicide .They make the Original People seem marginal or less than what they are.