November 17, 2014

Mascot debates increase awareness

A typical article about the mascot debate raised the idiotic "more important issues" argument again. For once I took the time to swat it down.

Is 'Redskins' a racial slur? Blackfeet weigh in

By David MurrayDoes the Redskins name even matter, or is it a false controversy, siphoning attention away from real issues of equality and opportunity that challenge Native peoples still today?And:Little Dog's observations summarize a common criticism over the amount of attention and resources being dedicated to changing the Redskins name. Native Americans both on and off reservations face many serious challenges. The name of a distant East Coast sports franchise is the least of these.And:Doore said he believes the "Change the Name" campaign is a misdirected effort that appeals to a younger generation of American Indians looking for a cause to rally behind. He added that removing Native imagery from popular culture will deny Indian people an important platform for educating the American people about the current social issues affecting the tribes.Comment:  Siphoning attention from other issues? The mascot debate is bringing attention to other issues. Whenever people talk about Indian mascots, the other issues are bound to come up.

I'd love to hear a single journalist say, "We were sitting around the newsroom debating which Native issues to cover. I wanted to tackle the serious ones, but someone said 'mascots' and I was outvoted."

Yeah, the media is just dying to cover Native issues in more depth. But the persnickety mascot issue keeps preventing them from doing so. Gosh darn it, mascots!

I think it's hysterical that some people, including Indians, think they can use mascots for educational purposes. If so, why hasn't anyone done it in the last 100 years? What are they waiting invitation?

Again, the debate about mascots is what's educating people. It's teaching them that Indians are still here and won't tolerate society's racism anymore.

How many sports fans are even aware that Indians haven't vanished? Mascot debates are putting real live Indians in front of them--making them impossible to ignore. That's a huge first step in getting people to take Native issues seriously.

Then there's Snyder saying, "We will work as partners to begin to tackle the troubling realities." Yeah, after 80 years of doing nothing, he'll begin to tackle the trouble realities now because it's good PR. Not because he cares in the slightest about these issues.

No comments: