April 28, 2008

Redskins, Brownskins, or Blackskins

An imaginary discussion about choosing a mascot for a new football franchise:

Tim Giago:  How Native people feel about mascots“I like the idea of the color of a person’s skin as a mascot. But the Washington team already laid claim to the skin of the Native Americans so that leaves whiteskins, blackskins, yellowskins and brownskins. That’s a pretty wide choice, but we must take into account the marketability of that skin. Now the Redskins can market tomahawks, war bonnets, painted faces and ponies. That’s a big market. What could you use to market say whiteskins? Not a damned thing that I can think of. I mean what makes a whiteskin unique? See what I mean boys,” the GM says.

Every executive in the room scratches his head. “I can see possibilities with brownskins. Like we could have the fans dress in sombreros and serapes and bring on a mariachi band to play Mexican music. Yellowskins would also present some good ideas. I can see fans dressed in silk robes and sporting those conical hats the Chinese peasants wear and maybe have our version of Oriental music chiming around the field,” the GM continues.

“But the most promising of all skin mascots has got to be the blackskins. Now just think of the many ways we can market and honor the black people. I can see it now. Our fans will be painted in blackface and wearing Afro-wigs. They could wear dashiki robes and instead of a tomahawk, they could be waving spears in the air,” the GM said with a satisfied grin. “Wouldn’t black people all across America consider this one of the finest honors that we could bestow upon their race?” Chimed in the other executives clapping their hands together, “I am so sure that this would be such an honor to them. We vote in favor of ‘Blackskins’ as our mascot. And just think of the many possibilities the music presents; war chants, drums, a choir, it gives us chills just thinking about it. We could make the Redskins look like pikers.”
Comment:  The "blackskin" argument is an old one, but it's rarely been presented this well.

Any questions about why "redskin" is a poor choice for a sports team mascot?

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