California bans use of "Redskins" as a team name at public schools


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Oh my god. This is such a cosmetic move. The life of no american gets better this way. Do something real instead. But you americans are such symbolicians. You think that reality gets better if it is just painted nicer. But behind the paint it rots on.


#3

Hello! Welcome to BoingBoing!

I see you’re not a fan of fixing broken windows.


#4

Schwizer is right, it is well known that America as a whole can do only one thing at a time, so banning racist names should have happened some time after… (Puts on reading glasses and peruses the omnibus America Schedule)… Curing Lupus.


#5

Great news! Cali leads the way yet again.

I wonder if the timing was intentional, today being Columbus Indigenous Peoples Day.


#6

Ah, Colonialists. Offended by everything that causes no harm.

Protip, avoiding being an active racist helps too!


#7

It is unclear if the new friend who made an account just to tell us how meaningless this gesture is, is a racist or just really passionate about meaningful change.

Regardless, it is clear they lack social skills.


#8

I was referring to the “Redskins” usage by public schools, in that it helps to avoid state sponsorship of racist language.


#9

Oh, thats either a) stupid or b)racist.


#10

Seems even more odd that he may come from Germany, who has also made moves to eradicate the legacy and vestiges of genocide here and there.

Perhaps he also disagrees with that acceptance of the horrors of history? Who knows.


#11

It’s a nice step in the right direction, but I’m disappointed that lots of schools will still have mascots called “Indians” or “Braves” or named after tribes. Reactionaries talk about how it’s meant to honor the Native Americans, but somehow they don’t speak up when racist fans are giving mock war-whoops, or asking Native American students if they got a scholarship just to be the school mascot.


#12

Chief Wahoo has run his course.


#13

Hey, I finally have someplace to use this.

I made it to illustrate a point with a friend, and instead of getting the point, they got offended and missed the point entirely. Hope it helps you; probably won’t.


#14

I wonder how many schools are left in CA that have held onto that name through the last few years’ firestorm, or is this just a symbolic action?


#15

Having been to school in both the US and Germany (AP History in US, Hauptfach History Abitur in Germany) my personal experience is, that the German Education system (in the 80s) had a far better grip on history than the US (in my case Utah, i.e. a region where Native American History is kind of important).

In the 80s it was impossible to leave German High School without a very clear understanding of German atrocities, we were confronted with primary material relating to both 1st & 2nd WW, for both of which Germans (Edit: bcs ') take responsibility, as well as the History of German Nationalism and Chauvinism and Xenophobia going back to the Middle Ages. This was the achievement of the long fought for educational reforms kickstarted in the 60s.

In contrast in the US, even though I was in the highest level history course in a state with a significant Native American population and history, I learned nothing of Native American History. We didn’t have talks by Native Americans, nor did we read books by Native Americans.

It was much, much later at University as an American Studies student (in Amherst, MA) I learned why Massachusetts is called Massachusetts, or Connecticut Connecticut, the Mississippi is called the Mississippi and so on. Also I actually read writings by Native American Authors, which we could have easily read in High School.

You are right, words matter, but actually thinking about and reflecting on words is far more enlightening, than pretending they never existed in the first place. It was only then, that I learned how Native Americans after leaving their linguistic mark on the East Coast, ended up en mass in the arid deserts of the wild west (i.e. Utah, on pretty useless land) rather than staying on the luscious banks of the Connecticut River.

All this to say, that I agree with our much maligned friend, that banning names reeks of symbolism while actually reflecting, analysing discussing, questioning the use of said names might have lasting educational impact.

For those of us who believe that education is a thing, and that it matters, the current German attitude towards refugees & privacy is a shimmer of hope, that in the long term, it is an effective investment.

Thus, maybe even in California thinking, discussing, reflecting on what children learn about Native Americans, might be a far more significant contribution to race relations and the reality of Native Americans than banning names.


#16

But the two are not mutually exclusive. Banning names isn’t mere, and more, historical erasure. It’s instead part of the larger reclamation project that you’re calling for.


#17

I will be convinced of that, when Native American Authors are on the School curriculum and an educational visit to a Native American reservation (provided they want to be visited) is as standard in schools as going to a baseball game.

In most cases talking about things is preferable to pretending they don’t exist. So if the name ban is taken as an opportunity to discuss the subject regularly and in depth then go for it.


#18

Here’s hoping. I’m not saying it all happens everywhere at the same time. And yes, small gestures often do stand in for more effective measures.


#19

A lot of shitty comments to a new person. Seriously, can we please stop this out and out hostility. It’s very VERY childish.


#20

Literally the only person offering this black and white choice is you.

California should do both, so clucking your tongue that they’re doing this is pretty insincere.

If Germany kept an anti-Jewish slur as a living mascot for your schools, would you be so cheerful?