Saturday, 15 October 2016

Cultural Misappropriation: Not Your Mascott

UPDATE: Sadly, the Jays lost, but I hope our point has been made:
With our Blue Jays winning, as they have been, this topic has made the news. There have been many incidents of non-natives appropriating the styles of other cultures. From stars like Gwen Stefani, whose pigtails and native costumes, have horrified and shocked many. The there is White Khloe Kardashian, and other stars, who wear African/Zulu Bantu Knots. Alicia Keys, who similarly misappropriates the style and dress of other cultures with native-style bandanas and pigtails.
Horrible caricature perpetuates stereotypes:
utterly inappropriate and racist
 team name and mascot, Chief Wahoo

Amanda Stenberg Drops The Mic On Cultural Appropriation:
"What would America be like if we loved Black people as much as we love Black culture?"
This is true for all cultures. Insert many cultural groups in that statement.

Our First Nations, in Canada, have managed to overcome stereotypes, rising up above racism, and make great achievements. Despite this, Ottawa police investigating cop who made racist Facebook comments. The genocide perpetrated by ignorant emissaries from the UK and France, from early exploration to the institutionalization of it children in residential schools, resulted in the current stereotypes many hold. It's time to move into 2016.

VH Sauces Ad: war paint
Cultural misappropriation

Sports is a "bastion of racism,"  even according to our CBC's The National: Team names under fire. There have been recent feature stories, led by journalists who refuse to use the racial slurs many have perpetuated over the years.

Dehumanized Natives, degraded, and demeaned by sports teams, are speaking out. Addiction-defined racial slur for high schools. 'Redskins' Is Officially a Dictionary-Defined Racial Slur—in All Cases ...

In Cleveland, pejorative terms continue, misappropriating Native images and clothing. Native Peoples have lived in Cleveland for 13,000 years. They continue to protest, to no avail. Fans still misappropriate First Nations Regalia.

It goes back to 1914, when the team named them the Indians, after the success of the Boston Brave. It was a bandwagon and teams wanted to appropriate the strength of warriors, by using stereotypes.

Richard King, Unsettling America: Indianness in the 21st Century: hypermasculinity, bravery, were symbols stole from indigenous peoples. They continue to be denigrated, mocking and dehumanizing a nation through stereotypes.

What is the solution?

Spokane Indians team
  • Cross-cultural dialogues, such as the Spokane Indians team, who worked with their local tribe members to redesign their shirts and logos.
  • Reconciliation Canada is helping to unite our two nations: First Nations and Canada, even after the horrific treatment by those who enacted colonial oppression in the early years of North American settlement.
  • Our county opens up events by honouring the First Nations who lived on our lands prior to white settlement. 
  • When our county celebrated the 200th anniversary of the town settlement, I took a stand and put up a Mohawk flag to honour the First Nations land on which we stand. Settler's Trek 2016 in Lanark County, Ontario. Those who asked, I explained we were standing on unceded land. (The Algonquin land claim)

First Nations trekker by my flag

The Globe and Mail

Protestors voice their opinion about Cleveland Indians mascot Chief Wahoo outside Progressive Field, April 4, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Shame is one tool at the disposal of protesters, but the teams may also find themselves motivated to make changes if they find they can no longer cash in on the intellectual property, such as names and logos. In 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, acting on a complaint by Native American activists, cancelled six trademarks owned by the Washington Redskins on the grounds that they were disparaging to that minority community. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an application by the Redskins to hear an appeal of the decision.

Kathleen Wynne takes a swing at name of Cleveland baseball team

The Star
Long-time Jays’ broadcaster Jerry Howarth, who has refused to use First Nations nicknames since the 1992 World Series when Toronto defeated the Atlanta Braves. 


Cloudia said...

Thanks for this important post.

DUTA said...

God has created races and given each one a territory.
Man has created racism by ignoring the territory issue and practising colonialism.
The solution, if there is one, is not written in God's book, and therefore it's very complicated for us people. So far, dialogues, everywhere, led only to some temporary sort of peace.

William Kendall said...

Surely Cleveland can come up with a better name. Their logo is particularly appalling.

In this day and age, it shouldn't even require objections.

Powell River Books said...

A dilemma for sure. - Margy

The Furry Gnome said...

I'm not sure there's any issue more challenging that our treatment of native peoples - in a wide variety of ways.

Red said...

You've given a great survey post on use and abuse of indigenous names. I think this one will be kicked around for a long time yet.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Tip of a very big 'berg... YAM xx

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Good for you and thank you for posting this.