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Old 02-10-2002, 04:32 PM   #16
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My perspective will probably be unwelcome since many of you will disagree with it, but I am going to offer it anyway.

I do have Native American ancestry, but majority European ancestry, so perhaps I am slightly allowed to have an opinion on this subject.

The caricature used by the Cleveland Indians is bad, without a doubt. But the simple use of "Chiefs" or "Illini" or the like, accompanied by a more historically accurate, is not offensive to me. And the information that doesn't make the news is the Native American groups who live in communities where the local high school, college or pro team has a Native American mascot, and the Native American group actually SUPPORTS the use of the mascot. Take, for example, the University of Illinois' "Illini" campaign, and the support it has received fromt he Native American community: Over the years, the Chief Illiniwek tradition has had continued endorsement of Native American descendents. Since the tradition's inception in 1926, there has been considerable support for the Chief by Native American leaders, including several that trace their lineage to the original Illini tribes. (from the Honor The Chief alumni site).

But oviously, the media is going to direct its attention to the groups that scream the loudest.

I have never seen a Native American mascot campaign that goes to the detailed extreme as this:

Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Or how about white Southerners? Yes, let's have the Detroit Yokels, where the maskot's name is Cletus, an unemployed drunk from Alabama who regularly beats his wife, Brandine. Would that be okay then?
I realize he was using this as an "example" of how offensive "mascots" can be, but I wouldn't be surprised if this were another hint of the poster's regional biggotry shining through (remember, ALL conservative militia types who live in Michigan are actually from the South, as we have been told). But I am yet to see a Native American mascot team portray their symbol in such a way (and I don't even pull for any teams with a Native American mascot).

And WildHoneyAlways, ocu2fan, and Achtung Bubba give excellent examples of caucasian mascots that are met with little or no controversy. And MSU2Mike (welcome back, by the way) reminds us that MOST of these mascot subjects were chosen as TRIBUTES to the native inhabitants of their specific region.

MSU2Mike and melon: Has anyone ever staged a protest over the "Spartan" mascot at MSU?

~U2Alabama
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Old 02-10-2002, 04:51 PM   #17
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Ah, semantics; okay...

Quote:
Originally posted by mug222:
The Little Rock Hicks
The Auburn Incestuous Deviants
The Jefferson City Rednecks
The Gainesville Yokels
The Austin Hillbillys/Hillrods
The Mobile Trailor Folk
The Montgomery Poor White Trash
The Nashville Rubes
As I stated in my previous post, most mascot names are chosen as a tribute, and you are simply listing geographic socio-economic slurs here. Not to mention, many of these are not even specific to the regions you are naming:

-I will let Johnny Swallow address the "Little Rock Hicks." I spent a night there once and viewed it as a city as opposed to a rural "country hick" type area.

-Incest rates are much lower in Alabama than Hollywood would have you believe (particularly in Auburn, which is a university town with a high standard of living for the region) and "deviants" are rare as the crime rate is low;

-Gainesville, Florida is a region that has experienced massive population growth from out-of-state immigrants, hardly "local yokel" types.

-Austin, Texas is probably the most culturally liberal city in the South, and has more in common with its Western neighbors than with eastern Tennessee, north Alabama and Georgia, the Carolinas and the Virginias, where the offensive "hillbilly" slur originated.

-Mobile, Alabama is one of the oldest cities in the United States and has very strict architectural codes; you will not find a "trailer" in the city.

-Montgomery, Alabama's caucasian population is not accurately described as "poor white trash." The area has a broad racial mix, with a large portion of the caucasian population resideing in the professional fields.

-I'm not too familiar with a lot of slurs, but what is a "rube"?

~U2Alabama
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Old 02-10-2002, 05:16 PM   #18
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Bama, that was a classic post. Thanks for the information, and I'll nix thoser plans for a trailor-trip to Mobile this summer

A rube is in the same vein as hick, or hayseed, which came into common usage just before the growth of the Populist Movement in the late 19th century.
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Old 02-10-2002, 06:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
[B] erper, I would agree in some respects. However, this is a matter of mutual respect.
unfortunately it does get into semantics but

i think the majority of americans have mutal respect for others and do not regard these names as derogatory terms... like bama is saying, most americans dont perceive the term used for the team as a derogatory meaning, they jsut see it as the team name and its team history associated with that name

Quote:
the "buck-toothed hillbilly" remark has proven a point; when the stereotype is thrown at you and your ethnicity, you might not find it so funny.
course if its thrown at me with the intention as in insult anyone would be offended but i dont believe these team names are derived with the intention of insulting people...

i joke around with friends from all different kinds of backgrounds, lebonese, chinese, white, mexican... and we all throw racial insults at each other in good fun, but we know we're joking and dont really mean those derogatory terms, and we regard each other as equals..

Quote:
You may think that simple supply-and-demand can fix this, but the majority opinion is not always the correct one.
and vice versa allowing a minority or a majority to vote to change the behavior of others is too authoritarian i believe, when there is really no victim here.

Quote:
If it were up to simple supply-and-demand, we'd still be populated with products that insult African Americans. "Aunt Jemima" syrup is one of the last living reminders.

you say that as if the majority of Americans are rascist... i think Americans are more apathetic than you think... or at least i think they're more apathetic than you think..

Quote:
The original "Aunt Jemina" image was a plump, ugly slave woman stereotype. White people sure enjoyed products like that, but black people were still being silently insulted all through the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century with products like that.
the purpose of the syrup product example was not to insult, it was to make money... quite possibly people associated great cooking with that kind of image because they had colored maids in the early 20th century but the point is.... associations change, and most Americans dont have the same associations that these "offended" people are associating the semantics with...

i may have lost the direction i was going in with this cuz this turned out to be a long post lol

[This message has been edited by erper (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 06:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by erper:
you say that as if the majority of Americans are rascist... i think Americans are more apathetic than you think... or at least i think they're more apathetic than you think..
Those products were made mostly in the first half of the 20th century in the South. Yes, I hate to point fingers at one particular segment of the nation, but this time it is a historical fact. Racism and segregation were very ingrained in the culture then. I must emphasize "then," because I don't think that the majority is racist any longer.

As for Aunt Jemima, the racist connotation behind it has fallen apart, and the artistic depiction of Aunt Jemima is now rather good looking. Take it for what it is I guess.

But I also look at homophobia in this nation. Do I think that *most* people are homophobic now? I say no, and I do have the statistics of incoming freshmen college students to back that up. Over half support legalized gay marriage. However, homophobic language is still rampant. Even if most people use words like "faggot" to joke around, one cannot forget the origins and is still insulting to many people.

People are apathetic, granted, but that is the problem. No one thinks that they are accountable for their words or actions anymore. Quite frankly, when I think that people are reasonably insulted, we should have the respect to grant it. Or, perhaps, I am alone in actually feeling empathy for others in this world...now there's a lost art.

Melon

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Old 02-10-2002, 06:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
I realize he was using this as an "example" of how offensive "mascots" can be, but I wouldn't be surprised if this were another hint of the poster's regional biggotry shining through (remember, ALL conservative militia types who live in Michigan are actually from the South, as we have been told).
It is just an example, thank you very much, and accents my point further. The source is often more important than the message. If American Indians had named these teams on their own, they would not have had as much of a problem I guess.

Imagine now if the U.K. created a football team called the "Americans" and paraded around in a whole slew of stereotypes? You'd be surprised at the stereotypes you do get of Americans abroad. The BBC once referred to a sidewalk expansion around a monument and talked about how there would be more room for the "fat Americans" to "wobble" around.

Quote:
MSU2Mike and melon: Has anyone ever staged a protest over the "Spartan" mascot at MSU?
No. Protests have been staged over the Indian baseball teams. If the Greek community was that offended by the Spartan mascot, which I have no indication to believe that to be true, I would have no problem with it being changed to something else. The team is one thing. The name is variable.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-10-2002, 06:53 PM   #22
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in certain circumstances apathy is bad i agree, but i was merely trying to say they're apathetic in the sense that they dont regard others as inferior because of ethnicity... however i do agree that people dont take responsibility anymore and thats a very bad thing... such as sueing fast food places when they spilled their coffee on themselves so they sue someone else for their own mistake.... i mean come on lol...

but yeah apathy in extreme can be bad when they dont feel responsible for their own actions anymore

[This message has been edited by erper (edited 02-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by erper (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 09:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Those products were made mostly in the first half of the 20th century in the South. Yes, I hate to point fingers at one particular segment of the nation, but this time it is a historical fact. Racism and segregation were very ingrained in the culture then. I must emphasize "then," because I don't think that the majority is racist any longer.

I am not sure what all you are including in "these products," but Aunt Jemima Self-Rising Mixes were created in St. Louis, Missouri. As their model, they used Nancy Green, a home servant for a judge in Chicago, Illinois. The only "south" connection was that she had been born into slavery in Kentucky (a border state) before the "Civil" War.

Are there scores of other such products coming out of the South?

I know of "Famous Amos Cookies," invented by African-American Wally Amos in Hollywood, California in 1975; he was born in Tallahassee, Florida, though, but since HE was African-American and marketed his own image, is that offensive?

Here in Alabama (and Georgia) we have the legendary Dreamland Barbecue chain, known for some of the most famous ribs around. Their logo features an image of an African-American man smoking a pipe, and the line of his famous quote, "Ain't Nothin' Like 'Em, Nowhere!" The problem here is that the image is that of the restaurant's founder, John "Big Daddy" Bishop, Sr., and the image and slogan were designed by his family who still owns the chain, so a "racial stereotype charge would be unfait here.

But I would love to hear of some other examples of these racist Southern products.

~U2Alabama



[This message has been edited by U2Bama (edited 02-10-2002).]
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Old 02-10-2002, 11:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
But I would love to hear of some other examples of these racist Southern products.
I really wish I had the name of that documentary. I saw it a year ago. Outlined various products that existed mostly around 1910-1950, with the peak being c. 1930.

But I see you are going on the defensive again. To the South's credit, none of these products profiled exist anymore, minus Aunt Jemima (hence, why I remembered it), which changed it's image to be non-objectional.

You are a history buff, and you know the metamorphosis of the South from a racist, pro-segregationalist society. You have such colorful figures as Sen. Strom Thurmond, who holds the record for the longest filibuster, which was over 24 hours on a major civil rights bill, and former Gov. George Wallace. However, even I am not blind...both later changed their tone to be for civil rights and integration is the norm. These racist products don't exist any longer either, but the fact remains that they existed at one time. Don't tell me now that you are falling for revisionism yourself.

I can imagine the history of the U.S. today as told 75 years later. Next thing they'll be telling us that Americans weren't homophobic at one time.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-10-2002, 11:29 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
But I see you are going on the defensive again. To the South's credit, none of these products profiled exist anymore, minus Aunt Jemima (hence, why I remembered it), which changed it's image to be non-objectional.
Defensive? No; just pointing out truths, such as this one (AGAIN): Aunt Jemima products were conceived in St. Louis, Missouri, NOT the South, and the image was based on a woman in Chicago, Illinois who was a house servant for a judge. She was not based on "the South" nor was it a "Southern product."

Quote:
You are a history buff, and you know the metamorphosis of the South from a racist, pro-segregationalist society. You have such colorful figures as Sen. Strom Thurmond, who holds the record for the longest filibuster, which was over 24 hours on a major civil rights bill, and former Gov. George Wallace. However, even I am not blind...both later changed their tone to be for civil rights and integration is the norm. These racist products don't exist any longer either, but the fact remains that they existed at one time. Don't tell me now that you are falling for revisionism yourself.
Far from it. I do not deny that racism existed/exists in the South. But I am the type of person who likes to point out that it existed/exists in many more places than
in the 11 states that collectively committed treason in 1861. All of those things existed here, and in Boston, and Chicago, and Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. And it didn't happen in those areas because of a bunch of displaced Southerners who moved up there; racism is unfortunately present in some form or another just about everywhere you go.


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Old 02-10-2002, 11:39 PM   #26
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Missouri in the South? Or are we going by old Confederate boundaries?

As for the image of Aunt Jemima, it is only interesting that, over time, her image changed about three or four times. The first image being a gross stereotype with bad teeth and big lips and the last being the pleasant looking woman we see today. *That* is why it was labelled a "racist product."

I've never understood regional loyalties...maybe Northerners aren't very patriotic in that sense. Please, by all means, if you find some dirt on the North or Michigan or whatever, bring it up. I would be interested in reading it.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-10-2002, 11:47 PM   #27
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I have never heard Missouri considered a "Southern" state, by boundary or by region; to be precise, I guess it is "lower Midwest." They did have a few Confederate regiments, as did Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Maryland; but then, Alabama and Tennessee also had Union regiments.

Regarding "regional loyalties," I don't see how it is any different to take offense at regional slurs and stereotypes than it is to take offense at racial/ethnic, national, or religious stereotypes. And for that reason, I choose to refrain from "digging up dirt" on the North or Michigan in order to justify stereotypes of the inhabitants up there.

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Old 02-10-2002, 11:49 PM   #28
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Allow me to deposit my 1/20th of one cents' worth.

I am Asian-American.

Asians are often depicted in movies, TV and video games as persons who make noises of wild inflection while fighting unarmed. I have no problem with this.

However, if some white, black, or otherwise non-Asian kid addresses me in a mock Japanese/Chinese/Korean accent, I generally get a bit ticked off. Ironically, though, my reaction to such slurs ends up reinforcing Asian stereotypes when I scream "Sho-Ryu-Ken!" and administer my Super Dragon Punch to the kid's chin.

I am joking about the previous sentence.

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Old 02-10-2002, 11:54 PM   #29
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And just so that everyone knows: we do not have "mule relays" here in Alabama.

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Old 02-10-2002, 11:54 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
Regarding "regional loyalties," I don't see how it is any different to take offense at regional slurs and stereotypes than it is to take offense at racial/ethnic, national, or religious stereotypes. And for that reason, I choose to refrain from "digging up dirt" on the North or Michigan in order to justify stereotypes of the inhabitants up there.
Well, then I apologize. I didn't mean it to be taken that way. I generally find much of the cultural history of the entire United States to be repugnant anyway. A grand story of religious fanaticism, slavery, bigotry and ethnocentrism, tinted with nationalism. Of course, really, I can say the same about the world in many respects. While many would gleefully go back in time to the "good old days," I think that the best time in all history is the present, for better or for worse.

BTW, I would be curious to know what you think of my "Cluster Bomb" thread...

Melon

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