YeOldeJacob rants about racism. Namely; what *isn't* racism.
by, 20th November 2010 at 11:13 PM (744 Views)
Racism, noun; a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
Meaning? Racism requires intent.
Recently, I was called a racist (by a white dude) for being a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs (dude wasn't even a sports fan, just kept up to date with sports teams' iconography, I guess). Why? Because they "perpetuate Native American stereotypes".
"How's that?", I asked.
"One of their old logos is horribly racist, and they had a Native American stereotype riding a horse whenever they scored a touchdown."
Well, first I argued that these supposed "racist" products of the Kansas City Chiefs' organization have since been phased out.
But this guy would hear nothing of it. He was of the opinion that the Kansas City Chiefs should change their name, apologize to the Native American people, and eliminate all references to the Chief mascot in the future, including not showing clips of the team (of course, he also wants the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, and so on to so this as well).
This got me angry. I ended up in a profanity-laced rant, the gist of which was "You are snide, neo-liberal douchebag who makes me embarrassed to call myself a liberal."
Now, the iconography in question.
The "racist logo":
and the "racist" mascot, the man riding Warpaint:
Really? This stuff is "racist"? You would equate this with deep-seeded, hateful racists?
I'm pretty sure Warpaint and the man riding him were not produced to drive home some point that the Native American people are inherently inferior to white people... in fact, I'm pretty sure that the character was a symbol of triumph. How in the hell is that racist?
Same goes for the alternate logo of the Native American man... not created to slight the Native American people, but created as a logo for a football team. A logo for people to wear proudly...
Not to mention, it is essentially a recreation of the logo the Chiefs used when they were the Dallas Texans.
For those who don't know, the Chiefs' late owner, Lamar Hunt, was the driving force behind the renegade AFL (he also introduced cheerleaders to pro football... you are welcome, men). He also founded the Dallas Texans for that league. From 1960-1962 they played in Texas as the Texans, until Hunt decided to move the team to Kansas City, as they weren't exactly popular, as the Dallas Cowboys were founded the same year, and were part of the more popular NFL, obviously.
Now, for those few years the Chiefs were the Texans, they used this logo:
How is that any less a stereotype than the Chiefs' logo?
It isn't. But since it is a caricature of a white cowboy, well...
Caricatures have always been a staple of sports logos, or any logo for that matter. Are they stereotypes? Sure, some of them, but there is no intent to offend there.
We shouldn't be running things based on what the minority who are offended think. Because, you know what? Everything offends someone.
Oh, and for the record, after 20 years in exile, the Chiefs brought back Warpaint. Though he is now helmed by a cheerleader, not the Native American:
The point of all this?
Well, for years I've listened to the bullshit about racism in sports logos, but I had never been called a racist for being a Chiefs fan before (I mean, the Chiefs have one of, if not the most devoted fanbase in the NFL,
theywe obviously love this team... and not because it depicts those evil Native Americans that gentle-natured Midwesterners despise so much).
Luckily, though, being called one gives me more evidence in my argument that "racist" means nothing now.
"Racist" used to describe people who held the opinion that certain races were inherently inferior to their own, or simply another. Now it means anything depicting a minority race that someone finds offensive.
That's bullshit. Because again, everything offends someone.
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