California banned "Redskins" from schools

by b.antenucci on October 15, 2015 - 9:09pm

Racism is an issue that is very prominent in ­our society today. So it is very common for many “normal” things to be construed as racist. Today, a reoccurring issue is the football team named the Washington Redskins. There is a public concern that the term “redskins” is offensive to Native Americans and the franchise should abolish this name and completely change their face. On October 13th 2015 the news website guardian.com wrote the article “'Redskins' banned in California as name for public school sports teams” which explains the governor of California, Jerry Brown, has banned public schools from using Redskins as the mascots/names for their sports teams. There are four schools that actually use the “R-word” for their teams and they have agreed to change. This was all brought on by the issue regarding the Washington Redskins. In both circumstances the name holders argued about the tradition and the longevity of having the “redskins” as the face of their school’s sports teams.

Looking at this situation I am forced to agree with the governor’s decision. The term “redskin” is offensive to Native Americans and should not be the face of school teams let alone NFL teams. Knowing race is an invention of man to differentiate people, terms like “redskin” are created to insult and offend Native American people. This brings upon the issue of racism.  In “children are not colorblind” by Erin N. Wrinkler, she argues that children are not oblivious to race and the one way to stop racism is to talk about it. Children see the difference in skin color between people and using demining words like “redskin” to describe the aboriginals they will create their own racist assumption about those people. By abolishing the derogatory term from schools, parents will be forced to teach their children about the reality of racism and stop the issue from persisting and eliminate the inequality towards Native Americans.

To conclude, I believe that the Governor of California made the right decision by forcing public schools to completely change the face of their sport teams from “redskins”. It is a word that is used to label Native Americans and it is a very offensive term. Students are aware of the difference in skin color which create races and if that word would have stayed, students would make the connection of the Aboriginal race and the term “redskin”. Nobody is at fault because the creation of the school’s sports teams logo was not made to be offensive but with the growing issue of racism people have become concerned about the harshness of that word. Parents must talk to their children and explain how these terms do not compliment people and to not associate words like “Redskin” to the race it portrays. By doing so racism will be eliminated and children would grow up knowing about equality through races. The symbol of proud people should not be used as a sports logo and especially not with an offensive term like the one used. 

Comments

I think that your summary was well written and that it is very important to question ourselves toward such issue. Is it “okay” to tolerate such names in school, institutions, or in sports? What people usually see or hear becomes the norm and therefore is often considered as acceptable. However, both are not the same. Too many times people (and by saying people I include myself) are inclined to follow the movement of thought, the mentality of their environment and to adopt the flaws of it including racial prejudice. And this occurs unconsciously and since a young age. Therefore, considering that some sport team names such as “Redskin” is still existing, is definitely not helping the problem. I would not imagine being a native men or women playing in this particular team. I would feet terribly uncomfortable and confused. I would be uncertain if I should be proud to represent that name, which portrays a negative image of the Native people. It is simply racist and unfortunately, so commonly acceptable in society. The good news, is that, as you stated earlier, some people who are aware of the racial issue especially in the United State, make concrete actions in order to solve the problem and to improve society.
In an article entitled: Achieving Consciousness and Transformation in the Classroom: Race, Gender, Sexual Orientations and Social Justice, it is written that it is possible to transform people perception. And it is important to not only identify the problem but to find a way to solve it. It says that critical thinking is strongly linked with self-awareness, which could also help to appreciate differences and reduce racial prejudice. By encouraging people by talking about racism and other form of discrimination instead of just hiding the problem, more people can be aware and take concrete action for the good of all

Dhillon, Manpreet, et al. "Achieving Consciousness and Transformation in the Classroom: Race, Gender, Sexual Orientations and Social Justice." Sociology Mind 5.2 (2015): 74-83. ProQuest. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

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