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Discussion in 'MLB Discussion' started by bankshot1, Jan 29, 2018.
More harmless caricatures...
I guess we will have to agree to disagree. If you think that entire paragraph came across as encouraging alternative viewpoints, I can only say that to me it came across differently.
To reiterate, I don't find it offensive. I'm not sure I'm in the best position to explain why someone else would. Also, I didn't see anyone in this thread claiming that you, or Native Americans in general, should be offended. Perhaps we should stick to discussing positions that people have actually taken.
Your post didn't offend or outrage me. (I'm also not the one using a bunch of caps to yell at other posters in my responses.) I was bothered by what was implied in a couple of things you've said. Not the same thing.
I think there is a difference between saying something is offensive to a group of people vs saying it's offensive to me personally. I don't think an individual should be speaking on behalf of a large group of individuals unless they are acting in some official capacity to represent the group. Nor do I see anyone in this thread attempting to do this.
You've shared your opinion, as an individual, that you don't find this offensive. Why is it wrong for another individual to share their own opinion that they feel differently? I did not take your sentence as speaking on behalf of all Native Americans on the matter. It's your own personal view and I believe you are entitled to that (not because you are a Native America, but because you are a human being).
However, someone who is not Native American...
...isn't allowed to have a personal opinion or reaction to the logo according to you. The only possibility you consider is that they are offended "on behalf of someone else". This is what doesn't make sense to me.
Am I allowed to be offended by Trump's comments about muslims and Mexicans? I'm neither muslim nor Mexican. So I guess I shouldn't say anything about it because I would then be offended "on behalf of someone else". Is that right? Is there no room for me to be offended, as a human being, by how someone treats other human beings?
You have not yet explained why asking another poster whether they are Native American is relevant. Why does the identity of the poster matter?
I don't think relying on motive as a "test" is wise.
Example: A third scenario added to the two above. The driver knowingly operated the vehicle in an intoxicated state and drove up on the curb, hitting and killing the child. Neither the driver in this scenario, and the blown tire scenario, had any motive or intention to hurt the child. However, wouldn't we treat these situations differently?
In addition, motive is messy and uncertain. We never really know what another person is thinking. Is the far right motivated by a desire to disenfranchise minorities or protect national security? We can all have our opinion on what their motives truly are, but intelligent people can disagree vehemently on this point. The truth is probably that there is a mix of motivations and a spectrum of individuals making up that group.
If you're asking me in general, and not specific to the topic of this thread, I would disagree with this. First, because I don't think motive behind the actions matters as much as the outcome of the actions. Second, because someone who is adversely impacted by a negative outcome is more likely to have a biased view and miss the larger picture.
Telling someone to ignore the thread if they don't think others are entitled to their opinions isn't saying it's ok to offer their opinion? Would make me a huge hypocrite if I chastised someone for doing something I agree with doesn't it?
Being offended by, and finding something offensive, are two different things. A white man and a black man are standing talking. Someone yells out "Get out of here nigger." Of course the white person is going to find it offensive, but the black man is going to be offended. Different things. Just like finding the logo offensive is different than being offended by the logo. THATS why I asked if he was NA.
And driving while intoxicated is also illegal. Of course we are going to treat them differently. One did nothing wrong. It was an accident. The others actions before he got behind the wheel contributed to the outcome. He deliberately did something that impaired his abilities. He didn't accidentally swallow 6 beers and 5 shots before getting behind the wheel. Just like if someone KNOWS they have bald tires in the blowout scenario, but drives the car anyways. One driver runs over a nail and it causes a blowout. He did nothing negligent, nor did any of his actions contribute. The outcome is the same in all three scenarios. But the intent in all three are much different. But according to you, that doesn't matter. Outcomes matter. Not intent.
Please don't go to law school. I beg you.
So yes we will agree to disagree. And we will end it here. There is no point in us continuing.
About 40 years ago there was a young Native American woman who frequented the pub in D.C. where I threw darts. She was fun to talk with but one time I said something in what I thought to be a joking manner that she took such offense to that after she finished pointing out my insensitivity, she never spoke to me again. Upon reflection I realized that what seemed a joke from my point of view, was racially charged from hers. I have never forgotten that. I didn't intend to insult but I did.
How can anyone form an opinion on this without having any & all pertinent info available?
What did you say?
Which is why you would find it offensive, not be offended. Again, two different things. Why would YOU be offended by something that the person or group it was aimed at might not be or isn't? Or do you think that person or group is just too stupid to realize they've been insulted? That's in effect what you're saying if you are "offended". "Thank GOD I have you here to tell me that the logo should have offended me. I would have never known otherwise."
Well that's a fine line to draw, honestly, and people often conflate the two terms and meanings.
I find Chief Wahoo offensive. I find the DC football team's name offensive. I'm not personally offended, I guess, because I'm not part of the cultural heritage those two things are based upon. I can still find them both detestable though.
You probably can't but it was so long ago that I don't remember what I said other than it being something I just thought was a humorous aside. The point (at least to me) is that I was perceived as racist, even though I am not. Frankly, I think the woman over-reacted. But there may have been something in her life that caused it; something about which I had no way of knowing. The fact that I angered her still bothers me. Prior to that I had been widely traveled...five years in Europe, through the Middle-East as far out as India, North Africa. I was accustomed to different cultures, races, languages, making it a point to try and fit in. And then in my own country...?
An improvement over:
I think its over-semanticising the idea, but YMMV. The criminal/non-criminal aspect is pure BS, however.
I find it offensive when I see the non-criminal, non-tortious act of some asshole whistling or staring at a woman walking down the street.
Nobody talks about their purple mascot 'Slider.' He's in the Mascot HOF!
Employee: I'm not new and I found it quite offensive.
David: But he didn't (*gestures at only black man in room*), so...
Trudy: What's he got to do with it?
David: Well, if he doesn't mind us laughing at him, what harm's been done?
Trudy: But why is it that only black people should be offended by racism?
You say you are a Native American and find this not offensive, because — while it's a caricature — you don't think it's meant to demean. That's fine. Indeed, I understand that perspective, even if I don't share it. But I have known other people, Native Americans and others, who don't share your view of Chief Wahoo. When I was in college in Ohio, I lived in a dorm with a dude who felt strongly enough about it that he used to go protest Opening Day at the Jake every year.
But even if we were to somehow do a survey of or solicit votes from Native Americans and they said it was okay, I'm not sure how persuasive that would really be. Because even if we allow your contention that Wahoo is harmless, many of these kinds of racial depictions are more malicious. Not only that, these patterns of representation have a troubling tendency to intersect with broader campaigns of dehumanization or expropriation. (A guy named Edward Said wrote a book about this idea, if you're curious...). It's hard to argue that, say, early 20c lawn figurines of black lawn jockeys are altogether innocent of the broader campaign to deny black people equal rights in other spheres. Such demeaning cultural artifacts are part and parcel with an entire cultural politics that also denied that black people had the moral/intellectual capacity to, say, vote.
If this is true, then it doesn't really matter who is or isn't offended: the representation is a kind of aesthetic accessory to a crime — akin to a Leni Riefenstahl film. I think that naming a ball club the Indians was a bad thing to do in 1915, when there was literally still intermittent ongoing warfare in Utah and Arizona between white settlers and the Paiute, Ute, and Yaquis people that they were intent on expropriating. It hasn't gotten better.
So let's say that I have a friend, a black woman, who keeps such a figurine in her eclectically-decorated home because — I'm speculating a bit as to her motives, but I do actually know this person, who is real and not just a hypothetical person invented for the sake of argument — she enjoys it as a kind of provocation and conversation piece. Now, I wouldn't lecture her about this, of course: I'm white, she's black, obviously this was a choice she made deliberately. But if she asked me, I'd say that I thought it was in poor taste, because even if you're doing something, even ironically, you're still doing it. Indeed, I would wonder if it could be a healthy thing for her to keep around her home. And I would remind her that statements exceed your intentions: that the interpretations others might have of the things you say or present are not under your control, which makes such incendiary iconography dangerous even if you mean well.
Weren`t the lawn jockeys used in the Underground Railway for escaping slaves?
Probably not. That story isn’t documented until the 1980s (when Charles Blockson published The Underground Railroad: First Person Narratives of Escapes to Freedom in the North), and a lot of the supposed precursors to it—e.g. the Jocko Graves myth—are clearly false.
It’s borderline possible, but pretty unlikely.
Don't put words in my mouth. I never said other Native Americans aren't or shouldn't be offended by it. I never said it was harmless. All I said was that I personally didn't find it offensive. I certainly understand why some Native Americans would.
Right. Because we are all just a bunch of drunken liars, right?
Right, I shouldn't put words in your mouth.
edited to add: *Sigh*, I guess I should respond in good faith.
You've been trying to personalize "offense" in this thread, making offense the particular bailiwick of the group denigrated, and something no one else should participate in. The standup comic you cited approvingly also made that argument.
I think that's wrong, and so I argued — and you basically ignored all of the argument, but whatever — that that is the wrong way to look at it. "Offensiveness" is a bad way to understand patterns of representations like — let's say — the stereotype that Irish people are drunk and belligerent. Sure, it's offensive in the sense that it's a rude and hurtful thing to say, but it's sooooooo much bigger than that. It's also an idea that was invented under colonialism in part to justify the denial of home rule to the Irish — who could trust a bunch of belligerent drunks to govern themselves? it's for their own good.... As I argued in the earlier post, these kinds of representations participate in larger historical injustices.
That means that it's not just a matter of a person's heritage being insulted — even if that's part of it — it's a real question of power that people of good conscience should stand up and dispute. Often the denigrated are not in a position to advocate for themselves, so following the rule you proposed would often lead one to be silent in the face of injustice, which basically the entire history of modernity suggests will routinely have tragic consequences. First they came for the Communists, etc.
My extraction is more Sicilian than anything else: you think I've never heard a joke about the Mafia? Some Sicilian-Americans I know don't mind it. I've never faced any discrimination during my lifetime, I don't think, so I guess it's sort of okay to joke about, but I also know that Sicilian immigrants were sometimes lynched in 19c America due to perceptions of their predisposition to violence and criminality. Right now, a lot of politicians are slandering Salvadoran immigrants, many of them refugees from horrible violence, because some Salvadorans are members of a Los Angeles-based gang called MS-13. (I used to live in a majority-Salvadoran neighborhood in San Francisco, and would happily do so again.) There have been all kinds of efforts in the last few years to paint trans people (falsely, I shouldn't have to add) as likely perpetrators of sexual violence in order to deny them full civil rights. It's the same kind of guilt by association.
So even if 51% of Native Americans aren't offended by Chief Wahoo, I still think it's best to err on the side of avoiding the pointless demeaning of other groups. Even a more dignified-looking sports logo (say, the logos of the Chicago Blackhawks or Florida Seminoles) should be avoided. Hell, I'd guess that most Irish Americans think the Notre Dame Fighting Irish iconography is okay, also, but I'd oppose that too.
Just name your team after an animal or piece of clothing.
edited to remove snark.
That's just the thing - they probably thought they were. 1915, you said? Birth of a Nation, etc. Who wants to be called the Cleveland Naps, anyway? I mean, I love naps, everyone should love naps, but it's not the kind of emotion you want to evoke with your team nickname...
Two excellent posts, btw.
FWIW....I think most agree with the position that The Redskins is an offensive name. Some find Chief Wahoo to be equally offensive, some not so much. I see no difference in the Redskin nickname and the red skinned caricature, but perhaps the big difference between the two for some might be that there is really no escaping the name Redskins while Wahoo isn't a constant visual when discussing The Indians.
Article in Bangor Daily News about Chief Wahoo, Lou Sockalexis, that some may find interesting:
Demise of Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo opens the door for proper recognition of Maine’s Sockalexis
fyi, Mario is no longer officially a plumper because someone threw a fit over it.
edit: plumber even. Although he is a plumper.
Many people got offended over this too.
Wait, what? I could see the Italian stereotypes being offensive, but plumber’s just a job. Not even his first job, either: he was a carpenter in Donkey Kong.
It's a common stereotype. Italian men are either plumbers or mafia.
What is offensive about being a plumber?
Nothing. It's just wrong to assume that all Italian men are plumbers. There is nothing wrong with working at 7/11 either but it's wrong to assume all 7/11 employees are Indian men. They are stereotypes. All Asians are smart. What is offensive about being smart?
Can Italians be auto mechanics too?
Only for FIATs.
Reading the wiki on the origins of Mario is actually pretty interesting.
Speaking of the Indians and life support... Tito Francona passed away.
To be clear, it wasn’t our Tito, it was his dad
Yeah, that's another one.
I'm not sure how old you are, but when I was growing up, the Super Mario cartoon was a pretty big thing. They are always talking about spaghetti and meatballs, saying Mama Mia and all the other things you would associate with Italian stereotypes. They've toned done Mario's "Italianess" a lot over the years.
Don't need 'em. Ferraris, Mazeratis, Lamborghinis, Alfa Romeos, Fiats never break down.
I’m too old for that piece of shit cartoon that nobody should have watched, but I recall it.*
Did you read the wiki on Mario? It’s linda funky—as @SumnerH alludes to above, he was Italian after the fact, and the lead video game guy made him a plumber in NYC precisely because he was Italian. So what t has the stereotypes, but not developed in the order one would expect and not for the reasons one might expect.
Not to say this would absolve any harm. But, per the wiki, there’s something sooooooo stereotypical and weird about a Japanese computer nerd, on being told he has to name his character, then comes up with the stereotype after the fact just to make the name and moustach of his creation make sense.
*Pac-Man was worse.
If you're a plumber in England, you're probably Polish.
But that’s just silly—then the raccoon suit makes no sense.
That's a tanooki suit you heathen.
I knew somebody was gonna fucking say that, I just couldn’t be bothered to look it up.
I should have known it would be you.