Eskimos: change your name

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DanoT
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:09 pm

WestCoastJoe wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:44 pm
Many high schools and colleges have changed their names.

Pro sports teams? That is a much slower process, but possible. Fans do not want to let go, even when franchises die.

I think eventually the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins and the Edmonton Eskimos will change their names.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/04/28 ... 30748.html
The Huffington Post

How To Change A Racist Sports Team Name Near You

04/28/2015 10:05 EDT | Updated 04/29/2015 10:59 EDT

Joshua Ostroff  Former Senior Editor, HuffPost Canada

To say Ian Campeau has had an epic month is putting it mildly. The founding member of indigenous DJ crew A Tribe Called Red has spun records from the frozen tundra of Iqaluit to the steaming desert of Coachella. But back in his hometown of Ottawa, Campeau experienced a personally momentous moment after being recognized for convincing the Nepean Redskins youth football league to change their name to the Nepean Eagles.

"It was unexpected and completely humbling," Campeau, an Anishnabe (Ojibway) of the Nipissing First Nation, tells the Huffington Post Canada. He says the youth role model award he received at the Day of Pink gala is important because "[racist team names] are the most in-your-face socially acceptable systemic oppression within our society and yet it's used by children's football teams. It's not even a gateway drug for racism, it is racism."

Campeau began his "change the name" campaign back in 2011, amid growing backlash against indigenous sports team names and mascots that began in the 1960s but gained momentum after the Washington Redskins went to the Super Bowl in 1988 and 1992.

The number of native nicknames in school, youth and pro leagues peaked at well over 3,000 across North America. In 2005, the NCAA deemed 18 school names and mascots "hostile or abusive," but only banned the names in postseason games. And while Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has remained fiercely opposed ("NEVER—you can use caps.") the team lost their trademark last year due to the "disparaging" name.

There has been much more success on a local level. The National Congress of American Indians stated in 2013 that "tribal advocates have succeeded in eliminating over two-thirds of derogatory Indian sports mascots and logos over the past 50 years" with fewer than 1000 remaining.

"People are definitely awakening to to the idea of how wrong it is. Slowly but surely the tide seem to have turned within the last three years," Campeau said, admitting he had to have his own awakening, too. "I grew up wearing all of it, Cleveland Indians stuff and Redskin stuff. I latched onto it because it was the only thing within pop culture that represented me. I latched onto it because I never really had much positive role models that represent my demographic."

But as a grown-up with his own child, he came to see how dehumanizing it can be. "It's being applied and normalized within society," he said.

"All these missing and murdered women, and these fires that are killing people all over the place, we're not seen as human beings right away. We're seen as cartoon characters. So until we're taken seriously and seen as human beings and not these ancient relics or ridiculous stereotypes, we won't be taken seriously for these quote-unquote more important issues. But to me this is of the most utmost importance.

"Suicide rates within indigenous communities are the highest in the world," he adds, "so perpetuating this idea of being less worthy is killing our kids."

When he first found out about the Nepean Redskins — a name the former Barrhaven Buccaneers chose in 1981 because they shared colours with the Washington team — Campeau fired off an email to the youth league's organizers explaining the situation. He figured that would be that. They never responded. When he took his campaign to their Facebook page, he was met with "extreme hostility."

Seeking help from his local city councillor, Jan Harder, also proved a dead-end. "You won't get it from me or anyone else I know," she emailed Campeau. "You are looking for trouble where none exists."

Around this time, however, Campeau's group A Tribe Called Red started getting some buzz, which gave the DJ-activist a social media soapbox he could use to get a conversation happening online to garner support. After all, he says, "you can't tell me it's not racist when it's specifically pointing out the color of someone's skin."

Then Campeau had an idea — he would file a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission

"It turned out that I lived within the region where if my daughter wanted to play football, that would be the team that she would play for. The name was being normalized for children her age who lived with in our neighborhood — what's going to stop them from using it on her? The argument that the team had was that they were not teaching kids to use it in a bad way, but my point was that [Redskins] is a bad word no matter how you use it."

Filed on Sept. 3, 2013, the human rights complaint sparked a media blitz as the story went from regional to national, garnering coverage on CTV, CBC, the Globe & Mail, National Post and here at HuffPost Canada. It also inspired supportive editorials in cities like Sudbury.

After a couple years of obstinately insisting that the name Redskins "was never used in a racial way," management gave in just over two weeks after Campeau's complaint. Team president Steve Dean announced the franchise would change its name, acknowledging "the current name is offensive to some, and thus divisive to our community."

Though the human rights controversy pushed his campaign to the finish line, Campeau cites the power of social media as being the driving force behind his success.

"Social media is incredibly powerful especially within the indigenous communities. The reserve system is meant to keep us out of sight, out of mind. So now that we have social media we're able to criticize and have a voice on a level platform for the first time," he explained.

While also giving credit that his celebrity helped, Campeau says it merely accelerated the process and that others can replicate his success in their own communities.

"You don't need thousands of followers to get the job done. [But you do have] to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can behind your cause. Get to know statistics, find research papers, back up what you're saying. It's really easy to present to a school board or the president of the league if you have the American Psychological Association telling you that these types of sports names are harmful."

(In 2005, the APA called for "the immediate retirement of all American Indian mascots, symbols, images and personalities by schools, colleges, universities, athletic teams and organizations...Research has shown that [it] has a negative effect on not only American Indian students but all students.")

Campeau notes that pushback — which got quite ugly on social media, talk radio, newspaper columns and Internet comment sections, including an online threat last January after the name change that required informing the police — is all from adults not the young players.

"These [kids] don't care the name of their team is going to be the Eagles. This tradition aspect is the only thing that people are holding onto, the only reason why people want to keep names like this. It's obviously the parents."

Campeau admits it's easier to convince grassroots local teams to change their names, of which plenty remain across Canada, rather than big money franchises like the Edmonton Eskimos, Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians, whose Chief Wahoo-adorned fans faced an angry protest at the home opener earlier this month.

"But you can multitask. They're not exclusive, you can challenge the use of native mascots anywhere."

2017-11-08_1444.png
I guess Mr, Campeau thinks that symbolism is important, I don't.

I guess Mr. Campeau thinks that his efforts have lowered the suicide rate and poverty numbers in 1st Nations communities, I don't.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:37 pm

Symbolic gestures won't singlehandedly solve the world's problems but the power of symbols should never be underestimated. Throughout history, people have manipulated symbols and changed the fortunes of nations.

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WestCoastJoe
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:38 pm

DanoT wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:09 pm
WestCoastJoe wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:44 pm
Many high schools and colleges have changed their names.

Pro sports teams? That is a much slower process, but possible. Fans do not want to let go, even when franchises die.

I think eventually the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Redskins and the Edmonton Eskimos will change their names.
I guess Mr, Campeau thinks that symbolism is important, I don't.

I guess Mr. Campeau thinks that his efforts have lowered the suicide rate and poverty numbers in 1st Nations communities, I don't.
I am not passionate about this issue, Dano.

And I am not part of an ethnic minority subject to this issue.

But I felt obliged to comment, primarily through that article, about someone affected by the issue.

I sympathize with Mr. Campeau. I agree with him that his daughter, in that community, should not have to wonder about her ethnicity, as it is treated through the power of symbols and names, that she might not like. The local team had been called the Nepean Redskins. I am sure I would try protect my daughter also.

As I said, I am not passionate about this issue.

Labels. I grew up Catholic. A childhood friend was Protestant. On a hot, summer day we both had water bottles. He suggested we put capital letter C on one and P on the other. LOL I could not have cared less. But in retrospect, decades later, it is kind of a head shaker. The separation. The exclusion. ''You are different.'' ''We are different.'' And, in that community, everybody looked the same, almost all originating from the British Isles.

Not a passionate issue for me. If the Edmonton Eskimos change their name it won't bother me. Ethnic minorities have my sympathy.
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Toppy Vann
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:17 pm

When I hear the term Eskimos to me it's respectful of those who live hardy lives and live off the land not demeaning of an ethnic group.

After they get rid of the offensive names like Eskimos, Redskins, etc they'll be after the Thunderbirds, Seahawks and the rest of what is deemed cultural misappropriation.

Redblacks could be seen to demean ethnic groups and loggers and sawmill workers.

I still hear kids singing this on You tube:
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight

Seriously, we're going overboard with this stuff.

The war cries at sporting events - that is too far - I get that but that is fan education.

Ricky Ray gets called out by Ticat fans for big ears? We need a CFL harassment policy????

Lions and Tiger Cats could be deemed offensive as well as it connotes killing and blood and gore. Stampeders could remind some of the times when they killed the buffalo to extinction by stampeding them over the cliffs or how the rustlers stampeded herds to steal them or the ranchers lands.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:44 pm

Referring to an ethnic group using their self-designated term = Respect

Referring to an ethnic group using a term that they have explicitly rejected as offensive = disrespect

Naming a sports team by this rejected label = over the top

Why wait until the supreme court orders them to change their name? Do the Eskimos really want to fight this until the end?

It's obvious that they are on the wrong side of history. What exactly are they standing up for?

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Sir Purrcival
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:53 pm

I remember the hot and heavy debate on here I think it was about the Redskins name. First of all, I find it ironic that the Mayor of Winnipeg should take it upon himself to criticize the Esks when his team's name is actually derived from what many would consider a racist label given to Joe Louis "The Brown Bomber". Referencing of course his skin colour. I don't care if the Esks want to change the name or leave it the same. I never have believed that teams deliberately name themselves something that was meant to be something other than strong or fierce or intimidating. You don't see teams named the "Librarians" or the "Accountants" or if you wanted to be more esoteric, The Miami Gossamer's or something like that. I would agree with the suggestion that anyone who is offended by the name, take it up with the Esks, start a petition or what have you. It is their decision and I'm sure if enough people want a change, a change will be made, Pretty soon you won't be able to reference anything human in team names for fear of offending someone. Scrap the name "Warriors, Chiefs, Blackhawks, Braves, Browns, RedBlacks, Indians, Raiders, Hitmen, Pirates, Vikings etc." And while we are at it, lets ban all the mascots that might be offensive. We shouldn't call any leagues "midget" either. Oh and maybe we should remove "Pink" and "Blue" from any team names because that might be too gender stereotyping.

Ok, played up for a bit of devils advocacy but it begs the question, where does it end? How generic do you have to be in order to avoid the negative attention of someone somewhere.
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Toppy Vann
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:11 pm

maxlion wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:44 pm
Referring to an ethnic group using their self-designated term = Respect

Referring to an ethnic group using a term that they have explicitly rejected as offensive = disrespect

Naming a sports team by this rejected label = over the top

Why wait until the supreme court orders them to change their name? Do the Eskimos really want to fight this until the end?

It's obvious that they are on the wrong side of history. What exactly are they standing up for?
The Supreme Court of Canada is not going to make them change their name! On what basis is this a significant legal issue of national significance?

An Ontario Superior Court Judge refused an injunction back in 2016 prior to the Cleveland Indians game in Toronto. This was pure nonsensical as it asked a Superior Court judge to issue an injunction against what is constitutionally legal!!


http://nationalpost.com/sports/baseball ... in-ontario

That was a case where they tried to use the Canadian Human Rights Act but the Charter prevailed.

The Supreme Court of Canada is clear now on the law and what is protected (other than hatred which is not). Freedom of expression (team names, etc) can only be fettered by law in my view if it was deemed hatred. Calling the Edmonton CFL team "Eskimos" is a bit of a stretch to be deemed constrained by our hatred limitations under our laws and Constitution.

Respect is not a law but a matter of subjective debate. That is why if they call a team the Indians, Eskimos - it doesn't make me disrespect indigenous populations or conjure up how they were or are savages no more than if a sports team in the Florida Panhandle called themselves the Panhandlers and those begging in the streets were to rise up and claim it's disrespectful.

Where does this trivial stuff stop?

I'd sooner spend time and money on actual solutions to the problems facing indigenous Canadians - jobs, housing, health, education etc by giving each of them over 18 a guaranteed basic income !! That to me would be respect.
Last edited by Toppy Vann on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:17 pm

What is the difference between "eskimo" and "redblack"? One is a rejected label for an ethnic group, the other is a colour combination. Redblacks has no ethnic connotation whatsoever.

Eskimo and pirate? Pirate is an occupation.

The names Eskimos and Indians are exact equivalents and should both be scrapped.

We learned over 500 years ago that First Nations people are not from India, but we haven't got around to correcting our mistake and learning their real names. Either we are stupid or we are racist. Take your pick.

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Toppy Vann
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:29 pm

maxlion wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:17 pm
What is the difference between "eskimo" and "redblack"? One is a rejected label for an ethnic group, the other is a colour combination. Redblacks has no ethnic connotation whatsoever.

Eskimo and pirate? Pirate is an occupation.

The names Eskimos and Indians are exact equivalents and should both be scrapped.

We learned over 500 years ago that First Nations people are not from India, but we haven't got around to correcting our mistake and learning their real names. Either we are stupid or we are racist. Take your pick.
Jesus loves the children of the world and the song says "red and yellow, black and white" so someone could nonsensically try to make a case like the one I cited where the day of a Cleveland Indians game in Toronto was played the fellow was offended and tried to get an injunction against the name and logo of Chief Wahoo.

Offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. You are offended by the name Eskimos. I'm not. To make the term offensive in my mind would be to add something like you "dirty" so and so or some other obvious racial term.

India wasn't even a country as such when Indians were referred to that way some say:
Check this article out as it also deals with when the politicization of the term Indian starts.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-giag ... 67593.html

It's interesting as a discussion point but let's face it the Seahawks and the Thunderbirds are on some of the lists out there.

maxlion
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:21 pm

You are right that the name India is also an invented colonial name that was applied to a colonized people long ago. I would not be surprised if they officially changed their name to Bharata some day.

I am not offended by the name Eskimo. I recognize it as a label that has been rejected by the people it supposedly refers to, and think it is disrespectful to those people to use the name for a football team.

It could very well come before the Supreme Court if the team doesn't get smart. Related cases have already come before courts across North America.

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Robbie
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:28 pm

Sir Purrcival wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:53 pm
Scrap the name "Warriors, Chiefs, Blackhawks, Braves, Browns, RedBlacks, Indians, Raiders, Hitmen, Pirates, Vikings etc." And while we are at it, lets ban all the mascots that might be offensive. We shouldn't call any leagues "midget" either. Oh and maybe we should remove "Pink" and "Blue" from any team names because that might be too gender stereotyping.
Ok, played up for a bit of devils advocacy but it begs the question, where does it end? How generic do you have to be in order to avoid the negative attention of someone somewhere.
Very good point. Exactly where do you draw the line between acceptable and not acceptable when it comes to sports teams? And if one is offensive and must change, then does it mean that other teams must change as well once others complain?

Here's my :2cents:

What may no longer acceptable is if there's a blatant and obvious mockery of the ethnic name of the team. And I'd say overall, the Edmonton Eskimos are NOT mocking that group.

First, the team logo simply shows an interlocking EE and does not show the face of an Inuit. This is unlike the logos of the Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins, etc. which clearly show the face of a man from that ethnic name.
ImageImageImage

And even the two Eskimos mascots are in the form of a football and a polar bear, and NOT a costumed Inuit man.
Image
Image

I'd say a more obvious and blatant mockery of an ethnic group would be that of the Atlanta Braves. Not the name per se nor the logo which simply showing a tomahawk and the word Braves and a stylized 'A' on their cap. Instead, it's the tomahawk chop chant and dance which was commonly used in the 1990's when the team was a powerhouse after reaching World Series several times. Understandably, Native American groups have complained saying it's very demeaning and insulting and in real life they did not do such a chant and dance.


So kudos to the Eskimos team and fans that they do NOT purposely mock Inuit music and dance.
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Sir Purrcival
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:19 pm

maxlion wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:17 pm
What is the difference between "eskimo" and "redblack"? One is a rejected label for an ethnic group, the other is a colour combination. Redblacks has no ethnic connotation whatsoever.

Eskimo and pirate? Pirate is an occupation.

The names Eskimos and Indians are exact equivalents and should both be scrapped.

We learned over 500 years ago that First Nations people are not from India, but we haven't got around to correcting our mistake and learning their real names. Either we are stupid or we are racist. Take your pick.
Pirating was never an "occupation". It was a lifestyle which included murder, rape, torture, theft and any number of indictable offences. Not the kind group we should be idolizing in a sports franchise I suppose. But Disney can do it and it's ok it seems. But call your team the Calgary "Hitmen" and become subject to calls for change because it embodies negative stereotypes and violent imagery?

And while were talking about how crazy it can get, let us not forget that Burnaby North High School was subject to calls to remove the Viking Head statue that has been their mascot for as long as I can remember. Why? Because it was scary to little kids according to some. And also Vikings aren't exactly good exemplars of civil behaviour either.

And there has even been some discussion that the SFU Clansmen should change their name as well because in the US, the term Clan is somewhat evocative of "Klan". As crazy making as that is, then maybe their mascot McFogg the Dog is insulting to those with Scottish Heritage. De-Kilt the dog I say. Let him/her be just a dog, not a representative of any class of people or culture.

Image

It seems to be a classic Tomato, Tomaato kind of problem. There is always going to be someone, somewhere that objects.

Robbie makes a valid connection between words and the imagery we associate with those words. I think that is more of a problem in many cases than the name itself. I detest some of the imagery that we see and he provides some good examples.

I would also say that there is no harm in examining the appropriateness of a name so long as it is done in a dispassionate way. This topic seems to evoke huge emotion and anger. People love their teams and they understandably see an attack on the name as an indictment of them and their community. But there should be room for discussion between the "affected" parties. When some political hacker in a rival city puts out something like this before a playoff game between two respective teams, it is BS.
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TheLionKing
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Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:41 pm

Is the Winnipeg mayor up for re-election this year ?

maxlion
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Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:09 am

Robbie wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:28 pm

So kudos to the Eskimos team and fans that they do NOT purposely mock Inuit music and dance.
This seems like slight grounds for praise.

In my work, if I were to insist on using insensitive ethnic descriptors in my official correspondence, not only would I quickly be called to account, but it would severely impact my ability to serve the people I am paid to serve.

It baffles me that there remains so much resistance to showing basic courtesy to the first peoples of this country. I have to wonder what motivates this resistance.

VictoriaFan
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Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:22 am

How about the Green-Golds? kinda catchy ! In a league this small having 2 teams called the roughriders I doubt they could come up with a slick name

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