I went to high school called "South High". We were "The Rebels". Our mascot was a confederate solder in grey. Our flag was the confederate flag. All because we lived on the south side of town. Real imagination there, generation prior to mine. I went looking yesterday for photos on-line from the 1980s to back this all up and discovered that my old high school had changed its flag many years back. It's now a shield and swords - the confederate symbolism is (mostly) gone. They're still the Rebels and that soldier is still there, but the confederate flag is long gone. I'm not sure that the soldier matters much given how little about the civil war students are taught any more. It wasn't a great school.
In the past few days thanks to some truly awful events and a truly bone-headed series of responses the confederate flag has become toxic - as it should be. State houses have been removing it, on-line and retail outlets have been removing it from their shelves - even the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard is getting a makeover. Politicians are even starting to acknowledge the racism attached to this symbol of the losing side of the civil war.
So while we're talking about racism can we talk about another prevalent, uniquely American, form of racism; that against the people who were here before those of us of vaguely European descent arrived?
There are lots of sports teams, many of them at the high school and college level, that name themselves after Native Americans. The Seminoles. The Apache Warriors. Some of these names are meant to evoke the fighting spirit of these peoples. But then there is also teams like The Indians. The Braves. The Redskins.
In the case of teams with names like these I hear over and over again how the names are meant to represent the fighting spirit of these peoples. That it's an homage. Funny how it's always white people saying that. The people who gave these people the condescending nicknames in the first place.
So let me set the record straight with my miniscule amount of Pawnee blood.
To me, the guy who is 1/16th (or 1/32nd - the family lore gets fuzzy) Native American, "Braves" sounds like me wampum good teepee Mister Mask Man. Mr. Cartwright has the wisdom of the elders. Imagine how it must sound to someone with a real stake in the heritage of these peoples.
To me, "Redskins" sounds like a trophy collected by the whites in place of scalps.
To me, terms like this seem horrifically racist. Imagine what it must sound like to a person who lives every moment of their lives as a part of the culture and heritage of the people who were in this country before we stole it from them.
Do you remember when the Washington Wizards were known as the Washington Bullets (and prior to that the Baltimore Bullets)? Do you remember why the name was changed? Because of violence in the neighborhoods around where the games were played made the owner uncomfortable with the name. Progress.
As we all know, the outrage over the confederate flag is due to optics over the shooting of blacks in a state where the flag is flown at all times by law. Progress.
Is someone going to need to shoot some Injuns in order to facilitate changing the names of sports teams from names with overtly racist baggage to names that have more to do with the federation and competition that sports is supposed to be about? I'd like to think that our track record would suggest that we're better people than that.
But we're not and you know it. Still, it is long past time for these things to go.
Cheap Shots (whiskey today):
You know what? Fuck all y'alls.
And he promises that the NBC Page Program will say nothing bad about Iowa.
I think that the answer to her question is "Hell no."
So no, you can't sign a petition calling for the legalized murder of gays. A judge says so.
That said, this is still possible.
If I interpret this correctly, this man wants to be flaming should marriage equality survive the Supremes. Or maybe he's just getting a jump start on eternity.
Hmph. Starting to look like the Democratic Party of old.
There is a band called Blackberry Smoke that you should be checking out:
There are police chiefs who do not like "open carry".
I'd like to point out that Bill Kristol is never right about anything, but here he makes a basic mistake. They're not bowing to Political Correctness. They're bowing to just plain Correctness.
Stevie Wonder can "open carry" in Iowa. Although being a black man maybe he shouldn't...
Yeesh. This makes it sound like he drank too much fucking Red Bull.
Not really the funniest thing since Betty White, but still amusing nonetheless.
Um. A) She was born in South Carolina, in a town smaller than a flea - that means she's an American, plain and simple. B) Sure, it was the greatest - right behind all those armies that WON instead of LOST (and behind a number of others that also lost too, come to think of it). C) You're just a bitch.
No, the Blue Marlin is NOT sinking. If you don't understand Japanese just look at the pictures. It will make sense.
Don't Stop... Believin' Even if you need Omar Hakim to fill in.
Trumpwatch: 112 days until he drops out of the race.
If this were actually true we'd be forcing you to call Grits "Polenta", Biscuits and Gravy would be "Creamed Chip Beef on Toast", and Fried Chicken would be called "Oh dear Lord no no no!"
I keep telling people that we have until October to get this right.
I admit that I'm surprised. This is a fairly decent apology. No clue if he actually meant it, but it doesn't excuse anything. I'm not a supporter of the death penalty but there simply wasn't any other way this was going to go.
And here's an apology from The Big Easy.
Boy, talk about missing the point entirely.
Everyone been making noise about the guy who caught bare-handed a foul fly ball while holding his infant child (and forcing a call of fan interference as well). This story is MUCH Better.
Um, wow. Just... wow.
And now, for a lengthy moment of Zen, a song that always manages to calm me down: