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Antisemitc soccer chants think-piece
Posted: 18 September 2013 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]
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From the Guardian, of course. Baddiel is a popular comedian, serious novelist and atheist Jew. I should add I agree with Baddiel.

There are also the old Cockney rhyming slang terms ‘tin lid’ = yid and ‘fourby’ (two = Jew, a common measurement of pieces of wood in inches). I have no idea if these were/are racist or just descriptive.
There was another article in the same paper a few days ago about another controversy I thought American posters would have picked up on here. Unless I missed it. Is the Atlanta Braves a racist appellation? The dispute seems to be about perceived pigmentation as with the Yellow Peril and so on. When I was a kid in the UK I had what was called a Red Indian headdress with feathers stuck in a plastic headband I was very proud of, and I believed squaw was simply their name for a woman. However, when we played cowboys and Indians the cowboys were always the good guys. Bullets beat arrows though David Carradine in Kung Fu on the telly was able to pluck arrows fired at him out of the air which won him their respect. It would anyone as it’s impossible. Innocent and naive times.

[ Edited: 18 September 2013 11:18 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 18 September 2013 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes, the Atlanta Braves have taken heat for their name and for fan chants that imitate supposed Native American war cries and the gesture known as the “tomahawk chop.” But on the scale of racism, Braves isn’t considered as offensive as Redskins by most, so the DC football team has borne the brunt of the efforts to change the name. (It also doesn’t help them that the former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall was an outspoken and unabashed racist, refusing to hire black players until 1962, when the federal government was about to revoke his lease on RFK stadium unless he integrated the team. There is a long history of racism in the club.)

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Posted: 18 September 2013 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dave is right. Braves is a positive appellation in the scheme of things. But the tomahawk “chop” is demeaning at best. The Cleveland Indians (baseball team) has, as their mascot and logo “Chief Wahoo”. The logo is this idiotic smiling Native American with one feather in his headband. And the team argues that it’s not going away. Liberals and Native Americans try to fight the good fight. That’s not going away either.

We have a local High School team here named the Indians that our State Board of Education is trying to get gone. They have signs at the entrances of the school that say “You are entering Indian Country” even though it hasn’t been literally that for at least 150 years. Alas the white folks in the town are insisting that it isn’t offensive. Which raises the question about who gets to decide what is and is not offensive.

I once referred to an African American as “Black” within the hearing of my 12 year-old grandson and corrected me by saying “African American.” So I went over the Negro>Colored>Afro-American>Black>African American history with him. And concluded that we use the terms that the majority of those being referred to would most enjoy.

[ Edited: 18 September 2013 01:51 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 18 September 2013 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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This all took my rather by surprise because I was unaware of the supposed Spurs/Jewish connection. Very strange.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Braves is a positive appellation in the scheme of things.

There’s an argument to be made that adopting any people as a mascot is inherently demeaning. It reduces a culture to a caricature. Which is not to say there aren’t degrees of badness.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Is Yankees as in New York Yankees demeaning?  The Atlanta, Georgia minor league baseball time until the time the Braves moved there was the Atlanta Crackers.  The Negro League team until it folded due to the integration of the major leagues was the Atlanta Black Crackers.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 08:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Dave Wilton - 18 September 2013 12:47 PM

Yes, the Atlanta Braves have taken heat for their name and for fan chants that imitate supposed Native American war cries and the gesture known as the “tomahawk chop.”

The war cry and tomahawk chop were borrowed from fans of Florida State University, whose sports teams are called the Seminoles.  I don’t know if they are under pressure to change the name, or if their fans still do the chop.

Years ago the Atlanta Braves officially dropped their Chief Noc-A-Homa mascot, a screaming Native American brave with a Mohawk, single feather, and gold hoop earring.  The actor who played Chief Noc-A-Homa during the 70’s and 80’s was an actual member of the Odawa tribe, so the team withstood pressure to drop the character, for a time at least.

Incidentally, the Washington Redskins started out as the Boston Braves in 1932, playing in the same park (Braves Field) as the baseball team that would eventually move to Atlanta.  The football team emphasized their move to Fenway Park the following year by changing their name to Redskins.  In 1937 they moved to Washington where they shared Griffith Stadium with the baseball Senators.  The stadium and the Senators were owned by the Clark Griffith, the father of Calvin Griffith who would later move that team to Minneapolis while explaining he chose the location because “they only have 15,000 blacks here”, proving there’s more to racism than just the name of the club.

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Posted: 18 September 2013 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gosh damn, Good God Almighty.

Does anyone here believe that we have certain words that have intrinsical mystical meanings beyond their intended meanings and therefore they should be banned because they might offend?
Really?
Well watch your wordings, wordlovers, because your banning will lead to banning after banning until our language is reduced to words that lie in our attempt to appease the unappeasable .

1) Is it wrong to call people brave?
2) Should the Minnesota Vikings be banned?
3) Were the White Crackers of Atlanta more offended than the Atlanta Black Crackers who were proud?
4) Which is best, the concept that all men are equal under the sun or the concept that some men are less equal so we must excuse them?

One would think that the language loving people here on this forum would never cow away from semantic egalitarianism.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 12:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I assume from your stated views that you do not belong to a minority group which suffers, or in the past has suffered, from some form of discrimination and from the things (all of them negative, including being patronized) that go with it.  In which case you can afford to be complacent about discrimination, and disingenuous in your postings.  The adjective “brave” and the appellation “Brave” are not the same thing. Vikings and Yankees are not words associated with disadvantaged minority groups. Braves, Yids, and Crackers are.

I can’t comment on “semantic egalitarianism” because I don’t know what it is.  What I do want to comment on, however, is the gratuitously aggressive and provocative tone of your language.  You begin your post with a violent oath, and go on to accuse the language loving people on this forum of “cowing away” from something (if more people in the world held the views of the people on this forum, the world would be a better place). For reasons of your own, you seek to quarrel with us. Please go and quarrel with somebody else. This is not a quarrelling forum. I, for one, find your tone offensive in the extreme; in fact, unacceptable.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m with Baddiel all the way.

In any case, surely one can only really claim to be ‘reclaiming’ an offensive term if the intention is to take the sting out of it for everyone. ‘Black’ is a case in point; many of us here are old enough to remember when it was a rude or at least dismissive adjective to use for someone, and polite white people said ‘coloured’. Calling oneself a Yid or a nigger, but reserving the right to be mortally offended if anyone not Jewish or black does so, doesn’t ‘reclaim’ it in the slightest and only creates pitfalls for the unwary.

There was a nasty rumpus in my workplace a few years ago when someone white used the word nigger in conversation. Uproar. The culprit admitted using it, but said that as she’s used it in direct reply to a remark in which the word featured, made by a black colleague who had already used it several times in the conversation, it just came naturally and she had assumed it was OK. I wasn’t a witness, but I knew her reasonably well and, as she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box in terms of interpersonal skills, I believe this. Granted, it wasn’t very intelligent, prudent or sensitive of her, but really the rules of polite conversation, public discourse, or whatever one wants to call it, ought not to demand a high degree of intelligence, prudence or sensitivity to negotiate.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 03:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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milum - 18 September 2013 09:17 PM

3) Were the White Crackers of Atlanta more offended than the Atlanta Black Crackers who were proud?

Which was my point.  I was probing the limits of demeaning.  The Atlanta Crackers (no color designation) were self-named.  The Black Crackers were originally the Atlanta Cubs but everyone called them the black Crackers, so they took that name officially.

As for the Florida State Seminoles, it is my understanding that they have the explicit approval of the Seminole tribe.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 03:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Well, Yankee isn’t, and never has been, a well-defined group. There is no distinctive Yankee culture, no religious or ethnic traits that one associates with being a Yankee. What constitutes a Yankee varies with the situation. And Lionello’s point about disadvantaged minority groups is spot on. Caricaturing WASP culture in the United States carries a very different valence than doing so to a disadvantaged group with a history of discrimination against them.

And the Minnesota Vikings do certainly present a caricature of medieval Norse culture (a focus on raping and pillaging), only there are no Vikings left to take offense. One could call a team the Visigoths with the same effect.

And the name Braves does highlight an admirable trait, but that can be considered patronizing. Again, it is a caricature of a culture, selecting one aspect, warfighting, and emphasizing that over all else. It can be argued that such characterizations play into existing stereotypes and prejudices against an already oppressed people.

Even Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish have taken heat for their name, mostly due to the cartoonish mascot.

I’m not necessarily saying these team names need to be changed, only that such names, even if well meaning, can be taken as offensive, and such offense has a legitimate basis. People need to take this into account when using such terms.

(Personally, I see nothing wrong with Yankees or Vikings. I find the name Redskins highly offensive, and not only because I am a Giants fan. I’m on the fence about Braves. And if I were in charge at Notre Dame, I’d quietly shelve the mascot.)

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Posted: 19 September 2013 05:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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The Minnesota Vikings, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Boston Celtics are all named in celebration of the heritage of a large portion of their respective fan base.  If the fans were offended, the names would be changed or would never have been adopted in the first place.  As an American of mixed Scandinavian and Irish descent I am not offended by any of those nicknames or mascots.

The one sports team name that I was personally offended by, as an American of Irish (Catholic) descent, was the Syracuse University Orangemen, which was changed to simply “The Orange” a few years ago.

By the way, the New York Yankees had previously been called the Highlanders because of their home at Hilltop Park in Manhattan, not as a reference to Scots culture.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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To my knowledge, the Orangemen of Syracuse were originally named because the school color happened to be orange, not because of anything having to do with Ireland. And the change was primarily made to be inclusive of the women’s teams, not out of reaction to a perceived slight to Irish Catholics.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Dave Wilton - 19 September 2013 05:26 AM

To my knowledge, the Orangemen of Syracuse were originally named because the school color happened to be orange, not because of anything having to do with Ireland. And the change was primarily made to be inclusive of the women’s teams, not out of reaction to a perceived slight to Irish Catholics.

Darn, and here I thought I had something to be offended about.  I’m back to being just another white guy I guess.

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Posted: 19 September 2013 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Does anyone here believe that we have certain words that have intrinsical mystical meanings beyond their intended meanings and therefore they should be banned because they might offend?

People don’t have problems with words because they might offend, people have problems because they do offend, both intentionally and unintentionally.

But more importantly, we don’t get to decide which words other people find offensive. Personally, I’m not offended by the word fuck, but I know that my mother is and so I choose to not use it in her presence. It’s simply good manners.

When it comes to words that people find offensive, the question isn’t definitions or the history of usage or some sort of logic regarding other words and situations or even if you believe the word to be offensive or not; the question is manners. To try to make it be about the words themselves in some way is disingenuous.

If my Jewish friends are offended by the word “Yid,” then that’s all I need to know about it. Your mileage may vary.

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