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Thread: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

      
   
  1. #51
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    These fine essays and research materials are being compiled into a sunday magazine essay "Life After Kindergarten."

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeltninja View Post
    A genuine question - how is calling your team The Braves racist, exactly? Far as I can gather - as has been mentioned above - the Brave was the warrior part of life in the tribe; much like the Impi were in the Zulu culture, and in both cases it's hardly a derogatory term.

    I really don't have the cultural background to see how that is racist, so perhaps you could distil it down to something simple for us?
    A fair question. I'm not given to simplicity (heh) but I'll try to be as clear as possible.

    The terms 'brave' and 'squaw' have been used in parts of the US with large Native American minorities...as derogatory terms. If something is used derogatorily it becomes derogatory, just as using something positively can sometimes reclaim it (this has happened in the US with 'queer', which while still risky for non-gays, but becoming a self-identifier more than not). But the warrior culture of Native Americans is only symbolically maintained now, and the term 'brave' has become a racial epithet for a person of Native American descent (whether culturally indigenous or not).

    Now, I don't know whether the term had that meaning when the Braves were named. The trouble is, it has that meaning NOW. The name has become racist, though I concede there may have been no racist intent on the part of the owners at any time. Of course, changing it would have a cost to them, and that's probably why they haven't chosen to change it. That's their right, of course...but it doesn't mean we have to pretend it isn't racist.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeltninja View Post
    The Egyptian national football team is nicknamed The Pharaohs - is that also racist, and if not, why not?
    I doubt the term 'pharaoh' ("Great House," in Middle Egyptian) has become a racial term for a downtrodden people in Egypt. So no.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ^ I realise you see things which others don't and I know you don't like local tragedies being compared to outsiders' tragedies. But the chopping motion of the Atlanta tomahawk is mild and inexplicit compared to these people cutting throats~
    I dislike this form of argument, which basically amounts to "you can't say something is bad if there's something worse happening elsewhere." Carried to its logical conclusion it would mean that only the VERY WORST THING IN THE WORLD could ever be discussed! That's silly, of course, but the "that's trivial compared to THIS" argument is used to dismiss a lot of perfectly valid complaints.

    If someone punches me in the face without provocation, that's bad. He doesn't get a pass on that because someone else got murdered two streets over (though it might be hard to find a cop to arrest him).

    I did not say the Tomahawk Chop was the worst thing in the world, or the most racist, or anything like that. I said it's racist, and it is. We have bigger racial issues even in the US. But if we ignore the little ones we lose power to deal with the big ones.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    ^ did the 'Indian war chant' have words?
    That was the tune, but no words. They were just screaming the tune like in one of the cowboy movies of the 50s.

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    These fine essays and research materials are being compiled into a sunday magazine essay "Life After Kindergarten."
    Could you unpack that a bit? I'm not sure what you're getting at here.
    ____
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  6. #56

    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    I dislike this form of argument, ….
    Yes I know you don't like it, and I do half agree with you, and I know you believe every soul is sacred but there are just too many burdened souls in the world to bear.


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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    The terms 'brave' and 'squaw' have been used in parts of the US with large Native American minorities...as derogatory terms. If something is used derogatorily it becomes derogatory
    Okay.

    So... what do they call these people in history books? Still a brave and a squaw and other original terms, or has that all been dumbed down into something PC? I spent an hour or two at the Smithsonian in New York, the museum of Native American history there on my US tour back in April 2005, but I don't recall what terms were in play at the exhibit.

    just as using something positively can sometimes reclaim it (this has happened in the US with 'queer', which while still risky for non-gays, but becoming a self-identifier more than not).
    Can of worms time - does the persistent use of the n-word by certain people in the "urban" environment mean that it has/is being reclaimed and getting a positive slant put on it?

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    People (and even other countries) have come under fire for using 'blackface'. Hollywood has come under fire for using 'blackface'. I don't see the Tomahawk Chop and chant any less disrespectful and insulting. People of the First Nations use these chants in revered ceremonies, and the football cheerleaders and fans are making a mockery of them. I'm very surprised that more isn't being done to stop it. Australia was jumped in quickly enough.

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeltninja View Post
    So... what do they call these people in history books? Still a brave and a squaw and other original terms, or has that all been dumbed down into something PC? I spent an hour or two at the Smithsonian in New York, the museum of Native American history there on my US tour back in April 2005, but I don't recall what terms were in play at the exhibit.
    You know, when you say "dumbed down," you're showing an attitude that I really don't want to engage with. So I'll just say that if the terms 'man' and 'woman' are too PC for you when used of nonwhites, you're probably a racist.

    Also, if you think you went to the Smithsonian in New York, I think you don't remember your US tour very well!
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    ^Haha I was waiting for that.

    Fact: Smithsonian has a tiny bit in Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan dedicated to the Native Americans, away from the rest of the Simthsonian Institute in DC (and of course the Air and Space Annex out at Dulles, also not in DC). I was pointed to the one in NY by a PhD student from Montana in the lab I was visiting at Georgetown.

    Go on, Google it. You know you want to. It's the George Gustav Heye Center.

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Not very...but it's not going anywhere

  12. #62

    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    ... Australia was jumped in quickly enough.
    I don't understand what you're saying here.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    ... People of the First Nations use these chants in revered ceremonies...
    Have you heard them? Are they wordless chants?
    Do they sound anything like the music used by the Atlanta team (which sounds to me as though it was stolen from Hollywood or Natoma.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natoma_(opera)

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Florida State Seminoles
    Atlanta Braves
    Washington Redskins

    It seems this discussion comes around often with these teams.

    Homophobia kills!

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    I don't understand what you're saying here.
    There was an 'incident' in Australia a year or so ago and a big discussion about it here. Some entertainer there appeared in blackface and the cries of racism resounded. (Sorry. It was a typo. It should have been 'jumped ON', not 'in'.) It was around the time that Robert Downey Jr. played the black guy in that movie.


    Quote Originally Posted by pat grimshaw View Post
    Have you heard them? Are they wordless chants?
    As I've said, I heard them only on that television show, Desperate Landscapes, with Jason Cameron. They were landscaping a yard in Atlanta and the cheerleaders were helping them out. At one point in the show, they stood in a semicircle with Jason, doing the 'chop' with Jason, and shouting the chant. It was the same tune as the music you posted above, but there was no music in the show. Only the chant.

    It surprised me when I saw them doing it, which is why I posted this thread. I remember reading about sports teams having to change names and I was curious if there was any movement to get Atlanta to change the name or, at the very least, to ban the Chop.

  15. #65

    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by blackbeltninja View Post
    ... what do they call these people in history books? Still a brave and a squaw and other original terms, or has that all been dumbed down into something PC? …
    I agree that 'dumbed down' is the appropriate adjective for the abstract noun 'PC'.

    I reckon the PC Doctrines are just rules set up by a well-meaning powerful elite to impose upon their inferiors who can't think for themselves.

    Just like 'the ten commandments' were brought down to impose order on the peasants having their orgiastic riot over The Golden Calf. And just like of laws that Dr Moreau imposed on his underlings


    Do not go on all-fours; that is the Law.
    Do not chase other Men; that is the Law.
    Do not Steal Blood; that is the Law.
    Do not eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law.
    Do not claw the Bark of Trees.

    This is the Law. For You are not Men!


    So, of course, the peasants eventually revolt against these litanies of patronising rules.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Isl..._Doctor_Moreau

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    The fact that the team is called the Braves and they still use the Tomahawk Chop shows that not only racism, but deeply clueless, shameless racism, is alive and well in Georgia.
    I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned the Cleveland Indians, who has what I consider the most racist sports logo I'm aware of. I find it very strange that they seem to get a free pass, with rare mentions if any at all. I do remember the "tomahawk chop" being a rather big topic for a while, I think about 8 or 9 years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by jackoroe View Post
    Before you rag on Hoboken, you should know that's where the first baseball game was ever played.
    Hoboken is actually a very cool town.
    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    You know, jackoroe, it's not often you and I agree, but you're right on here!
    I agree with both of you, too! Hoboken is probably my favorite place in New Jersey (or perhaps losing top spot to Princeton) and, furthermore, in a state that I generally like a lot. I've even given thought to what a retirement to there might be like.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Is it PC? No. But isn't that the complete and utter point?

    A local high school used the nickname "Redskins" for their sports teams for decades. They decided in the 90s that perhaps the name was on the offensive side, and began looking into possibly getting it changed. A few former students (who apparently did very little post-graduation) loudly decried the decision, asking "whatever happened to tradition?" and raising money to launch a legal battle. The group managed to place a mole inside the school board. That way, anytime a new name was considered ("how about the SmallTown Red Wings?"), the group would rush out and copyright the name - then threaten the school with legal action for infringing on their copyright if they dared change the name to that.

    I don't recall how it all shook out, but the school did end up changing the team name to simply "the Reds". The students, naturally, don't give a shit. "Tradition" apparently starts with your first year there.

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    As a Mets fan watching and hearing that organ begin the war chant followed by the fans chop chopping can be a bit much at times.
    The Braves fans are just having God bless em but just once I would love to see a Met or any opposing team hit a homer preferably a grand slam and then give the Braves fans the chop chop as he runs the bases.
    What, too much??
    Last edited by sonny10305; September 13th, 2013 at 08:13 AM.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfrank View Post
    I agree with both of you, too! Hoboken is probably my favorite place in New Jersey (or perhaps losing top spot to Princeton) and, furthermore, in a state that I generally like a lot. I've even given thought to what a retirement to there might be like.
    In a word, expensive. Not cheap to live in Hoboken, unless you can get into moderate-income housing, which you can do by a) getting on the 20-year waiting list, b) having influential relatives, or c) paying a huge bribe, in increasing order of likelihood.

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Lexington View Post
    A few former students (who apparently did very little post-graduation) loudly decried the decision, asking "whatever happened to tradition?" and raising money to launch a legal battle.
    The word 'tradition' is used here in the same sense as in 'tradition[al] marriage' - i.e. something bigots like and want to keep, and will fight the forces of enlightenment to maintain.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by LatimerRd View Post
    I think these controversies are ridiculous. I don't hear Irish Americans complaining about the Celtics or the Fighting Irish, and think that the Stanford Cardinal (to replace Indians) is a pretty stupid name to give a team, as stupid as the Harvard Crimson, on which it was modelled.
    Braves = Indians = heroic brave warrior. Sounds good to me.
    You might want to read "How the Irish Became White" to see why we're not complaining. Dealing, of course, with US history.
    Last edited by luckynumbah7; September 13th, 2013 at 01:54 PM.
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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    The word 'tradition' is used here in the same sense as in 'tradition[al] marriage' - i.e. something bigots like and want to keep, and will fight the forces of enlightenment to maintain.
    I don't know about that specifically. It's just that "tradition" to these people means something very personal. If they found a "tradition" that had been practiced at the school for decades, but dropped just before they attended, would they fight to have it reinstated? Either at that point, or twenty years later? Of course not, because it's not THEIR tradition. They only fight to maintain the "traditions" that were in place when THEY were there. What I tend to hear in the background of these arguments is that things need to be maintained at the status quo not because they're somehow superior, but as some sort of "monument" to their own personal experiences. Every time a school adds a building or drops a class or changes the mascot's design, they're altering the current configuration from the alumnae's personal experience. More and more, the school "just isn't the same as it was when I was a student". And whereas they can accept things (reluctantly) like teachers retiring, these people seem to think the entire school should be shellacked the day after they graduate so it can remain a physical reminder to their tender years. And the mascot is often seen as a symbol or representative of the school as a whole. Changing the mascot can appear to be metaphorically kicking dirt over their tenure at the school.

    I've just never thought like that. And I wonder if that was due to my college mascot. Or actually if the college chose the mascot deliberately.

    At the outset of my school's history, the sporting teams were the Huns. During WWI, this term wasn't exactly popular, but not wanting to spend a ton of money, the school simply peeled the "U" off the sports uniforms, and stuck an "E" in its place. We were henceforth known as the Sagehens...a tiny bird that scurries into the bushes at the first sign of trouble.



    It almost seems as if the school chose the mascot to be deliberately terrible. But in a sense, I'm fine with that. I don't feel any sort of allegiance to Cecil up there. It was just some costume some guy wore during the games or school festivities. Nobody mocked him really, but there's not a ton of school merchandise with his visage on it. I loved the school, and my experiences I drew from it. I don't really give a rat's ass about the mascot or how the football team is doing (terrible).

    And when I go back to visit the school, I see a lot of changes. New buildings, new upgrades, new ways of doing things. And I think most of them are positive. I don't think there was something superior to the dorm I lived in freshman year. Yeah, it was eighty years old and had "tradition". It also was dark as a dungeon and nearly as drafty. I'm happy they swapped it out with something more liveable.

    Lex

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    Re: 'Tomahawk Chop' - How PC is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    In a word, expensive. Not cheap to live in Hoboken, unless you can get into moderate-income housing, which you can do by a) getting on the 20-year waiting list, b) having influential relatives, or c) paying a huge bribe, in increasing order of likelihood.
    That doesn't surprise me, not even slightly. Not like Princeton is cheap, either...

    That's the drawback about nearly ALL of the places I really love - they're expensive as hell!

    The top of my list includes places like Vancouver BC, Portland, Berkeley, Boulder, Hoboken, Ann Arbor, Boston. All REALLY expensive places. Not to mention putting Manhattan on the list, yikes...The only places I'm even considering, which MAY be affordable, are Pittsburgh and Providence.
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