Tag Archives: stereotypes

No Honor In Racism Rally and Twitterstorm Nov 2nd

Here’s a simple action on the issue of mascotism:
Not Your Mascots Inc
Hoopa, CA

Oct 31, 2014 — A Combined group of grassroots efforts will be rallying to TCF Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday Nov.2, in a collaborative effort to speak out against the use of the culturally offensive mascot and name of The Washington Football team when they play the Minnesota Vikings. Among many of the groups representing are Not your Mascots Inc and The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media.

Not Your Mascots Inc has feet on the ground during both marches, and is spearheading the social media Twitterstorm in support of the protestors attending the rally. Those who are unable to attend the rally in person are asked to show support through social media using both #NotYourMascot and #NoHonorInRacism hashtags. Twitterstorm will follow directly after Thunderclap message is sent, at 9:00 am CST as both marches converge onto University Ave and proceed to the Tribal Nations Plaza at TCF Stadium. There will be one-click tweets available for the supporting Twitterstorm at http://www.notyourmascots.org/2014/10/31/nohonorinracismnotyourmascot-tweets/

What is Thunderclap?
Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together.

How does it work?
If we reach our supporter goal, Thunderclap will blast out a timed Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr post from all our supporters, creating a wave of attention.

Is it safe?
Absolutely! It is a one click setup, and only one message will be sent on your behalf.

Please join the following Social Media Thunderclap via Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr below:

We are a People, Not Your Mascots!

About The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media (www.coalitionagainstracism.org) @NCARSM

The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media exists to fight the powerful influence of major media who choose to promulgate messages of oppression. The impetus which formed the NCARSM was the clear case of media coupling imagery with widely held misconceptions of American Indians in the form of sports team identities resulting in racial, cultural, and spiritual stereotyping. The NCARSM was originally formed in October 1989 during the Chief Illiniwek controversy at the University of Illinois. The NCARSM has been reconstituted in June, 2014 in the Twin Cities.

NCARSM, while best known for its front-line demonstrations outside sports stadiums across America has been responsible for an educational effort which has made the issue of racial stereotyping a household discussion. The NCARSM takes a long term view of the struggle against hatred and disrespect. We are in a fight against all cases of racism, and against long ingrained willful and self serving ignorance. We strive towards the elimination of the misrepresentation and abuses of all people in sports and media.

About Not Your Mascots Inc (www.notyourmascots.org) @NotYourMascots

Not Your Mascots Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to addressing the misappropriation of Indigenous identity and imagery through the acceptance of mascots, stereotypes and racist behaviors as well as the harmful effect that they have on indigenous children and communities. The focus of Not Your Mascots is to address these issues through the utilization of education, social media, as well as community and media outreach.

Not Your Mascots is dedicated to using their educational and advocacy efforts to provide comprehensive solutions towards the eradication of harmful native mascots, stereotypes and cultural misappropriation. They are fully committed to promoting and establishing a common understanding of what it is to truly honor and respect Indigenous people and their culture. Through their efforts, Not Your Mascots hopes to stress the need for cooperation and unity between educational institutions, the media, like-minded organizations and the general public in helping to create a future in which we can all respect and view each other as human beings.


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Mascotism and the Redskins

I worked on the issue of stereotyping, caricatures, and mascots when I lived in Cleveland. Work remains to do.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

NFL Washington Redskins vs Dallas CowboysThis is my latest Huffington Post called, “Mascotism and the Redskins” co-written with Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Hope we can all work towards building “a Beloved Community where everyone is honored, welcomed, and respected.”

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No turning back

A friend’s post on Facebook today reminds me of the power of racism and of my need to respond.

Describing an experience from earlier today, my friend writes:

A bunch of people in a car just tried to run me off the road while calling me racial slurs and pulling their eyelids at me.

Horrifying. Horrible. Scary. Despicable. Stupidity. All the words shared by my friend’s friends apply.

Other words do as well.

Bigotry. Racism. A call to action.

In particular, people, such as me, who are part of the dominant culture, need to act:

  • To speak when bigotry and hatred rear their heads.
  • To challenge stereotypes in print, on video and wherever they appear.
  • To confront our friends, our families, ourselves when we use or accept stereotypes.
  • To learn the histories and current realities of our brothers and sisters. To learn how those histories shape current realities of our brothers and sisters. And how they shape the current reality of the dominant culture.
  • To take the responsibility to name racism for what it is.
  • To study systems of privilege to understand how they work and how they benefit us and how they can be resisted and dismantled and remade.
  • To consider where we live, where we go to school, how we use our money, who are the professionals who provide services to us, who owns the businesses we support.
  • To remain open to new understandings, new commitments, new challenges, new responsibilities.
  • To recognize that the commitment to seek racial justice lasts a lifetime.

That’s a partial list. Put together quickly. At a moment when my heart aches for a friend. I will revisit it. Amend it. Add to it.

The journey goes on. The struggle continues. There is no turning back.

See you along the Trail.

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The power of words

Words matter.

That’s the message of a recent post by my friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim. She reflects on Bill Maher’s observations about Paula Deen. As one who makes his living using words, Maher reportedly said, “It’s just a word, it’s a wrong word, she’s wrong to use it, but do we always have to make people go away?”

Grace joins a number of people, that apparently include Maher’s guest at the time of his statement, who remind us of the power of words.

As children, we grow up with the schoolyard phrase: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words may never hurt me.” Children say this because they know, too well, that words may hurt them.


If we look back in our lives, we will realize that there were certain words that people said to us that have stuck with us for a long time.


In both cases, my agreement arises from practical, personal experience as well as observation and reflection.

Words have power. Power to degrade. Power to inspire. Power to touch and move. Power to abase and wound.

Totalitarian regimes have long recognized the power of words. When the military junta seized power Chile, they arrested, tortured, and killed Victor Jara. His crime? He used the words of his songs to support the government of Salvador Allende.

As Grace writes:

Words influence our thoughts and our ideas. Words shape how we see the world, by causing us to stress certain things and ignore other things.

Once we realize the power of words, we recognize that we can actually start to embrace one another through words.

Our words should be used for moving us and making us into meaningful people who seek to encourage and motivate others. Once we realize the importance and power of our words, we can become more careful with what we say because we know that what we say matters.

Thanks Grace for your reminder about the power of words. May I choose mine carefully, lovingly, and justly.

See you along the Trail.

P.S. In the pile of books I hope to read soon is The Grace of Sophia by Grace Ji-Sun Kim. I look forward to the read.

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Walking with Russell

We met once.

We did not speak.

But for a few moments, we walked together.

On April 4, 1994, the Cleveland baseball team opened a new stadium.

My friends and colleagues among the indigenous peoples and the antiracism activists of Cleveland have a simple message. People are people. Not mascots. The name and logo of the Cleveland baseball team need to go.

The Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance organized an educational event for the stadium opening. The event included a public witness/demonstration at the new stadium. I attended.

As the stadium opened, we gathered in its shadow. Words were said. Prayers prayed. And then we walked in silence around the stadium.

Russell Means attended the event as one of the speakers. He walked with us. And for a few moments, we walked side-by-side. We made eye contact. We smiled. But no words passed our lips.

Russell, who journeyed to the spirit world early this morning, was a big man. And I walk slowly. I did not keep up for long. But those few moments, I remember, for they were a gift, an honor.

Russell lived a life of courage – working tirelessly and faithfully for the well-being of his people – of all indigenous peoples – of all oppressed peoples – of us all.

I give thanks for his life, his work, and his witness. I give thanks that, for a few moments on one April day in Cleveland, we walked together. I give thanks for all who in any way carry on the struggle for human dignity.

The National Museum of the American Indian will present a symposium: Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports on Thursday, November 1, 2012, 10 AM – 5:45 PM in Washington, D.C. I will not be there, but the event will be Webcast. As my friend Molly suggests, watching – and then taking action – would be an appropriate way to honor Russell Means.

People are people. Not mascots.

See you along the Trail.

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