More support for changing the name of the NFL team in Washington comes from Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Yesterday, I wrote about how incredibly easy it would be to change the racist name of any kind of team. It’s really not that hard. Imagine the reverse, though. Imagine changing the Vancouver “Canucks” to the Vancouver “Insert racist slur here.” Somewhat inconceivable, so it should be easy to do the reverse, and fix the Washington NFL team name, as well as the other racist team names.
There’s actually a list of racist team names. A few of them even.
If you think the oh-so-rich professional sports leagues are the pure avenues of Everyman in pursuit of recreation in a troubled world, get over yourself. They are brand-obsessed, like all corporations. Some brands stink with their racist team names, logos, mascots and symbols, even though there are those that attempt to reflect positive elements of race [Atlanta Braves?]. A variety of people are saying this: #ChangeTheName and #ChangeTheMascot and that they are #NotYourMascot. Sounds like common sense to me.
But the only “good” reason I’ve ever heard about why some teams need to keep their racist names is…tradition. Maybe I’ve missed a few, but this one is so very sad. Tradition. Slavery was traditional as well. As well as keeping women from voting.
But let’s not only “pick on” Washington [the seat of the government that fought for the emancipation a race from this slavery thing]. Let’s focus on the rest of the teams that have a rich tradition of sporting a racist team name!
Whenever I read stories about corporations wanting to do the right thing, I never hold my breath. Clothing corporations, the sector where “sweatshops” originates, want us to believe they care. They don’t.
Read what nonsense they are trying to peddle to get us off their back for exploiting people so we can have cheap t-shirts. Then, hold your breath for this, scroll all the way to the bottom to see how it comes all the way back to keeping Stephen Harper in power.
Below is a notice of an important event happening on Saturday in Vancouver. If something is labelled as “Made in Israel” but is really made in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank of Palestine, where does it really come from? Nowhere that I would want to buy from. You?
I’m only as free as everyone is free. Don’t tolerate occupation. The boycott alternative information is here.
Nelson Mandela has died, but the memory of his commitment to universal freedom and justice lives on. Mandela championed justice for the oppressed not only of South Africa, but everywhere.
In an address to the ANC in 1997- three years after the demise of apartheid in South Africa – he reminded his listeners of the UN’s strong stand against “this iniquitous system” and how, over time, an international consensus grew which helped bring about its end. Describing the UN’s 1977 inauguration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People as a demonstration of its “recognition that injustice and gross human rights violations were being perpetrated in Palestine,” Mandela added: “But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians . . .”
Hopefully this memory will inspire shoppers to buy responsibly and ethically, as they choose last-minute gifts this Christmastime and “Boxing Week.” That includes refusing to buy SodaStream home carbonation devices, which – although fraudulently labelled “Made in Israel” — are actually produced in the industrial park of the illegal Israeli settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim in the occupied West Bank of Palestine.
Boycotts of SodaStream, already widespread throughout Western Europe and the United States, are now gaining ground in Canada. Independent Jewish Voices–Canada, the United Church of Canada, district and provincial labour councils, student groups, and many others have called on their supporters to refrain from buying SodaStream. In the lower mainland, local affiliates of the Canadian Boycott Coalition for Justice in Palestine/Israel (www.canadianboycottcoalition.ca) and the United Network for Justice in Palestine and Israel (www.UNJPPI.org) have held two public actions so far. The next will be on Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. in front of London Drugs, 525 W. Broadway, Vancouver. Please join us and help spread the word.
As Tyler Levitan, campaigns coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices-Canada, has stated: “It is vitally important that we support nonviolent struggles against systems of mass oppression. The Israeli occupation of Palestine, and the ongoing theft of Palestinian land and resources, is a serious crime that we all must acknowledge.”
It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.
The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at a time, and succinctly, because of the elaborately carved talking stick that moves around the room.
It’s organized by sector, includes background links and we all need to memorize it over the next few months so we know how to get rid of the Conservative Party cancer on Canadian society, whether there’s an election after May 1, 2014, or all the way into 2015.
Lots of us care about deepening relationships with and social/economic/political justice for first peoples. It’s hard to come in, though, sometimes as a person from an oppressor or settler class. But there is a good checklist to make sure we’re actually contributing effectively.