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 of 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!
Having spent some time recently examining the NHL’s and NHLPA’s collective negligence about headshots, I was inspired to address the homophobia that surrounds hockey fandom last night. Sure the Canucks lost, but before that, someone called them a bunch of faggles in Twitterland. How did that all go down, and what hope is there that the NHL actually cares about combating mindless, ignorant bigotry and homophobia? Read about it after the jump.
Primarily, they are the kind of community-enriching organization that is creating the dynamic social fabric for a caring Canada in the 21st century:
We are challenging HIV and changing women’s lives. Our vision, Action and Leadership on Women and HIV/AIDS, fuels our work in British Columbia and across Canada, improving medical care and social realities for women living with HIV.
Set predominantly in the spectacular Eastern Cape of South Africa, Themba: A boy called Hope is the moving story of a young Xhosa boy who dreams of being a soccer star and longs for his absent father to return home. His journey takes him across the nine provinces of South Africa, in a truthful film about HIV, the stigma and challenges attached.
Well, simply, VIFF is VIFF. Plus, they’re partnering with Reel Causes:
VIFF’s Vancity Theatre is the new home for REEL CAUSES events. VIFF has a strong history of presenting excellent, relevant, cause-related documentaries during the 16-day International Festival and throughout the year at the Vancity Theatre. Sharing the understanding that film has an incredible power to enlighten, inspire and to stimulate action, VIFF is excited to support this worthwhile endeavour.
This the kind of event that has a community-building multiplier effect. Not only do we get to enjoy the art and politics of an award-winning South African film, we get to endorse a community cooperation model that creates relationships, bonds and networks between different groups of people in the variety of our intersecting personal networks.
And just to add to the community enrichment, the film is followed by a chat with the directory, Stefanie Sycholt, via Skype from South Africa: the kind of thing we are used to with VIFF events.
Once upon a time, I remember watching an amazing film about the role of music in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony. It inspired a poem about political decay in BC called A Song for Campbell Township. It was my calling card at a number of poetry and political events leading up to the 2005 provincial election. The intersection of art, human empowerment and cooperation of community groups is a powerful synergy.
Our job is to water the seeds of community fabric by supporting these events. We’re all richer for it, and in ways we can’t even predict.
So please share the news of this event with your people and in your social media networks.
De-Spinning the Political and Re-Spinning it for Social, Economic and Political Justice