Really…I couldn’t make this up

Posted: December 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Should they change the mascot?

  1. Rashed says:

    Let them keep the mascot. I honestly don’t see something overly offensive in what they are doing, since they are using the Arab as a mascot they are cheering us to beat the other Americans (Evil Laugh*) Also, the closest town to them is called Mecca and they have a multi million dollar crop of dates that is probably the main benefactor to the town economy, bought from Arabia. However, maybe they should shorten the nose into a normal one.

    • So you are totally fine with the use of “Arabs” as a mascot but they should change the look of the character right? I want to know how they can do that without putting in some kind of stereotype that is offensive? I believe it should be fully changed. The origins of the mascot are explainable but the mascot itself is not because it is offensive and frankly trying to pout a whole region of people with different ethnic heritages into one picture is an idea that is flawed from the start.

      • Also, just to add onto what Will said, the thing that makes the mascot a mascot is the eccentricity of the representation. The mascot’s exotic dress and facial features, and the belly-dancers accompanying him are what make the mascot. Having a ‘realistic’ representation, whatever that might entail, would be rather boring.

    • Rashed, it is not funny. The mascot is a clear offense and it should change!

  2. Juliana Kaldany says:

    I believe that the mascot should be changed. There are just so many things wrong with this, whether or not it should be changed shouldn’t even be a question. The way in which Arabs are represented is ridiculous. A mascot by definition is an animal, person, or thing adopted by a group as its representative symbol and supposed to bring good luck. Usually, school mascots are animals. The school’s claim is that they are “celebrating Arabs and not discriminating”, I call BS. As we saw from the video, the main representative of “the Arabs” as an ugly, old man with a hooked nose and a nasty sneer. This representative is supposed to reflect the claimed to be “celebrated ” Arabs. By using the stereotypical image of the Arabs as a representative they are discriminating. Their cheerleaders belly dance, and their walls are painted with stereotypical Aladdin and Sheikh inspired paintings. The whole school is just a bunch of stereotypes, one after the other.
    They have a bunch of dates trees so they use that to justify their link to the Middle East, also BS. That’s like saying that Barcelona can be represented by Real Madrid because they’re both known for football/soccer. The Middle East is known for importing dates, yes. It is a part of Middle Eastern culture, yes (Ramadan). But just because they happen to live somewhere that has dates doesn’t mean they are legible to represent Arabs AT ALL.
    Mr. L pointed out to me in class that a similar thing happened at another American high school where the mascot was the Native American. He told me that the Native American students weren’t mad, in fact they encouraged it because it meant that people were supporting and celebrating them. I find that completely ridiculous. There is more relevance, of course, than of the usage of Arabs since Native Americans are the natives of that land. But, on one hand, you have the people who killed and stole the land of another people using stereotypes of those people as their mascot. A similar situation that would really hit home is if an Israeli high school had a Palestinian mascot. Would you Palestinians be happy because you’re being “celebrated”?
    This is ridiculous and completely absurd and it should be changed as soon as possible.

  3. salehqadi says:

    I believe that the mascot MUST be changed. It is something that presents the Arabs in a bad, and a very wrong way. Despite the fact that this is completely offensive, but it looks like their intentions were not to offend Arabs, or at least according to what the said. That guy said that he ‘is proud he’s representing the Middle East’ so he thinks he is doing a favor. Also another point, I really believe that ignorance is the key to this, the West are just broadcasting images of Arabs that Arabs themselves believe, so I don’t think the non-Arabs would reject these facts.

    • William Close says:

      Saleh, I also believe it must be changed but your points I find a hard time fully agreeing with. Presenting Arabs in a negative light is totally a reason to change it you are right this attention being given to offensive mascots so that organizations change them is happening from the NFL, with the Washington Redskins, to the school level with offensive school symbols such as these. I think that man was trying to say that they are thanking the Middle East because without the date sales from those offshoots that came from the Middle East at the turn of the 20th century they would not have the economic prosperity they enjoy today. This gives no reason to paint such an offensive picture though and this grotesque image is no way a fair representation of Arabs, the thought of trying to represent an entire region of people in one symbol is obviously a faulted idea that promotes the use of stereotypes (usually negative). Now legally the question is a little different because it involves freedom of speech but when you look at racial discrimination laws that the US has it is clear that this kind of stereotypical depiction is not ok so why is it still up? Now while this kind of thing is not the average school symbol and is totally offensive you can see the defense which is: well how is it bad if being the “Arabs” as a school is something we take pride in. I believe this is no excuse for the symbol but what do you think?

      • salehqadi says:

        I fully agree with you, I just think that these symbols are only offensive to us, but to ignorant people these symbols would not look so offensive because my own interpretation of the guy talk is that he thinks he is doing us good by ‘presenting’ Arabs. The problem here is that he is presenting them in the wrong way, but the way in which he thinks is right. Think about the days before you come here, I bet that some of your people did not know much about the middle east but the stereotypes, so why wouldn’t they believe that these are the real middle easterners? I mean they dont learn about middle east the real things, and most of them have never visited it, or to be more accurate, are even afraid of visiting the region. You just hear about ISIS, the Arab spring, killings, bombings, and you assume it is the whole thing. I think that’s what orientalism is all about, when you dont know much then you would stick with the first thing they would show you. “They cannot represent themselves, they must be represented”. That’s how middle east is represented, and that how they think it is.

      • Mr. L says:

        Should we get rid of all ethnic mascots? Like Notre Dame? What about USC who call themselves the Trojans?

    • Ahmed Al-Nabhani says:

      I do not think it is must that they have to change there mascot they, just need to change the way there charictor looks, because that it the most offensive part of the whole thing, besides they might accept changing they charictor, but there is a high change that they would not accept to change there whole mascot.

  4. Juliana Kaldany says:

    A point I’d like to add on to Saleh’s comment about how they are proud to “represent” the Arabs is that they aren’t even representing Arabs correctly. They are using terrible stereotypes that insult Arabs. The only representation of Arab women are the belly dancers and the representation of the men is the fat hooked nose guy. That is NOT a valid representation of Arabs in any way.

  5. Daniel A. Leal says:

    The manner in which the mascot is represented, as the stereotypical Arab, must be changed but the mascot is part of the identity of Coachella Valley, just as the Arab language is part of the Middle East. I think the Arab mascot can be kept while certain modifications to the manner in which Arab culture is portrayed must occur. The mural for example, should be changed from an Arab woman and man on a flying carpet to possibly some geometric design. However, I must concede that this may still diffuse Orientalism, as it provides a framework for Arab culture which is set by someone who is not part of the culture, yet in terms of accuracy, it could improve. The problem then becomes what is not Orientalism? Maybe Orientalism is an accurate portrayal or it may be modified to more accurately embody the present Arab and “Eastern” culture?

    Did Orientalism naturally happen or was it planned?

  6. I agree with a lot of people in that yeah, it’s fine for them to be proud of being “Arabs”, but it’s just the way they represented the Arabs that is the problem.
    But I cannot help but wonder what would have happened if the mascot was ‘African’ or ‘Asian’ or ‘African-American’? What if the mascot represented Africans with semi-naked tribal clothes and ring-necked women; Asians with kimono-wearing, white-faced Japanese women and half-bald samurais; African-Americans with slum, harlem, hip-hop, basketball, etc.?

    Some may think that these ARE accurate images of these groups of people to some extent, and they are not meant to be offensive. But why are they, though? Why is Orientalism bad?

  7. This is pathetic and disgusting. It doesn’t look like we are in 2014. We speak of the connected world through internet and media, but clearly we’ve used media for ill purposes… We should have numerous Facebook pages, twitter accounts, TV programs, and newspapers to EDUCATE ourselves about each others’ cultures and identities, and remind ourselves that people on the other side of the world aren’t how we are told they are.

    I have no words to say to those who actually think it is honoring the Arab world to portray them as hooked-nosed angry looking retards. You want to admire Arabs and thank them for giving you the palm trees, then respect them by knowing who they are. REALLY!

  8. Faisal.D says:

    To begin with in my opinion its very racist because of the way the mascot looks like the fact that a Arabic mascot in America makes me think as if there making fun of us Arabs because since when do The west like the middle east arnt we terrorist. when I said it racist because of the way the mascot looks the big nose beard and the hata its kind of racist that’s how I saw it but every person has a different perspective of looking at it buts that how I saw it so

  9. Zaid Khalaf says:

    In my opinion i think that the mascot should be changed, because it clearly does not represent an arab man, and many people are offended from it. A mascot is usually an animal or a person, not a whole group of people, and representing them in the worse way possible, so i completely disagree with this and i believe that the mascot should be changed

    • eunsoljun15 says:

      I agree with Zeid that a mascot’s job is to promote the awareness of that group and portraying the Arabs this way in front of a huge crowd isn’t right. I don’t get what makes them think they are “Arab” when they don’t carry any heritage, and why they feel so passionate about it when they barely know what they are representing?

  10. Aqeel Al-Lami says:

    I think that this obviously doesn’t represent arabs in any way, and the mascot should definitely be changed. This doesn’t only show the absurd, ridiculous image us arabs are portrayed in, but also what people in that place think of arabs and I think that the obvious stereotypical mascot makes that clear. The mascot and the belly dancers around him give a false, offensive and idiotic representation of people from various ethnic backgrounds in the Middle East.

  11. Jude Hadadeen says:

    I believe that how the mascot looks like should be changed. The idea that they are proud of their connection to Arabs is quite strange, but fine. What is not okay is how they portrayed a large group of people, the Arabs, through one stereotypical image: a big nose, dark skin etc. Also, the colors of the girls’ outfits and the belly dancers are completely orientalist, and should be changed to something less stereotypical and general.

  12. Juliana Kaldany says:

    It’s quite disturbing how Arabs are portrayed by this as merely a good luck charm.

  13. Xu Zhaoying says:

    I think one of the main reasons why a mascot should be a non-human figure is to avoid being offensive – you can define any animal or whatever as you want, but you really can’t just take an ethnic group and “define” who they are. If the school likes the spirit they’re holding, then they should create a new phrase for that, because this spirit isn’t entirely “Arab”. Why not use belly dancer as a mascot if they want belly dancing charm? Racist people label a group with a certain characteristic, while making Arabs their mascot pushes it one step forward – let’s label a characteristic with an entire group!

    • Mallak Al Husban says:

      I don’t see anything okay with the mascot. It should be fully changed, and I don’t see it as something good for arabs in any way. They’re a group of ignorant people; they’re basically assuming that all arabs wear the hatteh and all arab women are belly dancers. this cannot be justified because there’s no way for this to be anything but racist. Not only it’s offensive, but also disturbing in many ways. it doesn’t represent arabs whatsoever and people who don’t know anything about arabs would assume that all arabs dress like that.

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