There is nothing wrong with asking for change, especially when there’s injustice that needs to be met with action. But where do we draw the line, and when do we stop crying victim?
When looking at the Atlanta Braves, we see tradition for the last 55 years. We don’t see the ill intent others do when the stadium rings in unison for the “war chant” when fans are doing the so-called Tomahawk Chop. Even when just listening to it on YouTube the chills that hit are just inspiring. How is it “criminalizing and demoralizing” to the Native American culture? Now, if the team had an Indian mascot chasing a cowboy on the sidelines, it could be considered malicious.
Do we think consideration was taken when naming these teams, yes. Do we think they thought “because we picked this name we get to demoralize it with a mascot,” no.
When we consider naming our children do we think of something they could possibly learn to hate, no. We go out and buy a baby book that has the definitions of what names mean and pick the one that we feel would best suit them.
Of course, looking at it now there are hundreds of teams named after some native background at some point before changing their name. Take a look at PETA wanting the bullpen (where pitchers practice their pitch) to be changed, because that’s what the holding pen for bulls is called before slaughter.
Look at the case of a Native American student who recorded his math teacher as she began chanting, “SohCahToa,” also known as Sine, Cosine, and Tangent, which is a mnemonic for the three main functions of trigonometry. She didn’t stop there — she danced through the classroom chanting and standing on a table in the back of the classroom and eventually made her way to the front where she then praised the rock god and water goddess. Was justice served on a platter for this teacher? Probably not to the extent most would wish for, but she was placed on leave. Now it is up to the school district to ensure this will never happen again.
If every cowboy demanded that the Dallas football team change its name because they aren’t real cowboys and it is insulting, or if every Mexican-American said to stop misappropriating my culture by celebrating a holiday (Día de los Muertos or Cinco de Mayo) that isn’t relevant to your culture, or if every Christian said that Christmas is only for those who believe in Christ, where would the line be drawn?