|The World According to Nick|
|My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.|
Monday, August 08, 2005
If we can all agree on one thing (and maybe we can't), it's that one of the basic complaints about "isms" (racism, sexism, religionism, etc.) is that people end up stereotyping someone based on the larger group they belong to. From the old Jim Crow stereotypes, to women being inferior to men, to all members of Islam being terrorists... you get the general idea. There are a lot of people of course trying to fight these stereotypes (as they should), and trying to highlight their use in everyday society. That's fine. What I always find amusing, and really just as bad, is the reverse. What I mean is when an organization that claims to represent said group is naturally assumed to speak for all members of that group. Do all black people agree with the NAACP? Do all women agree with NOW? It seems to be just as bad to think that an individual or small group can't seem to have a separate opinion, based on their own values and experience from the larger group. In essence, it's no better than going back to Jim Crow stereotypes.
The most recent example of this type of thinking is the NCAA's decision to ban college teams with Native American names and mascots from the playoffs. While some may claim this to be an important victory for Native Americans, what I find fascinating is that nobody seemed to consult the actual tribes that were affected. For instance, the Seminoles (the tribe, not the team) is rather incensed over the decision. It seems that they like the nickname:
The Seminoles aren't the only tribes shaking their heads at the NCAA's culturally insensitive decision. Central Michigan University is also asking what the problem is:
To me, it is the highest form of racism, and nannyism to implement a policy that supposedly protects a group's dignity, without even asking that group if it's what they want! The NCAA has decided to treat these tribes like little children, who don't seem to know what's best for them, or what should and shouldn't insult them. Instead of trying to protect them for their own good, how about you ask them what they actually want? That is how you truly honor a people, by letting them decide for themselves.
Now, this one seems to make perfect sense to me. The US government has been treating Native American tribes like children and pretending to know what's best for them for a good 200+ years. The NCAA would be foolish to do something else and pretend that they knew better than Uncle Sam.Post a Comment
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States
I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.
View My Profile
Previous PostsGet Out Your Binoculars
Where Do We Get Our News Now?
Light Blogging Today
This Can't Be Real... Can It?
Captions There Be, Mangled They Are
Property Rights Abound!
This Doesn't Help Google's Reputation
Personal LinksCarnival of the Badger
The Coding Monkey
Blog Critics Reviews
Design By maystar