Civil Rights Group Says School’s Arab Mascot Reinforces Stereotypes

Samantha Schaefer and Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2013

A civil rights group is urging Coachella Valley High School to eliminate its official mascot, the “Arab,” saying the school is reinforcing ethnic stereotypes.

In a letter sent Nov. 1 to the Coachella Valley Unified School District superintendent, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee writes that the caricature of the Arab perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans.

The Arab is a man with a large nose and heavy beard wearing a kaffiyeh, a traditional Arab head covering, the letter says. At sporting events, a student dressed as the mascot makes an appearance with a woman dressed as a belly dancer performing next to him, and the mascot’s face is featured prominently at the school’s athletic facilities.

The mascot dates back to the 1920s when the school began competing in athletics, and was adopted to recognize the importance of the date industry in the area. It also “fit in perfectly with the neighboring towns of Mecca, Oasis, Arabia, and Thermal,” according to a description from the school’s alumni association.

{snip}

The civil rights group said it understands the context in which the mascot was chosen, but those reasons are not justifiable in the 21st century. The Washington Redskins, for example, were named during a time when there was no racial tolerance, said Abed Ayoub, director of legal and policy affairs for the committee.

{snip}

The organization ran the image of the Arab by other supporters to get a sense of how the community reacted when it first heard about the mascot, and the overwhelming opinion was that it was offensive, he said. The committee has also posted an online petition on its website calling for the school to reconsider the name, mascot and logo.

Darryl Adams, superintendent for Coachella Valley Unified School District, said it was the first time he has heard criticism of the mascot in his 25-year career.

{snip}

The district has had preliminary conversations with the anti-discrimination committee, he said, and will meet with the group’s attorney after the issue is discussed at its Nov. 21 school board meeting.

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  • NeanderthalDNA

    Looks like we have “professional Arabs” at work. Wow. Have they nothing better to do than obnoxiously TELL us what we can and can’t do and say?

    • JDInSanD

      Well they could try reforming their so-called religion but that would be a total bloodbath. That’s why they focus their rage on all things “other.”

      And the kid in the Arab costume is probably a Mexican.

    • Oil Can Harry

      These professional protesters don’t realize that the Arab mascot and the belly dancer actually portray their community in a sympathetic light.

      • sbuffalonative

        How does this reinforce a stereotype? Maybe if he had a bomb strapped to his chest…

  • KevinPhillipsBong

    I can almost imagine someone standing up at one of these protests and shouting, “Yeah, white people should only have white heroes.” Umm…

  • JohnEngelman

    This reinforces Arab stereotypes too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYn_6NjcopY

    • NeanderthalDNA

      And a bone in her nose, ho ho…

      HA HA!

  • Spartacus

    Can you please kick the pedophile worshipers out of your country ?

  • This is a stereotype? Wouldn’t it need a scimitar and a severed head for that to be the case?

  • Alexandra1973

    I have to wonder about ANY team that’d have a Muslim as a mascot.

    • NoMosqueHere

      If the arab mascot is designed to strike fear in competing teams, they might as well go whole hog and strap a suicide vest on him.

      • bilderbuster

        That Arab wouldn’t scare the Hebrew Academy Shylocks a bit.

    • SFLBIB

      I’m familiar with that area; it is a desert, and the Arab was obviously selected to fit in with the desert theme, not a religious one. One town, Twenty-nine Palms, even has an annual date festival when people show up in Arab attire. They even have live camels.

  • NoMosqueHere

    The arabs wouldn’t complain if the arab mascot wore a “Death to Israel” t-shirt.

    • Alexandra1973

      Come to think of it, neither would a lot of Stormfront types.

      I’m almost to Jews what John Engelman is to the Chinese…except Jews need to be in their own homeland (and kick out the so-called Palestinians, because that IS their land).

      I support not the *state* of Israel but the *nation* of Israel. Two different things.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        I support the existence of the state of Israel morally but not necessarily financially.

        • NoMosqueHere

          The US should not give Israel any foreign aid money. It’s a lose lose arrangement. American loses bc, inter alia, the money should be used for the benefit of americans. Israel loses bc because the primary purpose of the aid is to bribe Israel to give its precious land away to muslim terrorist thugs (so called land for peace, and the peace is illusory). The arrangement is based on cynicism and corrosive to both countries.

          • NeanderthalDNA

            I agree in spirit I guess, but if giving some bling or weaponry to Israel REALLY resulted in a outcome beneficial to us both (mainly to US because I am part of the group known as US, but to Israel too because they are no idiots and look out for their own)…um, where was I?

            Oh, yeah, I mean under the right circumstances (like some Islamo state goes completely bonkers and needs to be put down), sure, schlep the Hebrews some stuff if we can outsource the pounding to them. They’re over there and the Islamos hate them already even more than they hate US.

            But they have nukes and pound for pound militarily combine the destructive and operational capacity of Nazi Germany with the intelligence and coverts capacity of the Brits at their late apogee. So they shouldn’t need a lot of our bling. But if they do and it benefits us, sure.

            That ugly way of thinking is how it really is, you know?

      • Jackryanvb

        It’s been a foolish dream that Jews in the Diasporah would voluntarily move to a Jewish homeland.

        Think Sheldon Adelson, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagin, Ruth Bader Ginzberg, Tim Wise, Maury Povitch, Steven Spielberg think these folks want to give up what they have here, leave us, leave our women alone to go off to some small country in the Middle East surrounded by Muslim terrorists and ugly women that wear burkahs?

        This is like some pipe dream that the worst Blacks in the US would actually do the Marcus Garvey pan and move back to Africa.

        • NoMosqueHere

          Well, mating between jews and gentiles in America is a 2 way street. The ugly stereotype is of jewish men preying upon innocent white gentile girls. I doubt that’s true; white american women are pretty independent and know what they want. Also, I know many white guys who have dated or married jewish girls. Any some jewish girls I have known prefer gentile guys. It’s a complicated issue.

          • jackryanvb

            virtually all men ini the world desire the Nordic, blond trophy wife/girlfriend. Black African UN Consular Generals, Tiger Woods, French Cameroon tennis stars, Arab Muslim owner of Harrods Department store, Jewish Hollywood Directors (Steven Spielberg, ), Billy Joel (His daughter with Nordic supermodel Christie Brinkley is hideously ugly), everybody wants a White trophy wife, GF, or now that Islam is back invading our White countries – White slaves, concubines – read up on the Ottomon Turkish Muslims policy towards conquered Whites.

        • Blue-eyed Devil

          Honest Abe wanted the darkies to go back to Africa, too.

      • IstvanIN

        And the difference between a nation and a state? Are you advocating a Jewish-only nation in what is now Israel or a floating nation of Jews co-located with us?

        • Alexandra1973

          Jewish-only nation. Run for the benefit of the Jews–which the state of Israel is not.

          The powers that be that REALLY run Israel (hint: not Jews) take advantage of Genesis 12:3 which states: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

          You have these evangelicals (and dare I add, flag-waving jingoists) that are tricked into supporting the state of Israel because of that verse.

          Just like the same bunch (cabal, whatever you want to call it) takes advantage of patriotism. But what some people consider patriotism, I consider flag-waving jingoism. And these jingoists have NO idea what true patriotism is.

      • NoMosqueHere

        If the white rights movement ultimately fails, it will be because normal decent whites could not stomach the inclusion of the genocidal nazis, such as stormfront people.

    • blight14

      I must be part ‘Arab’…………..allegedly……….

  • Sick of it

    He has a rather large nose as well.

    • M.

      Semitic people tend to have big noses. That’s not a false stereotype; that’s an accurate one.

      • Blue-eyed Devil

        He’s probably an oil tycoon and he can’t afford to buy a package of razors.

  • Sensitivity Training

    Even the N-word can’t reinforce stereotypes as firmly as charges of “White privilege.”

  • Sensitivity Training

    I demand that blacks embrace Diversity and start dressing like that.

  • sbuffalonative

    I can see why Arabs are upset. The mascot has a mustache that’s pointing up. It’s a false stereotype. Maybe they can turn it downward to accurately represent Arabs as they are.

    • Blue-eyed Devil

      They do the same garbage with Italians. The smiling, fat chef with the big, curly black mustache. Or the old Italian ‘Mama’ on food packaging.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    My my, isn’t diversity fun folks? We get to watch our culture get picked apart piece by piece and publicly discarded with as much disdain as they can possibly muster. We get the privilege, indeed a white privilege, to witness the founders of our Nation reduced to little more than racist slave masters.

    You know, back when I was just a little kid and quite naive regarding the obviously destructive effects that multiculturalism and our obsession with diversity is having upon our Nation. I used to think that the people who first created, pushed and are still pushing these ideas of multiculturalism and diversity. Did so in the genuine belief that things would all work out right and would actually usher in the age of universal peace and brother hood.

    However, seeing time and time again the ever increasing friction, hatred and massive erosion of America’s identity. It had become clear to me that the people who created these suicidal fades in America. Did so with the absolute intention to sow the seeds of destruction within America herself. And I must admit they’re doing one hell of a job in fulfilling that task.

  • Defiant White

    I’m confused . . . which one is the mascot in the photo up above, the mutt on the left or the mud on the right?

  • SFLBIB

    “Hollywood High’s macho mascot is The Sheik, based on the Rudolph Valentino silent film of the 1920s…”

    Why haven’t they changed it? There is a brand of condom called “Sheik”.

  • SFLBIB

    Maybe they should change their mascot to “The Crusaders”.

    • Aaron997

      If they did that, people would accuse them of glorifying the Crusaders, even though they’re currently “making fun” of Arabs.

      Don’t think about it too much, you’ll get a stroke.

      • SFLBIB

        It is really not that difficult. We all know it has to do with political correctness which is the denial of truth that conflicts with ideology. In this case, we assume truth is that naming your team after a tribe or clan of some sort is an insult to that tribe or clan. Logical consistency says if that is true, then calling yourself “Crusaders” is an insult to real crusaders. But liberals would say no, that conflicts with liberal ideology, i.e., that crusaders are bad people impossible to insult. So some denial of truth must be called upon to reconcile the two cases. Hence liberal logic, AKA “political correctness.”

  • SFLBIB

    Hey, waitaminnit. Wait one cotton-pickin’ minnit. Why haven’t the PC police gone after GM for having a car named after an Indian, Pontiac?

    • There is also Boeing Defense, current producers of the AH-64 Apache helicopter gunship. Come to think of it, most US military helicopters seem to be named after Amerind tribes: Chinook, Kiowa, Cayuse, and the (cancelled) Comanche. Someone stop the racist horror!

      • Bossman

        I’m sure an American Indian would be upset by you using the ill-defined term “Amerind” to describe his people.

        • I’m 3/16 Amerind: Cherokee and Tuscarora, so I’ll be sure to give a rip someday.

        • Beloved Comrade

          American Indians sure aren’t offended at taking our hard-earned money are they? Or taking advantage of all kinds of perks the US government throws at them tax-free.
          The conquered should live so well.

    • IstvanIN

      Actually the Pontiac car was named after the city that its builder, the Oakland Motor Company subsidiary of GM, was headquartered in. So you have to go after the city because the city was named after chief Pontiac, although Pontiac did eventually use the profile of Chief Pontiac as its mascot before switching to an arrowhead. But Pontiac has been gone for a few years now.

      • MikeofAges

        It’s worse than anyone knows. When Jesse Jackson was running in the Democratic primaries back in the 1980s, the Secret Service gave him the code name “Pontiac”. Discerning the racist connotations of the word became a small industry.

    • Bossman

      Cadillac was also an American Indian chief.

  • GOD

    That mascot has me in tears!!!! The angry face is hysterical!! Maybe it’s supposed to be a smile?

  • Bossman

    Do Arabs themselves find such an image offensive? Present-day Gulf Arabs still dress that way.

  • panjoomby

    all teams should be called “the whites.”
    & all mascots should be a white guy.
    even if the whole team is black.

    • Beloved Comrade

      Sort of like the Knicks in New York? Or the Fighting Irish? I agree, name ’em all after White heroes.

  • MikeofAges

    Maybe they should change their mascot name to the “Seals”. But seriously, folks. In California, some years ago they forbid new high schools from being named after persons and from adopting animal names or names of peoples or ethnic groups as their mascot names. One new high schools named their athletic teams the “Thunder”. But isn’t that demeaning to the worshipers of Jupiter, Zeus, Woden and Thor and the living descendants of the same? I know they’re going to say they are merely alluding to the idea of a loud noise, but we know better. Because they told us so. There is hidden bias in literally everything.

    • IstvanIN

      On a positive note does that mean there won’t be a HS named after President BO?

      • MikeofAges

        Not in California, apparently. Unless some district gets a waiver, or defies Big Brother. Or is it Big Sister?

        • Beloved Comrade

          There are already schools named after BO and several are in California, LA and Oakland specifically. Elementary schools named “BO Elementary” in Maryland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Oakland. BO High schools are in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. More listed here: http://en // wikipedia // org/wiki/List_of_things_named_after_Barack_Obama#Schools

          • MikeofAges

            Don’t know the situation entirely, but no general high schools in California are named after him as of yet. When a new high school was built in the district I lived in, it was reported in the media that new high schools could not be named after persons nor animal names used for the athletics teams or mascots. The new high school, opened in 2001, actually adopted Thor as its mascot. Although I identify as German and Jewish-American, I am one-quarter Scandinavian, and I am can tell you that I am absolutely outraged over this insult to my roots and heritage in the European barbarian past. There may be active Norse worshipers at that. There are Druids you know. And Wiccans.

            The government has no right to declare any belief extinct, or judge the motives of its adherents.

  • IstvanIN

    We would be better off with neither.

  • Beloved Comrade

    But it’s OK for the Wayans bros. to dress up as “stereotypical” white chicks while everyone laughs hysterically. Don’t like it (we’re told) YOU don’t have a sense of humor. We whites dress up as blacks and condemned nationwide and national news for days on end. Ask the frats that have been severely disciplined or disenfranchised for black or Mexican -themed parties.

    • Blue-eyed Devil

      Ted Danson was lynched in the media for wearing blackface some years ago. This was when he was dating Whoopie Goldberg. Montel Williams (who has a White wife) was so offended he stormed out. It was a celebrity roast if I remember correctly.

  • Blue-eyed Devil

    I fail to see anything inherently racist about the mascot. He’s dressed in traditional Arab garb. Those cheerleaders look sexy BTW.