The Instigator
AndrewB686
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
jvava
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Logos referring to Native Americans should be banned

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
jvava
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,037 times Debate No: 40081
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

AndrewB686

Pro

First Round is Acceptance.

I will be arguing in favor of:

-Any and all logos referring to Native American symbols, cultural aspects, or traditional practices should be banned
-It is offensive and demeaning towards the Native American population
-The Native Americans have already been tormented to an unacceptable and reprehensible degree and that in and of itself should be reason enough to not diminish there significance as an ethnicity anymore

I look forward to this debate and am eager to express my opinion in detail and wish to humbly thank anyone who will be kind enough to accept my debate.
jvava

Con

Hello. I am glad to be debating with you.

I am against the banning of Native American logos. It is pointless, in my opinion.

Looking forward to a great debate. May the voters decide who wins in the end.
Debate Round No. 1
AndrewB686

Pro

First off, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my offer to debate this controversial topic. I also hope to continue this debate in a civilized manner and am eager to hear what you have to say as well.

My arguments:

1. It should be considered mockery

-They are distorting the Native Americans, plain and simple. The act of reducing and minimizing an ethnicity or a practice that is an intrinsic aspect of their culture is, in actuality, portraying it as nothing more than a token of identification for something as trivial as sports.

-I am an atheist as well as a vegetarian. If a mascot were to be created that portrayed an "evil" or "demonic" figure who does not believe in god or a vegetable prancing around a stadium, I would take offense to that. Taking something that is regarded as sacred, such as a tribal attire or dance, and misrepresenting it should not be condoned.

http://youtu.be......
http://youtu.be......

-Those two videos are prime examples of how white men have distorted the sacred beliefs and traditions of a long-forgotten race.

-I believe mascots referencing ethnicities or races in any manner that does not accurately represent them should be illegal and a hate crime, that is what I seek to defend in my following arguments.

(Also the reason a lot of people would find the aforementioned decision to label such mascots as illegal to be incoherent is due to the fact that Native Americans are not well represented in any aspect of society.)

2. Would only perpetuate their suffering

-The Native Americans have already been tormented to an unacceptable and reprehensible degree and that in and of itself should be reason enough to not diminish there significance as an ethnicity anymore.

-The Native Americans have been treated as if they are not people but instead savages, and therefore I believe using their beliefs and traditions as playthings to be culpable to the highest degree.

http://avalon.law.yale.edu......

-The above link lists all the treaties that have been formed between the United States government (not including all the agreements formed BEFORE the birth of the United States as a sovereign nation) and the tribes that inhabited the land. Of all those treaties (totaling over 500), every single one has been broken.

-The Native Americans are also the only race to be regulated by an agency under the jurisdiction of the United States. (The Bureau of Indian Affairs.) They are also confined to reservations where white farmers have the ability to purchase the lands from the federal government WITHOUT the consent of the Native Americans.

(I will provide a source for the previous statement in the next round)

(I will also expound upon my arguments mentioned above in the next round)
jvava

Con

I am against the banning of Native American logos for several reasons.

1. Indians represent bravery, courage, and fighting.

Sports teams names themselves after tribes to affiliate themselves with tough characteristics that are required to play sports: bravery, courage, fighting skills, etc. These names are not derogatory but are rather a way to pay respect to the Native American people.

"Karl Swanson, vice-president of the Washington Redskins professional football team, declared in the magazine Sports Illustrated that his team's name "symbolizes courage, dignity, and leadership," and that the "Redskins symbolize the greatness and strength of a grand people."

I pulled this from http://en.wikipedia.org....

2. Cultural promotion.

The use of Native American team names brings a special significance to the local Native American population that some may not be aware of. Take, for instance, the Florida State Seminoles - most wouldn't know where the Seminoles lived had it not been for the team naming.

"I believe it is acceptable if used in a way that fosters understanding and increased positive awareness of the Native-American culture. And it must also be done with the support of the Native-American community. There is a way to achieve a partnership that works together to achieve mutually beneficial goals."
-Steven Denson, director of diversity for Southern Methodist University and member of the Chickasaw nation

This statement is also pulled from that website. This quote simply states that if done in an appropriate and respectful manner, Native American logos are acceptable and should not be banned. And, currently, I believe that it is being done in an acceptable manner - they aren't saying anything disrespectful about the Natives. They simply named their teams after them.

A majority of Native Americans aren't offended.

"A survey conducted in 2002 by Sports Illustrated (SI) found that 81 percent of Native Americans who live outside traditional Indian reservations and 53 percent of Indians on reservations did not find the images discriminatory. The authors of the article concluded that "Although most Native American activists and tribal leaders consider Indian team names and mascots offensive, neither Native Americans in general nor a cross section of U.S. sports fans agree. According to the article, There is a near total disconnect between Indian activists and the Native American population on this issue."

"In 2004, a poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania had a similar result to the Sports Illustrated poll's findings, concluding that 91% of the 768 American Indians surveyed in the 48 states on the mainland USA found the name "Redskins" acceptable.["

Pulled from the website.

A majority of Native Americans do not find the use of these mascots offending so why eradicate them on the basis that they might be offensive? Why eradicate something thought to be offensive when, in fact and in statistics, it isn't offensive at all?

Team naming.

Some tribes have promoted the idea of football teams being named after their tribe. The Ute Tribe approved the use of the name "Utes" by the University of Utah.

"The Central Michigan University nickname, the Chippewas, was originally placed on the “hostile or abusive” list but was removed when the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation of Michigan gave its support to the nickname."

"The University of North Dakota's former athletic logo, a Native American figure, was recently dropped. Due to the NCAA's perception that the term "Fighting Sioux" and the accompanying logo are offensive to native Americans, the NCAA pressured the university to discontinue use of the logo.[123] When UND moved in the fall of 2009 to change its nickname, one of the two Sioux tribal councils in the state sued to have the name retained."

Pulled from that website.

Many tribes support the concept of being the name of a football team. Why ban it if many tribes support it - and a majority of Native Americans support it as well.

The concept of Native American naming of teams being offensive doesn't make much sense to me when a majority of Native Americans are fine with it.
Debate Round No. 2
AndrewB686

Pro

This is the round in which I will form rebuttals to my opponent's arguments.

1."Indians represent bravery, courage, and fighting."

-The reason this does not justify the use of Native Americans as logos is because it is perpetuating a stereotype.

"Depictions of mighty warriors of the past emphasize a tragic part of our history; focusing on wartime survival, they ignore the strength and beauty of our cultures during times of peace. Many Indian cultures view life as a spiritual journey filled with lessons to be learned from every experience and from every living being. Many put high value on peace, right action and sharing."

-The above passage is from the book "everything's an argument" page 626 from an essay entitled "Common Themes and Questions about the Use of 'Indian' Logos".

-By continually portraying the so called "Indians" as an aggressive and belligerent people, we are misrepresenting their culture. The plethora of tribes and societies of the Native Americans, for the most part, do not promote war, instead, as the above passage asserts, their culture is at its most elegant and majestic when every aspect is understand in its entirety, as opposed to focusing on the "popular" perception of their existence.

2. "Cultural Promotion"

-It is not the prerogative of the Caucasian race to promote a culture that we do not fully understand. No matter how "honorable" it is to represent them in the manner in which we perceive to be best, we will inevitably and, understandably, unintentionally distort the true nature of their society and tradition. Allow them to perpetuate their own practices.

"The responsibility for the continuance of our culture falls to Native people. We accomplish this by surviving, living and thriving; and, in so doing, we pass on to our children our stories, traditions, religions, values, arts and our languages. We sometimes do this important work with people from other cultural backgrounds, but they do not and cannot continue our cultures for us. Our ancestors did this work for us, and we continue to carry the culture for the generations to come. Our cultures are living cultures - they are passed on, not 'preserved.'"

The above passage is from the book "everything's an argument" page 628 from the aforementioned essay entitled "Common Themes and Questions about the Use of 'Indian' Logos".

I will group 3. "A majority of Native Americans aren't offended." and 4. "Team naming" together for the sake of time.

"Undermining the educational experiences of members of all communities-especially those who have had little or no contact with Indigenous peoples. The symbols, images and mascots teach non-Indian children that it's acceptable to participate in culturally abusive behavior and perpetuate inaccurate misconceptions about American Indian culture."

"Establishes an unwelcome and often times hostile learning environment for American Indians students that affirms negative images/stereotypes that are promoted in mainstream society."

http://www.apa.org...

-Whether or not those who were polled agree that mascots should stay is irrelevant. The dramatic effect that is the result of bias and prejudice has been created by the above stated misrepresentation. Teen suicide rates among the native are several times higher than the national average and the average Native American man will only live to be 45. The systematic genocide that has and is occurring in the United States has resulted in the decimation of approximately 95% of the Native American population. They are suffering. They have been devalued and deemed unworthy of living as autonomous citizens. If they did, then the Bureau of Indian Affairs would be eradicated from our federal government and the freest forms of prison known as reservations would not exist either.
jvava

Con

Indians represent bravery, courage, and fighting.

Although Native American logos may depict only Natives during wartime, it is for good reason: the team is in battle. Not a military battle, but rather a sports battle.

Nobody would pick a people or person who represent cowardice, weakness, etc. They choose Native Americans because of their courage, bravery, and fighting skills. Their cultures may be different when in peacetime; however, teams choose Natives because they are in a sports battle.

Teams are not demeaning Natives in any way. And if they are, which they certainly are not, it is simply stereotype. And is this so-called stereotype any more vicious than "blacks like fried chicken" or "all Asians are smart"? No!

Should we remove the spokeswoman for Popeye's because she is black and represents a stereotype? No. Should we ban extra-credit for those of Asian descent because it represents a stereotype? No!

Native American cultures may be different in peacetime; however, the reason they are depicted so in sports because they are in a battle - whether football, baseball, etc. Natives are chosen because of their bravery, courage, and ability to fight. They were a challenge for a race that dominated everything over 200 years ago - that is quite impressive! Natives should be remembered in this way.

This stereotype you speak of is not in place, and if it was it would be no more vicious than a black woman representing a fried-chicken company or an Asian doing extra-credit.

Cultural Promotion.

Let me say that you started with a stereotype.

"It is not the prerogative of the Caucasian race to promote a culture that we do not fully understand."

The Caucasian race is not the only race involved in the naming of Native teams. If your argument is that stereotypes are hurtful and diminish society, you just blew your stance.

Second, many tribes in North America support this cultural promotion with team names.

"The University of North Dakota's former athletic logo, a Native American figure, was recently dropped. Due to the NCAA's perception that the term "Fighting Sioux" and the accompanying logo are offensive to native Americans, the NCAA pressured the university to discontinue use of the logo. When UND moved in the fall of 2009 to change its nickname, one of the two Sioux tribal councils in the state sued to have the name retained."

"The Central Michigan University nickname, the Chippewas, was originally placed on the “hostile or abusive” list but was removed when the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation of Michigan gave its support to the nickname."

http://en.wikipedia.org......

The Ute Tribe approved the use of the name "Utes" by the University of Utah. And there have been many more tribes that have fought this same battle.

What I'm arguing is that a majority of Native Americans, and tribes, do not find the use of Native American logos offensive; why do those outside of the Native race, such as Caucasians, think it is?

"Whether or not those who were polled agree that mascots should stay is irrelevant."

I think it is relevant. It shows that a majority of Native Americans are not offended by the use of Native logos - why, then, do Indian activists fight for something that the Natives don't even find offensive? Why are they standing up for something that the people they are defending don't even find offensive?

It doesn't make much sense to me.

"The dramatic effect that is the result of bias and prejudice has been created by the above stated misrepresentation."

It polled those that lived on reservations and those that don't. It polled only Native Americans.

The point of a survey is to be a sample. Not the whole, but a sample of the whole. Until we have a vote of all Native Americans on this issue, neither you nor I will know for certain whether this was a misrepresentation. Though, I do think it speaks for itself - 81 percent of those living outside reservations and 53 percent living on reservations did not find the use of these logos offensive.

How are for certain that this was a misrepresentation?

"Teen suicide rates among the native are several times higher than the national average and the average Native American man will only live to be 45."

Prove this, please. And if it was true, which I doubt, then please find someway to tie it to the use of Native American sports logos.

They have been devalued and deemed unworthy of living as autonomous citizens.

In the past, yes - but so were African-Americans as slaves. In the present, however, we have seen the error of our ways and have worked strenuously to rebuild relationships between races. In my opinion, it has been too much - but still, in the present, we believe or at least act as if every race is equal, including Native Americans.
Debate Round No. 3
AndrewB686

Pro

1. "Indians represent bravery, courage, and fighting."

-It does not matter what venue you represent them in! The practices and traditions that you are portraying are still sacred and you are demeaning them by perpetuating a stereotype. Cowardice and weakness are not equitable to peace whatsoever, and imitating their war dances and attire during battle is still degrading them whether you realize it or not.

"And is this so-called stereotype any more vicious than "blacks like fried chicken" or "all Asians are smart"? No!"

-Those stereotypes are not perpetuated on a national scale and do not degrade those races in any manner. Blacks do enjoy fried chicken, and a large portion of Asians are indeed smart, but it is a false analogy to compare those examples with something as integral to the Native Americans as life and death and attempting to protect their livelihood, which is exactly what happens when we allow schools to present mascots that represent such practices.

-I have already addressed the majority of my opponents arguments but I do wish to address your disbelief that Natives are suffering and your belief that they are treated as equals.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

An analysis of Wisconsin suicide data from 1999 to 2008 by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism found:
a02;The overall suicide rate among Native Americans was 16 deaths per 100,000 people " at least 25 percent higher than Wisconsin"s overall rate of about 12 deaths per 100,000.
a02;The suicide rate among native people was significantly higher than rates for the other ethnic and racial groups " including about 12 per 100,000 for whites, 9 for Asians, 7 for blacks, and 6 for Hispanics.
a02;Menominee County, dominated by the Menominee Indian Reservation with a majority Native American population, had the highest suicide rate of any Wisconsin county with nearly 30 deaths per 100,000 " two times higher than the national rate for non-Hispanic Native Americans.

-The above is from http://www.wisconsinwatch.org...

http://www.teenhelp.com...
http://www.seattlepi.com...
http://tempxyp2440ym0wn.blogspot.com...

-I would kindly ask you to read those articles and then tell me if you disbelieve my earlier claims.

-Finally, Native are by no means considered equal. The fact that they are still required to live on reservations and are regulated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs should be proof; however, I will provide more if needed.

http://www.progressive.org...
http://socyberty.com...
http://clevelandsearch.com...

-As before, please read those articles that explain in detail how unfairly the Native Americans are treated in today's world.

-I feel as if I have adequately defended my position and wish the best to my opponent as well as thank him for taking part in this informative debate.
jvava

Con

You provide some good points, but I believe that my stance is more logical.

I would like to sum up my side of the argument to voters. I am against the banning of Native American logos in sports and other such industries because it is not degrading them in any way. It is promoting their culture and displaying their attributes such as bravery, courage, and fighting skills. My opponent argued that it is no job of the Caucasian race to promote the Native race. If his argument was anti-stereotype, he just came to an assumption, a stereotype: not everybody involved in Native American logos is Caucasian. In fact, some tribes, as I pointed out earlier, have fought for and have sued to have sports teams named after their tribe. My opponent's argument is that it is offensive to all Native Americans - which can be proved false. According to a survey done a few years ago, 81 percent of Natives living off of reservations and 53 percent living on reservations did not find their use offensive. So why are Indian activists concerned that their use might offend Native Americans?

Because - according to my opponent - they distort the culture of Native Americans, which I disagree with. The logos might focus heavily upon Native culture during times of battle, but that it because they are in battle - a sports battle! And if they did, somehow, distort their culture, it would be nothing more than a stereotype. And stereotypes are found everywhere - in a black woman speaking about fried chicken, in an Asian doing homework. In Muslims being stereotyped as terrorists. The list goes on and on. Yet my opponent does not believe those are offensive as the use of Native logos - which, I already stated, are not offensive to a majority of Native Americans. It is not demeaning to Native culture, and if it were, it would be nothing more than a stereotype.

My opponent stated that the use of Native American logos demeans them, because we don't think of Indian lawyers, doctors, etc. Let me state that this is for good reason - sports teams don't want some lawyer or a doctor as their mascot! They want someone memorable, someone that represents bravery, courage, fighting, etc.

Lastly, my opponent stated that Native American suicide is up above any other race. He failed to correlate this to the use of Native American logos. He stated that reservations and the Bureau of Indian Affairs is also to blame. Let me remind him, and the voters, that we were debating on the topic of Native American logos - not reservations and the Bureau. He failed to correlate it to the use of Native American logos - which I asked him to do.

Simply, I believe that if a Native American tribe don't want their name used for a sports team, they have a right to say "No!" But if a team wants their name to be that of a sports team, and the team is willing to do so, than they should have the ability to make an agreement. My opponent wishes to ban these logos entirely. I believe that a majority of Native Americans and tribes would disagree - and therefore, their use should not be banned.

Vote for the debater who made the more logical argument.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Oromagi 3 years ago
Oromagi
AndrewB686jvavaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments to Con, although I tend towards Pro's position. Since Pro is proposing a ban on longstanding traditions, the burden is on Pro to demonstrate greater harm than good. Pro never really nailed down the scope or terms of his proposed ban. Why only logos, for example? The conditions of the debate were wide ranging, but mascots, team names, tomahawk chops, etc weren't really defined as being in or out of the discussion. Pro demonstrated the plight of Native Americans ably enough, but never solidly connected the use of Indian themed logos to increased harm. When Con countered with findings that many Native Americans did not feel slighted by the stereotypes, Pro continued to argue that stereotypes are bad and that Native Americans are oppressed. Pro needed then to identify a cultural harm beyond the limits of the Native American Community or counter the findings. Pro did neither. Nevertheless, the debate was closer than 3-0 might suggest. Good Topic!
Vote Placed by Adam2 3 years ago
Adam2
AndrewB686jvavaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Actually now that I see it, it's hard because both of them are equally convincing.