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Caravanfan's avatar

How is the Atlanta Braves tomahawk chant not racist?

Asked by Caravanfan (10873points) 1 month ago

The Cleveland Indians have gotten rid of Chief Wahoo. The Washington Football team changed their name from the obviously racist prior term. The Braves haven’t changed anything and they have that stupid tomahawk chant. How is that not racist?

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20 Answers

smudges's avatar

I can’t answer your question specifically, but I do have a Native American friend, and that exact subject came up just 2 weeks ago. She shrugged and said it didn’t bother her, and the other sports’ teams mascots didn’t either. I think basically she thought that there are much more important issues to get upset about.

Irukandji's avatar

Yes, it’s racist. Yes, it should go.

@smudges This should be stating the obvious, but your friend does not represent all Native Americans. Also, “there are bigger things to worry about” isn’t really a good excuse for not worrying about bad things. Genocide is worse than murder, but I still want murders investigated.

smudges's avatar

P.S. But imo, it is kind of racist. Yes @Irukandji, I agree, there are probably many Native Americans, as well as others, like Caucasians, who are offended by it. I didn’t mean to speak for all by posting my friend’s opinions.

JLeslie's avatar

All along there have been Native Americans who weren’t offended by some of the mascots, but I’m assuming most Native Americans were and that’s why we are changing the names. Probably, the Braves eventually will be changed, but is it a negative connotation? As far as the Tomahawk chant that might very well be just too far, but why exactly? Because the Native Americans don’t want their legacy to be scalpings? I can understand that.

I have to admit I don’t see how some of the mascots and chants were racist, but I’m perfectly willing to accept they are, because if a group is offended I say change it.

Fighting Irish, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves, those all seem similar to me…I’ve pointed out that Florida State is still the Seminoles with the approval of the tribe, and the mascot still wears the Indian headdress.

Caravanfan's avatar

To be clear, I’m not talking about the Braves’ mascot which I do NOT think is racist. I’m just talking about the song that the crowd sings with the tomahawk arms going up and down.

JLeslie's avatar

@Caravanfan Do you think they can get fans to give up that chant without changing the mascot? Maybe. Why do you see it as racist specifically? Because it’s a stereotype and a negative portrayal?

I’m pretty sure some people probably have a problem with mascot being the Braves. It seems like a lot of people feel any reference to anything Native American is a problem. My jr. high we were Warriors, it doesn’t seem offensive to me, but it was changed many many years ago.

kritiper's avatar

Tomahawks (the word is of Algonquian origin) were introduced to the Indians from the French.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is racist about it?

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie Have you seen the Braves mascot?
@Dutchess_III Have you heard the chant and seen the crowd do it?
https://deadspin.com/the-tomahawk-chop-is-a-shameful-reminder-of-america-s-c-1847909936

Dutchess_III's avatar

The Chiefs do it too so yes. I’ve seen it.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, in my own opinion, I think it’s disgusting and demeaning, as well as racist.

kritiper's avatar

I suppose some would consider a tomahawk as a racist symbol. Pretending to fire a bow and arrow could be racist. As well as wearing face paint. I suppose it depends on who you ask. (I am part Cherokee.) Let us remember that a tomahawk is an inanimate object, not a (human) squaw, or an (human) indian, or a (human) chief, or a (human) brave, etc., etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I’m glad you came to the Q. I’m the one who sent it to you. I consider you our resident Native American, and I value your opinion very much.

@Caravanfan I had to look up the mascot. Seems it’s been changed recently. The controversy about the use of the name the Braves continues and the chop. Here’s a Wikipedia about the topic of the chop https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Braves_tomahawk_chop_and_name_controversy

Caravanfan's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I’m aware of the controversy. That’s why I asked the question.

JLeslie's avatar

I just read Kansas City Chiefs and Florida state were doing the chop also. I’m not clear if they still do. Florida State is a fairly diverse campus, I would think they would be sensitive to it if there was a feeling it was offensive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Fyi @kritiper…Apparently the word “squaw” is an insult. I went 55 years without knowing that.

YARNLADY's avatar

I am sensitive to symbols of death in public places, not merely as a racist gesture.

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