Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who decides what is offensive?

Controversy is brewing again in the blogosphere. It seems that one of the BBB is defending sporting teams having (usually) white guys dressed in traditional Native American clothing as team mascots. The blogger, John Aravosis, is defending his college mascot, saying the image "honors" Native Americans. Some Native Americans don't think so ... which begs the question, who decides?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I know John and like him. Over the years he's done some great work on behalf of the LGBT and feminist communities. On this issue, however, I have to disagree with him.

IMHO the people who get to decide whether or not to be offended are the Native Americans -- not John.

I'm not outing him to reveal that John is gay. I doubt seriously that John would think a straight person has more authority over what images of gays are, or aren't, offensive to him than he does. It's too bad he can't extend this same courtesy to Native Americans.

(image from Wampum)

1 comment:

P M Prescott said...

Interesting how selective being offended gets. Almost all of the native american tribes in New Mexico and Arizon have mascot names of chiefs, warriors, etc.
If you're offended walk the other way but it's time to stop using one person being offended as a weapon. You can get someone offended at just about anything.