August 09, 2005

Cheering on the SuperJews: Wonder what it would be like if a sports team used a Jewish mascot? For years, fans of Ajax Amsterdam, Holland's most popular football team, have called themselves super-Joden (super Jews), wearing Star of David tattoos and flying Israeli flags at matches, but not because of their religion -- the team's home pitch is near Amsterdam's Jewish neighborhood. Says one Holocaust survivor: "When other teams' supporters chant 'Hamas, Hamas, the Jews to the gas', the Ajax fans are not hurt, because they're not real Jews. But my family was murdered in the gas chambers, so I am very insulted.'"

posted by rcade to soccer at 10:21 AM - 65 comments

Panteeze's not going to like this one...

posted by JJ at 10:32 AM on August 09

Is it now to the point of having to dredge up stories from months or even years ago in order to carry on this discussion (really almost ranting from both sides)? Clearly, this is a point of contention. And I don't think either side is going to convince the other side of the complete merit of its position. And, eventually, the discussion devolves into diatribes, repetition, and ultimately name-calling and personal attacks. Let it end, people.

posted by graymatters at 10:40 AM on August 09

This sounds like it's different than Native Americans objecting to teams using Indian nicknames. Here, the Jews are not apparently objecting to the Ajax team calling themselves "super Jews" but rather the fans from the other teams who chant anti-Jewish slogans.

posted by tommysands at 10:42 AM on August 09

But... but they're Super Jews! It's a compliment! Those pesky Jews should just accept this compliment for what it is, and let these people have their fun. I mean, who's ever been hurt when the Jews in that part of the world have been singled out for attention, eh? I mean, really.

posted by chicobangs at 10:43 AM on August 09

Is it now to the point of having to dredge up stories from months or even years ago in order to carry on this discussion ... I posted this because I heard it for the first time today in a call to a radio show. It caught my attention because I couldn't believe it.

posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on August 09

RE: chicobangs.... I have a great idea why not call a baseball team super spics and chant back close the borders,or name a basketball team the dark continents and chant back slaves for sale,sounds like a plan to me!!

posted by halibuthead150 at 11:05 AM on August 09

Jesus, Tommy you are thick. Way to not see the forest for the trees. It's still discriminatory and, frankly, just stupid.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:06 AM on August 09

The lengths to which opposing fans are taking the "Super Jews" nickname shows one of the reasons that real races, ethnicities, and religious make for an ill-advised mascot. I'm not seeing the fun in thousands of anti-Ajax fans making a hissing cheer that imitates the sound of a gas chamber. Does anyone?

posted by rcade at 11:09 AM on August 09

For the record: I was kidding.

posted by chicobangs at 11:13 AM on August 09

I agree entierly. Terrible and insensitive in the extreme. If you can't have fun without seriously upsetting others and using the holocaust in a pro-sporting setting - then you don't get to have fun. Assholes.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:13 AM on August 09

I wasn't referring to your post, Chico. Just reacting to the crazy fans in Holland.

posted by rcade at 11:14 AM on August 09

That is indeed some crazy shit. One of the strangest fan traditions I've heard of in a while. The super-Joden? I thought it was an interesting read anyway. With any ethnic mascot, official or unofficial, you basically invite the typical inflammatory racial/ethnic references from the opposing team's fans. It does seem that they are more concerned with the nasty reaction to the unofficial Super Joden nickname by opposing fans than the co-opting of the Jewish symbols, etc., by the fans of Ajax themselves. Its still pretty weird to take on (assume?) someone else's ethnicity like that, to the point of star of David tattoos, flags, and shit, just for use as a sports fan. Does the chanting by opposing fans represent true anti-semitism by fans, just opposing fans attacking the other team's fans in a nasty sports cheering sense, or both? Does it matter? I mean "Jews to the gas," what the fuck?

posted by chris2sy at 11:27 AM on August 09

I'm not sure how this is substantially different than Redskins fans or Braves fans putting on headdresses and war paint. Selectively complimentary depiction of the group in question? Check. World-war-level holocaust in that group's past? Check. People, both members and non-members of that group, taking offense? Yup. Opposing fans being deliberately offensive about that stuff? Mhm. What is the difference between one and the other again?

posted by chicobangs at 11:35 AM on August 09

One happened in a parallel universe called Amsterdam.

posted by chris2sy at 11:38 AM on August 09

One of the strangest fan traditions I've heard of in a while. The super-Joden? Hey, when I was in Koln for the opening day of carnival, I saw whitefolks walking around in blackface dressed up in some idiot notion of "African" dress -- grass skirts and bone necklaces and whatnot. There's a lot of stuff goes on in Europe that would fly like a lead balloon in the States, and vice versa, I'm sure. With any ethnic mascot, official or unofficial, you basically invite the typical inflammatory racial/ethnic references from the opposing team's fans. And there you have it in a nutshell. Its still pretty weird to take on (assume?) someone else's ethnicity like that, to the point of star of David tattoos, flags, and shit, just for use as a sports fan. Or feathers, "warpaint", tomahawks and shit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:40 AM on August 09

Racism takes many forms--antisemitism is just another form of racism. this is just crude and tasteless,.

posted by daddisamm at 12:12 PM on August 09

antisemitism is just another form of racism Is it? Is being Jewish a race or a religion? If you can convert to Judaism, doesn't that make it a religion, and not a race? And therefore it's not racism, it's religion-ism.

posted by mayerkyl at 12:30 PM on August 09

If you can convert to Judaism Unlike Christians, Jews don't proselytize, and several sects don't even recognize conversions. The orthodox view, AFAIK, is that if your mother is a Jew, you're a Jew; otherwise not. That is also the view taken by those who have discriminated against Jews: you don't join, and you don't quit. That being the case, while you might want to quibble with the semantics, Judaism seems much more of an "inherited trait" than an individual choice, and as such, the dynamics of antisemitism are the same as those of racism.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:49 PM on August 09

So now we're superior enough to try and put our ideals for sports on other countries? This is not the NCAA,NFL, MLB, NBA, USASoccer, or anything else! This is in europe! Now we're all going to cite our ancestral ties to the big continent? THIS IS WHY POEPLE WANT TOBLOW US UP! Stay at home and worry about what or where sports is going in the USA. If we were that close to begin with there would be no such thing as racism in the WORLD. We cannot control what goes on here, let alone anywhere else.

posted by volfire at 12:57 PM on August 09

Volfire - don't encourage them! Let them speak amongst themselves!

posted by graymatters at 01:20 PM on August 09

What's with the We's and us's all over these racism discussions? Not everybody on the Internet is a US citizen, you know.

posted by qbert72 at 01:41 PM on August 09

Sorry for your luck!

posted by volfire at 01:48 PM on August 09

People want to blow u.s. up because some people in Europe are anti-semites. I don't get it. Here's a proverb for you. Don't judge someone's feelings unless you've walked a mile in their yarmulkas.

posted by trox at 01:55 PM on August 09

Preposterous responses. I'm all for cultural sensitivity, but there is such a thing as right and wrong. And this is a bad choice by all parties - Ajax supporters and their rivals.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:09 PM on August 09

Sorry, but if this thread feels so trollish. Why throw chum in the water? The link may be tangentially about sport, but the discussion clearly is not.

posted by scully at 02:11 PM on August 09

Sport is one of the ways society holds up a mirror to itself, for better or worse. What I see in these nicknames and how they're used (regardless of their original intent) tells me that Americans aren't the only ones who choose ignorance. (Americans are especially good at it, though. America, fuck yeah!) Other people's viewpoints, wisdom and knowledge make us stronger, not weaker. You learn that very quickly playing a team sport, and even a casual watcher of any team should be able to see how working together with people will "win" you more "games" than anything else. (That's a metaphor.) This jingoistic, racist, anti-semitic, openly divisive bullshit does no one any good. I can hate the Atlanta Braves (or any other team, in any other sport, anywhere in the world) without making up songs about gassing their families.

posted by chicobangs at 02:26 PM on August 09

Is it really? We have NA(since this is what they have become) and they have the Jews. WTF does this have to do with what we call our sports teams? We can't even agree to who has better sports. They like criket, we like baseball, they like soccer, we like football. Why is this such a problem for US sport's fans? Given that in taday's technology you can pretty much see anything you want, if you paid for it, there is a global expsansion of sport's. But the Home country's ideals remain unchanged. And it's still the HOME teams sport!

posted by volfire at 02:34 PM on August 09

This has nothing to do with the quality of the sport. Whether it's cricket, baseball, curling, tiddlywinks or guinea pig racing, a nickname is a symbol and a rallying point for fans of a team. If you use a racial slur (or otherwise divisive name, be it the Redmen or the Super Jews or the Fightin' Whities or whatever), you're telling your fans that it's okay to marginalize and separate one group over another. There's Jews in the States too, volfire. Not many outside the liberal cities, but they're here. And there's indigenous people everywhere, most of whom have a hard enough time with their image and ability to keep their culture alive and intact without stupid sports nicknames doing them no favors.

posted by chicobangs at 02:42 PM on August 09

Sorry, but if this thread feels so trollish. I'll second that. I'm impressed by the pro-Indian-mascots camp's restraint (well, until volfire's ouburst). They're mostly not taking the bait, which I find commendable. I guess if you're in the anti-human-mascot group, you could argue that the silence from the other side is proof of hypocrisy, or something similar. In any case, I'm fairly certain, as graymatters said very well, that nobody will ever switch camp thanks to this kind of discussion, no matter how often they're repeated. "You're wrong. No, you're wrong." And I offer apologies for adding to the noise myself, with my pronoun nitpicking. (I'm still irritated as hell by it, though.) chicobangs: I can hate the Atlanta Braves (or any other team, in any other sport, anywhere in the world) without making up songs about gassing their families. Apparently, some people can't, though. The raging debate is about whether removing references to groups of people from pro sports team names and imagery would help eliminating this type of behaviour. One thing that has been missed in rcade's original post is that the "SuperJews" name and imagery appears to have been created solely by the fans themselves. Therefore a ruling such as the NCAA one discussed previously would not have prevented these unfortunate events. volfire: Why is this such a problem for US sport's fans? Thanks for not using "us"! I still don't see where it says that SportsFilter is reserved for US sports fans, though...

posted by qbert72 at 02:42 PM on August 09

I first read about the Ajax - Jew issue in Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World. If you want a good read on how a sport weaves its way into ideologies, tribalism, culture, religion and social classes, I highly recommend this book. Here are a few of excerpts from Chapter 3 entitled "How Soccer Explains the Jewish Question": (The current state of) Anti-Semitism is something strange and new---not quite socially acceptable and not quite unacceptable, either. There's perhaps no stranger case of this attitude toward Jews than Tottenham, a soccer team based in north London. Tottehham's fans refer to themselves as the Yids or the Yiddoes. When the names comes off their lips in a Cockney accent, it sounds like a crude slur. When the English fascist Oswald Mosley's gangs marched through the Jewish East End of London in 1936, they shouted, "Down with the Yids." Throughout history, plenty of other Jew haters have used the term in exactly this fashion. But Tottenham fans actually apply the moniker to themselves in a complimentary, prideful way. When the great blond German striker Jurgen Klinsmann arrived at the club in 1994, fans honored him by singing: Chim-chiminee, chim-chiminee Chim-chim churoo Jurgen was a German But now he's a Jew. And here's a catchy tune from the fans of one of Tottenham's lovely London neighbors, Chelsea: Hitler's gonna gas 'em again We can't stop them The Yids from Tottenham And another from the Chelsea blues... Gas a Jew, Jew Jew, put him in the oven, cook him through. Ignorance knows no borders. Here's an excerpt from the same chapter: Only one club in the world can out-Jew Tottenham. Ajax of Amsterdam decorate their stadium with Israeli flags, which can be purchased on game day just outside the stadium. The unforgettbale site of blond-haired Dutchman with beer guts and red Stars of David painted on their foreheads accompanies Ajax matches. And unlike Tottenhams official organization, which does nothing to encourage its Jewish identification, Ajax has made Judaism part of its ethos. During the 1960's, Ajax cut the European game loose from its stodgy strategies, rubbishing traditional rigid defensive formations and embracing a more creative approach that eschewed assigning stringent positions. The press called their style Total Football. The auteur behind this new aesthetic was the great player and philo-Semite Johann Cruyff. His club's strange pre-game ritual included the delivery of a kosher salami and locker-room banter self-consciously peppered with Yiddish phrases. The daring Cruyff teams were reflective of the hippie youth culture overtaking Amsterdam in the sixties. They also represented a philo-Semitic wave overtaking the city. In those years, more than any country in Europe, the Dutch aided Israel and stood up for the Jewish state in the UN. Starting in the sixties, annual commemorations trumpeted the heroism of a February 1941 mass strike that had been waged to protest the Nazi occupation. The Dutch did as much as anyone to cultivate the cult of Anne Frank and the righteous gentiles who guarded her family in the Amsterdam attic. Sports and social issues. It seems naive that anyone could think in this day and time that the two can be separated.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:05 PM on August 09

First off I'm not "pro" anything. Second of all we, us, them,those people, us people cant get together on ANYTHING. ANYTHING! That's why YOU'RE still seeing pictures of children starving and dying in Africa! Is that one Country's fault or the worlds? You can only lead a horse to water, you cannot make him drink. We will not erase eons of hatred, by changing a sports teams name! This B.S. -P.C. crap is what is ruining OUR world. IT's not a name change that brings about change, but what WE do to bring about Change, THAT's what makes a difference.

posted by volfire at 03:06 PM on August 09

The original post states that the SuperJews nickname is something fans call themselves, rather than a team name.

posted by rcade at 03:07 PM on August 09

We will not erase eons of hatred, by changing a sports teams name! But you can stop feeding it. That's the point, volfire. No matter how many times you tell people we shouldn't care about this issue, the fact remains that a lot of us do.

posted by rcade at 03:09 PM on August 09

If it was as easy as a name change , would'nt it have happened already? People still smoke, knowing the likelyhood of their death. Does that change their behavior? We will never erase hatered from our world, as sad as a fact that may be. We can choose to ignore it , and the ingnorance that it breeds, ThAT is our choice. I for one, think , we are already doomed.

posted by volfire at 03:17 PM on August 09

Volfire, if you're not pro anything than why do you keep making comments about the greatness of the USA? Not that I don't think America is a great country but you sure do come across as someone who thinks its better than many/most others. Which would be pro-US, in other words.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:21 PM on August 09

Volfire, I have to disagree with your assertion that hatred can never be eradicated. Because if human beings of, say, 2-3,000 years ago had been handed modern guns an weaponry they would have simply gone out and slaughtered anyone not from their tribe/clan. While there's still much more use of these terrible weapons today than we'd like, we've changed enough to generally keep them in the lockers. And if you really think we're doomed why the fuck are you wasting time on this board instead of getting all the sex, drugs and rock and roll, or your preferred vices, you can in the remaining days?

posted by billsaysthis at 03:24 PM on August 09

I can hate the Atlanta Braves . . . without making up songs about gassing their families. Sounds like someone has a case of writer's block.

posted by yerfatma at 03:25 PM on August 09

And so it goes - and goes - and goes.

posted by graymatters at 03:37 PM on August 09

And if you really think we're doomed why the fuck are you wasting time on this board instead of getting all the sex, drugs and rock and roll, or your preferred vices, you can in the remaining days? My god, you're right! So long, suckers!

posted by chicobangs at 03:40 PM on August 09

BILLY; first off I'm not going to go in this great long diatribe about how great my country is. Withou saying to much I was born here and will die here( BTW, ever served?). And cave men were beating the shit out of each other and eating each a long time ago. It was'nt classified as hatred, it was survival. Or have'nt you seen the cartoon, where one guy beats the other on the head with an axe(Or club) and then drags his wife home by the hair? Hate did not come along with the invention of the machine gun, my friend, we were killing each other long before that. We'd all be alot smarter than this if that was the case.

posted by volfire at 03:47 PM on August 09

And in the words of the Immortal, SPICOLI, " If I'm here, and your here, does'nt that make this our time? Certainly there's nothing wrong with a little pizza, ON OUR TIME, right Mr. Hand?

posted by volfire at 04:02 PM on August 09

My dividing line line is the same here as in the Native American discussion. To the extent that the use of the Native American tribal name or super Joden is used to honor the group involved, I don't find it offensive or problematic. I realize that the other teams are bound to come up with offensive slangs, but that is where the problem begins and that is what needs to be corrected. I don't think it follows that we need to sanitize the name itself so that other teams won't be able to offend a group when they start trash-talking. I don't believe in the clean everything up and pretend like we are color-blind approach. I believe in the open discussion and acknowledgement about our differences whether they be a race or religion. Further, the fact that these sorts of names open discussions and hopefully open minds, then they are doubly good.

posted by bperk at 04:09 PM on August 09

BILLY... Oh shit, now he's gone and done it.

posted by lilnemo at 04:27 PM on August 09

To me life if like a poker game.........You do things to annoy your opponents to put them on tilt to gain an advantage without and really intent to do harm. And what is the best way to deal with an obnoxious opponent..........ignore them and don't let them get the satisfaction that your bothered by them, they will eventually stop. If we as human beings had thicker skin by means of ignoring the ingorant people in the world, the world would be a happier place. But I think some get a sense of relief by yelling to all who will listen that they are offended! If anyone can tell me how they are really being hurt by this soccer team and their name, other than feeling offended, let me have some examples. I am certain that there is not anyone who has made a post to this thread that hasn't said something or done something to someone else just to piss them off, lol. LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE. Like the US Constitution calls for the separation of church and state, there should be a separation of church and sport. OK, I have had my rant, now it is your turn to let me have it and tell all who read this that your offended.

posted by panteeze at 04:29 PM on August 09

I agree bPERK! I have posted similar comments, but, sometimes my foot gets in my mouth first. It really sounds corny but, can't we all just get along?

posted by volfire at 04:32 PM on August 09

Okay lets give this a try. Lets just say hypothetically that you are an American, and that your grandparents (and great-grandparents before them, etc) grew up in Poland. Now lets just say that these hypothetical relatives are "hypothetically jewish", just for discussions sake. They run a long standing family business as cobblers, they work very hard and they are fair to all they meet. They eat dinner amongst friends and neighbors. They lead a rich family life. Now lets say that a "hypothetical angry political group" lets just call them Nazi's for now, sets up shop across the street from our humble family's shoestore. Maybe sometime later these "Nazis" kidnap say, 80 percent of this family. And lets say that only the girl who would become your mother (or grandmother) escapes indignity, cruelty, torture, and ultimately death. Fast forward say 50 some odd years later and ask again how someone could be offended by something like this, and feel free to substitute Jewish with any race, religion, creed, or nationality you like and Nazi with "explorer", "slave-trader", or "mass-murdering fuckhead". Then feel free to ponder whether it is best to tread upon others.

posted by lilnemo at 04:50 PM on August 09

In any case, I'm fairly certain, as graymatters said very well, that nobody will ever switch camp thanks to this kind of discussion, no matter how often they're repeated. "You're wrong. No, you're wrong." Actually qbert. I've come around on this issue. Contrary to some of the comments here (including mine) there have been some thought-provoking responses that have lead me to change my mind on the issue. I no longer believe that stereotypes should be used as mascots, regardless of intention. Really, it doesn't take much to be considerate to others. Thanks SpoFi. -disclaimer: I wrote all of this without a hint of sarcasm-

posted by lilnemo at 05:01 PM on August 09

Hey! I posted to mefi about this a while ago - I should have cross posted.

posted by loquax at 05:41 PM on August 09

Has anyone considered marketing Zyclon-B sports drinks to the opposing fans? And then pulling a Tyco Changeup Track switcheroo and really putting Zyclon-B in it? Now *that's* from funny.

posted by yerfatma at 05:55 PM on August 09

Well, I personally think that this is inconsiderate for the simple fact that Jewish people will more than likey be offended. This in fact will bring up the nazi's and then that will lead into German bashing (trust me, I dealt with this most of my life). Being half German, I am utterly embarrassed for the past atrocities my ancestors comitted. So when I hear something like "super Jew" I cringe because I know that discussion will come around. Why can't people just leave THOSE sort of things alone. It stirs up too much trouble.

posted by tina at 06:05 PM on August 09

Being half German, I am utterly embarrassed for the past atrocities my ancestors comitted. So when I hear something like "super Jew" I cringe because I know that discussion will come around. Why can't people just leave THOSE sort of things alone. It stirs up too much trouble. Being almost full German, I understand what you mean. However at some point we cant dwell on what happened in the past. There have been alot of atrocities aimed at various group of people over the years. We have to get beyond that..........Jewish people have had more than their share of atrocities, not just from Nazi Germany, but from the Russians,communists, and a number of others down through history. That said we have to go foward. Despite what you think things are getting better--The sad thing is that this change doesnt always happen quick enough. I know that we have a ways to go with the Native Americans and Blacks in this country despite the positive strdies that have been made. Dont get too hung up on the nagative it will only drag you down.

posted by daddisamm at 06:30 PM on August 09

That MetaFilter discussion links to a full-page editorial cartoon in the Knoxville Sentinel from 1999. I know this issue tires out people who think the mascot issue is excessively PC. But I'd love to know how you'd feel, if you were Native American, about that cartoon's reference to the Trail of Tears.

posted by rcade at 06:32 PM on August 09

I know daddisamm, I try not to. But it starts to really get to you when people keep flinging the past into your face. (Being German where I grew up was like a sin, crazy huh?)

posted by tina at 06:35 PM on August 09

very crazy

posted by daddisamm at 07:00 PM on August 09

I know this issue tires out people who think the mascot issue is excessively PC. But I'd love to know how you'd feel, if you were Native American, about that cartoon's reference to the Trail of Tears. I viewed the "cartoon". If I was native american I would be very moved by the "trail of tears" mention as it wasnt a very pround moment in our history. Rcade, the cartoon is what six yealrs old? We have got to look forward not backward. Embrace the positive nor thenegative.

posted by daddisamm at 07:21 PM on August 09

rcade, I must have blinders on because I'm shocked something like that cartoon would be published in a mainstream (?) newspaper in this country only 6 years ago. WTF. I thought we had come along a bit further than that as a people. tina and daddisamm, not everyone buys into the stereotypes. Some people do know how to separate the past from the present...it's not so difficult, really.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 07:22 PM on August 09

Yeah Texan, let those people know for me please. :)

posted by tina at 07:26 PM on August 09

I would be very moved by the "trail of tears" mention as it wasnt a very pround moment in our history. Rcade, the cartoon is what six yealrs old? Do you view the Bataan Death March as a proud moment in US history? Also, six years ago is within my Best if Consumed By date for racism. It's not exactly pre-Civil War, is it?

posted by yerfatma at 07:29 PM on August 09

Daddisamm, for once we seem to agree, which is nice. Being 100% Jewish I think we should get past the atrocities of the Nazis, Cossacks and so forth. That you're of German heritage and tina's half would mean nothing to me if we met IRL--not unless you're a lot older than I think and were wearing a brown uniform in the '40s. I can't speak for other Jews, or Native Americans or other persecuted minorities, but personally things like the cheers from the Ajax opponents' fans are a good reason why we (as a group) can't get past these events. I can't, in any context, hear chants such as these and not think about the people who died under the Nazis and how, if I had been born there and then, it would be me likely as not on one of those packed trains. If these Dutch fans or people on this discussion board can't understand how terrible this makes me feel then how can I ever get past it?

posted by billsaysthis at 11:38 PM on August 09

Yes Billy its nice to agree! yerfatma-I dont see where the Death March of Bataan fits here. I said, that I would be moved by the "Trail of Tears" mention in the cartoon, if I were Native American. The Cartoon is six years old and we need to move ahead. I feel that the Trail of Tears mention is to shock us into realizing that racism still excists-in something as "seemingly harmless" as a sport Mascot. Bigotry is not at the same level as it was in the Time of theCivil War and/ Trail of tears. But like I said, things aint perfect either.

posted by daddisamm at 12:09 AM on August 10

Several voices in this thread have been decrying our society's/species' apparently inability to "get over it" or "move on" or something like that, with regard to historical crimes and atrocities against members of various groups. My sense of it is that our ability to "get over it" is in inverse proportion to how big "it" was and in direct proportion to how completely "it" has been dealt with. To translate, the bigger the historical wrong, the harder it is to get over it; the more that the historical wrong has been truly and honestly addressed, the easier (or more possible) it is to get over it. It's inappropriate to respond to someone who, as in lilnemo's case, lost 80% of their family with the admonishment to, "Get over it" -- the damage is too big. And it's likewise inappropriate to demand that people "get over" problems that have never been adequately addressed to this day. In fact, I imagine to the people in the affected groups, these strident demands to "get over it" are rock salt in the wounds, saying in effect, you must swallow this injustice so that I can avoid the mental discomfort of having to deal with it. Before demanding that others "get over it", perhaps you should first ask yourself whether you've ever had to deal with a comparable "it", and if the answer is no, consider whether your sense of what is just is perhaps missing a few necessary data points. "He jests at scars that never felt a wound."

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:34 AM on August 10

I agree lbb. It is impossible to get over racism, prejudice, and persecution when they continue. I am always shocked when people say things like that aren't going on today or aren't so bad or that people are being over-sensitive or pulling the race card. Children are taught that race is not something to be discussed (e.g. parents shushing their children when they mention someone's skin color). They grow up never being able to discuss and flesh out their own views on race and racial identity. It is no surprise that we have difficulty openly discussing issues like these. Now as this apply to sports teams names, I am not at all insensitive to the horrors of the holocaust or that Native Americans have suffered in this country, I just don't think that the rule that no sports teams can honor any group lest someone else use it to perpetuate stereotypes alleviates the problems we are facing.

posted by bperk at 09:01 AM on August 10

I agree wholeheartedly with browny, it is much easier to tell those that are offended to 'just let it go' then it is to try to empathize with their offence. Now, where I take offence is the 'P.C. Bullshit Battlecry' that seems to become a rallying point everytime an issue is raised where one party actually trys to empathize with the other. Get a clue - get a coherent argument and defend it - don't run around screaming P.C. Bullshit in lieu of any of the above. And for the love of God - just because you might feel that changing the name or discouraging the practice won't make the world a less racist or better place is NOT a reason to NOT make the change - even in this case where the supporters of Ajax are actually celebrating a certain jewishness. Not to mention that I actually believe changing the behaviour will help in the fight against stupidity and ignorance everywhere. We forget our history too easily and when it conveniences us.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:20 AM on August 10

I am a little confused by your comments llb. I didnt really see anybody "demanding" people "to get over it" Past atrocities will never be made completely right and its there is a good chance that the impact of some will never completely go away.. Yes Racism excists today and on several levels and thats a sad thing. I feel that this is a motivating factor for us as a society to move forward and make things even better.. When I talk about my German heritage to people, I like to point out that most Germans were not NAZI's. Many in fact lost their own lives trying to save Jewish persons. I have come to some closure for myself and I try to be supportive to others. I have read alot to really try to come to grips with how this affected the Jewish people. The scares are deep and it is still hard for many to move forward and yet its really neat to see how far we have come. One way to make things better is to approach remaining racism with a positive attitude. Keep trying to achieve perfection. Dont get so hung up on whats left to do, celebrate whats been done and create a plan to move forward. As Racism declines, its goings to be harder to get rid of. When I look at the small number of NCAA school left with racist mascots, I see that we have come along way. We can see the end of the line. Out here in the Heartland, Native Americans are the largest minority. I recall riots in Sioux Falls, SD during court Trials for AIM members after the Wounded Knee uprising back in the 1970's. We have come along way since those dark days. However there still is so much left to do, to make things right. However, At the same time, we must celebrate the progress that we have made and move on. I dont see a call to "move forward" as a demand to "get over it"

posted by daddisamm at 09:27 AM on August 10

Well - how do we move forward? We move foward by dealing with these things and making changes - not by agreeing that there is work to be done and we're not there yet and then going on to doing something else. Change is painful and some will resist it, violently at times. lbb was refering to some people on the board who tend to respond to the idea of changing team names by telling the people who get offended to 'get over it'.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:53 AM on August 10

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