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Cleveland Indians Unveil New Uniform, Cap for 2019

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4 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

Gonna be honest. I don’t see the problem the block C. It’s not super exciting, but it has history. Go with the block C, some script wordmarks on the jerseys. Maybe throw the C in a roundel for the primary. 

 

Is it the most exciting option? No, but Cleveland fans do seem to have taken to the block C, and it has some historical cache. Do all of that, keep the name “Indians,” move on. 

I would say the complete opposite, actually. When it first came out, there was a group that really got into it, but the majority of Cleveland fans I run across despise it.

 

The Indians broadly painted themselves into an incredible corner with five decades of uniform mismanagement. They gave up the best cap logo they’ve ever had — the wishbone C — to chase mid-70s trends, which was fine, but when they dropped the red pants and “primitive” design, they went with an awful, bland set instead.

 

Then when they dumped that, they went to Wahoo on the hat, and with the Indians’ actual success in the ’90s, it stuck. They let it get too late on them — the Indians probably could’ve introduced a new respectable, native imagery-based logo set 15ish years ago — that they’ve now put themselves in a spot where they can’t actually use real symbolism.

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44 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Well...

 

I'll grant you the latter.  The former is highly debatable.

Sorry. I like to think I'm not blind to this sort of thing. And it's just not. "Redskins" is a derogatory term. "Indians," however, isn't. And I think you start crossing a line into the realm of parody when you start arguing that a name applied to a group of people that was never meant to be derogatory is somehow derogatory.

 

And I'll be honest with you. We need to recognize the lines in these cases. North American history and culture is a mixture of Native, African, and European influences. The idea that we cannot reference anything about our collective history and culture outside of our own narrow ethnic subset is just as bad as the idea that we should embrace names and logos that dehumanize Natives. "Everyone should only interact with people and themes like them" is not a healthy mindset.

Names like "Redskins," logos like Wahoo? Yeah, that crap's gotta go. And using specific tribal names/iconography without tribal permission? That's no good. Simply using Native-themed names that don't infringe on tribal identities and aren't derogatory? That ought to be ok, in my opinion.

 

29 minutes ago, crashcarson15 said:

I would say the complete opposite, actually. When it first came out, there was a group that really got into it, but the majority of Cleveland fans I run across despise it.

Fair enough. Last time I checked in on this the C seemed to be widely embraced, but I guess that's changed 🤷‍♂️

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A Wahoo-less team with the name is fine. A name change would be optimal (or working with a local tribe/Louis Sockalexis’ tribe to do the Spokane-style identity), but this is acceptable.

 

Just ban red face paint and feather headdresses from the stadium. Nothing is more embarrassing than that.

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While I'd agree the name "Indians" by itself isn't horrible, the issue is that the ownership group is pretty clearly dragging their heels over a very real issue. The Blackhawks, for example, may use a Native image as their logo, but they've done a lot to try and soothe relations with Natives. The Indians clearly aren't thrilled with changing Wahoo out, as evidenced by the incredibly bland replacement they trotted out to try and appease people.

 

Hell, the Braves have done a much better job with a Native theme than Cleveland; they stuck with a tomahawk and have evaded the same issues that have plagued the Indians and Redskins. If the Indians had done that, there probably wouldn't have even been a controversy over it these days. It's their reluctance to change what is objectively a design that was no longer acceptable to society that damned them into this no-win situation.

 

But I'd agree that this is veering into dangerous territory.

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1 hour ago, daveindc said:

 

Why is that? A spider is just a creature people step on or smash with a rolled up magazine when they see one crawling in their house. You might as well call them the Cleveland Cockroaches. 

 

I rest my case. 

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26 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Maybe it ought to be.  But us white guys don’t get to decide.  

I'll touch on this below.

 

26 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

I think we’re veering into dangerous territory here, and I’ll stop if the mods want, but the objection was not limited to Little Red Sambo. 

 

https://whkradio.com/news/sports/chief-wahoo-removal-by-indians-not-enough-for-logo-foes?apt_credirect=1

There was also a Native politician in Quebec who tried to make a big stink over the Blackhawks logo, despite the fact that his tribe had little to no relation to Chief Black Hawks' people or their descendants.

 

While I am sympathetic to Native groups trying to wrestle back agency for themselves, especially after the history of exploitation they've faced? You're kidding yourself if you don't think there are Native politicians who are willing to use this to immorally to boost their own profiles/careers. If we're serious about this as a cause? We need to be able to separate actual concerns from ones that don'e have substance to them.

 

Ultimately? I fall back on history/intent/the meaning of the names or terms in question.

"Redskins" has a clear etymological history of being a slur meant to degrade Native peoples.
"Indians" does not have that meaning or history. So ultimately? I'm going to call a cause that seeks to label the term "Indians" as derogatory as a flawed from a factual standpoint. It's got nothing to do with me being a "white guy" (my "white guy" status is in dispute by people who obsess over who's "white" anyway) and everything to do with me knowing the history of where these terms come from.

 

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2 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

Cleveland BC would be a unique direction to take.

 

 

Cleveland Birth Control

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29 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Sorry. I like to think I'm not blind to this sort of thing. And it's just not. "Redskins" is a derogatory term. "Indians," however, isn't. And I think you start crossing a line into the realm of parody when you start arguing that a name applied to a group of people that was never meant to be derogatory is somehow derogatory.

 

And I'll be honest with you. We need to recognize the lines in these cases. North American history and culture is a mixture of Native, African, and European influences. The idea that we cannot reference anything about our collective history and culture outside of our own narrow ethnic subset is just as bad as the idea that we should embrace names and logos that dehumanize Natives. "Everyone should only interact with people and themes like them" is not a healthy mindset.

Names like "Redskins," logos like Wahoo? Yeah, that crap's gotta go. And using specific tribal names/iconography without tribal permission? That's no good. Simply using Native-themed names that don't infringe on tribal identities and aren't derogatory? That ought to be ok, in my opinion.

 

Fair enough. Last time I checked in on this the C seemed to be widely embraced, but I guess that's changed 🤷‍♂️

 

19 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

A Wahoo-less team with the name is fine. A name change would be optimal (or working with a local tribe/Louis Sockalexis’ tribe to do the Spokane-style identity), but this is acceptable.

 

Just ban red face paint and feather headdresses from the stadium. Nothing is more embarrassing than that.


Ok, so here's a little insight into why "Indians" isn't as innocuous as a lot of people believe, and isn't likely to get any better (bear in mind I'm sharing information, no commentary): Christopher Columbus. The term originates from his original expeditions, and has stuck ever since then. The man, and the fact there is a holiday for him is offensive to a lot of Native Americans. There is a growing number of Natives who are doing everything they can to reject him and his legacy, including the use of the word. There are Sioux and Ojibwe/Chippewa tribes who do not recognize Columbus Day as a federal holiday, instead opting to observe Canadian Thanksgiving. To more and more Native peoples, everything associated with Columbus is a symbol of a culture of dehumanization, oppression, and disregard that goes from 1492 to today.

So, yes. While the term Indian is nowhere near as derogatory as Redskin, it is an incorrect generalization thrown upon them by white men as part of a general culture of "less than." Having visited family on reservations, and spending four years working directly with Native peoples in Minnesota, I've never personally known a Native who identifies as Indian. The fact that the movement to cast off the title (still used in almost every US government agency) is only recently gaining steam doesn't negate that there is one, or the right of those people to reject it.

Now, I personally am happy that Wahoo was gone, and don't actually give a rip if the name stays. However, I don't think the criticisms against Cleveland are going to get any better. Maybe I'm wrong, but few people, if anyone, on these boards has more insight into this issue than I do.

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Just now, BeerGuyJordan said:

Christopher Columbus. The term originates from his original expeditions, and has stuck ever since then.

Yes, and he thought he was in India. So he called the people Indians. It wasn't meant to be derogatory. It was a descriptor. An incorrect one, but one that stuck around.

 

1 minute ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

So, yes. While the term Indian is nowhere near as derogatory as Redskin, it is an incorrect generalization thrown upon them by white men as part of a general culture of "less than."

"Incorrect" =/= derogatory. Nor was it given to them to denote a "culture of 'less than.'" He thought he was in India, he called the people there Indians.

In a sane world the name would have fell into disuse once Europeans realized the Americas were not India, but it stuck. And people used the term to refer to the Natives peoples of North America not to degrade them but because it was a term that, for whatever reason, stuck around.

 

Christopher Columbus is a genocidal monster, even by early European colonial standards, but that does not change the etymological history of the word. Columbus wasn't the only person who was unaware of the Americas' existence.

I can't tell you why something like "Indians" stuck around in European vernacular, but it wasn't a slur.

 

23 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Having visited family on reservations, and spending four years working directly with Native peoples in Minnesota, I've never personally known a Native who identifies as Indian.

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/blackhorse-do-you-prefer-native-american-or-american-indian-kHWRPJqIGU6X3FTVdMi9EQ/

 

Seems like you have a lot of Natives who use the term "Indian" and a lot who don't like it.

 

28 minutes ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Maybe I'm wrong, but few people, if anyone, on these boards has more insight into this issue than I do.

I don't mean to take away from your own experiences, but as sourced above? It doesn't appear to be universal.

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First off, let me apologize to everyone for making the comment that potentially gets this all shut down, but I feel this needs to be said.

 

10 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

"Incorrect" =/= derogatory. Nor was it given to them to denote a "culture of 'less than.'" He thought he was in India, he called the people there Indians.

In a sane world the name would have fell into disuse once Europeans realized the Americas were not India, but it stuck. And people used the term to refer to the Natives peoples of North America not to degrade them but because it was a term that, for whatever reason, stuck around.

Christopher Columbus is a genocidal monster, even by early European colonial standards, but that does not change the etymological history of the word. Columbus wasn't the only person who was unaware of the Americas' existence.

I can't tell you why something like "Indians" stuck around in European vernacular, but it wasn't a slur.

I never said it was given as such, but it has been used as a blanket statement to rob them of their tribal identities. It was used in a manner of "less than." 

 

10 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/archive/blackhorse-do-you-prefer-native-american-or-american-indian-kHWRPJqIGU6X3FTVdMi9EQ/

 

Seems like you have a lot of Natives who use the term "Indian" and a lot who don't like it.

 

I don't mean to take away from your own experiences, but as sourced above? It doesn't appear to be universal.

Lets break down some specific quotes from the six people in this article, because it isn't the defense of your point you seem to think it is:

 

1."would like to be referred to as ‘Dine/Navajo,’ ‘indigenous’ and ‘Native.’"   "We are original people of this so-called USA, therefore we should be acknowledged as such, but also to ourselves as indigenous, as the indigenous backgrounds we identify with; indigenous, or Native of our own territories.. Not the European settlers’ or colonial settlers’ identification of who they think we should be."

2. “I say Indian a lot,” Wilson said. “I’m around many Natives all the time, and using Indian seems to be universal and others can identify with it.” Bobby also said he understands the confliction Native people have with the terms ‘Indian’ and ‘Native American,’"

3. "She refers to herself mainly as “Diné and Numa-Fallon Paiute/Shoshone Tribe, a.k.a., Navajo and Paiute.” She said she puts more effort into referring to herself by her indigenous tribes and in their indigenous language because, as she stated, “It’s about going back to our original self. Why use names that are given to us?”

As for the term “Indian,” she said, “Colonizers used the word ‘Indian’ or ‘American Indian’ and this could describe Indian citizens from the country India.”

4. "Miles said, “I refer to myself as American Indian.” He said he grew up in an era where that was the common term. “People look at it in both ways; ‘Indian’ is from India, and when this country was ‘discovered’ the people were looked at as godly people (Indios). I also refer to myself as ‘Native American.’ I’m comfortable with both of them.” Doug then goes on to say, “What would be the better title is ‘First Americans’ because, in reality, we are the first Americans.”

5.  "He said the term ‘Indian’ is that of popular culture, and although it is a debated term, it is one that is commonly used and known. He also believes the term which should be used is ‘original people,’ but the term ‘indigenous’ is very appropriate as well."

6. "He said he refers to himself by his own tribes: Diné, Tlingit, and Yurok, and then by his clans of his tribes. He does not use the term ‘Indian’ because as he said “India is on the other side of the world.”

 

So, to recap. Four (#s 1, 3, 5, and 6) who completely reject identifying as "Indian", with one giving the caveat that it is a popular term, but cites a different term to be used instead. One who uses it (# 2), but completely understands why people have issues with it. Finally one who uses it, but as American Indians, not just Indians (# 4), but that's because of the era he grew up in and prefers First Americans, as a catch-all.

 

Throwing an article pulled up in a google search whose backing of your point is dubious, at best, especially when trying to educate me about my own heritage is some peak white-splaining. I'm choosing to regard it as you didn't mean it as such, but I have to tell you that it is going against my initial reaction.

 

Now I'm walking away, because I'm done with the conversation, and I don't feel like incurring a suspension. I've been courteous, level-headed, and respectful, but I don't think that would be the case if I kept on. I'll see myself out.

 

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Thank you for that contribution.  I’m glad you shared it with us. 

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2 hours ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

I never said it was given as such, but it has been used as a blanket statement to rob them of their tribal identities. It was used in a manner of "less than." 

White people do that to themselves. Here's a fun fact. "White people," "white culture," etc..? It doesn't exist.

Caucasian ethnicities and cultural identities stretching from the Russian Steppes to the British Isles, from Scandinavia down to the Mediterranean coast, are pretty damn varied and diverse. Much like Natives across both Americas are not one monolithic bloc? Neither are Caucasians. Not just Natives and whites though. The term "African" applies to a number of diverse groups that make up sub-Saharan Africa. Same with East Asians, Middle Easterners....I could cover every major ethnic "grouping" on the planet and make the same damn case for all of them. No broad "ethnic" category is a monolithic bloc. Even my own ethnicity, the Jewish people, have different cultures and ethnic groupings within the Jewish label. And we're one of the smaller ethnic groupings on the planet.

So really...any of these terms can be viewed as "robbing" people of more specific cultural identities. Yet we have broad terms to relate to broad groups of people who share ethnic and cultural heritage. "Indian" in reference to Natives is no more or less broad and all-encompassing as "Native" itself, "First Nations," "Indigenous peoples," etc...

 

2 hours ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

Throwing an article pulled up in a google search whose backing of your point is dubious, at best,

You have no idea where I got that article from or what my background is on this sort of thing from an academic perspective.

 

2 hours ago, BeerGuyJordan said:

at best, especially when trying to educate me about my own heritage is some peak white-splaining. I'm choosing to regard it as you didn't mean it as such, but I have to tell you that it is going against my initial reaction.

First off, you chose right.

Secondly? I was going to not go here when @Gothamite tried to throw that label at me, but I'm most certainly not white. The people who were pretty damn insistent on deciding who got to join the special club of "white people" sent my family to death camps instead. So you wanna paint me with that brush? Go ahead, but your "initial reaction" is grossly mistaken regarding my intent, background, and point in all of this.

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The fact that this (nuanced and useful!) conversation is even happening is pushing me into the “it’s not intended as derogatory but still a bad name for a sports team” camp.

 

Also am I the only one who thinks naming a group of people of varying ethnicities after a different people’s ethnicity is just kind of logistically weird? Kind of an uncanny valley, too-close-thus-wrong feel to it.

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It's very weird, yeah. The other one that's weird to me is that the Roma are not from Rome nor Romania, though many of them are in Romania, though Romania is not named for them. Actually, they're originally from India, and so they are, in some sense of the word, Indians, more so than the namesake of the Cleveland Indians, who are originally from the Russian Far East. Just don't call them Gypsies.

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Just now, Digby said:

The fact that this (nuanced and useful!) conversation is even happening is pushing me into the “it’s not intended as derogatory but still a bad name for a sports team” camp.

 

Also am I the only one who thinks naming a group of people of varying ethnicities after a different people’s ethnicity is just kind of logistically weird? Kind of an uncanny valley, too-close-thus-wrong feel to it.

 

I'm in that same boat. Ethnicity names just rub me the wrong way in most cases (a group giving the name to themselves, e.g. Celtic FC and maybe Notre Dame - fine by me). An ethnicity isn't a job, a specific person, or an natural being/phenomenon, so it just comes off as strange. 

 

I'd also like to clarify that when I said "Indians" was acceptable, I was implying that I believe there are better options that would cause much less branding stress. It's like a B- or C+ on a test. You passed, but you can do so much better. 

 

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So theres arguing about "Indians" is a derogatory term yet you use terms such as "whites-splaining"? this doesn't add up. I usually dont post in this thread because I liked wahoo and know I'll get lashed out on for voicing my opinion. I dont think it makes anyone a bad person for enjoying a classic and iconic logo. They should of made a more noble recreation of wahoo that respects Natives and their history. However, after all this discussion you might as well change it to spiders because people cant handle anything that represents any culture. Its only a matter of time before the vikings will probably be labeled the as derogatory too. Also a red, black, and purple color scheme would be great and unique if they went with spiders!

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3 minutes ago, DouglasQuaid said:

So theres arguing about "Indians" is a derogatory term yet you use terms such as "whites-splaining"? this doesn't add up.

 

It does add up, given the power dynamics we’re talking about. Whites have historically had a position of power in American culture, often shaping the way in which the public sees subaltern cultures (e.g., Native Americans). I’d say that it’s appropriate, but not in this context (as @Ice_Cap clarified). If it was me doing it (a fellow who is undoubtedly white) then it would be.

 

3 minutes ago, DouglasQuaid said:

I usually dont post in this thread because I liked wahoo and know I'll get lashed out on for voicing my opinion. I dont think it makes anyone a bad person for enjoying a classic and iconic logo. They should of made a more noble recreation of wahoo that respects Natives and their history.

 

OK, you like Little Red Sambo. That doesn’t make you a bad person, as long as you can empathize with those who might not like it and see why it’s such a problem. 

 

If Cleveland had a Blackhawks or Braves-like design, it might be better for them. But today, that’s just not happening. 

 

3 minutes ago, DouglasQuaid said:

However, after all this discussion you might as well change it to spiders because people cant handle anything that represents any culture. Its only a matter of time before the vikings will probably be labeled the as derogatory too. 

 

Holy slippery slope fallacy! Vikings will probably never be seen as derogatory, given that Scandinavians aren’t a historically-oppressed group (for the most part). 

 

3 minutes ago, DouglasQuaid said:

Also a red, black, and purple color scheme would be great and unique if they went with spiders!

 

I’d rather they keep the old colors, but add in an accent shade.

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8 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

It does add up, given the power dynamics we’re talking about. Whites have historically had a position of power in American culture, often shaping the way in which the public sees subaltern cultures (e.g., Native Americans). I’d say that it’s appropriate, but not in this context (as @Ice_Cap clarified). If it was me doing it (a fellow who is undoubtedly white) then it would be.

Power has nothing to do with racism or this conversation, so when using the term "white-splaining" its really no different the calling someone an "indian", "redskin", or any other harmful derogatory term. I think you should read up on why the power dynamic theory is incorrect. I dont mean to argue but its comments like this that really mislead people into a false way of thinking, so I'll just leave it at that.

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18 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

It does add up, given the power dynamics we’re talking about. Whites have historically had a position of power in American culture, often shaping the way in which the public sees subaltern cultures (e.g., Native Americans). I’d say that it’s appropriate, but not in this context (as @Ice_Cap clarified). If it was me doing it (a fellow who is undoubtedly white) then it would be.

Ok. So I'm gonna lay out some stuff that might seem random but it actually goes into the whole "white-splaining" thing and why it's not really relevant at all in this particular case. And that's beyond two people painting me with a brush that has been used to marginalize and slaughter my own ethnic background, all in an attempt to delegitimize my point.

 

Let's start off with something admiral said. That American Indians/Natives/First Nations are from the Russian far east. They are. Archaeologists and geneticists have found undeniable proof that the ancestors of Native Americans came from northeastern Siberia across Beringia (a subcontinent that once connected Siberia to Alaska) and spread out across the American continents. This all happened around 20,000 years ago.

Anyway there are quite a few Native American religious beliefs that hold that their ancestors came from their land- ie land on the American continents. That their ancestors were "made" in the Americas. These religious beliefs run counter to above-mentioned Native ancestry in northeastern Siberia.

 

Now here's where the "white-splaining" potholes come in. See, most (not all, but most) of the scientists and archaeologists making these discoveries are white. And there are very good reasons why Native peoples have an issue with white people strolling into town to tell them about their culture and history. I am not an idiot, I'm well aware of the history and why that's a huge hangup for so many Native people.

I also understand the cultural and political aspects at play. There has been a consistent current of white supremacist thought (which is idiotic, as I explained that "white" as a monolithic ethnic bloc doesn't exist) since the earliest days of British colonization that have attempted to claim Natives don't "truly" own the label of being the indigenous peoples of the Americas. So I'm sensitive to how a Native would see some white people going "here's where you really came from."

 

That being said? The science and archaeology doesn't lie. The ancestors of Native Americans as a broad ethnic group came to the American continents 20,000 years ago over the Beringian subcontinent, before it was submerged. Does that lessen Native American groups' claims to being the indigenous peoples of the Americas? Not at all! Compared to when the earliest Europeans found the Americas (vikings circa 1000 CE)? The ancestors of Native Americans certainly have an iron-clad claim of being these continents' first peoples.

Yet despite that? A good deal of Native activists and spiritual leaders flat out refuse to accept the genetic studies and archaeological work that illuminates where their distant ancestors came from. They consider it "white-splaining."
Only it's not. It's science. Peer reviewed scientific study, backed up by objectively gathered empirical data. Does it conflict with many Native religious beliefs? Sure, but they are hardly the first people in the world to have their spiritual beliefs tested by the cold, uncaring hand of scientific discovery.

 

In short? You can't just say "white-splaining" to discredit something with a factual backing. Again, I get it. These are sensitive topics but at the end of the day? If we are going to be a society (not Native, not white, not anything so exclusionary, a true open society) that values factual knowledge? We cannot hide behind such terms to disregard objectively arrived at truths.

 

And so when I say "'Indians' as a name isn't derogatory" I'm not trying to tell a Native person "about their own culture," nor am I trying to "erase" tribal identities. I'm simply giving you (a general "you") the etymological history of the term. That's not "white-spalining," that's just a :censored:ing fact. And on top of that? You (a general "you") may wanna be careful who you fling that term at, because you just might end up using it against the wrong person.

 

18 minutes ago, DouglasQuaid said:

Power has nothing to do with racism or this conversation, so when using the term "white-splaining" its really no different the calling someone an "indian", "redskin", or any other harmful derogatory term. I think you should read up on why the power dynamic theory is incorrect. I dont mean to argue but its comments like this that really mislead people into a false way of thinking, so I'll just leave it at that.

So far this conversation has been heated, but overall has been pretty informative. I would like to see it continue to avoid going down the same rabbit hole that usually leads to these discussions getting shut down. So in that case? I'm going to ask you to cool your jets a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

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