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Simon Fraser University Drops Clan Nickname

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1 hour ago, ManillaToad said:

You were right I reread it a bunch and after the 15th try I finally understand that we notched another W against racism by pretending the word "clan" has racist implications.

 

But unmodified it does, no matter how much you pretend it doesn't.  Yes, the spelling is different, but English is dumb and words can be spelled differently but said the same way.

 

Now if you add a descriptor, like "Scottish clan", or something like that, and they're always used together, then it's completely fine.  But whether you bleieve it to be true or not, "clan", "klan", "c(k)lansman", etc. are associated by most people with the KKK and racism.  I'd be surprised if it wasn't associated 100% by minorities that may not know anything about Scottish clans.

 

 

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4 hours ago, kw11333 said:

Also an SFU alumn. Promise most people at the school were unaware of the team's name. We're in last in nearly every men's sport and our women's teams are not exactly winning championships either 

 

I know the school loves having the NCAA designation, but I would be way more interested in following what the football team was doing if they went back to playing Canadian ball in Canada West.  Been to SFU football games and would so much rather go to UBC ones because of who the opponents would be.  

 

Would have more of a vested interest if SFU was playing UBC, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba for example rather  than Azusa Pacific and Humboldt State.

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Geez.

I don't think anyone thinks that this school's "Clan" name is supposed to be the same as "(Ku Klux) Klan."  It's not that it's confusing; it's that in the United States (EDIT; just realized this is in Canada...), the word "Clan" (or Klan) on its own conjures certain images. I know when I hear "Clan" I think "Klan" at first.  If someone refers to their family as "the Smith clan" I don't.  Why? Because a lot of people call the KKK the Klan for short. If that wasn't a thing...if it was always either "Ku Klux Klan" or "KKK" then the word "Clan" would not have the connotation that it does (or can).  And this would be less likely to be an issue.

 

So just because it's not racist and in no way connected to the KKKlan doesn't mean it's not the right* thing to do. And you what? If they'd decided to leave it, I'd have had no problem with that, either.  But the institution had to decide what was right for itself and it chose not to connect itself to a word that, through no fault of theirs, causes a visceral reaction. Not everything's a PC conspiracy to win some culture war.

 

*Actually, to me it wasn't "THE right thing" to do. But it was a perfectly viable thing to do.  Some things exist outside of two absolutes.  There's nuance to things like this.

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24 minutes ago, TrueYankee26 said:

I am black and I do not associate it with the KKK at all.

 

You don't associate Simon Fraser's nickname with it?  Or you don't associate the word "clan" at all with it?

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Forget the KKK associations.

 

Clan is a terrible nickname and I am glad that such a terrible name is gone.

 

The KKK associations just make it a better reason. 

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2 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

You don't associate Simon Fraser's nickname with it?  Or you don't associate the word "clan" at all with it?

Their nickname, I should have been clearer.

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7 minutes ago, TrueYankee26 said:

Their nickname, I should have been clearer.

 

Gotcha.  I don't think anyone ever associated their specific nickname with it, but without context do you agree that one could make that association?  Another question - if you played for them, would you feel comfortable saying that you were "part of the clan" or "playing for the clan"?  Asking because they said that their own athletes didn't like hearing the word all the time, but curious of your view.

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So yeah, about a new name...

 

We just gave several good ones. This should be easy for them.

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8 minutes ago, BringBackTheVet said:

 

Gotcha.  I don't think anyone ever associated their specific nickname with it, but without context do you agree that one could make that association?  Another question - if you played for them, would you feel comfortable saying that you were "part of the clan" or "playing for the clan"?  Asking because they said that their own athletes didn't like hearing the word all the time, but curious of your view.

Yes I could see where the association could be made, I can see why the name had to go. Clan is a weird athletics name too, I would have chose Highlanders or Claymores to make it sound Scottish

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I'm not Canadian, but is the KKK a big thing up there? Like, would an average Canadian understand the negatives connotations of clan/klan, or is the KKK just an American thing?

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1 hour ago, sportsfan7 said:

I'm not Canadian, but is the KKK a big thing up there? Like, would an average Canadian understand the negatives connotations of clan/klan, or is the KKK just an American thing?

Malaysian here, I've been taught about the KKK a bit when I did Year 11 history.

 

Now that I think about it, the name 'clan' didn't fit well like I initially thought. Especially the Glasgow Clan of the UK's EIHL.

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12 minutes ago, Friedrich Stuart Macbeth said:

Malaysian here, I've been taught about the KKK a bit when I did Year 11 history.

 

Now that I think about it, the name 'clan' didn't fit well like I initially thought. Especially the Glasgow Clan of the UK's EIHL.

But would you associate clan with the KKK automatically? For example, I myself learned a bit about the Khmer Rouge in school, but my first thought upon seeing rouge isn't the Khmer Rouge (Maybe not the best example, but it was the first one I thought of).

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14 hours ago, Maroon said:

Seems a little silly to me that Clan spelled with a "C" would be confused with the KKK, but if there are actually people who have been confused by it then good call. 

 

The already suggested Scots and Highlanders would be great. Gaels seems to work for a number of colleges. Could take from NFL Europe and go with Claymores (always thought that was an awesome name). Other Scottish related nicknames could be Thistles, Guardians (less overt, but a reference to the Scottish "guardian thistle"), or Tartans.

Just pronounce the C with a S sound. You know, like that "Irish" team. 

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This isn't difficult.

 

Say the word "clan" and upwards of 90% of North Americans are going to think you're referring to the Klan. 9.9% are going to think you're talking about Wu-Tang. 0.1% are going to associate it with Scottish families. Clearly the Simon Fraser Clan should be able to use the nickname "Clan," as there's absolutely nothing wrong with the word itself - but it's been ruined by another group. The swastika analogy mentioned earlier is spot-on. Simon Fraser has expressed desire to move away from any sort of remote confusion with the Klan. Can you blame them?

 

And plus, it sucks as a sports team nickname so it's a great excuse to go with a new one.

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1 hour ago, sportsfan7 said:

I'm not Canadian, but is the KKK a big thing up there? Like, would an average Canadian understand the negatives connotations of clan/klan, or is the KKK just an American thing?

 

I don't know about the KKK, but my racist uncle has a Canadian buddy that flies the "Confederate" flag. My racist uncle just loves it, and mentions it every time he talks about visiting his Canadian friend.

 

 

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2 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

I'm not Canadian, but is the KKK a big thing up there? Like, would an average Canadian understand the negatives connotations of clan/klan, or is the KKK just an American thing?

 

It's a thing up here. I don't recall if it was broached in school, but the KKK had a pretty strong foothold in parts of Canada, especially in the western provinces. Plus the KKK has been in enough pop culture and TV shows and movies that the average Canadian knows what it is and what it stands for.

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8 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

But would you associate clan with the KKK automatically? For example, I myself learned a bit about the Khmer Rouge in school, but my first thought upon seeing rouge isn't the Khmer Rouge (Maybe not the best example, but it was the first one I thought of).

 

It's not a good comparison because you never hear "Khmer Rouge" without "Khmer". 

 

I had the opportunity to visit the S-21 prison, various camps, killing fields, and other grim sites that the Khmer Rouge operated.  It's beyond horrific - right up there with Nazis.  It's a shame that genocides are only taught in American schools if the victims are white.

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8 hours ago, sportsfan7 said:

But would you associate clan with the KKK automatically? For example, I myself learned a bit about the Khmer Rouge in school, but my first thought upon seeing rouge isn't the Khmer Rouge (Maybe not the best example, but it was the first one I thought of).

Well, with the possible nickname being 'Clansmen', I'd probably imagine black athletes getting lynched in front every spectator in the seats. The word 'Clan' is pretty much ruined thanks to deep association with racism in general.

 

As for me, when I look at the word itself, in historical terms I think of Scottish families being clan-based. However, you and me know that 'clan' also refers to you-know-who. It's not just one meaning because there is historical context between Scottish history and American history.

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