tv The Stream 2019 Ep 21 Al Jazeera February 6, 2019 7:32am-8:01am +03
a second summit to firm up north korea's commitments to denuclearize ation but as well in opposition politicians are in colombia preparing for the transfer aid and supplies from the us trucks were sent to requests for help by the self declared interim president one point zero rival factions from the central african republic of signed an initial deal to end six years of fighting agreement between the government and fourteen rebel groups was reached on sunday after two weeks of un led negotiations in sudan a more detailed agreement is due to be signed in the sierras capital bangui on wednesday five countries from africa's a hell region of asked the united nations for help in their fight against armed groups violence has surged in the region since chaos engulfed libya in twenty eleven the meeting coincided with two attacks the advocate of fossils border with mali there's the headlines more news here on al-jazeera after today's edition of the stream thanks. as venezuela is on the brink.
with two men facing off for power. one of their self-proclaimed interim venezuelan leader. talks to al jazeera. and here in the stream today we speak with native american activists to explore why must. the symbols. and how anti racism activists are advocating for change the stream of course is driven by you our community and today show was put to us on twitter by john little who we'll be hearing from in just a moment but first check out the trailer for his twenty seven thousand documentary film more than a word narrated by native american musician and former stream gusts. one word.
label that in many dictionaries as a noun dated or offensive and simply define an american in. every so often. the process discovers. the protest in north dakota against a major oil pipeline continues to grow that they're able to proceed in the way they are now they believe in their. theory of how it's a bell. it was never intended to be racist. twenty years ago you didn't hear about any of this before so consider these kind of like head dress characters living on the plains and you know never went past one hundred doesn't really allow us into like this you know modern dialogue where we have all these issues that are happening from the washington redskins to the cleveland indians many sports teams and academic institutions in the united states. on indigenous. types native american and anti racism activists have pushed for change. not your
mascot to denounce racist portrayals off the community still hundreds of organizations both educational and athletic continue to reference objectify or caricature native american traditions activists say a double standard exists one that quickly condemns racism towards other minority groups while allowing indigenous stereotypes and slurs to go unchallenged both on the field and in the public consciousness joining us now to talk about all of this in the u.s. state of oregon. is a journalist who co-founded the group eradicating offensive native tree in colorado michael roberts is the president and c.e.o. of the first nations development institute and also co-founder of the group reclaiming native truth which works to dispel misconceptions about native communities and in minnesota his tweets you saw at the beginning of the program is director of the film more than a ph d.
student at the university of minnesota it's good to have you here so much to talk about me because. i want to start with a poignant story from a member of our community francis danger about why we're talking about this today francis writes and i support that not your mascot because my daughter was told that racism against native americans doesn't matter and the washington football team name was one of the reasons cited she goes on to say in a separate incident my daughter was called a name retarded redskins and seeing and even saying that for me personally is difficult as i'm sure many in our audience but frances goes on to say that she has a right not to have a racial slur or be thrown in her face by anyone much less a world famous organization like the national football league i want to give this one to you john and they don't hear from francis thinking of it is this
what propelled you to pitch a show and why you want to talk about this. yeah i mean i think one of the incident was what we saw a few weeks ago in d.c. where the students from covington and i think i saw those boys and their ever started after the debate kind of ended up turning into who started it or who was yelling what but you saw those boys doing the tama chop to native elder because that's what they've been see that's what they see in their whole life as stereotypes of native mascots and so one of the reasons that we made that film was to kind of challenge those narratives and i think it was just something that we really wanted to do but i saw that our station and then a benefactor superballs on sunday we almost had an n.f.l. or a chiefs team that would have been in there as well and we would assume that all our shop again on sunday and so i think that was kind of one of the reason but the conversation is it's another year the n.f.l. is ending and we're still having to deal with this and so i hope that we can really kind of push those things and think about you know change in album of the redskins
but also the kansas city chiefs team as well talking i just want to remind people what they were just looking at it was generally own team for two competing much is happening and washington one was a pro-life march one was long distance people's march and some young lads were gathered around. a very well known and motive american activist called most infinite and i want you to hear the silence i want to know how you feel when you hear the sound let's play that plane. the eat. that jacqueline for people who haven't gone to sports games in the u.s. any of the american teams of sports teams or college teams there have native american musketry they will have to hope chops they will have songs like that all
sounds like that that is pretty typical when you hear that how do you feel. yeah i think this is the by i am i coined the term basketry because i feel the problem is not the mascot necessarily you know which can be a very prosaic warrior ants and man type of thing but it's what they do with. the things that they practiced as they do with the tomahawk chops and and the stereotypes it promotes and i think that is the biggest problem. and you know a mask a tree is a combination of two words mascots and it also ravelry kind of giving you a sense of sort of like rio a kind of all sort of atmosphere where the normal social rules are lifted and that's not a place you want your own traditions to be and and so i think that mascots basketry is is the real problem and i don't think that as long as there we are only known as mascots and there really aren't very many other patrols of native americans in the
media and you know there's no t.v. shows featuring modern native families i think that. the really new truth found that people not americans know they little about native americans and and so mascots i always say mask our realities our real lives realities and replace them with these stereotypical images and they could very difficult studies have shown that mascots not only propagate stereotypes but they propagate primarily negative stereotypes darkland there's a tweet here someone who i think would agree almost completely with what you're saying there this person writes in that mascot contribute to our perception as a temporal people were depicted as people in the past and it neutralizes the ability for non-natives to recognize our modern battles they like the idea of us but not having to deal with our reality so it's on that note to be to race sure
note that we've got a video comment from someone in the community douglas myles bears owner who talks about that same issue of how to listen. native american mascots were created by american corporations to sell tales of native american pain by creating their american mascots they've created a way to do human eyes native american people native american people are complex human beings by turning us into a symbol to make money with and on and to humanize us they do you mean us and exploit native american imagery no matter what anyone says native american mascots are very harmful disrespectful to native people so michael that's his take on why these images for created in the first place what's your sense you know i mean i would wholeheartedly agree with what jacqueline said and what your caller said as well you know i think of all of the work that we have done recently neither truth
was really trying to understand the base narratives of american people thought about know about unions because our belief was that we could not reclaim the marriage here or earn create a new narrative for the media if we didn't understand what was and so we did a lot of research looking at how people viewed indians you focus groups national surveys and i think one of the biggest findings we had was more rare occasion that most but indians are invisible in our society that there was a need or artists were focus groups he said our invisibility is a superpower we retreated. john i think it i think that's a great point you know i think. sometimes you just also have to look at the system that we're living in so we're living in a system of settler colonial system that's what america is and i think when you break these down there's also sorts of factors that i think douglas and everybody else has kind of touched on
a little bit but for the most part it's really about power it's about control and identity because if you can get control made of identity then you don't have to acknowledge that there are people here before americans camera before europeans can also not have it's about power and kind of just dispelling the notion that native people were murdered here and then on the other hand it's also another factor is about white guilt people don't want to acknowledge that genocide that happened and so i think that's that's are two very large reasons but there's a lot of other factors that people touched on to do and i want to. get. ok i think that. you know a lot of people try to compare it to the vikings and and i often say that would only be comparable if the only way you ever saw white men was at work was as a viking and in nothing else you never saw them on television in a t.v. show you never saw them saving the world in a hollywood movie you never saw them as president i'd states you only ever saw a white man as a viking and what would be the first thing you'd say if you when you met him which
you would be where's your longboat where you're horns this is exactly the situation we're actually in i live in portland oregon and when i go into piles bookstore there are odd all the books in the bookstore there probably five books written tim someone from my perspective a native woman in the twenty first century and that this is our reality imagine if that was you know the reality of white men it would be a very different world and so it's really the absence of any other trials and the lack of balance of being there are allegedly over two thousand high schools with need of mascots if there were that many you know the black community is about ten times the size of a native. community if there were that many. you know high schools with black mascots there would be twenty thousand high schools imagine how the kind of stereotypes that would propagate and lend itself to you and the sort of mask a tree and how much more a burden that would be to the black community to black students to black families
to have to educate over that and you have to realize that most need if you don't live on the reservation they don't live in so they don't go to schools where they're the majority they go to schools where they're often the only indian kid and so you can't put on them to have to educate against this really endemic system of misinformation michael. you have made it out of you're going to schools and the schools were in use or the mercury the textbooks they're using are out your experts that really show you didn't it needs a contemporary society you know john's it just wouldn't you know well you know american unions are america's first inconvenient truth and maybe our lasting would be inconvenient truth. you know the treatment of american indians are you know states really flies in the face of american exceptionalism i guess i just want to play a little clip from john's documentary more than
a would because there are fans who enjoy doing time hope chops who enjoy dressing up as native american indians and i have no issue with that and i don't even think it's racist have a listen to this thing that we are at risk in prayer. i mean anything deplorable about the american indian. nation i think it's a good play name is not intended to be derogatory in any in any way. thing of pride an idea of pride that we have in a team actually it should be. honor because they honor in. american indian name and it's not anything derogatory against a raid against american indians or risk and well used to be a good thing. you can see that
a little bit confused when you standing there in front of the camera would be making them feel awkward as they were trying to justify how they felt or explain how they felt here yeah you know i so i mean i'm pretty it i don't look like what people think a native american should look like so i guess they're right that's it so i don't think i had any idea me and my brother were native like that never crossed their minds a native person would be interviewing them about that but i mean just kind of on you know it was tough to listen to people say all those things and not even think about native people and you can also hear their discomfort the one guy also clearly defended the name and then but then you would know and. he wasn't even sure that he could say that it's right so he knows that you can't say that to a contemporary new group of native people but he and so it was essentially interview those fans but it was also very shocking to see that they had no idea you
know that we were native and i understand that i mean we don't look like you know we're address or you know a lot of other serious types that i think you want to believe and yeah yeah so i want to bring up this along those same lines i want to bring up this interesting idea here from someone on twitter they said i believe the chicago blackhawks work with local tribes to make sure that there are respectable and the black hawks being on the hockey team my hometown and someone else writes in in example that they want to get this is robert who says washington's n.f.l. mascot is an example of what not to do seattle's n.f.l. national football league team uses native imagery inspired by a north west coast mask made of representation and sports can and should be better so with these examples here michael you there are the black hawks working with native communities using imagery in a slightly more representative fashion as some say some teams are doing what's your
take on that. well you know i've had this conversation with my seok and friends and you know the cultural appropriation is good or any better than the new mascot street. judgment talks about. you know i think you know we are in our research. there are a lot of things that are sympathetic with indians mascots is not one of them. thirty one percent of people owns a mouse trucks and i research and you know i don't know. but it was interesting as we went to the focus groups and i asked people what they were calling their indian redskin to their race. eight out of ten people said they were not so sure that there must be some baseline. understanding that this race is down once a term can you explain because we were having this discussion amongst ourselves
before we started to do the show about can only say the word redskin is it a noun where how offensive would it be if we kept on repeating the word she would just talk about the washington football team can you help. our general audience understand what that word means if you're native american yeah yeah i think so i think one of the things like one of our logos we had and usually i haven't had to share is from an eight hundred sixty two or so article on the well known a daily republic in minutes. john we just lost on there from allen we will reconnect while we reconnect i want to show you this book here on my laptop mascot nation it is about the controversy of a native american representation in sports one of the co-authors is andrew billings we spoke to andrew in the last twenty four alice and i asked him why is it that these mascots still remain in the u.s.
court this is what is hopeless. to tell someone that a certain mascot name or ritual that you've done with your grandparents for decades is racist insensitive or offensive in some why it is implying that they were learning the improper lessons from generations before them and so they see it as an affront to their family of that is embrace a team sometimes for many many decades and they have a hard time with any notion of what we've been doing is wrong that we have to rethink what we've been doing for that one. we think what you think the wrong yeah baby steps i'll go to you with this jacqueline to examples i want to give you this is the first one is from brett on twitter who says i got a large high school in chicago to remove an offensive mascot last year due to ignorance i believe these folks truly do believe that it is an honor despite the fact it trades on stereotypical images to service entertainment and i hope that
a bill in maine that's being considered right now is successful another example is in the form of a video comment i'd like to share with you someone who worked for many years on a campaign to change the name of the washington football team amanda blackhorse she spoke to us about that fight. i was a part of litigation against the washington in f.l. team for about eleven years while our case black course vs pro football is no longer in effect right now one of the greatest victories that came out of our case was in two thousand and fifteen when a judge a federal judge ruled that the r word is offensive you don't need to go very far to find that information you don't need to look very far to see other points of reference that say that the term is offensive look it up in the dictionary it's right there so jacqueline she sees that as a win though of course and appeals court bake
a good decision in twenty eight hundred can see that headline here but still some communities are saying the fact that a judge ruled that it was offensive is a way. yeah i would i would agree with that the issue with that case has to do with the kind of law they were citing which is pretty a controversy on itself because it deals with free speech and civil rights and and to be used against minority groups as well but but as far as you know this idea of this sort of history. attached to mascot basketry i think that i would point to a study done by emory university and she does it team which found that actually mascots cost teams money native mascots to what they did a study of college university teams had given up native mascots because that there's a large cohort of them that have and what they found was that. over
a two year period the actual amount of audience participation increased so from that saying surmised that actually having a native mascot was actually off putting to the audience more than people realize there is actually a cost to that and they did estimates and both for their for the washington f.l. team and also for the cleveland emmel the team and they found that for the cleveland you particularly was a very high cost they're estimating one point eight million dollars season they were losing theirs so people may feel very attached to it but in fact it does a lot of the audience a substantial amount of the audience so when they do change to something else they actually have a greater participation i don't feel we can have this conversation without mentioning dan snyder dan snyder is the owner of the washington redskins he has a brace this debate but not in a way that you may imagine he says here and he said this many many times we will never change the name of the team as
a lifelong redskins fan and i think that the redskins fans understand the great tradition what it's all about what it means so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season we will never change the name it's not simple never you can use caps you can use caps michael what would you say back to him. you know i think . we need to. i think it's a little misguided. i think. whose perch is in the national. population now and he really doesn't care because he has the economic clout. let's use. the now that you are back john i wanted to bring this tweet to you where we got off just
a little bit before this is tristan who writes in that it is the twenty first century and journalists are still trying to figure out if the use of derogatory mascots a dictionary defines racial slurs in sports are racist i have no sympathy for an industry that can't recognize racism and lacks the backbone to call it out and of course we were just talking about that the washington football team there and and considering how to call it it is a proper noun your take on that. yeah i think it's you know i think that's one of the easiest ways as to get this to be changed would be to have sports reporters and i think that trend started in twenty thirteen twenty fourteen around there that people actually quit saying it and started saying our word usually i said our word sometimes when you're right you have to say you know i'll say it but i think we really need investment from journalists to do that and i think journalists need to start reframing new conversations to have about native people because a lot of times they're just getting one or two clips from people and getting soundbites
versus actually having native perspectives on there and so i think that's something that journalists not need to team to also do it's actually find credible native people you know out there there's a lot of really great people that have really great perspectives. you can also go beyond mascots and so i think that's something that would journalists into really work to to to delhi have another matter i don't know if you look at newsrooms you hurts you know a very large population in newsrooms and on million floors and so i think if you're you're weaving around for the news industry media to change you're going to have to change that our position of people around corners intentionally john and michael's thank you so much at the end of this show but as john challenge test many multiples to talk about alleyways do that on the strength. of american conditions that concern me tap and america your rent is overdue would add make sure we include those made of voices and those conversations thank you guests thank you for filling
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