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Opinion: Political correctness leads to a mute America

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Political correctness is back in action. It is not dealing with Native Americans for a change; rather, it is addressing a California high school’s mascot: the Coachella Valley High School Arabs. Apparently, no one across the nation seems to understand the debacle between freedom of expression and political correctness.

The Coachella Valley Unified School District received a letter of complaint from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee located in Washington, saying that the mascot is extremely stereotypical. The mascot is a “ sneering, hook-nosed, bearded Arab, sometimes with a single tooth, wearing a traditional Arab headdress,” according to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. 

The mascot is a huge participant during the school’s football games. He is usually surrounded by Arabian belly dancers and performs with them during halftime shows. There are murals and logos all over the school with the mascot head coming out of a genie’s lamp; there are also murals of an Arabian couple sitting on a carpet taking what seems to be a magic carpet ride, like Aladdin. This logo and mascot has been with Coachella High School for 93 years. 

It is understandable why people can find this logo and mascot to be derogatory or defamatory. However, it is HIGHLY unlikely that the main focus of the creators of the mascot was to offend Arabs back in the 1920s. The Coachella High School Alumni Association stated that the “mascot was chosen…to acknowledge the importance of date farming, a traditionally Middle Eastern crop, in the east valley.” The connection is even stronger between the high school and the Middle East because of the town name, Mecca.  It is just six miles south of Thermal, where the high school is located. 

Too many people are extremely sensitive and care about hurting other people’s feelings with their words. Granted, there are some words that one should never utter or use as a personal insult. However, a mascot created back in the 1920s was not designed to attack the Arabs in the years to come. It has been with the school since its opening, and it should stay. The government should not pull another Chief Illiniwek incident, in which a school that had this mascot for over 80 years is taken away because the government found it offensive.

This is a form of expression is specifically an expression of school pride and spirit. There is no need to remove this mascot; it is historic and a part of the school, just as the faculty and students are a part of the school. Just because one group of people finds this defamatory does not mean that a historic school mascot needs to be removed. Alumnus will not be happy, and neither will current students. 

Stop letting feelings and emotions be deciding factors. Political correctness is killing freedom of expression day-by-day, year-by-year. Eventually, people will be mute because one person could find one word offensive. If that is the world Americans want to live in, then keep up this destruction of freedom of expression.

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One Comment

  1. Jack

    November 8, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Political correctness is muting whose voices? In this case, is it muting the voices of Arab Americans? It’s not. Maybe you should think about your privileged position before you whine about a minority group’s voice finally being heard. Maybe, for once, we should shut up and listen. Maybe then we’ll finally hear what effects these institutionalized stereotypes have on living, breathing individuals that have been silenced by these forms of discrimination for centuries in the United States.

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