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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cultural Appropriation

I was listening to Ray Halbritter on the ironically named "Best of Keiler" on WIBX this morning. He was going on about the Washington Redskins, his meeting with Obama on the subject and the concept of cultural appropriation. This is when one culture supposedly uses another's cultural identity for their own purposes, like making money.

I don't see how Washington makes any more money than the Green Bay Packers, whose name isn't even instantly apparent. I do see that the name has an identity and that the Indian symbols are used on their merchandise. I wrote "Indian" because it's not authentically Native American anyway. Here's my question. Isn't Halbritter appropriating the culture of America by bastardizing a treasured childhood story into The Yellow Brick Road Casino?

I'm sure Halbritter and most of Chittenango's answer would be no. He mentioned a local team in Oriskany using a Native America name, but that they are working with the Nation. What this boils down to is money. Chittenango is getting money out of this casino (likely the only money anyone will see out of an Oneida casino from what I hear). I assume Halbritter wants a payday from the DC team. I think the Redskins should publicly ask Halbritter how much shake down money he wants to shut up. It will have to be more than the money he "donated" to Obama to get an audience.

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