When you think of team mascots, it’s usually a menacing character or some sort of fierce animal. According to Deadspin, Coachella Valley High School in California decided their mascot would be the “Arabs,” and no one, including the Arab-American community, finds the mascot amusing or cute.
The uniforms all say “Arabs,” and there’s even a belly-dancer that performs at halftime.
The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee has written a letter addressing the use of the mascot asking for it to be changed. Their stance is that is creates “a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping which should be eliminated.” According to the school, they decided to go with the mascot because of the large influence the Arabs have had in the community for years. Unfortunately, the mascot comes across as menacing, as mascots tend to do, so it isn’t portrayed as honoring. CVHS has been using the same name since the 1920s, but the image of the mascot has changed over time. The latest portrayal isn’t well received, but there hasn’t been a decision as to what should be done.