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View Diary: Why I Can't Root for the Washington Team (13 comments)

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  •  totem shmotem (0+ / 0-)

    Either mascotting has the concrete, measurable bad effects I set out or it does not.  I don't see a lot of interest in parsing the evidence.

    No religious practice could mitigate those effects, if they exist, or be relevant to the public policy issue consistent with the First Amendment.

    And, speaking of the First Amendment, the fact that speech does harm is not a ground for outlawing it.  I don't claim otherwise.

    I do claim that if you care about the harm, you should quit inflicting it.

    If you care about harm, you ought to be careful about where you place the burden of proof.  When mascotters claim they are harmed by being deprived of their beloved symbols, I am prepared to accept their word.  I just go a step farther and weigh those harms against the other harms implicated in the transaction.

    It's a first principle of zemiology that all public policy choices involve balancing harms to various stakeholders, and in a democracy everybody is entitled to have their interests weighed.

    I'm not saying mascotting should be against the law.  I'm saying it's wrong and decent people ought not to participate.  I will venture that government should not endorse the practices at issue.  For example, by funding a venue where American Indians are "honored" involuntarily.  Or by recognizing a trademark, unless we expand trademark registration to some places no sane person would want to go.

    •  Ummmmm. Sorry. (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't mean to claim that the current practice of mascotting should be continued in the face of clearly perceived harm.  Teams currently using offensive symbols are clearly capable of changing them, and mascotting in current culture is NOT primarily a religious practice, but a marketing ploy. Fond sentiments for an old brand are insufficient justification for continuing insult to living persons; I can express those sentiments without discounting your experience or the need for change.  I was merely inviting exploration of additional dimensions, not raising First Amendment issues.  But certainly, you already put enough thought and energy into that diary to declare yourself finished if you want to leave it at the social and psychological ramifications that you have so thoroughly discussed.

      •  No offense taken, but (0+ / 0-)

        My interest is in public policy.

        All of my diaries reflect that.

        If the analysis you suggest were so obviously implicated in the policy issue that I needed to dig into it, I would, but it seems to me that admitting the value of mascots to their acolytes is sufficient...unless you are claiming some irresistible impulse.

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