California School Agrees To Change ‘Arab’ Mascot After Complaints

California’s Coachella Valley High School said on Friday it had retired its “Arab” mascot after an Arab-American group complained that it perpetuated stereotypes.

The Desert Sun reported that the Coachella Valley Unified School District announced the decision to change the mascot on Friday. The mascot wore a large caricature mask with a large, hooked nose, a thick beard and a headscarf. The mascot was accompanied by a belly-dancing “genie,” who has also been retired, according to the Sun.

The school’s logo still shows a snarling-faced man with one tooth, a mustache, a beard, and a hooked nose. However, the school district is working with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which sent a letter last year about its concerns, to select a new logo and mascot for the school, the Sun reported. The Arab-American group was sent five possible new logos and selected one featuring a man with a neat beard, white headscarf and a proud look on his face. As a concession to community members who protested the change, the school district has decided that while the look of the mascot will change, the “Arab” name will remain.

According to the Sun, the district released this statement:

“The District and the ADC are close to resolving this matter in a very positive manner. We hope that those witnessing our collaboration will follow our lead and keep their eyes, ears and hearts open to the feelings of others.”

h/t The Daily Caller

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at ahiza@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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