Entertainment

Washington Post Editor Says Texas Rangers Might As Well Be Called Texas Klansmen

Amid calls for sports teams to reassess those with mascots and names with strings attached to racism and hate, fans have seen teams such as the Washington Redskins abandon their longstanding “identities.” 

Now it’s the Texas Rangers who are up to bat.

The American professional baseball team based out of Texas recently felt the ire of a Washington Post editor who called on the team to change their name. 

Notably borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name, the Texas Rangers were established in 1961 as the Washington Senators but in 1971 after a multimillion-dollar buy out were moved to Arlington, Texas, and dubbed the Rangers.

 Today, the mascots are celebrated and led by their mascot Rangers Captain, a palomino-style horse, who wears the team’s uniform. And while the team might have a history that spans back decades, it’s their name and mascot whose history appears to be much more troubling and problematic. In a recent opinion piece shared by the Washington Post, global opinions editor Karen Attiah called for a name-changing citing that “to know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen.”

Speaking about the Rangers, Attiah claimed that she had been raised on “myths about Texas Rangers as brave and wholesome guardians of the Texas frontier.”

According to Attiah, who was raised in Dallas, Texas, “What we didn’t realize at the time was that the Rangers were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory.”

In her op-ed, Attiah pointed out that the original Texas Rangers, who were established in 1835, had early assignments that were made “to clear the land of Indian[s] for white settlers.”

“That was just the start,” she went onto explain. “The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity.”
Citing the recently published book Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers by Doug Swanson, Attiah further underlined this point quoting that the job of the rangers in the force’s early days “was to seize and hold Texas for the white man.”

Renewed conversations about systemic racism and the passive ways in which we accept it as a society, were stirred up in the weeks following the death of George Floyd.

In response to calls for a change, the Washington Redskins announced on Monday that they would retire the team name and logo after years of protests.

Activists in Texas are now urging the Rangers to follow suit.

The team replied to recent requests in a statement to the Dallas Morning News, saying “While we may have originally taken our name from the law enforcement agency, since 1971, the Texas Rangers Baseball Club has forged its own, independent identity. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stands for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry, and discrimination in all forms.”

In response to the team’s statement, Attiah called its owners to put their money where their mouth is replying “If the team ownership, as it proclaims, condemns ‘racism, bigotry, and discrimination in all forms,’ there is an easy way for it to prove that,” she wrote. “The Texas Rangers’ team name must go.”

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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Barbie Discusses White Privilege, Racial Profiling, and Microaggressions On Her YouTube Channel

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Barbie Discusses White Privilege, Racial Profiling, and Microaggressions On Her YouTube Channel

Barbie may have the reputation of being just a kid’s doll without much substance behind her shiny plastic face, but the truth is, the brand is seeking to do much more than that.

Last Wednesday, Barbie posted a video to her YouTube channel where she tackled the difficult topic of racism.

For those of you who don’t know, Barbie has a popular YouTube channel where she appears as an animated character in vlog-style videos. On her channel, along with videos like “DIY Rainbow Summer Party Ideas” and ” My Puppy Did My Homework?”, Barbie also tackles more serious topics from mental health to bullying.

In her most recent video, titled “Barbie and Nikki Discuss Racism,” Barbie invited her friend Nikki (who is Black) to discuss specific experiences in Nikki’s life where she felt she was treated unfairly due to the color of her skin.

Nikki then took center stage, telling stories of the microaggressions and unfair treatment that she has experienced as a Black woman. The language and concepts were in plain language that was easy for young viewers to understand.

Nikki starts by telling a story about how she was racially profiled. “Barbie and I had a sticker-selling contest on the beach last month. We split up and went our separate directions to see who could sell the most. While I was on the boardwalk, beach security stopped me three times. The security officer thought I was doing something bad, even though I was doing exactly the same thing that you were doing.”

Nikki goes on to tell another story about how her new French teacher discounted her amazing exam results by telling her she just “got lucky”. Nikki decided not to join the French Club because she didn’t want to have to keep proving herself.

At one point, Nikki says: “People did these things because I was Black, and they made the wrong assumptions about me.”

Through the video, Barbie is an ideal ally, offering Nikki kindness, support and empathy. She never tries to make her feelings seem invalid. She even tells the viewers about white privilege: “That means that white people get an advantage that they didn’t earn, and Black people get a disadvantage that they don’t deserve.”

According to Mattel Executive Lisa McKnight, these types of videos are part of their quest to “leverage” their “global platform” to tackle important topics.

“Being an ally includes having difficult conversations to better understand discrimination,” McKnight said to Insider. “We hope that by leveraging Barbie and Nikki to explore these conversations in a kid-friendly format, we can spark productive discussions for families and empower our next generation of leaders to become advocates for change, raising their voices against racism.”

We can’t wait to see what else Barbie teaches children through her YouTube channel.

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