Skate Canada Replaces "Mohawk" and "Choctaw" In Its Terminology

vu2019

Member
Messages
27
It is now called a group 5 Axel lift and has been since IJS started. Lasso is a very old term

All group 5 lifts are considered "lasso" or "lasso-type" lifts and those terms still appear in the ISU technical rules, but I agree that the term lasso is redundant when a lift has been identified as group 5 (and the technical panel handbook omits it when naming the specific group 5 takeoffs).
 

Yuri

Active Member
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414
Oh good grief, the PC police and virtue signaling have hit figure skating. Now I always thought Choctaw and Mohawk were dumb names for basic turns, but stupid me thought they were named to honor and remember Native American tribes. Heck I even went through cultural sensitivity and civil rights training when I worked for the federal government and issues like Choctaw and Mohawk as a naming term involving Native American tribes weren't even on the radar. We dealt with preventing actual discrimination.

I'm more used to these controversies in the realm of the nicknames of sports teams, as I even went to a high school where our teams are named the Warriors complete with a man in head dress. Our town debated the issue a decade or so ago and elected to keep the name as few considered Warriors to be derogatory.

Recently Washington dropped the name Redskins in the NFL, also without another name to replace it. While I somewhat understand THAT term could be somewhat derogatory and racially offensive to the sensitive types looking to be offended, still about 90-95% in polls of Native Americans were OK with it. But the Redskins name went after BLM and corporate sponsors, including FedEx who holds the naming rights for the stadium, put financial pressure on the owner.

The real headscratcher to me is the decision to drop the city name Squaw Valley this summer, citing George Floyd as the reason for changing a Native American term that no one I knew thought was derogatory. At least it's not nameless and it's Olympic Valley. But then you had all the nonsense with Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, I'm just not sure whose lives were improved by dropping those long term names for very popular brands.

I seriously don't understand what the hell SkateCanada is trying to accomplish here and to me, this PC crap undermines solving the real, long-term racial issues in a sport like figure skating that many consider as elitist and dominated by rich, white folks. But if SkateCanada wants to pander by dropping Choctaw and Mohawk and smugly believe they have solved an actual problem, shame on them!

P.S. some of us old timers will always know what a lasso lift is by its visual clues, please don't expect us all to understand what a Group 5 Axel Lift is! ;)
 

alilou

Ubercavorter
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6,515
I seriously don't understand what the hell SkateCanada is trying to accomplish here and to me, this PC crap undermines solving the real, long-term racial issues in a sport like figure skating that many consider as elitist and dominated by rich, white folks. But if SkateCanada wants to pander by dropping Choctaw and Mohawk and smugly believe they have solved an actual problem, shame on them!

P.S. some of us old timers will always know what a lasso lift is by its visual clues, please don't expect us all to understand what a Group 5 Axel Lift is! ;)
I suspect what you actually don't understand is the whole issue of cultural appropriation.
 

vu2019

Member
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27
I suspect what you actually don't understand is the whole issue of cultural appropriation.

And those who don't understand would be wise to at least listen to those impacted and try to understand the ways in which terminology (and many other things) can hurt people and groups, even unintentionally, rather than jumping to anger that maybe you'll have the slight inconvenience of having to learn and use a new term that doesn't hurt (quite a mild thing to be so offended and upset by, especially while ironically accusing others of being "the sensitive types looking to be offended").
 

Tinami Amori

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19,616
I suspect what you actually don't understand is the whole issue of cultural appropriation.
As a Russian, i would be proud if several figure skating elements were names by "russian anything" (except a profanity).
Mohawk and Choctaw is not derogatory terms, and the actions that uses the terms (the steps themselves) are not something "negative".

If Mohawk and Choctaw is now forbidden, how about calling it "Makushka"* and "Chukcha"**.... :) This Russian won't complain.

* Makushka is "bold top of the head" (another meaning is top of a hill or a mountain or any elevation)
** Chukchi are indigenous people of North East Russian Region.
 
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overedge

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Now I always thought Choctaw and Mohawk were dumb names for basic turns, but stupid me thought they were named to honor and remember Native American tribes.

If you read some of the earlier posts in the thread, you'll see the names were originally adopted because of stereotypes about Native Americans that were acceptable at the time. It's not honouring any group to use its name for that reason.
 
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Tinami Amori

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19,616
If you read some of the earlier posts in the thread, you'll see the names were originally dopted because of stereotypes about Native Americans that were acceptable at the time. It's not honouring any group to use its name for that reason.
What negative stereotypes where the basis for two figure skating steps? What was "the negative association" of changing legs from right to left with consideration of edges? These steps on ice where names after supposed dance steps of the Indian tribes. So where is "negative"?
 

alilou

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6,515
As a Russian, i would be proud if several figure skating elements were names by "russian anything" (except a profanity).
Mohawk and Choctaw is not derogatory terms, and the actions that uses the terms (the steps themselves) are not something "negative".

If Mohawk and Choctaw is now forbidden, how about calling it "Makushka"* and "Chukcha"**.... :) This Russian won't complain.

* Makushka is "bold top of the head" (another meaning is top of a hill or a mountain or any elevation)
** Chukchi are indigenous people of North East Russian Region.
I would like to politely suggest that part of the issue is that the Russian people have not been marginalized the way the indigenous peoples of North America have, and were certainly not sent to England to be put on display as savages. Any amends white colonialists can make, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant, is at least a beginning of recognizing the generational harm that was done to these people.
 

essence_of_soy

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5,627
I'm so tired of all of this political correctness BS.

For some reason I am reminded of this classic South Park episode.


All kidding aside, an Australian Musical Theatre grant experienced significant backlash when it was accused of having a group of 30 semi-finalists which did not include any indigenous representation.

 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
Messages
15,595
For some reason I am reminded of this classic South Park episode.


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True story, when I heard Nathan Chen was skating to Philip Glass, I thought of this episode.

A friend made this contribution to a pan-religious Holiday Party back in college:

Here comes Buddha,
Here comes Buddha,
Right down Buddha Lane!
He's in the void,
He's in Bliss,
He can't feel no pain!
 

Tinami Amori

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Messages
19,616
I would like to politely suggest that part of the issue is that the Russian people have not been marginalized the way the indigenous peoples of North America have, and were certainly not sent to England to be put on display as savages. Any amends white colonialists can make, no matter how small or seemingly unimportant, is at least a beginning of recognizing the generational harm that was done to these people.
- I can make a good case how Russia/USSR was put down and marginalized by North America, not just politically but socially (and give examples of commercials, cartoons and rhetorics from various sources/media, but this is not the place).

- I am familiar with treatment of the natives by the europeans, but naming a step in a beautiful sport by association with natives' tribal dance steps, is "positive" on all levels. I see it as "integration and appreciation" of something "good" which are part of natives' culture .... dance, steps.
 

MacMadame

Staying at home
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37,879
- I am familiar with treatment of the natives by the europeans, but naming a step in a beautiful sport by association with natives' tribal dance steps, is "positive" on all levels. I see it as "integration and appreciation" of something "good" which are part of natives' culture .... dance, steps.
But that's not how those natives see it. And in this case, it's their perspective that counts, not ours.
 

jenny12

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6,820
- I can make a good case how Russia/USSR was put down and marginalized by North America, not just politically but socially (and give examples of commercials, cartoons and rhetorics from various sources/media, but this is not the place).

The Russians were never marginalized by North America. You can argue against America’s interventionists polices but this is nowhere near the same thing as the mass slaughter and displacement that Native American tribes were put through. Native Americans are under-represented in America in very distinct way and coupled with this historical genocide comparing to political cartoons against Russians is ridiculous. That is why appropriating Native American culture is especially wrong.
 

Hanna

Skating junkie
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27,794
I don't get it... OMG
I'm not sure what it is exactly that you don't get, but IMO there are some really fantastic explanatory posts written by several people in this thread. So for anyone not understanding, I would recommend to start by reading through this thread.

On that note, I want to thank all of you who wrote wonderful and educating posts here on the matter - it's like my thoughts that I couldn't put into words got a voice through your posts. I admit having taken a few screenshots :D for future reference in situations where I want to argue similar topics but don't know how to word them. :respec:
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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3,819
When I was a little skater, I thought the Mohawk was named after the hairstyle since the blades come together in a similar straightish line. But the Choctaw name never made sense to me.

If the ISU decides to officially change the names, I hope they choose something better than letters of the alphabet.
 

Sarrie

Active Member
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17
Just to add some more information on Native American cultures - a lot of our dances are ceremonial. The dancing you see at Pow Wows is very modern in comparison with some styles being developed as late as the 1970’s.

I’m Native American, however not Choctaw or Mohawk and I know my tribes traditional dances are closely guarded and while guests are welcome to watch our ceremony you must be a tribal member to dance our dances. I know a lot of other tribes have similar customs regarding their dances, songs and regalia including that some steps and dances are performed only by men or women. In my humble opinion that makes the naming even more problematic if it was based on dances those tribes did as permission does not seem to have been given by the tribes in question.
 

essence_of_soy

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5,627
If nothing else, at least some of Australia's more outspoken sports commentators have been retired or given sensitivity training.

I am reminded of a televised tennis match featuring Evonne Goolagong Cawley. When she was taking her time preparing for a crucial point, one of the commentators remarked that she had gone 'walkabout'.
 

Japanfan

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Recently Washington dropped the name Redskins in the NFL, also without another name to replace it. While I somewhat understand THAT term could be somewhat derogatory and racially offensive to the sensitive types looking to be offended, still about 90-95% in polls of Native Americans were OK with it. But the Redskins name went after BLM and corporate sponsors, including FedEx who holds the naming rights for the stadium, put financial pressure on the owner.
You don't need to be a 'sensitive type looking to be offended' when your culture is depicted/described in a pejorative fashion - or more precisely, a depiction that is perceived to be pejorative to the population being depicted/described.
 

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