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Coachella Valley school board to discuss controversial mascot tonight

Coachella Valley mascot

Coachella Valley High School

A physical education uniform available for $15 through Coachella Valley High School's web store shows "The Arab" mascot, which has become the center of a controversy over demeaning stereotypes.

Coachella Valley Unified's school board is holding a special meeting tonight to discuss the recent controversy surrounding its mascot: The Arab.

"The Arab" is an angry looking man with a thick mustache and traditional Arab garb. At sporting events, he often appears with a young woman who belly dances with him. The name "Arabs" has been linked to the school since the 1920s, but the face of the mascot has changed significantly over time.

Critics say it perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans.

How do you draw the line of what is offensive and what isn't? How do you address something like this? Get rid of the mascot completely? Change it?

Guest: Carol Spindel, author of "Dancing at Halftime: Sports and the Controversy over American Indian Mascots" and lecturer at the University of Illinois.


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