At Coachella Valley High School in Southern California, “Arabs” aren’t really part of the student demographics. They’re just the mascot.
The sports teams at Coachella Valley High School are the Arabs. The students aren’t allactually Arabs; it’s just their name. This is not an all-Arab school. The cheerleaders have “ARABS” across the front of their uniforms. The mascot is a hook-nosed, sinister-looking Arab wearing a keffiyeh and an outfit probably rejected by Aladdin. A belly dancer performs at halftime. The kids chant, “Let’s go Arabs, let’s go!” (At least they’re not pronouncing it “Ay-rabs.”) It is fucking surreal.
Now the Arab-Amercan Anti-Discrimination Committee is getting involved. The group sent a letter (.PDF) to the school calling on it to change its name, writing that the name is “a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping which should be eliminated.”
District superintendent Darryl Adams says he is taking the complaint seriously. “We’re very sensitive to that and how we’re going to work to make sure, maybe sometimes you should have some consultations when we’re working with other groups and cultures,” he told KESQ.