Published Online: November 12, 2013
Published in Print: November 13, 2013, as Calif. District Under Fire for 'Arab' Mascot

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Calif. District Under Fire for 'Arab' Mascot

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A California high school is facing pressure from a national anti-discrimination group over its nickname, the Arabs, and related mascot and logo.

In a letter this month to Coachella Valley Unified district, according to The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee asked that Coachella Valley High School "immediately address" its "orientalist stereotyping of Arabs." According to the group, the mascot "depicts a man with a large nose, heavy beard, and wearing a Kaffiay, or traditional Arab head covering."

The mascot, alumni say, was chosen in the 1920s in honor of the area's reliance on date farming, a Middle Eastern crop. Superintendent Darryl Adams said the issue will be addressed at the Nov. 21 school board meeting.

Vol. 33, Issue 12, Page 5

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