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The Football Name Debate: Are We Missing the Point?

“The debate is over about the R-word; it’s now about whether if it’s proper to have a football team in this country carry on using a defined slur.” That was the closing statement by Jacqueline Pata, the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). Her comment capped off a forum at the Center for American Progress, Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Native Mascots and Team Names on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth. The Center released a new report that examined several bodies of research about the harmful impact of mascot representations on the self-esteem of AI/AN youth, how they create a hostile learning environment, and the decades-long movement to retire them. The report by Erik Stegman and Victoria Phillips looks at recent key findings and incorporates statements from several Native youths, providing context that is relevant today regarding the use of these mascots and imagery.

Sitting on today’s panel was Pata; Travis Waldron, Sports Reporter, ThinkProgress.org; Mark Macarro, Chairman, Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; Dr. Michael Friedman, Clinical Psychologist; and Erik Stegman, Associate Director, Center for American Progress. The forum started with very poignant remarks by fifteen-year-old Dahkota Franklin Kicking Bear Brown, a student at Argonaut High School in California, and a Champion for Change at the Center for Native American Youth. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) also spoke briefly at the event.

Over the last year, the debate over the use of the slur by the Washington professional football team has largely centered on issues of economics and fan nostalgia. The larger issue at hand, however, is beyond the sports soundbites that dominate this discussion. Data and research now shows that the use of such racist and derogatory team names (and by association, ‘traditions’ and fan antics) have real and detrimental effects on Native youth today. With fifty percent of the Native population being of 25 years of age or younger, the danger of perpetuating this practice and continuing the cycle of defeatism, hostile learning environments, and poor self-esteem is all too real. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Soriano Blows Third Save of Season, Werth Delivers Walk-Off

Rafael Soriano has blown three saves for the Washington Nationals. All of them have resulted in tie games, the previous two went to extra innings with the Nats losing both. While the Nationals 3-8 record in extra innings sounds preposterous with how good their 2014 relief pitching has been it still exists, and avoiding extra innings in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth was key. Down to their last out after Rendon hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Span from the bases Werth was the last shot for the Nationals to avoid extra innings. It could be assumed that trading Rendon for Span would be a minus in the base running department, but Rendon is an intelligent base runner and when Werth doubled down to left field line Rendon was able to come all the way around to score.

If you’re a baseball fan that likes aggressive and intelligent base running then this was the game for you. Both teams had several plays where base running was the key going all the way back to the Nationals first run of the game in the bottom of the second. LaRoche led off the inning with a single then went first to third on Harper’s single and when LaRoche scored on Desmond’s single Harper took third drawing a throw and allowing Desmond to advance to second giving the Nationals runners second and third with one out. It wouldn’t result in any more runs but it was a sign of things to come.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Spike Mendelsohn of The Sheppard

Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery

Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery

Back in April during the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, Spike Mendelsohn cooked a whole pig for a feast. He used the pig’s head to make a 10-hour cheese head broth for a soup.

About halfway through, musician Jack Johnson wandered into the kitchen to check out Mendelsohn’s work. A long-time admirer of the folk rock surfer, the chef was over the moon, happy to share secrets of the soup with Johnson and his wife.

Soon, everyone ate the pig, and sat around a fire while Johnson played the guitar for hours. Afterward, they ate the soup.

“That was a pinnacle moment of my life where I got to meet a guy that I’ve always looked up to for numerous reasons,” Mendelsohn told me.

The happy encounter was no accident. Mendelsohn and 14 other chefs had gathered outside of San Francisco for the boot camp dedicated to bolstering the advocacy work of chefs and musicians.

“Not only did I meet him, but I was there as a peer of his. We were there to learn about the same thing and share ideas. As the weekend progressed in boot camp, we sacrificed a pig. It was part of the learning process of where food comes from and what is a good way to sacrifice a pig and what is the wrong way to sacrifice an animal for food.”

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Technophobia w/Void Vision, Curse @ Black Cat, 7/19/14

technophobia071914Our friends in dark-wave trio Technophobia have enlisted their friends on a number of remixes for their song “Bleeding Hands.” And so vocalist Denman C. Anderson and synthmasters Stephen and Katie Petix are throwing a cassette release party for these remixes this Saturday, July 19, on the backstage of the Black Cat.

The song receives new treatments from Pleasure Curses, Lenorable, Psykofly and Semita Serpens.

According to a Technophobia press release, “The original Bleeding Hands gives way to trip through a midnight discotheque from dance duo Pleasure Curses. Soon after, the void opens up for a space-birthed dirge courtesy of Lenorable, before the hammer comes down via Psykofly’s brutish drum and bass treatment. The last hope of light is finally vanquished due to Semita Serpen’s riveting ‘Industrial Cinema’ remix.”

Void Vision (Photo by Nikki Sneakers)

Void Vision (Photo by Nikki Sneakers)

In a show to celebrate the cassette release of the “Bleeding Hands” remixes (which you also can hear online at Soundcloud), Technophobia will host Philadelphia’s Void Vision in their first DC appearance along with Baltimore’s Curse.

I saw Void Vision in Philadelphia three years ago, and I can attest that artist Shari Vari is a frenetic bundle of new romantic/new wave/dark wave/industrial energy in a sonically sweet wrap. Given how much energy our own Technophobia put into a show, this performance is guaranteed to grab your attention.

Technophobia
w/ Void Vision, Curse
Black Cat
Saturday, July 19
Doors @9pm
$10
All ages

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Did your friends flood your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds this week with photos of the double rainbow? Could you practically hear them squealing with delight as you imagined them pulling out their camera phones to snap a picture of the semi-mythical atmospheric occurrence? Well, some of us missed the stupid rainbow(s) because … well, thunderstorms make us sleepy.

All is well because, fortunately, frequent flickr contributor Number7Cloud craftily recreated the double rainbow’s appearance over the DMV. Just about the only thing that could make this picture better would be if there were a leprechaun riding a unicorn in the background.

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Mike Friedman of The Red Hen

Chef Mike Friedman at The Red Hen

Chef Mike Friedman at The Red Hen

We’re revisiting our Capital Chefs feature with a series by music reporter Mickey McCarter. A lot has been happening recently in kitchens in D.C. restaurants, and Mickey takes a look into them from his usual seat at the bar in this series, which runs weekly on Thursdays.

Positively embarrassed that I had not yet eaten at The Red Hen by the time it picked up a few RAMMY Awards last month, I recently slipped up to the 18-seat bar that dominates the room for dinner and a chat with Chef Mike Friedman.

Like myself, Friedman often enjoys eating at bars. It’s more casual and you can talk to the bartender and the people around you. Stroll in for a pasta and a glass of wine and you’ve struck gold. On this particular visit, I’m also very happy to hear David Bowie and the Talking Heads on the restaurant’s sound system, which makes me feel right at home. Friedman’s business partners Michael O’Malley and Sebastian Zutant decide what’s on the radio at the restaurant, he told me.

While good music does indeed make for a comfortable bar experience, there’s way more to The Red Hen, of course.

“Bars drive business to a certain extent. We didn’t want to have a restaurant that was a bar. We wanted to have a restaurant that was a restaurant,” Friedman said. “There is a central bar at The Red Hen where everybody dines. It’s the overflow for people that can’t get tables. It’s rare that you see it three seats back. We usually send people around the corner to Boundary Stone, which is our local bar. And they wait until they get a text from us saying that their table is ready.”

DC restaurants generally have been getting back to basics when it comes to food, Friedman said. And good neighborhood places have been able to excel by taking a more casual approach than some fancier DC staples.

Friedman compared the latest wave of DC restaurants to the scene in Paris some six years ago, when sous chefs were leaving Michelin-starred restaurants to open small bistros of their own.

“We are not at that level Paris was at, but certainly here you are seeing that new wave coming,” Friedman said.

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