Tell Coachella Valley High School To Stop Stereotyping of Arabs!

ADC encourages you to sign our petition to Fight Ethnic Stereotyping at Coachella Valley High School

Coachella Valley High School located in Thermal, California is consciously active in reinforcing ethnic stereotypes of persons of Arab descent. ADC shocked to learn that the “Arab” is the official mascot of Coachella Valley High School. The “Arab” mascot depicts a man with a large nose, heavy bear, and wearing a Kaffiay. This imagery is plastered and advertised all over Coachella Valley High School’s athletic facilities and at sporting events. 

The petition below is addressed to Dr. Darryl S. Adams, Superintendent of the Coachella Valley Unified School District. The petition asks Dr. Adams to accept ADC's offer, and take steps together to stop the sterotyping and reach a solution to this issue. 

The “Arab” caricature is displayed in the middle of the high school’s basketball court and on the gymnasium walls. Outside of the gymnasium, the “Arab” is depicted on a carpet, with a woman next to him.  At Coachella Valley High School sporting events, a student dressed as the “Arab” is present. During half-time shows at sporting events, the “Arab” performs, while a female dressed as belly dancer entertains the mascot by dancing for him. The attendees and participants at these sporting events clearly show orientalist stereotyping of Arabs.

The continued use of the “Arab” mascot perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans. Coachella Valley High School’s gross stereotyping cannot be tolerated.

ADC is appalled that Coachella Valley High School Principal Victor Uribe, Coachella Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Darryl Adams, and the Coachella Valley Unified School District Board are permitting and endorsing this imagery about Arabs and Arab Americans. 

We demand that the “Arab” as the official mascot of the Coachella Valley High School be eliminated, along with the imagery and terminology associated with it. 

Dear Dr. Adams:

I am writing to you as a supporter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the country’s largest Arab-American civil rights organization.

The purpose of this letter is to express ADC’s concern over the use of the term “Arab” as the official nickname, mascot and logo of the Coachella Valley High School.

I am appalled at the gross stereotyping of the Arab people, which must not be tolerated, and must immediately be addressed. I, along with other supporters of ADC, strongly believe that use of the word and such imagery perpetuates demeaning stereotypes of Arabs and Arab Americans. The “Arab” mascot image is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping which should be eliminated. By allowing continued use of the term and imagery, you are commending and enforcing the negative stereotypes of an entire ethnic group, millions of whom are citizens of this nation.

I encourage Coachella Valley High School and the Coachella Valley Unified School District to give this important matter proper attention. As the nation’s premier civil rights organization for Arab Americans, please accept ADC offer to meet and discuss this matter further. It is our hope that a swift and amicable solution can be reached to resolve this issue.

Sincerely,

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940 total signers.