Mascot makeover: California's Coachella Valley High School has retired its football team's hook-nosed Arab mascot and his bellydancing genie sidekick after complaints about "Orientalist stereotyping" from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. But the school district plans to keep the team's "Arabs" nickname and has come up with a new logo featuring a bearded man in a headscarf that has won the approval of the anti-discrimination committee, the Desert Sun reports.
"We passed it around to experts and community members," a committee spokesman says. "We took our time to get the opinion of that logo, and it was overwhelmingly positive." The surrounding area produces most of America's dates, and the school has had an Arab mascot since the 1920s to celebrate the connection to the Middle East, the AP notes. The logo with the old mascot can still be seen all over the school, along with murals featuring things like flying carpets and magic lamps, and the school district says more changes will be made, the Desert Sun reports. (Read more California stories.)