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CruzFit 2014 Team Challenge is changing the logo
As many of you may have seen, the image of a South Pacific/Polynesian scene has been advertised as the logo for the Winter 2014 CruzFit Team Challenge. We are changing it to a new image with a "Tour of Santa Cruz" theme, and here is why:
We received feedback from the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center that students and staff had both expressed concern that the logo and images used were culturally inappropriate. Some people indicated that they were personally offended. Upon receiving this information and meeting with representatives from AA/PIRC, we immediately pulled the logo from the website, social media and any other locations that we could. Unfortunately, the paper version of the Winter 2014 Recreation, Intramural & Sports guide has already been printed, but the CruzFit T-shirts had not been printed yet. A new logo was designed, the T-shirts will be printed with the new logo.
In the interest of collaborating with our colleagues and raising awareness about cultural appropriation, we would like to share what was inappropriate about the logo.
First, on the left hand side of the image, the sunset in the background resembles the Rising Sun Japanese flag. This is considered offensive in some cultures, as described in this statement:
"The Rising Sun Flag is the military flag of Japan. This flag, dating from the Edo period, is used as a symbol of good fortune. On January 27, 1870, as a policy of the Meiji Restoration, it was adopted as the national flag. The naval ensign and a modified version of the war flag continue to be used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces, and the design is also incorporated into many commercial products and advertisements. However, as the flag was used by the Japanese in the conquest and occupation of East Asia and during the war in the Pacific, it is considered offensive in South Korea and China, where it is considered to be associated with Japanese militarism and imperialism."
Downloaded from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Sun_Flag 1/13/14
In addition, a focal point of the logo is banana slugs engaging in hula dancing with leis around their neck in order to convey a Hawaiian theme. Using this to promote a wellness and fitness program is an example of cultural appropriation and that can be offensive to some people and also perpetuate the commodification of indigenous cultures.
"The commodification of Hawaiian culture includes marketing native values and practices on haole (Caucasian) terms. These talents, in Hawaiian terms, are the hula, the aloha - generosity and love - of our people, the u'i or youthful beauty of our men and women, and the continuing allure of our lands and waters. Tourism converts these attributes into profit."
The Aloha Industry: For Hawaiian Women, tourism is not a neutral industry.
Author: Mililani Trask and Haunani Kay Trask
Cultural Survival Quarterly, Issue 16.4 (Winter 1992)
We apologize for offending UCSC students and staff and we gladly share what we have learned with the greater UCSC Community for the education and raised awareness of us all. The new logo will be the one printed on the CruzFit t-shirts and we hope everyone will sign up for the program and continue to engage in physical activities for your health and wellness.
OPERS Wellness Program Staff