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I'm looking at you, Washington NFL Franchise.
I'm looking at you, Johnny Depp painted up to pretend to be a Native American who runs around, acting ridiculous.

I want you to take a moment and imagine either of these two things portrayed about anyone else.

Would you name a football team the Washington N-words?   Johnny, I love you in so many films, but if someone asked you to wear black face for a role, wouldn't you say "WTH?"

And yet, it seems as though in some weird world, here in 2013, mocking and making fun of Native Americans still has no negative backlash.

I will say openly, I am not Native American.  I grew up in a community that had a proud history of being founded by the Osage Indians, a city that grew and, at the insistence of family members, a museum and events were formed to honor the Osage who presented a "pageant" of events in our community many years ago.

I cannot, nor will I, pretend to understand the pain and hatred that goes into being mocked for being a Native American.   But like most people, there has come a time in my life that people have used words, phrases, etc. to denigrate me or those around me, and I understand that words not only sting, they help define the way we think about ourselves and others.

For this reason, I'm a bit aghast that this summer, one of the big blockbuster films, from Disney of all sources, is spending so much time in it's trailers and other media showing off their "funny" painted Johnny Depp as Tonto, playing into all the trope and stereotypes that we wish was no longer a part of our culture.

I guess there were no actual Native Americans who could act.   I hope there were no Native Americans who were OK with degrading themselves to a film with the goofball direction that goes on here.

I'm OK with films taking a comic appeal to an aside; and if Johny Depp wearing a painted face was the only time Native Americans were being mocked in our society, I would shrug and say "we all get poked fun of now and again, maybe it's a bad joke, but.."  But what makes this film harder to swallow is that right now, heading into summer camp, there is an NFL team that despite years of opposition keeps and maintains the name: The Washington Redskins.

Grantland.Com recently did a deep look at this problem, and it is still baffling to me why no movement can be made on what should be simple.

http://www.grantland.com/...

   "We'll start signing Negroes when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites."

    —George Preston Marshall; founder of the Washington Redskins, 1961

    "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."

    —Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, 2013

I wish I could cover the past sins of the Washington NFL team, but it is best summed up in a series of excerpts from the Washington Post, years ago:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

For the 24 years when he was identified as the leading racist in the NFL, he simply stared down the criticism of his refusal to sign a black player. It was the only subject on which the voluble Marshall never expressed a public opinion, never resorted to a quip. But he bristled when this columnist reminded him in print that "the Redskins colors are burundy, gold and Caucasian."

He caved in, finally, when Interior Secretary Stewart Udall issued an ultimatum: Sign a black player or be denied use of the new 54,000-seat D.C. Stadium (later renamed RFK) that the government had paid for, and to hell with the 30-year lease Marshall had signed.

Some argued that Marshall's anti-black policy was grounded more in commerce than in prejudice. Marshall had brought his football team to Washington with a plan to make the Redskins "the South's team." To that end, he established a network of radio stations in Southern cities and towns to carry the games, and he directed his coaches to draft players mostly from Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas colleges. They did, and the team became the Confederates of the NFL. One original line in the Redskins' fight song went, "Fight for Old Dixie," before it was revised to "Fight for Old D.C."
Sitting in DC, making their game in RFK Stadium, sits a team that goes unnamed.. or listed only as "Washington" in all the major newspapers in America, papers that are rightfully ashamed to list the name that their owner steadfast refuses to change.

Senators and house members have tried to make the NFL .. and Snyder listen to reason, but to little avail.

http://thehill.com/...

Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) on Tuesday said the use of the name "Redskins" for Washington's football team is offensive to American Indians as the "N" word is to African-Americans.

"The use of the 'R' word is especially harmful to native American youth, tending to lower their sense of dignity and self-esteem," American Samoa's delegate to Congress said on the House floor. "It also diminishes feelings of community worth among native American tribes and dampens the aspirations of their people.

...

But he said the NFL continues to ignore these requests. Several House members recently sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the issue, but Faleomavaega said Goodell wrote back saying the intent was never to harm American Indians.

Goodell also argued that the Redskins name has a positive meaning, an argument Faleomavaega said was made in a "dismissive manner." The delegate also took a shot at Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has said he would never change the name.

"Such arrogance is wholly inconsistent with the National Football League's diversity policy, which states, 'Diversity is critically important to the NFL. It is a cultural and organizational imperative about dignity, respect, inclusion and opportunity,' " Faleomavaega said.

Grantland, though, finally nails the problem that haunts not just the Washington NFL team, but this summer's Lone Ranger:

http://www.grantland.com/...

Imagine if your team makes the Super Bowl. Instead of glory, I can guarantee two solid weeks of coverage, debate, and questions about why our shared national holiday will be marred by a racial slur. Instead of celebrating the league, your buddy Roger Goodell would be under the hot lights and pressed at every turn about why several media outlets in the D.C.-Metro area refer to your franchise only as "the Washington football team." There would be "Occupy Redskins" protests in the Super Bowl host city. With RG3 comes relevance, and with relevance comes the one thing Roger Goodell loathes more than direct sunlight: political attention. The attention RG3 demands, the heightened profile of the team, and your desire to get a new D.C. stadium all speak to the reason why there is more sunlight than ever on the shame of this name and why the end is assuredly near.
The Washington Team will be in the spotlight this year; the first time in many years thanks to a youth movement that brought in an exciting QB, a lot of media attention and some expectations.   The Lone Ranger is a 200M+ blockbuster tentpole for Disney that will get major advertising push around the country and will open in thousands of theaters to flocking teens.

If these were minor events, teams and movies that would be seen by a very few, maybe we wouldn't pay attention.

But this year in two separate mediums - sports and film - Native Americans will be presented to the world as the mocking visage of the past; a humiliating portrayal that continues the age old prejudices and mockery of how we treat people.

One of these will be in your multiplexes in time to celebrate the birth of our nation.   The other will be outside of our nation's capital.. in a building named after RFK.

Welcome to 2013.

Originally posted to tmservo433 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 04:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges, Native American Netroots, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank. You. (45+ / 0-)

    I am so tired of the defenses of these two - especially Snyder.  I actually had to read someone on a supposedly liberal site elsewhere go on and on and ON about how "We don't know he's a racist," in the face of being told repeatedly by, you know, actual Indians that this has been ongoing for decades and he is, in fact, a racist.  Of course, I then read from the same source, in discussing these issues, that "No one is a racist" and that we should not label people as such because no one deserves to be called that.

    Snyder is an open, proud, unashamed racist.  I say we make sure everyone knows it.

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

    •  My problem with this controversy is that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      South Park Democrat

      the word "Redskins" is used as a team name to invoke associations of strength and invincibility.  YOu know, that's why teams have names like "Panthers" and "Sharks" and "Titans" and "Bears".  So, I've never thought of the word "Redskins" as a perjorative, but now some people want to convince us that it's the worst, most perjorative name and for some reason someone wants to use a name for their team that is as infamous as the n-word.  I'm sorry but you can hurl every epithet in the book at me and I'm sure many will.  I  just don't buy it.

      And I don't know Dan Snyder - I've never been a fan of either him or the team - I think they are a uniquely ridiculous and poorly managed sports team.  Personally, I'm happiest when they lose games.  But the team had had the name for years before he ever bought it and keeping the name doesn't make him a bad person, or dare I say it, a racist.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:49:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  read up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jlms qkw
      •  "Some people?" (13+ / 0-)

        That would be us Indians.

        And, oh, by the way, too fuckin' bad.  Learn the history of the word and its application to us and the attempted genocide of our peoples before trying to tell me that it's not a slur, or that it's honorable.  Not remotely interested in whitesplained defenses of Snyder's open racism - and the open and proud racism of everyone who uses it and defends its use.

        After having been told over and over and over again what it means and the pain it causes, keeping the name does make him a bad person.  It makes him a racist.  There is no room for debate on either of those things at this point.  

        Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

        by Aji on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:28:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And everything I said goes for . . . (4+ / 0-)

          the uprater of that bit of twaddle, too.

          Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

          by Aji on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:30:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sorry but I don't consider myself a racist at (0+ / 0-)

          all.  On the contrary.  I am a white person - does that make me automatically guilty of some offense?

          No one person or even group of people can determine the meaning of a word.  And, while it might not make you a nice person to be inconsiderate of the opinions of others, it is his team and I guess he can call it whatever he wants.  Obsessing about it strikes me as somewhat masochistic.  And there's always room for debate, my friend.  Closing off debate means closing off one's mind.

          The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

          by helfenburg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:00:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Being white doesn't make you guilty of something. (4+ / 0-)

            Being willing to ignore the voices of people who are telling you how incredibly offended they are by a term that denigrates them does.

            Go tell some random black people how you feel that if there were a 'N.......s' team, it would be a compliment that invokes 'strength' or 'power'.  Or some Jewish friends that there should be a 'K....s' team.  Or a 'F.......s' team to compliment your gay friends.

            The simple fact is that to the vast majority of Native Americans, those team names are deeply offensive slurs at worst, and appropriations of their culture at 'best'.

            When you simply tune them out and talk about how 'everyone' gets to determine the use of words, and it's a matter of 'debate', you're helping support the status quo.

            •  Hey, I didn't name the team and I don't know (0+ / 0-)

              what the vast majority of Native Americans think.  I didn't tune anyone out, but I do think that being so concerned with what some jackass names his football team is kinda lame.

              The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

              by helfenburg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:33:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Football teams are extremely public. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                catilinus, jlms qkw

                They're mentioned on newscasts all the time, are written about in newspapers, talked about in offices and bars.  Imagine that there was a football team with a name you found incredibly offensive.  Every time you stumbled across it being mentioned in a newspaper of on ESPN, it would be a slap in the face to hear such a word being bandied about.

              •  "I didn't tune anyone out..." What a bunch... (6+ / 0-)

                ....of garbage. That is exactly what you've done.

                It has been suggested to you that you read up. But you don't want to be educated on the matter.

                Instead, you want to maintain the wrongheaded attitude you arrived in this thread with and keep saying that "redskins" isn't perjorative, just a name that should not anger Indians, and that if it does anger us, we're "lame."

                Why do you think we should be a political ally of someone who discounts our views and aggressively offers a psychiatric diagnosis—masochistic—of our views in this matter?

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:19:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've gotten the message that others think (0+ / 0-)

                  differently than I do.  You think my attitude is "wrongheaded".  That's your prerogative.  We'll have to agree to disagree.

                  You discount my views as much as I discount yours.  As for "masochism", it's not a psychiatric diagnosis, but a colloquial use of the word.  It has a commom meaning.  

                  Cheers,  peace, justice and prosperity to you.

                  The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

                  by helfenburg on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 03:46:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  BS! Read about the meaning/history of "Redsk--s" (7+ / 0-)

        Stop pronouncing to others your uneducated views and get informed:

        RedSK--S & HATE CRIMES by Winter Rabbit this morning.

        So one last time, "Redskin Indians" refers to literally skinning American Indians. "But his (Jackson's) Indian Fighters had a very peculiar preoccupation, that was skinning the Indians on the battlefield. "They used to make pants" it says in the video.
        Also check out what Congress members stated:
        In their letter to Mr. Snyder, Members of Congress acknowledged that “Native Americans throughout
        the country consider the ‘R-word’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word’ among African Americans or
        the ‘W-word’ among Latinos.
        Such offensive epithets,” the letter continued, “would no doubt draw
        wide-spread disapproval among the NFL’s fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington’s NFL football
        team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans.”

        The Members of Congress stated:

        The current Chairman and Chief of the Penobscot Nation, Chief Kirk Francis, recently stated in a joint
        statement that the [R-word] is ‘not just a racial slur or a derogatory term,’ but a painful ‘reminder of one of
        the most gruesome acts of . . . ethnic cleansing ever committed against the Penobscot people.’ The hunting and
        killing of Penobscot Indians like animals, as declared by Chief Francis, was ‘a most despicable and disgraceful
        act of genocide.’

        "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

        by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:58:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Lone Ranger looks atrocious- (17+ / 0-)

    I guess the combination of Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer pretty much guaranteed that it would be.
    I'm totally clueless about football, guess I just assumed that the Redskins had been re-named years ago. Guess I was wrong.
    How long is this kinda crap gonna go on?

  •  Disney has always been racist. (9+ / 0-)

    The Lion King is the most racist film that I can remember. When I saw it in the theater, I could not believe what I was seeing.  All the villains are dark colored, disfigured and/or accented. And let's not even get into when the little lions are playing and the leaves fly up and spell out S E X in large letters. I saw that in the theater, and I went WTF?

    Then there were the "Jim Crows" in Dumbo and the entire Song of the South.

    Disney is very racist.

  •  The view of johnny Depp's Tonto (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616

    From a right wing nutjob Native American

    Do the research yourself to verify the author's claims about the Comanche he talks about in this post.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:06:57 PM PDT

  •  Do people really associate "Redskin" as a racial (0+ / 0-)

    slur against American Indians? I could be wrong, but I think when most people think of the term "Redskin" they think of a mediocre NFC East team. Words and labels do evolve as time advances.

  •  I could be wrong but it seems like derogatory (6+ / 0-)

    terms for Native Americans as high school mascots have mostly been changed.  That would indicate society as a whole disagrees with the BS excuse to keep the name by Goodall and the NFL. And it would indicate it's all about money. It's shameful.  No one in a position to do anything about this has any guts.  

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:36:51 PM PDT

  •  The Cleveland Indians' Logo has to be the worst (9+ / 0-)

    of all.  

    One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns. --- John Oliver

    by voroki on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:40:49 PM PDT

    •  It is bad (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29, northerntier

      I have no issue with the name (nor do I: Chiefs, Blackhawks, Braves, etc.) which do not invoke negative stereotyping.. but the Indian mascot is also wrong...

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:42:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do. (10+ / 0-)

        We boycott the Braves, the Chiefs, the Blackhawks, and all others in this household.  They're all appropriative and exploitative, and they've been told this repeatedly and continue to use them - along with their "tomahawk chops" and "war dances."

        Some NDNs will excuse it.  Not in this household.  We'll root for the fricking Cowboys before Washington or Kansas City, and in this household, that's just short of an unpardonable sin. :-)

        Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

        by Aji on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:46:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Aji (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433, Onomastic

          I am glad you're here, but I am sorry you have to explain why this shit is not acceptable. Jeez.

        •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gffish

          Again, as I said, I can't comment on behalf of those who would be directly offended.  And I do understand that.   I have learned something through you as well.  

          Because of their associations with their native tribes (like the Blackhawks, Florida State Seminoles, Kansas City Chiefs) and funding of those causes, I didn't put them in the same category as say, the Washington R--- which just takes the name and seemingly has no problem with any implication, nor do they use their name in any way as a tool to educate/etc.

          But I completely respect those who are offended.

          Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

          by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:01:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As a Giants fan ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... I could never root for the Cowboys.  When Dallas plays Washington, I just hope they both play miserably.

          Unless one can make the other drop below the Giants.  But even in that case I tend to bury my head in my hands and try not to think about it.

          "War is not the answer, for only love can conquer hate." ~ Al Cleveland & Marvin Gaye (1970)

          by JBL55 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:34:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's not for me to say what "should" offend.. (3+ / 0-)

    But I have Irish blood and I'm not at all offended by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

    Usually Native American references are born out of a respect for their renowned warriors. The Apache helicopter is just one of many examples.

    I'm not Native American and I fully respect any Native American's wishes when it comes to their culture. I'm just trying understand why sports teams invoking their culture is considered offensive.

    Sports teams typically choose names out of respect. Lions, Sharks and Bears; for example, are considered powerful beings that should be respected. The 49ers references the gold rush, a pivotal time in California's proud history.

    Being offended by the Johnny Depp thing, that I understand.

    Please proceed, Governor.

    by USArmyParatrooper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:42:34 PM PDT

    •  Uh (5+ / 0-)
      I'm just trying understand why sports teams invoking their culture is considered offensive.
      So, uh, how many native americans play for the Redskins?  Here's the deal...Notra Dame is an Irish Catholic School...and so they can call themselves the Irish.  The Redskins aren't.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

        I used the pronoun "their" to mean Native Americans, not the Washington Redskins.

        To clarify, I'm just trying understand why sports teams invoking Native American culture is considered offensive.

        Please proceed, Governor.

        by USArmyParatrooper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:53:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cause they are completely unfucking like (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          futurebird, savannah43, fuzzyguy

          the Fighting Irish, in that none almost none of the folks on the Indian mascot teams in College and NFL football teams are actually American Indians.

          So, there is absofuckinglutely no correspondance between the Fighting Irish and the Washington Redskins.

          Now, if you really want to talk about how respectful it is, lets take a look at the Cleveland Indians logo

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:57:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You still haven't explained what is offensive (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            savannah43

            about it?

            As someone with Irish blood I wouldn't be offended if any team decided to name themselves such, or even call themselves the "Leprechauns"

            Please proceed, Governor.

            by USArmyParatrooper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:01:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good for you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              futurebird, Urban Owl

              But here's the clue...its not about you, and Native Indians have complained, often.

              You still haven't explained the respect derived from the Cleveland Indians Logo...cause you can't.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:03:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say the Cleveland Inidans logo (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DarthMeow504, nookular

                was chosen out of respect. But I do believe (as with all teams) the name of the team was chosen out of respect.

                Seriously, what sports team takes on the identity of something they don't like or respect?

                Please proceed, Governor.

                by USArmyParatrooper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:10:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's not really respect (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Batya the Toon, savannah43

                  It's a limited form of appropriation, calling a cartoonish, violent image of real human beings who have had some real problems with white people, all in order to amuse a bunch of white people.  You can't have respect without dignity.

                  It's generally poor form to take an ethnic and racial identity and lump it in with a bunch of animals and call it respect.  

                  •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                    "It's generally poor form to take an ethnic and racial identity and lump it in with a bunch of animals and call it respect."

                    I think you know that's not what I'm doing, so let's at least discuss this honestly.

                    For starters two examples that I gave, Vikings and 49ers, are in fact people. Also many cultures revere and even worship certain animals. In the context of sports teams, animals such as lions and tigers are meant to represent the strength and vigor of the players.

                    It's quite disingenuous of you to suggest I was comparing Native Americans to animals as lower beings.

                    Please proceed, Governor.

                    by USArmyParatrooper on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:17:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Things that make them feel macho? (0+ / 0-)
            •  Strike the "Recommend." A slip of the finger. (0+ / 0-)

              I believe you're being provocative on purpose. Would using the phrase "Drunken Irishmen" offend you? Or how about "Irish Potato Suckers?"
              BTW, my great-grandmother, who was an Iroquois, wants me to ask you to guess which finger I slipped with. And, I am Scotch, Irish, and Iroquois. If you seriously cannot fathom why any of this is offensive, look up the word "derogatory."

        •  "Redskin" is a slur. (9+ / 0-)

          And seems to me, to be by far, the most offensive team name in America. As Empty Vessel pointed out above, I think there's a real difference in taking a name that's reflective of your community (as is the case with Notre Dame), and the outright use of a slur by people who have no connection to the people being slurred.

          The argument that the team is "honoring" Native Americans is absurd given the history of the team and its original owner. But even if you wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt on that point, why honor people with a slur?

          •  The name was given in *honor* of their coach (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DarthMeow504

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            Who at the time claimed the heritage of Sioux Indian. I'm sure they didn't intend a racial slur toward their own coach.

            That being said, his coach's status of being an American Indian was been challenged. Still, the intent behind the name was not offense.

            Again, you guys are applying today's standard of intolerance toward stereotyping to days long since past, which such things were not taboo.

            Please proceed, Governor.

            by USArmyParatrooper on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:22:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It wasn't just challenged (8+ / 0-)
              Dietz's Indian heritage was first contested in 1916 after former neighbors who settled on the Pacific Coast heard he was posing as an Indian. In December 1918 the Federal Bureau of Investigation looked into his heritage after he fraudulently registered for the draft as a "Non-Citizen Indian" with an allotment. The Bureau found he had taken on the identity of James One Star, an Oglala man of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation 12 years his senior who had disappeared in 1894. Dietz also falsely claimed he was the head of an American film company that produced propaganda films for the war.

              Dietz divorced De Cora in November 1918, charging her with abandonment. It is not clear how much she knew about his true identity. She died six days after his indictment.

              Dietz was tried in Spokane, Washington in June of 1919 for the first offense. One Star's sister, Sallie Eaglehorse, testified after seeing him for the first time at the trial that Dietz was definitely not her brother.

              It was repeatedly shown that he faked his indian heritage in order to dodge the WWI draft.   More importantly, this is one of the reasons why Native Americans are more offended.. a man who faked having Indian Heritage basically said "yeah, Redskin is cool" when he wasn't native American and gave them justification to take the name because he had NO weight on it at all, he had only used his fake heritage to dodge the draft.

              He used Native Americans to commit fraud and mocked them again by basically lending the slur to a team.

              Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

              by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:33:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Even if it WAS good faith, it's not now.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              savannah43
              Again, you guys are applying today's standard of intolerance toward stereotyping to days long since past, which such things were not taboo.
              That's probably fair. But now that we know better, shouldn't we change the name? If Dan Snyder changes the name, he makes a gesture of tolerance and modernity. I doubt any fans of the Washington team would renounce their loyalty if they took a different name.

              If I was the owner, I'd change the name to the Washington Grays, which could genuinely honor the Negro National League baseball players of color that were denied the right to participate in the Major Leagues due to the racist attitudes of people like George Preston Marshall.

        •  It's the reference to skin color (5+ / 0-)

          as well as what the word "redskin" has meant in popular white culture, especially film. It was always uttered as a contemptuous epithet. It does not invoke Native American culture, only the NA as other or enemy.

        •  I wrote about this in February this year... (17+ / 0-)

          ...and many previous times. Link:

          In October last year, the staff at the Washington City Paper, which also cringes at the team's name, held a contest for its readers to suggest what the publication should call it. About half of them chose "Pigskins," and that's what City Paper now calls them, sometimes abbreviating to "'Skins." The Washington-based DCist — one of several city-centric blogs focusing on news, entertainment, sports and culture — joined the disdainers and is now calling the team simply the "'Skins" or "the Washington team." Huzzah to all three publications.

          For many, though certainly not all American Indians, even we whose coloration definitely leans toward the pale, "Redskin" is as nasty a racial slur as any. The long-standing argument over the Washington team's name, which includes a failed lawsuit by Cheyenne/Muscogee activist Suzan Shown Harjo, wouldn't even be an argument if the name were the Washington "Niggers" or "Spics" or "Chinks" or "Ragheads." Imagine what would happen if every time Robert Griffin weaved himself 30 yards downfield, the crowd leaped up to shout "Go Kikes!" The outcry would long ago have forced a change. But "Redskins"? That still gets a pass. Not just from the team's owners and players but from the fans.

          When I was a kid in Georgia, we literally lived on the wrong side of the tracks, segregated from the white population, even though half my Seminole family could easily pass white when we traveled to places where we weren't known. But my grandparents and two of their four children—my aunts—were dark, and that plus some cultural observances got us all labeled "red niggers." When my mother and I moved north, that epithet disappeared from my life, replaced by "Redskins." My high school teams [Arvada, (Colorado) High School] were called "Redskins," and I graduated with a letter jacket (for wrestling and gymnastics) with that name emblazoned on it. It wasn't until the '90s that the school finally changed the name, first to the "Reds," and then the "Bulldogs."

          In fact, all but about 70 of the nation's secondary schools, as well as all colleges and universities under NCAA edict, have abandoned the "Redskins" name, some of them kicking and screaming. But the NFL lets teams call themselves what they wish. The Washington team recently responded on their web site to criticism over the name by thumbing their nose and saying "We Are Very Proud To Be Called Redskins."

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:01:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Something's can't be said enough (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JBL55

            And I'm sure you said it more eloquent than I, but for some reason the new trailer for Lone Ranger pissed me off ;)

            Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

            by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:07:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Chief Dodson agrees with you, Hail to the Redskins (0+ / 0-)
          Dodson is a full-blooded American Inuit chief originally from the Aleutian Tribes of Alaska, and said he was tired of being spoken for as a Native American.

          “People are speaking for Native Americans that aren’t Native American. Being a full-blooded Indian with my whole family behind me, we had a big problem with all the things that were coming out [of the discussion],” he said. “I think they were basically saying that we were offended, our people were offended, and they were misrepresenting the Native American nation.
          “We don’t have a problem with [the name] at all; in fact we’re honored. We’re quite honored.”
          It’s actually a term of endearment that we would refer to each other as,” he explained. “When we were on the reservation, we would call each other, ‘Hey, what’s up redskin?’ We would nickname it just ‘skins.’”

          http://www.redskins.com/...

          "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

          by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:54:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Notre Dame was founded by a frenchman. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gffish

        Hence the name.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:51:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not to wade too deep into this debate... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz, JBL55

        but in the interests of accuracy and as an alum of Notre Dame, I can tell you that Notre Dame was not founded as an "Irish Catholic" school.  It is a Catholic school.  They just use the Irish symbology as a clever marketing scheme, as many Catholics also have Irish heritage.

        The university was founded by a French priest, which is why it has a French name -- University of Notre Dame du Lac.

        In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

        by Cixelsyd on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:51:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you know where the term redskin comes from? (0+ / 0-)
    •  No, it is NOT done out of respect. (15+ / 0-)

      It is a fucking redface minstrel show done for exploitation and appropriation purposes.

      Would you be so dismissive of our objections if they were called the Washington N------?  or the Washington K----?  Or the Washington S----?  Didn't think so.  But somehow, it's okay to use a term that refers to the attempts at genocide for our peoples?  Oh, hell, no.

      Sorry, but I'm so beyond DONE being polite about this bullshit.

      Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

      by Aji on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:44:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jesse Jackson said something to the effect that (7+ / 0-)

      until the minority is accorded equal status, any name at all is associated eventually with a pejorative.  Once they are accorded equal status, it becomes fun and jokey and bearable, like the Irish and fighting.

      "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

      by Inland on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:49:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This makes a HUGE amount of sense to me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Batya the Toon, savannah43, JBL55

        It also goes along with how I feel about reclaiming and owning slurs. If you're proud of your identity, how can referencing it insult you? Say "damned right I am!" and let them suck on that.

        Maybe it's just what I learned growing up picked on in school. If you show hurt, it's like blood in the water to sharks. If they know the word hurts you, they'll double down on it. If you aren't bothered, they'll give up. I myself have reclaimed the terms "nerd", "geek", "weirdo", and "freak" as they were laid on me constantly growing up. I'm working on "fatass" but it still bothers me a bit. My first name, which was mocked constantly as well... not so easily. I ended up changing it as an adult and I still hate when people use my real name.

        So I understand it's a thorny issue. But I do think that by and large the "out and proud" way is the best tactic.

        "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

        by DarthMeow504 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:38:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That may be the most intelligent thing (0+ / 0-)

        I've ever heard said on the subject.

  •  Don't worry too much about 'The Lone Ranger' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmservo433, indubitably, Matt Z

    From everything I've seen and heard about it, it will most likely open and close on the same day. Disney heads are gonna roll about this one.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 05:47:07 PM PDT

  •  at least jay silverheels was actually native (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover

    as for the sports team names, i think that teams that use tribal names should be royalties to the tribes whose hames they're using.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:32:53 PM PDT

  •  Many years ago in Minneapolis (11+ / 0-)

    the Washington Redskins came to play, I think it was the superbowl.

    We had a huge demonstration that completely surrounded the Dome.

    It was beautiful, truly, with Native American dancers and drummers. I remember a little boy saying to his father, "Look, real Indians." So, different than the mocking of Native American culture that the Washington fans do.

    If I remember right, Wellstone was there.

    That was many many years ago, and that Washington team still won't changed their name.

    Shameful.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:39:42 PM PDT

  •  .....they don't play in RFK anymore (0+ / 0-)

    and haven't since 1997 btw.

    just sayin'

    (I'm a Eagles fan, RG3 is gonna be in for a rude awakening next year, they're not gonna sneak up on anybody, Skip Bayless is NUTS to have them as a Super Bowl contender)

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:45:34 PM PDT

  •  The Redskins play at FedEx Field. (0+ / 0-)

    They haven't played at RFK fro years. I'm pretty sure RFK has been demolished.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:04:58 PM PDT

    •  My bad.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stratton

      See this is how quickly we who aren't there forget

      Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

      by Chris Reeves on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:08:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No prob. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmservo433, gffish

        I do it all the time. You know I'm conflicted on this issue. I think for sure the Redskins, as well as the Cleveland Indians need to update their mascots. The goofy "Injun Joe" is disgraceful. They can come up with something which depicts American Indians with dignity.

        As for the Redskins, the name itself is problematic. They had a logo decades ago which was simply a feather next to an R. But I don't find the current logo to be especially offensive. It's the name which appears to be what most folks are upset with.

        The most helpful thing would be if Snyder showed even an ounce of sensitivity to the issue, instead of just giving the middle finger to anyone who raises concerns.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:14:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Devil's Advocacy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, Alexandra Lynch

    One doesn't name a sports team something that is intended to be mocked. A sports team name is an avatar, a totem if you will, something whose attributes you hope to be associated with. In that usage, it's by definition not derogatory as the whole point of a team mascot / name is something you wish to identify with because it demands respect. If it wasn't meant to be positive, the team wouldn't want to be identified with it.

    Teams have chosen Native American mascots to draw on the cultural image of the Brave, the honorable warrior who is almost like our own version of the samurai. It's rather flattering.

    That said, I feel there are two ways to go about this. One is to reclaim the word and refuse to be insulted by it. That's what my people, the Cajuns, have done. "Cajun" was a slur at one time almost identical in source and nature to the term "Injun", but we claimed it and made it our own. Nobody uses that word as an insult anymore, because we said "damn right I am, you got a problem with it?". Some goes for the term "Coonass", which was even more a direct insult. We owned that too. I'm a proud damned Coonass like my mother and my grandparents before her.

    My personal response, if I were more than just a trace amount Native American, would be to say "Damn right I'm a Redskinned Injun, deal with it!". Be proud of it and refuse to be insulted. But there's not enough native blood in me that I feel right in speaking for others far more native than I.

    The other solution, which is probably more practical especially in the short term, would be to rename the team the Washington Warriors. Keep the mascot and the colors, but change the name to something unambiguously positive. Make it absolutely clear that the name and mascot are a compliment, designed to invoke the positive image of the Native American Brave.

    Plus the nerd in me loves the idea of there being Wizards and Warriors in the same city. All they'd need then is a team called the Elves and they'd have a full dungeon raiding party!

    "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

    by DarthMeow504 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:20:01 PM PDT

    •  Substitute 'damn right I am an n-word' (0+ / 0-)

      in your narrative and think about it.

      •  Every "gangsta" rapper does just that. (0+ / 0-)

        Not that that's right.

        The Atlanta minor league team of yore being called the "Atlanta Crackers" is one thing; a Dallas team called the "Assassins" would be another.

        "Washington Wizards" is as lame as "Tennessee Titans," unfortunately. If it were not so, renaming the football team the "Warlocks" to give D.C. the coherence of Detroit's or Chicago's franchises would be cool.

        How about calling the teams the "Washington Warmongers" (basketball) and the "Washington Warlords" (football)? Ooh, and since they seem to hate "Senators," how about "Warcrafters," since nerds love baseball? (I guess I've shown my sport affinity toward football - but give me a break, I live in a town with the second largest college football stadium in the nation. :)

        The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

        by bubbajim on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:02:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's one thing for rappers (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          savannah43

          to call themselves the n-word (they are being ironic). But if a white person called them the n-word, they'd whip some ass. And who could blame them?

          "Redskins" is patently offensive and does not need to be embraced! It needs to be eliminated as the name of an NFL franchise.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

          by Dragon5616 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:47:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Many do just that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges

        I'm from New Orleans, and I've often been the minority working with primarily black co-workers. I understand that doesn't make me any sort of expert, but I do feel like I have a lot of experience. I've known many who do claim it as a badge, and I can't say they have the wrong idea.

        On more than one occasion I've grown to fit in well enough to be referred to by them as "n-r" myself, and I took it as a sign of being accepted. It was a compliment.

        The most poignant was an older black woman who was as sweet and wise and cool as you could imagine, and she sensed that I didn't feel I belonged and that I was walking on eggshells just a bit to make sure I was coming across as respectful. She basically told me "relax, you're a n-r here just like the rest of us". It warmed my heart and I genuinely thanked her. I went from feeling like an outsider to feeling like I was among friends. It was especially sweet as that woman was like everybody's grandma, and everyone loved her as much as she did everyone. She spoke from her heart that I was really accepted, and it meant so very much to me.

        It's a wonderful thing when barriers come down and people can truly connect as human beings. And whatever it takes to knock down those barriers, heal those old wounds, and unite us is something I'm completely in favor of. Reclaiming old insults is something I think has healing power.

        "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

        by DarthMeow504 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:55:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not Samurai... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon

      The name isn't meant to invoke the modern concept of the "Flattering, honorable warrior", but the stereotypical fierce barbarian, ignorant and "savage". Not very flattering.

    •  Here's the problem with this. (5+ / 0-)
      Teams have chosen Native American mascots to draw on the cultural image of the Brave, the honorable warrior
      Things wrong with this:
      * using a "cultural image" of a culture that isn't yours
      * using a "cultural image" of a culture that has been historically oppressed and victimized by your own, and is currently marginalized and underprivileged
      * reducing the entirety of said culture to said "cultural image"
      * ignoring and dismissing the objections of members of said culture

      When all of those things are happening, especially the last one, it seriously doesn't matter how "flattering" the intent is.

      If the intent truly was to compliment, guess what: it failed.  And all other issues aside, the only reasonable thing to do with a failed compliment is to STOP USING IT.

      •  I'm a Coonass (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think you can argue that the word "Redskin" is worse of an insult than "Coonass" is. But I'm happy to own it, as I'm not ashamed of my heritage but instead proud. You can only be insulted if you allow yourself to be. If you stand your ground and say "Damned right I am!" then what can they do to you anymore? Their words have lost their power and can no longer hurt you.

        So if anyone wants to call their team the Coonass, I'm all for it. We already have a few Ragin' Cajuns teams, and I think it's great. I'm flattered that people think we're cool enough to name a team after.

        Again, I can't speak for others. But in my experience whining at people to stop saying things only signals weakness and invites more abuse. Refusing to be affected, being loud and proud instead, robs the would-be bullies of their ammunition.

        "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

        by DarthMeow504 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:05:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That works just fine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          when someone is calling you a Coonass.   How would you feel about it if a bunch of non-Cajun people decided to dress up as caricatures of you and your people, and prance around going "Hey, look at me!  I'm a Coonass!"?

          Further: I have to admit this isn't something I know a lot about.  What can you tell me about the social status of people of Cajun descent in your part of the country, in comparison to people of the dominant demographic?

          Because the issue of whether one label is "worse of an insult" than another has nothing to do with its literal meaning, and everything to do with the social status associated with the people it's labeling.

          •  Let's put it this way: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon

            My grandparents were forbidden by the school system to speak their native language, and they were so discriminated against that they chose not to teach their own children the language in order to save them the same harassment. They weren't alone in this, by a long shot.

            I'm not going to do your own research for you (google and wikipedia are your friends) but trust me on this, Cajun was a slur to begin with (very similar to the word Injun) and Coonass was our equivalent to being called the n-word. We've been a marginalized people since we were first exiled from Canada and only recently have things changed for the better.

            "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

            by DarthMeow504 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 07:07:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I will definitely want to research this further. (0+ / 0-)

              Thanks for the clue-in.

              In the meantime, I'm still curious about your take on my first question there.

              •  It honestly wouldn't bother me (0+ / 0-)

                And in fact I'd kinda get a kick out of it. There's already Ragin' Cajun teams, and if any of them trotted out a raccoon with a huge rear as a mascot and called him the Coonass, I'd laugh my ass off.

                "Is there anybody listening? Is there anyone who sees what's going on? Read between the lines, criticize the words they're selling. Think for yourself, and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet." --Geoff Tate, Queensryche

                by DarthMeow504 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 08:45:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  It's good for business. (0+ / 0-)

    Somewhere, there is a picture of Dell in costume with some Dineh (I think they were Dineh) leaders.

    Tourism generates a lot of revenue in the Monument Valley and the theory was that tourists will come to see where Johnny Depp filmed a movie.

    Or they could reopen a uranium mine.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:40:12 PM PDT

  •  I should have boycotted Disney at Snow White. (0+ / 0-)

    But the one that made me decide to never, ever give them any money ever was Pocahontas.

    Egad, who didn't they insult with that one?

  •  Que descanse en paz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    concernedamerican

    There used to be a Mexican soccer team called the Indios.  But they went out of business.  

    I think that the Yaquis and Mayos beisbol teams are still around.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 08:44:32 PM PDT

  •  Freakin' Disney. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, 4Freedom, Meteor Blades

    It figures.

    As for the Washington Racists, a bad history as long as that ought to get them cast out of the league.  Just shows you how far we have yet to go.

    Good diary; republished to Barriers and Bridges.  Thanks very much.

    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:02:43 PM PDT

  •  it's a movie...but congratulations (0+ / 0-)

    on your mojo score.

    You picked a good topic to score some points.  Enjoy the ride.

    You know you're in Oregon when you only see people using an umbrella to protect themselves from the sun.

    by Keith930 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:19:47 PM PDT

  •  There was a big fight in North Dakota (6+ / 0-)

    About the UND sports team name, “The Fighting Sioux.” The NCAA told UND they had to change the name unless they could get permission from all the various Sioux tribes. Two Sioux tribes in the state split. One said they thought it was OK, the other didn’t like the name. The college students voted on it. Some alumni told the college president they’d stop donating money if the university changed the name. The state board of higher education made a decision -- to change the name. The legislature tried to pass a law keeping the name. It was put on the ballot for all voters to vote on. The NCAA said, if you keep the name, your teams will never play in championship or bowl games. The athletic conference UND belonged to told UND flat out, you can’t stay in the conference if you keep the offensive name.

    And, finally, UND decided to change the name. But for several years, there were nasty letters to the editors in the local papers.

    --

    The funniest comment I heard was from a co-worker who said, “What about the Minnesota Vikings? What if your grandfather was a Viking? Wouldn‘t that be offensive?” I said, “My ancestors were Norwegian, but there haven’t been any Vikings for about 1000 years, not since they converted to Christianity, so if my grandfather was a Viking, he’d have to be a 1000-year-old vampire or zombie or something like that. Hey, that might be a good idea for a movie. Zombie Berserkerganger Vikings.”

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 09:40:22 PM PDT

  •  oh gosh don't get me started. (0+ / 0-)

    On going Brown out of Hispanic movie stars and journalists, etc.

  •  How about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSmith, savannah43, white blitz

    the Washington Football team changing their nickname to Rednecks.  It still has red in it and has the same number of letters. They could use a hillbilly as a mascot.  Didn't think so.

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

    by Ohkwai on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:17:27 AM PDT

  •  stake out the stadium w lots of supporters (0+ / 0-)

    Sports stadium across the country around the world- provide a venue for a variety of issues:
    immigration
    environment
    women's/human rights

    Never cared for the Rskins name..not a big fan either. Its all about the owners and their $$$$ invested in the "franchise"..

  •  Polls have shown majority of local Native American (0+ / 0-)

    support keeping their team's name.

    "If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost." Winston Churchill

    by Kvetchnrelease on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:01:27 AM PDT

  •  Now vs Then (0+ / 0-)

    All I know is as a 33 year old male,  when I hear the term 'Redskin', I wonder what a Washington Football player did.  It would never occur to me to refer to a Native American as a 'Redskin' and can't imagine anyone in power/authority referring to them in that way.  In fact, I would likely laugh in the face of someone trying to insult a native American like that.  The term 'Redskin' has nothing to do Native Americans except its history.  Words evolve over time; how about letting this one change too?  By removing it from vocabulary and making it taboo, you just give it the power back that has been removed over the years.  Would anyone argue that N*gger is a bigger slur today that it was 25 years ago?  I argue that is casual use removed most of the stigma over the years.

    Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.

    by Liberal Elite on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:10:34 AM PDT

  •  In trying to understand the popularity of naming (0+ / 0-)

    sports teams after native Americans...this is what I think happened... cause & effect:

    Most sports teams are named for something that signifies agression and physical strength in the eyes of the namers.  Competive teams are not usually named after lambs or sparrows etc.

    And since the native American population was depicted (stereotyped)  as very agressive and with great physical prowess  for many years...they then had sports teams named for them.

    “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

    by leema on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:43:29 AM PDT

    •  Seems kind of straight forward, doesn't it? (0+ / 0-)

      Dare we suggest that giving a sports team - that apotheosis of American popular culture -- the name of a Native American tribe or any other word that evokes the Native American people could be a sign of respect?

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:52:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think the reality is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib

    The Washington NFL team isn't going to change the name until the use of this name starts hitting the team's (and the NFL's) bottom line. And while the name is certainly offensive and those of us here are (rightly) up in arms about it, most people don't care. In fact, a recent AP poll (from May 2013) showed 79% of football fans think the team should keep using the "Redskins" name.  A similarly 79% of the general public agreed. I provided a link below. Even more amazing is that this represents a 10 point improvement from the early 1990s when 89% said the team should keep using the name.

    What this tells me is that the team's (and the league's bottom line) is more likely to be negatively impacted by changing the name than by keeping it. The NFL is a business, and until these views are reversed the name isn't going anywhere. You can stage all the protests you want and the media can run as many articles as it likes, but to bring about real change we need to work on changing peoples' views on this name.

    http://www.cbssports.com/...

  •  It is profoundly insulting. (0+ / 0-)

    Mayan Word For 'Apocalypse' Actually Translates More Accurately As "Time Of Pale Obese Gun Monsters."......the Onion

    by lyvwyr101 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:03:20 PM PDT

  •  I can’t believe what I’m seeing here. (0+ / 0-)

    Here I am on liberal Daily Kos and I can’t believe the rampant defense of the Redskins name I’m seeing.  I just don’t get it.

    I’ve had Native Americans as family members and friends in my personal life for nearly 20 years and I still struggle, daily, trying to imagine the world from their point of view.  but what I don’t struggle with is that none of them endorse the mean spirited name of the Redskins, and I’d be a world class asshole to try to defend the use of Redskins as a mascot.

  •  The fact that in 2013.... (0+ / 0-)

    .....the "Redskins" name can live on in iconic form for a team in the "nations capital" is nothing less than astonishing and despicable.

    It's high time that they do the right thing and change the name.

    But they won't.

    "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

    by jkay on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 06:35:26 AM PDT

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