|Notes To The Family
Romans 12:10 (GW)
I cannot use that name for any purpose1. I know what it means and how they have had to accept it despite their displeasure.
I like football, although it is a sport with a limited future. And I do follow the Washington NFL team on network television. But I will never spend a cent for them, television allows that. There are just too many acceptable ways around the nickname problem that allow the same logo without the nickname; Braves, Indians, Warriors, Tribe just to name a few, all terms of honor. My favorites without the logo; Congress, and the 51'ers.
I remember when we answered to Nigger. And when we stopped answering to and using the term some among us continued. Mainly certain entertainers who would do or say anything to get attention. They were raised to degrade themselves for the amusement of others - - minstrels. of our day, now celebrities. (Its truly amazing what we celebrate.) And of course celebrities have followers. It was a nickname3 ascribed to us despite our rejection. Our objection meant nothing to those thought they ruled us and those who continued to degrade themselves by its use.
Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington NFL team, has cited polling data that show only 1 in 10 native Americans find the nickname of the Washington team objectionable. There is no need to examine that data. Just as with Blacks, many are misguided for various reasons, but mainly because there is no reason to object publicly to what cannot be changed.
Years ago driving from Virginia to Georgia to see our dying grandfather, we were not allowed to use the gas station rest room. My father assured the proprietor that we would not damage anything and would leave it as clean as we found it. The proprietor explained, "Now Nigga, the colored restroom is broke, and you can't use the white one. Now you take your kids on behind the building like I said and let them do what they got to do. You don't want no trouble, you hear me."
This was in the 1950s and for my father, family responsibility won out over respect. We had to get to Georgia and there was no time for losing arguments; no time to be detained or arrested on the highway; no time for the nondescript shooting of a crazy Nigger on the highway. The fact that he wore the uniform of the United States Army meant nothing. So my father feigned respect to a man who deserved none. There was nothing strange about it. It was the way we survived all indignities of the time.
Native American advocacy groups are powerless and unable to stand against Dan Snyder's resources. A few publicized gifts and a publicized foundation give him license to continue the disparagement. Really, that's all the gifts were for.
Costas Redskins Commentary
Every week during halftime of Sunday Night Football, Bob Costas gets to recite a personal essay about whatever hot topic strikes his fancy. This Sunday he chose the Redskins name, and spent a few minutes offering his commentary on the subject. Here is his statement in full.
With Washington playing Dallas here tonight, it seems like an appropriate time to acknowledge the ongoing controversy about the name, "Redskins." Let's start here: there's no reason to believe that owner Daniel Snyder, or any official or player from his team, harbors animus towards Native Americans, or chooses to disrespect them. This is undoubtedly also true of the vast majority of those who don't think twice about the longstanding moniker. And in fact, as best could be determined, even a majority of Native Americans say they are not offended.
But, having stipulated that, there's still a distinction to be made. Objections to names like Braves, Chiefs, Warriors and the like, strike many of us as political correctness run amok. These nicknames honor, rather than demean. They're pretty much the same as Vikings, Patriots, or even Cowboys. And names like Blackhawks, Seminoles and Chippewas, while potentially problematic, can still be okay provided the symbols are appropriately respectful. Which is where the Cleveland Indians, with the combination of their name and Chief Wahoo logo, have sometimes run into trouble.
A number of teams, mostly in the college ranks, have changed their names in response to objections. The Stanford Cardinal and the Dartmouth Big Green were each once the Indians. The St. Johns Redmen are now the Red Storm. And the Miami of Ohio Redskins, that's right Redskins, are now the RedHawks. Still, the NFL franchise that represents the nation's capital, has maintained its name.
But think for a moment about the term "Redskins," and how it truly differs from all the others. Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed towards African Americans, Hispanics, Asians or any other ethnic group. When considered that way, "Redskins" can't possibly honor a heritage or noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. It's an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present day intent.
It's fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended. But if you take a step back, isn't it clear to see how offense might legitimately be taken?
To treat people in the manner in which you expect to be treated. To show consideration for another person's feelings and interests. An attitude demonstrating that you value another person.
Donations to tribes by Daniel Snyder's Redskins foundation plummet in second year, records show. Click link to see article: