Publication Archives: Blog > Deception and misdirection

Hail to the name Redskins!

[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

If you’re going to stand up to the bullies of the world, you have to do it at every opportunity. Each time you give in, each time you simply acquiesce—each time you tell yourself that it’s just not worth it to stand up to them this time—you empower them, you encourage them, and you make it more likely that they will ratchet up the bullying the next chance they get.

Even when it’s something like, say, whether a football team gets to call itself the Redskins.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) used the controversy over the views of Donald Sterling, a racist liberal newly banned from the National Basketball Association, to bring up the Redskins controversy. As reported by ESPN at http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10862707/senator-harry-reid-urges-nfl-follow-nba-end-washington-redskins-nickname

“How long will the NFL continue to do nothing, zero, as one of its teams bears the name that inflicts so much pain for Native Americans.”
Reid called on [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell to “follow the NBA’s example” and “remove this hateful term from your league’s vocabulary.”

Senator John McCain—as often, the voice of appeasement—commented (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/02/senator-mccain-thinks-redskins-should-probably-change-their-name/):

“I do believe that, if I were [Redskins owner Daniel Snyder], I would sit down with Native American leaders,” McCain said. “I’d call the Native American leaders together. And I’d sit down with them, and I’d say, ‘OK, what is it that you want? How do you want me to do it?’ If I were him, I’d have a dialogue. And if they think it’s that offensive and terrible I would certainly probably — I’m not the owner, he has the rights of an owner — but frankly I would probably change the name. Myself, I’m not offended, you’re not offended. But there are Native Americans who are.”

A United Nations “human rights” expert joined the discussion (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/un-expert-says-nfls-redskins-name-offensive-115515136–nfl.html)

James Anaya, a University of Arizona law professor who oversees global rights of indigenous peoples at the UN, said that the National Football League team’s name was deeply wrongheaded.
“While I am aware that there are some divergent views on this issue, I urge the team owners to consider that the term ‘redskin’ for many is inextricably linked to a history of suffering and dispossession,” Anaya said in a statement.
“It is understood to be a pejorative and disparaging term that fails to respect and honour the historical and cultural legacy of the Native Americans in the US,” he said.

Note that Professor Anaya works for the United Nations. An organization with a history of corruption on a global scale, the U.N. is made up mostly of dictatorships and kleptocracies; it gives veto power to such governments as Communist China and Putinist Russia; and, as an example of its hypocrisy and its blind eye to evil, the U.N. includes, on its Human Rights Council, the governments of China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Comically, its “experts” lecture people in the United States on human rights.

In addition, such knowledgeable commentators as Bob Costas and President Obama have weighed in on the side of a name change, and a number of sports writers now refuse to use the name “Redskins,” preferring “the Washington team.” (Wait—Wasn’t Washington a slave owner? How can it be OK to use his name?)

And here’s a delicious example of the hypocrisy of American Indian activists who suddenly, at this moment in history, some seven decades after the Boston (now Washington) Redskins were named, decided that the name is racist (http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2014/apr/11/navajo-council-un-expert-criticize-redskins-name/) [Be sure to read the last sentence of the excerpt.]:

The Navajo Nation Council voted to oppose the use of the Washington Redskins name, while a United Nations human rights expert said separately that the term is “inextricably linked to a history of suffering and dispossession.”
The Council’s committee of the whole voted 9-2 Thursday to oppose the name. The measure was sponsored by lawmaker Joshua Lavar Butler, who says the word can have negative psychological effects on American Indians. The statement of opposition also applies to what Butler says are disparaging references to American Indians in other professional sports franchises.
It does not apply to college or high school mascots. The mascot for at least one high school on the Navajo Nation is the Redskins.

Oops.

In fact…

►“Redskins” is no more offensive than other ethnic team-names such as the Vikings [Scandinavians], the Knicks [Dutch], the Celtics [the Irish, Scots, and Welsh and their ancient relatives], the Yankees [a Dutch term for backward American colonists, the meaning of which was flipped by the Americans], the Rebels [Southerners], the Orangemen [Scotch-Irish; hilariously, a team now known as “the Orange”], the Canadiens [French Canadians] and the Canucks [Canadians], and the Fightin’ Irish (no stereotype there!), not to mention the many names based on Indian culture.

►It is no more an offensive term as an ethnic designation than calling someone “black” or “white.” It’s what Indians have often called themselves.

►The name honored a Redskins coach, “Lone Star” Dietz, who was believed to be of American Indian heritage, along with the Boston Tea Party participants, who chose to disguise themselves as Indians to emphasize the distinction between Americans (such as Indians and colonists) and Europeans such as the British. Indeed, the Indian has long been a symbol of freedom for Americans; the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol dome includes significant elements of Indian iconography, and the Indian Head cent depicts the goddess Liberty on its obverse.

►Another inoffensive reason for the name: It linked the team to its fellow Boston sports teams, the Red Sox and the Braves.

►At the time of the Redskins’ naming, societal racism directed at American Indians was at a low point; the U.S. had recently had a Vice President of the United States who was an Indian. (What? You weren’t taught in history class that there was an Indian VP? I wonder why.)

►Survey after survey has shown that the vast majority of Indians have no problem with the name.

►For tens, probably hundreds, of thousands of years, people have painted their bodies, donned animal skins, eaten animal flesh and even committed cannibalism in an effort to imbue themselves with the strength, skill, stealth, or cunning of deadly animals or of well-respected warriors. When a team is named after an animal or a group of warriors, the name represents a symbolic effort to take on the characteristics of the original. (I come from Alabama, home of the Crimson Tide, whose name is a play on the color of team jerseys and on a phenomenon, described in the Bible, caused by microorganisms that produce paralytic toxins. Talk about de-fense!) The list of team names, in any sport, anywhere, that are or were meant by namers to be derogatory—well, that’s a pretty short list. Here it is: (1)_________________.

But “Progressives” get their jollies by bending people to their will, often for no reason but to establish themselves as the Alpha animals in the tribe. (As former Indianapolis News editor M. Stanton Evans noted, they don’t care what you do, as long as it’s compulsory.) They are bullies, and this is a prime example of their bullying.

Also their Political Correctness, when they use the term “Native American” instead of the correct term “American Indian”—or, better yet, when applicable, the names of particular tribes; American Indians at the time of Columbus were as diverse as, say, Eurasians, and lumping them together into one group, when it’s possible to distinguish them as members of particular nationalities/tribes, actually is racist.

“Native American,” by the way, is a term used by the immigrant-hating Know-Nothings to differentiate themselves from “foreigners” such as Irish-Americans. All people born in the U.S., or born to an American parent, are “native Americans,” of course.

Logic, consistency, and a knowledge of history are not what you’d expect from a bunch of bullies. In this case, your expectations would be correct.