November 07, 2013

Hundreds protest "Redskins" in Minnesota

Hundreds gather outside Mall of America Field to protest Redskins’ name

By Mark MaskeHundreds of protesters gathered outside Mall of America Field here Thursday to voice their objections to the Washington Redskins’ name before the team’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

“We call this a walk, not a march, and this is a walk to raise the consciousness of people with regard to racism in sports,” said Alan Yelsey, who identified himself as an organizer for the American Indian Movement. “We’re certainly trying to change the name of the Washington team. That’s the focus. But you have a mix of people. You can see hundreds and hundreds of people from all walks of life here to look for respect for all people. And the name of the Washington team does not convey respect. It’s illegal and it damages children.

“So we’re here to make that case and raise the consciousness of fans who think they’re doing something to honor indigenous people when they’re actually doing the opposite. They’re harming the children of indigenous people.”

The group that gathered here Thursday evening was far larger than similar protests to the team name when the Redskins played in Green Bay and Denver earlier this season. (aerial photo) Yelsey said the group was “over 700, approaching 800 people” and was “right in the line with what we were expecting.” He called the reaction of people walking by on their way to the game “100 percent” supportive.
Hundreds rally outside Metrodome to protest 'Redskins'Krystal Hedemann, 34, of St. Paul, a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, said it's time to get rid of what she called racist names in sports.

"I want my children to grow up in a world without racist names," Hedemann said.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura spoke to the crowd, saying he always tried to avoid saying "Redskins" when covering the team as a sports broadcaster.

"This name is wrong. It's just plain wrong," Ventura said. He asked what would happen if a sports team in Birmingham, Alama, was named "The Slaves" and had an African-American mascot.

"What kind of outrage would there be at that? Well, this is the same thing," Ventura said.
Hundreds Rally Against the Racist R-Word at Mall of America Field

Change the Name protesters march on Metrodome over 'R-word'

"Redskins" = "Little Red Sambo"

More voices for change at and around the rally:

Native American leader challenges D.C. NFL team: ‘Time for Little Red Sambo to go’

By Arturo GarciaAmerican Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt renewed Native Americans’ call for a name change for Washington D.C’s professional football team on Friday, telling Democracy Now anchors Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez that if owner Dan Snyder knew the history behind the term “Redskins,” he would do just that.

“Let’s not forget, there’s over 2,000 high schools, colleges and universities throughout America have changed,” Bellecourt said in a panel discussion alongside sportswriter and activist Dave Zirin. “They said they would never change, never change their name, just like Dan Snyder, but they have changed. Every single one of them have changed. And [that] will happen to this Washington team.”

Both Goodman and Bellecourt pointed to a Thursday night protest at the team’s game in Minneapolis, Minnesota as evidence of the increasing public demand for Snyder to change his team’s name. Members of the Minneapolis City Council also publicly slammed the team name at a press conference the same day.

Bellecourt told the panel the protest drew thousands of participants, “some of them in their full regalia to show the beauty of our culture, went along with us, marched on the stadium, carrying banners that said, ‘The ‘R’ word is no different than the ‘N’ word. The ‘R’ word is no different than the ‘N’ word.’ Little Red Sambo has to go. Little Black Sambo is gone, and now it’s time for Little Red Sambo to go.”

Billy Mills: Redskins Name Calls to Mind 'Our Own Holocaust'

By Brian DaffronFrom your own personal perspective, what were your reasons for joining the Minneapolis protest?

I think my reason is because it’s time to change. It’s time for America to move on.

It’s time for those individuals and those teams who think they’re honoring us to recognize that we bring honor to ourselves and our tribal nations. In honoring our tribal nations, we bring honor to America. I think it’s time for the owner of the Washington Redskins, for example, to bring honor to himself--by changing the name of the Washington Redskins.

That’s not just the Washington team, but extending to other pro or college teams that have Native mascots?

Washington Redskins is among the most vulgar for us. You just look in the history books. In Minnesota and some of the other states, the tribes whose lands were in those states now, there were bounties paid. X number of dollars if you brought in a female scalp of a Redskin. X number of dollars if it were a child. X number of dollars if it were an adult man. That is part of our history, and that was part of the demise of 12 million to 23 million Indian people within the boundaries of the United States now. We have our own holocaust. We have to move beyond that.

Dayton says Washington's team name 'racist,' should change

By Baird HelgesonGov. Mark Dayton jumped into the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins' name on Thursday, saying the NFL team’s name is “racist” and “offensive.”

“I believe the name should be changed,” the DFLer said at a news conference. “It’s antiquated and offensive in our present context.”

This is the latest flare up in a decades-long fight over the name, a racial description for indigenous people that many find offensive.

Dayton made the statement hours before Washington was set to take on the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. American Indian Movement activists plan to host a rally to protest the arrival of team owner Daniel Snyder, who said he has no plans to change the name.
Still more voices for change

D.C. Council Votes Unanimously to Change the Name 'Redskins'The Washington, D.C. City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution Tuesday urging the Washington "Redskins" to change their name. This is the second time in history that the D.C. Council has called on the team to abandon its name.The five faces of Shoni Schimmel"I would change the name of the Redskins mainly for the Native American people as a whole," Schimmel says. "It's about respect for the Native American race, especially to not promote the racism carried over from the past. It was racist to be called a 'redskin' back in the day, so what makes it OK today? There isn't a team called 'whiteskins' or 'blackskins'--how would that go over with the world?"Change the Mascot: Pressure Grows for NFL Team to Drop Redskins Name and Logo as Thousands Protest

Many Native Americans Back Push To Change Redskins Name

Meanwhile, here's a bit more about the "proud traditions" owner Dan Snyder is trying to defend:

That Time Nazis Marched to "Keep Redskins White"

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