December 02, 2013

"Redskins Rusher" in NFL Rush Zone

I had to make sure this wasn't a satirical item from the Onion. I don't think it is.

Selling Hate to Children: Snyder and the NFL's Problem of Marketing 'Redskin'

By Stephen SonneveldThe Viacom network's Nicktoons is currently airing a cartoon program in which one of the characters is referred to by his skin color, a word which is also a racial slur.

The McDonald's corporation is currently selling Happy Meal toys based on this program, exposing children to this racist term.

It is absolutely shameful that, in the year 2013, Viacom and McDonald's would participate in any endeavor that endorses racist language and images being marketed to children, but that is exactly what these conglomerates are doing.

The program in question is “NFL Rush Zone,” a Pokemon-type show in which young heroes call upon the energy of NFL team mascots to battle evil.

Of the 30 mascots anthropomorphized in Happy Meal toy form, 12 are animals, three are myths, seven represent professions or titles (Cowboys, Chiefs, Packers, Saints, 49ers, Buccaneers, Steelers), five are abstractions (Patriots, Browns, Raiders, Chargers, Jets), one represents a geographic location (Texans), one represents a race of people unseen since the 11th century (Vikings) and one bastardizes a living, breathing group of human beings—Native Americans—that the NFL singles out for the color of their flesh with the disparaging slur “Redskins.”
The NFL's official website for the program has a bio that names the mascot as “The Redskins Rusher [who] defends not only the Washington Redskins and their Megacorp, but also the capital!”

A visit to the NFL's official online store has a bevy of tie-in merchandise, including a hat for preschoolers emblazoned with the character and official team logo. The sales description proclaims, “Your little Redskins fan can’t get enough NFL football. When he can’t watch a game with the fam, he’s watching Nickelodeon’s NFL Rush Zone.”

What is worse, though, is that the online store reveals the name of the “Rusher” is Zeke Red Corn. Yes, apparently the mascot/Rusher itself is an actual Native American.
Comment:  This cartoon undercuts the claim that the "Redskins" team name is completely separate from any slur applied to Indians. "Zeke Red Corn" is evidence that Dan Snyder and the NFL don't recognize the separation. They're applying the racial slur to Indians just as bigots have done for the last century.

Also note the spear-wielding Kansas City "Chief" (below). This is even clearer evidence of what Dan Snyder and the NFL think of Indians. Like most Americans, they believe Indians are spear-chucking savages--i.e., primitive people of the past.

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