May 24, 2014

Critics slam Redskins letter

Critics were quick to heap scorn upon the Redskins' response to the 50 senators' letters about the offensive team name:

NFL responds to U.S. Senators’ call to remove Redskins name

By Jack MaloneyThe intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image.

Umm…what? A “strong, positive and respectful image?” This is a complete joke. That the league continues to charade the idea that Redskins can be used respectfully is downright embarrassing. Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter said, in his own statement, “The R-word is a dictionary defined racial slur.” It’s a “dictionary defined racial slur,” and yet the NFL still claims to use it respectfully. Enough. There is no respectful way to use a slur.

Then, the NFL concluded with this:

The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently.

“We respect those that view it differently.” First of all this is a bullshit line from the, “sorry if we offended you” camp. Second of all, the NFL in no way whatsoever respects those who view it differently.

If they truly respected those who view it differently, the name would have been changed years ago.
The NFL Can Go to Hell

By jasdyeThe franchise name is a slur that has historically been used to justify genocide of First Nations peoples. Native Americans and allies have been mounting pressure to end the use of this mascotry, to change the name of the team. The term has been identified as hurtful and its continued use as cruel and demeaning, yet Snyder and the NFL have continued to not just stand for it, but to justify it and to insist that Native Americans are happy with the term. The research is in, and Snyder and Gooddell are lying.The Redskins’ telling inconsistencyIsn’t it interesting that the team should claim that its name demonstrates such great respect and reverence for this specific group of people, only to use “Native Americans” when it otherwise refers to them? If the R-word is indeed respectful and reverential, why does the team not use it in news releases and when speaking about Native Americans?Anthony Sanchez, FredericksburgI wonder if Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell address Native Americans in person as “our honorable redskin friends.” When handing out tablet computers to Native American children, does Mr. Snyder tell them that being called a “redskin” is something they should be proud of, that having their heritage serve a sports brand worth millions to Mr. Snyder and his partners has “deep and purposeful meaning”?William Ade, Burke"Sack the slur"

More criticism:

Washington NFL Team: Using a Racial Slur For Our Name Is Respectful of Native Americans

Editorial: Cut your losses, Washington Redskins, and sack the slur

Some tweets on the subject:

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
@EONMassoc @NativeApprops @NCAI1944 @ICTMN How about a #RacistFedEx campaign to target advertisers supporting #Redskins? They have clout.

Dr. Adrienne K. ‏@NativeApprops
It's just so frustrating to see the @Redskins manipulate data & try and make us look like we're in the minority. That's not the case.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
@Redskins Your single-question "poll" is invalid and outdated. Opinion has changed drastically since then. Try again to justify ethnic slur.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
@Redskins Origin of the team name and logo is irrelevant. Look up the word in the dictionary. #Redskins is defined as an ethnic slur NOW.

Deejay NDN ‏@deejayndn
People who say Natives have more important issues to deal with than Native mascots like to argue with me instead of helping said issues

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
@deejayndn That @Redskins fans spend hours defending ethnic slur shows how important the issue is. If it isn't important, #ChangetheName.

šīrīn ✺ šəfīʿ ‏@shereenTshafi
Hey y'all, shocker: Native people can battle multiple forms of dehumanization & oppression #simultaneously. It's all connected.

Dr. Adrienne K. ‏@NativeApprops
Basic: Most americans only see Natives as mascots (ie not real), therefore our contemporary issues aren't real either. It's all connected.

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics
@NFL @Redskins Your intent is irrelevant. #Redskins is a dictionary-defined slur in every context regardless of your intent. #ChangetheName

"Tradition" invalidates slurs?

A related response not keyed to the Redskins' letter:

NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell Praises Adam Silver, Displays His Own Hypocrisy

By Kevin SaitoWhen the tapes were released and Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was finally exposed as the racist most people already knew him to be, NBA commissioner Adam Silver–despite being on the job for mere weeks–didn’t hesitate to drop the hammer on him. For his disgustingly bigoted remarks, Sterling has been hit with a $2.5 million fine, a lifetime ban and will be forced to sell his team. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently weighed in on the matter, praising Silver for taking such a swift, hard stance against racism in his league. The fact Goodell did so without hearing the slightest hint of irony–or hypocrisy–in his own words speaks volumes about how tone deaf and clueless he really is.

“I think they made the right decision. I salute Adam Silver for being decisive. He made the right statement and he’s doing the right things.”

That Goodell could make such a statement with a straight face–while simultaneously overlooking the fact that he has an owner in his own league who defiantly defends his use of a racial slur–is either the height of arrogance or hypocrisy. Possibly both.
And:The fact Snyder can continue to use–and vehemently defend his use of–a racially insensitive word that is offensive, hurtful and demeaning to so many, and the fact Goodell simply looks the other way as if there isn’t a problem at all, speaks volumes about the character of both men.

Snyder speaks of history and tradition in his defense of the team’s nickname. Once upon a time, “tradition” in this country said that people could be bought and sold like livestock, that people of different races couldn’t marry, that people who weren’t white had to ride at the back of the bus and had to use only specially marked water fountains and restrooms.

Thankfully, those “traditions,” and a hundred others just like them have been relegated to the trash bin of history where they belong–and Washington’s team nickname should join them.
News flash: @NFL's Goodell says there's nothing wrong with teams named ‪#‎Redskins‬, Coons, Spics, Wops, Gooks, Hymies, Fags, etc.

They must be good because Redskins is "good" and the other names are equivalent. Right?

Did Goodell actually say "coons," etc.? Uh, no. I inferred his position on the other ethnic slurs using logic. Either they're all acceptable or none of them are.

If you could find a fraternal order of "Coons" or "Wops" that's been around for decades, Goodell would have to support it. Because his argument is that "tradition" and "intent" trump ethnic slurs. Insulting people is okay if you've always done it or you didn't mean to do it.

A-lister says change the name

Meanwhile, a "longtime league executive and former Super Bowl-winning coach offered some serious thoughts":

Mike Holmgren says Redskins ‘absolutely’ should change their name

By Dan Steinberg“You think they should change the name of the Redskins?” Mahler asked.

“Absolutely,” Holmgren said. “Because of what it signifies and what it means to so many people. I’m not talking football fans; I’m talking about Native Americans and all that. Yeah. Just change the name. Big deal. Change the name.”

“Have you always thought this, or is it maybe just recently that you kind of came to that conclusion, that opinion?” Mahler asked.

“No, I think I’ve always felt that way,” Holmgren said. “You know, I’m an old history teacher. And I think if you read enough of that stuff and you see how people were treated, I think it’s the right thing to do. Now, apparently 50 Senators also agree with me.”

No comments: