December 22, 2011

Blacks ignore offensive "Redskins" name

Black folks and the Washington Redskins

By Bill Fletcher, Jr.In the DC area if you raise the problem with the name of the Washington Redskins with many African Americans you get this very peculiar response. It is hard to describe unless you can actually see and hear it yourself. In order to explain it, let me first back up and remind you, the reader, that the reference to "redskins" is the equivalent of calling an African American a nigger. Sorry, folks, that is the real deal. There is no good usage of the term. It is aimed at putting down Native Americans, a point that Native American activists have been making for years.

So, what happens when you raise this problem with many African Americans?

They look at you strangely, as if you have just spoken to them in a strange dialect of Turkish.

They shrug their shoulders and look away, often mumbling something like "...yeah..." but you usually cannot hear the end of the sentence.

They then either walk away or change the subject.

When I have pushed the matter and pointed out that I suspect that few African Americans would appreciate a football team called the "Tennessee Niggers" or the "Atlanta Sambos", there is generally an acknowledgement that this is correct, but, again, the discussion ends.

So, let me ask this: do we really think that it is unimportant that there is a patently racist name for a football team? And, would we actually be so passive if the team were the "Washington Uncle Toms"? Seriously, I would like to hear an answer to the question.

There is a disconnect that we as African Americans, and only we as African Americans, have to address. Racism is not simply about what happens to us. The same people that feel comfortable using the term "redskins" are not that far from using the terms "niggers" or "spics."
Comment:  For more on the Washington Redskins, see Abramoff Calls "Redskins" an Insult and "Niggerhead" Out, "Redskins" In.


Anonymous said...

I've generally found that if you mention to anyone that racism against Indians is racism, they'll deny it.

dmarks said...

"There is a disconnect that we as African Americans, and only we as African Americans, have to address"

Now this is ridiculous. ALL people who revel in racist stereotypes against Natives are in the same boat, no different from each other.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but there are plenty of people who claim to be liberal but can't see blatant racism. Case in point, the animal rights activists at Neah Bay. I've actually tangled with animal rights people who think the food pyramid's racist for even including meat and dairy (I had no idea my lactose issues meant I couldn't eat meat, or that they were more than diarrhea.) but don't even notice the other white food group, at the base.

As another example, furries (most of whom are gay or bisexual, and therefore, presumably liberals; they certainly pretend to be oppressed enough) who feel a "kinship with Native Americans". (Awful "Native-Inspired" Art had a coyote furry a while back.) Stop that. Just because you have sex dressed as a cartoon animal and draw cartoon animals having sex is no "kinship with Native Americans", mostly because we don't have sex dressed as cartoon animals or draw cartoon animals having sex.

For some reason, it's almost always the animal people with Indians. Because we're animals, and not in the "humans are animals" way, in the white mind, I guess.

dmarks said...

Anon said: "Yeah, but there are plenty of people who claim to be liberal but can't see blatant racism"

Not surprising, since liberals as well as conservatives often ignore or perpetrate racism.

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." - liberal Vice President Joe Biden.