January 17, 2013

"Redskins" approaching a tipping point?

Cole: Change 'Offensive' Redskins Moniker

By Daniel NewhauserOne of only two Native American members of Congress said that the Washington Redskins should change its team name because it is racially offensive to the minority group.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, said on Thursday that he finds the name, a racial descriptor for indigenous Americans, deeply offensive and feels strongly that it should be changed.

“Come on. This is the 21st century. This is the capital of political correctness on the planet,” he said. “It is very, very, very offensive. This isn’t like warriors or chiefs. It’s not a term of respect, and it’s needlessly offensive to a large part of our population. They just don’t happen to live around Washington, D.C.”

He noted there is precedent for changing a name: The Washington Bullets changed its name to the Wizards out of sensitivity to the high rate of murders in the city. Other offensive ethnic terms attached to team names would not be tolerated, Cole said, so neither should this.

Cole joins Washington DC's mayor, comedian Katt Williams, and several sports columnists calling for the name to change. This led to a brief discussion on Facebook:

It seems like there's a groundswell of public discussion about the Redskins. Perhaps this can grow into a movement for changing the remaining mascots.

I wonder if this groundswell is tied into all the controversies recently: No Doubt, Victoria's Secret, Johnny Depp, Elizabeth Warren, Idle No More, etc. Perhaps these incidents are raising the collective consciousness that 1) Indians still exist and 2) they don't like to be stereotyped.I think that's right, Rob, but I also think the collective consciousness will focus only briefly if we don't keep hammering away at the issue. In DC, it seems much of the discussion arises from the public's anger over the injury to the quarterback. I'm not quite sure why that would be.I'm kind of afraid the Idle No More movement will peter out the way Occupy Wall Street did. But I'd love it if it became a permanent rallying cry for today's Natives. Sort of a modern-day social-media version of AIM, with less violence and more solidarity.

If that happened, I think it would raise awareness of a lot of Native issues. Everything from sovereignty and treaty rights to mascots and hipsters in headdresses. The problem isn't that people don't have access to information; it's that they don't pay attention to it.

For more on the Redskins, see Annenberg's "Redskins" Survey and Kickstarter Campaign to Change Redskins Name.


dmarks said...

Occupy deserved to peter out, with its squalid rape camps, harassment and assault of people, and its unjust goals (which included getting rid of Jews and promoting other fascistic, more-power-to-the-most-powerful causes.

In my town, Occupy thugs assaulted an elderly woman for attempting to do her banking business at a Chase bank branch.

INM seems to be doing this right.

Rob said...

You're being ridiculous again. Getting rid of Jews wan't a goal of Occupy as a whole. Nor was "more power to the most powerful," whatever that means. If anyone pursued these objectives, it was only a few individuals.

Similarly, "rape camps" and assault on bystanders weren't part of the movement or its goals. If they happened, they were exceptions to the rule, not the rule.

Heck, if these crimes happened at an Occupy rally, there's no proof they were done by Occupy partisans rather than opportunistic bystanders. So your attempt to smear liberals fails, as usual.

Rob said...

Here's a typical report on Occupy Wall Street. When problems arose, the leaders addressed them.

Compare that to the Tea Party movement, when racism against Obama was allowed to fester until liberals denounced it. It would be a red-letter day if conservatives ever acted as quickly as liberals to clean up their act.


Sexual Assaults Reported in 'Occupy' Camps

The recent reports of assaults have created a problem the "Occupy" movement is being challenged to address head-on.

"We always encourage victims to go through the proper channels and contact police," said Brendan Burke, 41, who helps run the security team in Zuccotti Park.

But that's not always the case. Burke admitted there have been times when members of the community have taken it upon themselves to chase off men who exposed themselves in the park.

"If there is a consensus that someone is bothering another person, the community will take care of it," he said. "Still, we always notify victims to contact police."

Rob said...

For more on the actual subject of this posting, see:


‘Redskins’ again on defense over nickname

As the fight over UND’s Fighting Sioux nickname begins to recede, another long-running dispute over an American Indian-themed sports nickname—pro football’s Washington Redskins—may be reviving.

Indian activists have long challenged the “Redskins” name, which has a storied history and commands fierce loyalty from fans, many of whom use the same argument employed by Fighting Sioux defenders.

But the latest to raise the Redskins issue is Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, who added a new wrinkle when he suggested earlier this month a name change could be tied to a proposed new stadium within city limits. The team now plays at FedEx Field in Maryland.

“I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would love to be able to sit down with the team... and see if a change should be made,” Gray said. “I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”