May 31, 2014

"Redskins" origin is a myth

Now The Redskins Have No Excuse for Not Changing Their Name

By Matt MurphyIn defending the name, both franchise owner Dan Snyder and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have invoked William "Lone Star" Dietz, who coached the team when it took up the Redskins name in 1933. Then-owner George Preston Marshall chose "Redskins," the story goes, to honor Dietz and his claimed Sioux heritage.

Never mind that Dietz was in all likelihood a regular old white guy who posed as a Native American for some easy publicity and a chance to dodge the World War I draft—the team name was never about him in the first place.

Marshall himself debunked the idea in a 1933 interview with the AP:"The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins."The Redskins, who played in Boston at the time, simply made the change to avoid confusion with baseball's Boston Braves, with whom they originally shared a name.
McCartney: Origin myth of D.C. team’s name is not true

By Robert McCartneyWashington football team owner Dan Snyder urged the public a month ago to “focus on reality” rather than pester him for keeping a racial slur as his team’s name.

Here’s some reality for you, Dan. Since your patronizing comment, one-half the U.S. Senate has formally called on you to drop the name. It should have been a majority, but Virginia’s two senators shamefully refused to sign the letter. (Maryland’s two did the right thing.)

Then on Wednesday, 77 Native American tribes, Indian organizations and supporters wrote every National Football League player urging them to put their celebrity to good use by publicly supporting a name change.

The name’s critics also picked up a valuable assist from the National Basketball Association. It set a fine example by banning for life Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after his racist views were made public in a leaked tape recording.

If the NBA can force an owner to sell a team, then surely the NFL can pressure Snyder to rename one.
Comment:  It's a little hard to believe Snyder and Goddell didn't know the team's history when they made their spurious claims. Presumably they had lawyers vet every word of their statements. It's more likely that they blatantly lied because they love profits over people.

May 30, 2014

NFL claims "Redskins" not a slur

League contends Washington name “not a slur”

By Mike FlorioCommissioner Roger Goodell has periodically tiptoed around the question of whether the Washington franchise owned by Daniel Snyder should change its name, never conceding there’s a serious problem with the name but never providing a definitive statement that the name is acceptable.

One of Goodell’s lieutenants provided something definitive on Friday.

“The team name is not a slur,” NFL V.P. of labor policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch said in a phone appearance on ESPN’s Outside the Lines.

“The team name is the team name as it has been for 80-plus years,” Birch said. “And what we need to do is get beyond sort of understanding this as a point-blank situation and understand it more as a variety of perspectives that all need to be addressed, that all need to be given some weight, so that at the end of it we can come to some understanding that is appropriate and reflects the opinions of all.”

That sounds good, but it’s impossible to reflect the opinions of those who think it’s a slur while also keeping the name. There’s no middle ground. Those who believe it’s a slur want it to change. Those who don’t believe it’s a slur want to keep it. And the ongoing controversy is causing the ranks of the undecideds to shrink.
NFL Official Adolpho Birch Proclaims Redskins Name ‘Not a Slur’

By Matt BanksIn this modern day simply stating that a name has been a name for 80 years isn’t going to cut it. What if other groups of people who struggled for their civil rights and equality simply just kept things the way they were 80 years ago? That’s a pretty ugly reality for a lot of people.

The question everybody should ask themselves is, would you call a Native-American a Redskin to their face?

I’ll take that hesitation as a no.

The fact of the matter is that this issue isn’t going away. There will be a cloud over the Washington organization until it’s handled properly. The public needs to continue to shed light on the blatant disrespect Birch, Goodell and Snyder have cast down on a entire group of people.
Comment:  As usual, the NFL doesn't get to claim "Redskins" isn't a slur because they don't mean it to be one. It's a slur in every context according to the dictionary.

It's particularly a slur when it hits Native ears. The NFL can't wish away the effect with their feeble attempts to overrule the dictionary.

To use an analogy, suppose you belong to the Fraternal Order of Bullets. You honor the noble bullet for its role in freeing America from tyranny.

Now you shoot a bullet into the air as part of your order's weekly celebration. It comes down and hits someone.

You can't claim that a bullet is harmless when you honor it. Or that you didn't intend to hit anyone when you fired it. Those claims are irrelevant.

The only thing that matters is the person you injured. His pain outweighs any of your idiotic reasons for bullet worship. Telling us the bullet shouldn't hurt doesn't change the fact that it did hurt.

May 29, 2014

Lodge: Don't give Cree guides alcohol

Pukatawagan chief demands apology from lodge

By Mary Agnes WelchPukatawagan Chief Arlen Dumas has demanded an apology after a northern fly-in fishing lodge asked visitors to avoid giving Cree guides alcohol "under any circumstances."

The Laurie River Lodge sparked a Facebook firestorm Wednesday when part of its travel guide to fly-in fishermen and hunters was widely shared online, especially among members of the nearby Pukatawagan band.

"We use Cree Indian guides from the town of Pukatawagon (sic) in northern Manitoba. They are wonderful people and fun to fish with however, like all Native North Americans, they have a basic intolerance for alcohol," wrote owner Brent Fleck. "Please do not give my guides alcohol under any circumstances. This is rarely a problem and by telling you in advance I hope to avoid it altogether.

In response, Dumas released a statement today calling the passage offensive and racist and demanding an apology from the lodge’s owners.

"None of the above statements or implications about our people are true." wrote Dumas in a letter to the lodge. "The comments are racist and negative stereotypes which only serve to promote or incite hatred against our people. There is no scientific basis for your claim that Cree people have an intolerance for alcohol, nor is there any basis for alleging that our Cree people would drink while working or that they pose a risk to the public."
First Nations chief wants hunting lodge apology for racist brochure

Brochure by Laurie River Lodge in Manitoba tells lodge visitors not to give alcohol to Cree guidesA northern Manitoba chief is demanding an apology from a hunting and fishing lodge for its "racist and discriminatory" promotional materials, which urge visitors not to give alcohol to native guides.

Chief Arlen Dumas says statements in the brochure for the Laurie River Lodge, which hires locals from the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, are unacceptable.

“The statements are so outrageous,” said Chief Dumas. “Not only does he [the lodge owners] offend the very people that provide him his livelihood … he insults all indigenous people in North America.”

A letter from Dumas to Laurie River Lodge owners Brent and Erin Fleck that's titled “Racist and Discriminatory Content in your Promotional Brochure” reprimands them for “racist stereotypes” in the brochure.

Drunk Indian stereotype

Drunk Indian myth surfaces

Lodge guide tells tourists aboriginals can't tolerate alcohol

By Mary Agnes Welch
The drunken Indian stereotype was revived, then debunked, in the space of a few online hours Wednesday after a remote northern Manitoba fishing lodge blundered into one of Canada's most tenacious myths.

Local and national aboriginal leaders, many of whom weighed in online, say it's a myth perpetuated even by the well-meaning, one based on no science that infantilizes indigenous people.

"The tone of this program guide is not only paternalistic but disrespectful of the very people whose generosity and gifts of territory make this business possible," said University of Manitoba native studies Prof. Niigaanwewidam Sinclair. "One hopes that the owners of this lodge read up on some history and science instead of relying on outdated and ignorant falsehoods to forge relationships with their employees and neighbours."
And:In a widely read blog post written last fall, Montreal lawyer Chelsea Vowel said aboriginal peoples' struggle with alcohol is not genetic destiny. Research suggests there is no difference in the way indigenous North Americans metabolize alcohol. Research by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation shows deaths due to alcohol are twice as high among aboriginal people, but longitudinal health studies show far more aboriginal people abstain from drinking than non-aboriginal people.

"The idea that indigenous peoples are helpless to resist the lure of alcohol, that we are genetically weak and more susceptible to it, plays into the notion of our supposed inferiority," wrote Vowel, who is Métis from Lac Ste. Anne, Alta.

Michael Kannon, a Winnipegger and Idle No More activist, said he often hears the same kind of subtle racism disguised by a benevolent tone. Kannon grew up in Tennessee, a product of the 1960s scoop that saw aboriginal kids adopted into white families, often outside the country.

He said the same racist descriptions were used on blacks. "I saw (the) same stereotypes, verbatim," said Kannon. "It's a 'those people' phrase. Stick in indigenous, black, Muslim, whatever."

Laurie River Lodge Adventures: Watch Out for Animals and Indians?The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (constitutional law) also provides that: 15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability."

Even international law protects people from racism and discrimination.

If morals could not guide these business owners, certainly they have an obligation to follow the law. It is no wonder why discrimination against Indigenous peoples has not subsided, given openly racist attitudes like this.

One would have thought the days of warning people against animals and Indians were over.
Apology attempted

Chief rejects fishing lodge owner's apology over racist brochure

Brent Fleck of Laurie River Lodge in Manitoba calls offending section of brochure 'stupid'Dumas, who called the brochure's content a "racist, discriminatory incitement of hatred," said he received an email on Thursday from Brent Fleck. It read:

"I wish to convey my most sincere apologizes for the wording of the section that covers alcohol to our staff members. It was written MANY, MANY years ago and should have been updated…. When I originally wrote that paragraph my intention was to ensure that there was no pressure put on our guides to consume alcohol with their guests when they were in fact responsible for the health and safety of the fishermen in their boat. After reading the paragraph in my trip planning guide I have to agree that, despite the fact that it was not intended to offend anyone, it could be taken in that context. I am in the process of removing the offending paragraph from my literature. I also would like to sincerely apologize to anyone that it may have offended."

But Dumas accused Fleck of not taking responsibility for the content in the brochure.

"If you read the statements in his apology, he doesn't actually apologize," Dumas said. "He apologizes for how wording could have been misrepresented or misunderstood."

The chief said he wants a public apology from the Flecks to all Cree people, as well as individual letters of apology to indigenous individuals who work at the lodge.

As well, Dumas said the lodge must find a way to make amends to the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation.
Comment:  For more on Indians and alcohol, see "Siouxper Drunk" T-Shirts at UND and "Mohawk Tavern" Changes Name.

#RedskinsPride campaign backfires

Redskins ask fans to defend their name to Harry Reid on Twitter; get predictable result

By Erik Brady and Nina MandellLast week half of the U.S. Senate sent letters to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell castigating the team name of the league’s Washington club as a racial slur.

On Thursday, the team sent a request to fans to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nev.) “to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you.”

What happened next may have been an obvious reaction to anyone who has been following the controversy, but likely not what the Redskins were hoping for. Rather than tweeting their support, fans—and likely those who aren’t—tweeted their outrage over the name and the team’s continued commitment to keeping it.

“Twitter, and social media in general, is a wonderful medium because it gives voice to so many people,” Faiz Shakir, Reid’s digital director wrote to USA TODAY Sports in an email. “What we saw in the immediate aftermath of the tweet was a collective, overwhelming outpouring that was heavily critical of the Washington football team. It was an utter failure for them, and I hope it causes the organization to reflect on why that occurred.”
Washington fumble #RedskinsPride campaign as racism row intensifies

• Twitter hashtag provokes scorn and derision
• Office of Senator Harry Reid: 'It's really made our day'

By Martin Pengelly
On Thursday, the Redskins' official Twitter account asked followers to “Tweet @SenatorReid to show your #RedskinsPride and tell him what the team means to you.”

By the afternoon, the #RedskinsPride hashtag had duly achieved trending status.

Some tweets were supportive.

The majority, however, did not use the hashtag in the manner intended by the team.
Harry Reid's Office Is Laughing At The Sad #RedskinsPride Campaign

By Barry PetcheskyWe weren't going to do this, we swear. We figured there was no need for a Twitter roundup when it was immediately clear to everyone that the Redskins' latest PR move, an attempt to galvanize fans into flooding Sen. Harry Reid with support for the team name, was backfiring wildly. Then we heard from Reid's office. Even they were surprised it "was so massively a failure."

"The Skins tried to engage folks, and it has failed miserably," Faiz Shakir, Reid's digital director, told us. In the minutes after the Skins' tweet, Shakir said "we haven't found more than one or two that are actually supportive."
Harry Reid’s office says #RedskinsPride ‘made our day’

Redskins troll Harry Reid

Click the links to read all the amusing tweets.

More oppose "Redskins"

Unlike the Navajo codetalkers, one tribal leader was smart enough to avoid being made a shill for the team:

Tribal leader turns down Redskins' invite

By Erik BradyIntermediaries for the Washington NFL team called the leader of a small Nevada tribe Thursday and asked him to come to the Washington region for a news media event with owner Daniel Snyder on Monday, according to the National Congress of American Indians.

Chairman Joseph Holley of the Battle Mountain Band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians told NCAI he declined.

Team spokesman Tony Wyllie told USA TODAY Sports that Snyder was out of the country this week and next and there was not another team media event until Wednesday. He did not say if that event would include tribal leaders.

"Someone working for the team called me out of the blue to invite me to a meeting in D.C. with the team and its owners and wanted to know what I thought of the team name," Holley said in an NCAI statement released to USA TODAY Sports. "They did not tell me what the meeting was about, what I would be doing or who else was invited and wanted my answer in just a few hours. My answer was no. I've got responsibilities to my community and members here at home and can't be running off to D.C. at a moment's notice to meet with a football team to do who knows what."
And:Perhaps it is not a coincidence that the tribal leader the team apparently tried to recruit Thursday is from Reid's home state.Meanwhile, people continue to speak out against the ethnic slur:

Former Redskins lineman Mark Schlereth: ‘It is time to change the name’

By Dan SteinbergMark Schlereth became the latest former Redskins star to come out against the team’s name over the weekend, telling ABC’s ‘This Week’ that “it is time to change the name.”

“There’s no question, if you research the history of that name, it’s a pejorative term and it needs to change,” said Schlereth, a former Pro Bowler who played in Washington from 1989 to 1994 before moving on to Denver and then to a career in broadcasting. “I mean, you would never go into a conference of Native American people and walk up in front of them and refer to them as Redskins. It is a derogatory term, that’s its origins, and it is time to be a leader, from the standpoint of the NFL. High school across America have changed their names. The NCAA has implemented policy to change those names. Why has the NFL shuffled its feet on this? I don’t know, but it’s time to change.”
NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith says Redskins name conveys ‘racial insensitivity’

By Mark MaskeDeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Thursday that the team name of the Washington Redskins conveys “racial insensitivity.”

Smith, in a written statement issued to The Washington Post by the players’ union in response to a letter sent by Native American groups to all NFL players asking them to support a name change by the team, stopped short of pledging any direct action by players or the union, saying his conversations on the matter with the Redskins and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should remain private.

“I have conveyed my thoughts on this issue both to Roger and to the team,” Smith said. “They understand our position and I believe that those conversations are most effective when they can remain private. As I have stated publicly, though, I do not believe anyone should inflict pain, embarrass or insult, especially given the racial insensitivity of the term ‘Redskin.’ As you know, I grew up here and like all Washingtonians I became a fan of this team. The beauty of sports and of the Washington football franchise is that it will always have the ability to bring this community together, regardless of what decision is made about the team name.”
Comment:  For more on the Washington Redskins, see Letter Sent to NFL Players re "Redskins" and Critics Slam Redskins Letter.

CFO leaves racist phone message

AUDIO: Tribal chief blasts racist telecommunications CFO

By Susan FieldThe audio and transcription attached to this story contains offensive and vulgar language.

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief Steve Pego on Wednesday denounced the chief financial officer of a telecommunications firm after the man left a Tribal employee a voice mail filled with racial slurs and a veiled threat that is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Pego also asked all Natives and minority groups to stand with the Tribe in denouncing Kirk Shewchuck of Lansing-based, a telecommunications firm that offers fiber optic service, metro ethernet, telephone, hosted phone service, DSL, Datacenter and web hosting services.

Shewchuck left a voice mail May 20 for Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Planning Engineer Donald Seal regarding an easement in which wanted to erect a cell phone tower, Tribal Spokesman Frank Cloutier said.

Because the land is in federal trust, the Tribe’s legal department instructed to contact the planning department, Cloutier said.

Shewchuck apparently failed to properly hang up his phone after leaving a message for Seal, and racial slurs and vulgarity can be heard on the lengthy voice mail.

On the voice mail, the speaker, identified as Shewchuck, called Tribal members f**king Indians and said “let’s call them red men.”

Shewchuck is also alleged to have said “let’s sic the” Sault or Sioux Tribe “on you!” and “Let’s get a good old fashioned Indian war going!”

A man can be heard saying “woo woo woo woo” and laughing on the message, and later “you know what happens to you cell phone signals...I’ll turn it back on in a few minutes after you agree to...maybe they would like that.”
As someone said, this is what mainstream folks say about Indians when they think no one is listening. Forget all the polite talk you hear in mixed company, which is sanitized to sound respectable. This is the real deal: a window into the soul of racist America.

Apology attempts begin

Lansing firm wants to meet with chief over message; Tribe declines

By Susan FieldA representative of the Lansing-based firm accused of leaving racial slurs and vulgarities on a voice mail to a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal planning department employee said Thursday there was no malice on the part of the man who left the message.

Joe Ross, who said he is’s public information manager, also said the telecommunication firm’s chief executive officer, Kevin Schoen, wants to meet in person with Tribal Chief Steve Pego to discuss “concerns” about the voice mail message.

Recorded after Chief Financial Officer Kirk Shewchuck apparently did not hang his phone up properly, the message included racist slurs, swearing, threats to “sic” the Sault Tribe to start a “good old fashioned Indian war” and threats about scrambling cell phone signals at the Tribe’s Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.

Shewchuck identified himself on the message he left for Tribal Planning Engineer Donald Seal when he called to discuss a proposed cell phone tower that the firm wants to construct on trust land, Tribal Spokesman Frank Cloutier said Thursday.

“There’s no malice on Kirk’s part,” Ross said. “We really want to talk to the chief.”

While Ross said he spoke to Cloutier about setting up a meeting, Chief Pego is not interested in sitting down with anyone from

Cloutier confirmed that he spoke to Ross and said that Tribal Council is currently discussing the issue with the Tribe’s legal department.

Tribal Council members are also contemplating going to Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Police because of the possible criminal content in the message related to jamming of cellphone towers, Cloutier said.
Comment:  This incident shows the connection between racial slurs and racist beliefs.

In the CFO's mind, "red men" and "f**king Indians" are synonymous. In particular, "red men" is an inferior subspecies of men. Indians aren't men, they're an odd red-colored variant. They're fake men, like cardboard cutouts, lacking the full-fledged reality of (white) men.

The CFO and his cohorts made this clear when they talked about starting an "Indian war" and made the "woo woo" sound. To them, Indians are warrior thugs who are good for nothing but fighting and killing. They're "red" not only because of their skin but because they paint themselves and end up covered in blood. They're barbarians who lack civilized
beliefs and values.

The same thinking applies to the ethnic slur and team name "Redskins." Indeed, there's a continuum of beliefs from "f**king Indians" to "redskins" to "red men." All are variations on a theme, which is Indians as subhuman savages.

Repeating these slurs instills the corresponding beliefs in people's minds. It's like brainwashing. When you hear "red men," "redskin," and "savage" over and over, you start to believe they're reality. A million people chanting the epithets can't be wrong. Indians must be primitive people of the past because every word and image in our society says so.

Rodger's half-white male entitlement

Many pundits have called the Santa Barbara shootings an act of white male entitlement and hyper-masculine rage against women. It's a bit more complex than that.

Clearly he was driving by racial as well as sexual animus. Some postings explain how:

Santa Barbara shooter had history of posting racist, misogynist comments on hate site

By Tom BoggioniAccording to the SPLC, Rodger posted comments in January, beginning with “Saw a black guy sitting with 4 white girls,” causing him to admit his frustration over white women socializing with minority men:Today I drove through the area near my college and saw some things that were extremely rage-inducing.

I passed by this restaurant and I saw this black guy chilling with 4 hot white girls. He didn’t even look good.

Then later on in the day I was shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw an Indian guy with 2 above average White Girls!!!

What rage-inducing sights did you guys see today? Don’t you just hate seeing these things when you go out? It just makes you want to quit life.
After being called out on the website for the racism in his comments, Rodger responded, “Here we are suffering on PuaHate when these lesser, undeserving men that I saw today are walking around with hot girls. It doesn’t make sense.”

Rodger also wrote that Asian men could never date white women, leading a commenter of Asian descent to post a picture of himself with a white woman.

Rodger dismissed the photos as fake, writing: “Full Asian men are disgustingly ugly and white girls would never go for you. You’re just butthurt that you were born as an asian piece of shit, so you lash out by linking these fake pictures. You even admit that you wish you were half white. You’ll never be half-white and you’ll never fulfill your dream of marrying a white woman. I suggest you jump off a bridge.”
Elliot Rodger’s half-white male privilege

The killer’s Asian heritage matters. So does his ugly class entitlement. Misogyny crosses lines of race and culture

By Joan Walsh
Why is it so hard to recognize Rodger as of mixed racial descent? It certainly doesn’t negate the role white entitlement and privilege played in his “syndrome.” Rodger is at least partly a victim of the ideology of white supremacy, as well as its violent enforcer. He struggled with his status as half-Asian, writing “I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian.”

Elsewhere he explains:

On top of this was the feeling that I was different because I am of mixed race. I am half White, half Asian, and this made me different from the normal fully-white kids that I was trying to fit in with. I envied the cool kids, and I wanted to be one of them.

He dyed his hair blond, trying to fit in, but the dye job left him with blond tips and black roots, a sad metaphor for a racial mixture he couldn’t accept.

Merely labeling Rodger white, and his problem one of “white privilege,” also obscures the role of class in heightening his toxic sense of entitlement. He wondered: Why would “an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am descended from British aristocracy.” He believed his aristocratic background, his gorgeous home, his Armani shirts, Hugo Boss shoes, and shiny BMW—not just his race—entitled him to blond women. He even had a narcissistic mantra he said to himself to boost his confidence: “I am the image of beauty and supremacy.”

Of course he saw a racial hierarchy where he, being half-white, is near the very top of the pyramid, below white men but, as half Asian, still above every other race and racial mix. He degrades “full Asian” men as “disgusting” and mocks them for not being half-white like him. Then he’s aghast when he sees “this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage … How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them?” Every attempt to “explain” his isolation and loneliness unravels. There is only one explanation: the evil of beautiful, blond white girls.
Comment:  I'd say white male entitlement is a cause, or at least a factor, in any shooting spree. If the shooter is white, he's acting out his entitlement. If he's a minority, he's angry because he thinks he's not getting what whites get. He's lashing out at others for their entitlement.

For more on the subject, see The Rage of Misogynist Nerds and Santa Barbara Shootings Show America's Pathology.

May 28, 2014

Kanye's thunderbird jackets

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Wear Thunderbird Jackets After WeddingIn photos released to E! Entertainment Television, power couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are seen wearing leather jackets that feature a thunderbird design and the words "Just" (on Kanye) and "Married" (on Kim). The two were wed in a ceremony in Italy on Saturday.

The thunderbird is a character in stories told by Native Americans for centuries, and artistically speaking it's one of the most widespread symbols in Native culture, a component of the iconography of numerous Indian tribes. According to, the jackets were made by Schott and the thunderbird design was created by Wes Lang, an artist whose work mashes up images from a familiar set of sources, including tattoo culture, pinup art, and Grateful Dead aesthetics. And yes, American Indians are among Lang's obsessions--merchandise he designed for Kanye's "Yeezus" tour included t-shirts featuring a skeleton wearing a feather headdress.

Lang's works on paper are typically a mixture of painting and drawing, and sometimes have elements of collage. Here's a typical example, "The Pagent" (from, which features tipis, a tomahawk, and the lightning bolt (also a feature of the thunderbird design) in addition to portraits of Indians and an Indian skeleton.

The jackets seem like innocent examples of appropriation until you look at designer Lang's artwork (below). Dani Miller spells out the problems here:

Kimye Appropriation Representative of U.S. Pop Culture’s Obsession with Native American Extinction

By Danielle Miller“The only good Indian is a dead one”… Although Native Americans are alive and thriving celebrities and fashion companies would rather depict Natives as extinct while continuing to commit appropriation of various tribal cultural items and symbols.

“Kill the Indian save the man” along with the previous quotation were both sentiments upheld by Richard Pratt, the man who opened Carlisle boarding school in 1879 and implemented assimilation of Native Americans.

I questioned how aware of this history Kanye was with the Yeezus shirt picture which included the caption “God Wants you” under a Native corpse. I fail to see how anyone can interpret this depiction or any other works by Wes Lang of as acts of “good intentions.” Pratt was good intentioned in his relations with Natives so that proves just how lethal “good intentioned” romanticism can be.

While many claim our nation has come far from this horrible period in history the obsession to erase Native people continues.
And:The most recent escapade of Kim and Kanye was the appropriation of the thunderbird symbol on their jackets depicted in one of their wedding photos. The hypocrisy of the situation was reinforced when Kanye went on his usual tirade to criticize the way the media depicted him through tabloids and SNL skits. If he wants people to empathize with his family being misrepresented why can’t he do the same for the Native communities he appropriates from?

And what is up with Kanye’s choice to uphold racism by Wes Lang, who has not only created artwork offensive to Natives, but has also used blackface?

In one interview Lang revealed his reasoning behind the images along with his privileged sense of entitlement:

“I like to take American history and then completely ignore it. I come at it visually, taking images and telling my own story. I did a bunch of blackface stuff a couple of years ago. That was a little touchy. I wasn’t doing it to piss people off. I was doing a work about Abraham Lincoln, and I came across these images of little mammies. The images were striking and simple, and I was attracted to them.” DC: So you’re attracted to loaded imagery? WL: I’m covered in it, personally. [indicates his tattoos of women, skulls, crosses, and Indians] I’ve always been a collector of weird imagery, even when I was little.” DC: Do you think you’re challenging the audience when you draw a figure in blackface? Do you trust that they’ll know where you’re coming from? WL: I’m taking it out of its context and putting it into my context and hoping that people can understand that I’m not glorifying this stuff.”

While Lang recognizes that he is placing it in his “own context” he is completely disregarding the fact that it is not his place to appropriate racist images or to “reframe” them; by doing so he trivializing racism and white washing history. Just the concept of reframing racism from colonial white lens is problematic in itself.

The way Lang describes “Indians” as part of the imagery he listed as “weird” shows his complete disconnect with Native people. Categorizing Natives with skulls crosses and weird imagery is just as bad as the way people categorize Natives with other fictional groups to justify their stereotypes.
Comment:  Saying you're "taking things out of context" and using them in art doesn't absolve you of responsibility. Lang's appropriations aren't much different from a racist's view of Indians as dead and gone. They're the umpteenth example of the vanishing Indian stereotype.

Even if Lang is commenting on the mainstream view of Indians, he's doing it poorly. His headdresses and teepees reinforce the ignorant beliefs held by most people. They're akin to posting pics of Indians mascots and saying, "Look!" As if that alone would tell us something.

I'm not seeing much difference between the work of Lang and any ignorant stereotyper. As I always say, if you can't tell the difference, there is no difference. Lang's depictions of dead Indians, "little mammies," or whatever are problematical at best and racist at worst.

That Kanye continues to use this problematical artist's work suggests what he thinks about Indians. If you endorse someone with an ignorant view of Indians, what does that make you? An ignoramus also?

For more on the subject, see Kanye's T-Shirts Feature Indian Skulls.

Letter sent to NFL players re "Redskins"

Redskins name campaign targets every NFL playerGroups who oppose the Washington Redskins name say they are taking their case directly to the players.

A letter signed by dozens of Native American, civil rights and religious organizations will be sent to every NFL player on Wednesday asking each to add his "powerful voice to the hundreds who are already speaking out."

The letter is spearheaded by the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians, two groups who have been at the forefront of the campaign to change the team's name.

The letter is being mailed to teams, and it is also being sent to players via Twitter. It notes that the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman recently expressed concerns about the Redskins name.
Groups sending letter to every NFL player over Redskins name

By Erik BradyThe National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation are taking the fight over the team name of the Washington NFL club into the league's locker rooms.

NCAI and the Oneidas announced today that they are sending a letter to every NFL player asking them to speak out against the Washington team name, which 50 U.S. Senators called a racial slur in a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week.

The announcement said that 77 other groups, including civil rights and religious organizations, have cosigned the letter. The letter will also be circulated to NFL players by Twitter with the hashtag #rightsideofhistory.

"It is extremely heartening to see the widespread support from dozens of diverse organizations and thought leaders all coming together to demand a change for the team that represents our nation's capital," NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata said in a statement. "Today our eyes turn to the NFL players. By voicing statements of support and calling for change, they have an historic opportunity to oppose racism and end the league's endorsement of this denigrating term."
After Owner Dan Snyder Controversy, Twitter Campaign, Washington Redskins Change Name Become Americans?

By Drew JacobsThe National Congress of American Indians as well as the Oneida Indian Nation appealed directly to over 2,700 NFL players this week urging them to speak out against the Washington Redskins' offensive name. Through written letters and Twitter messages the groups are hoping to rally influential players to their cause (via Washington Post):

"'Because you are in the NFL, you command a level of respect and credibility when speaking out about the league's behavior,' the letter said. 'Indeed, players are the most publicly identifiable representatives of the league, which means your support is critical to ending this injustice.'

"Goodell and Washington team officials have consistently said they don't believe the name is disparaging to Native Americans and have cited polls that show that the majority of people share that sentiment."

How condescending and arrogant of Goodell and Snyder to tell Native Americans what they should and shouldn't find offensive. No one can make that determination other than Native Americans themselves. And many of them have explicitly stated that the term 'redskin' is offensive.
ADL Joins Letter to NFL Players Urging Opposition to Redskins Name

Fond du Lac Band joins letter to NFL players opposing Redskins name

Snyder should listen

Man In The Mirror: Why Daniel Snyder Could End Up Sharing Donald Sterling's Sorry Legacy If He Doesn't Act Fast

By Marc EdelmanThey both have strong entrepreneurial spirit, unbridled financial success, and even the same initials.

But at the end of the day, NBA owner Donald Sterling will likely be remembered as the racist Clippers owner who chastised a female companion for bringing African-Americans to his games.

And if Daniel Snyder does not act fast, society may remember his legacy in a similar vein—as the racist NFL owner who refused to change his football team name, even after 50 U.S. Senators pleaded with him to do so.
And:[E]ven if Snyder’s claims contain some historic accuracy, Snyder is clearly losing the battle of public opinion.

The mere fact that Congress has broached the use of Daniel Snyder’s team name just days after Donald Sterling’s attempted ouster by the NBA sends a clear message to the NFL that racially insensitive speech will not be tolerated in American sports—irrespective of whether the speech is uttered to a female companion on audiotape, or on team helmets and jerseys that the league sells to its fans for profit.

Congress’s letter may also seal Snyder’s fate as a human being, if Snyder does not move quickly to correct that.

The rage of misogynist nerds

Some discussion of the angry subculture of men's rights advocates (MRA) and failed pickup artists (PUA) to which Elliot Rodger belonged:

The Angry Underground World of Failed Pickup Artists[A]t its core, PuaHate members don't hate the game, "just the BS and hype and fluff that goes with it." As one poster explains, "I would just like to get to the point where I can bang a girl whenever I want ie 5 times a week." Is that so much to ask for?Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and NerdsBut the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to “earn,” to “win.” That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.

So what happens to nerdy guys who keep finding out that the princess they were promised is always in another castle? When they “do everything right,” they get good grades, they get a decent job, and that wife they were promised in the package deal doesn’t arrive? When the persistent passive-aggressive Nice Guy act fails, do they step it up to elaborate Steve-Urkel-esque stalking and stunts? Do they try elaborate Revenge of the Nerds-style ruses? Do they tap into their inner John Galt and try blatant, violent rape?

Do they buy into the “pickup artist” snake oil—started by nerdy guys, for nerdy guys—filled with techniques to manipulate, pressure and in some cases outright assault women to get what they want? Or when that doesn’t work, and they spend hours a day on sites bitching about how it doesn’t work, like Elliot Rodger’s hangout “,” sometimes, do they buy some handguns, leave a manifesto on the Internet and then drive off to a sorority house to murder as many women as they can?

No, I’m not saying most frustrated nerdy guys are rapists or potential rapists. I’m certainly not saying they’re all potential mass murderers. I’m not saying that most lonely men who put women up on pedestals will turn on them with hostility and rage once they get frustrated enough.

But I have known nerdy male stalkers, and, yes, nerdy male rapists. I’ve known situations where I knew something was going on but didn’t say anything—because I didn’t want to stick my neck out, because some vile part of me thought that this kind of thing was “normal,” because, in other words, I was a coward and I had the privilege of ignoring the problem.

I’ve heard and seen the stories that those of you who followed the #YesAllWomen hashtag on Twitter have seen—women getting groped at cons, women getting vicious insults flung at them online, women getting stalked by creeps in college and told they should be “flattered.” I’ve heard Elliot Rodger’s voice before. I was expecting his manifesto to be incomprehensible madness—hoping for it to be—but it wasn’t. It’s a standard frustrated angry geeky guy manifesto, except for the part about mass murder.
What (Else) Can Men Do? Grow The Fuck Up.

Boys who like computers are taught that we DESERVE sexual attention from women. We need to get over it.

May 27, 2014

Santa Barbara shootings show America's pathology

What the Santa Barbara shootings tell us about "white guy killer syndrome" aka "aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome":

The Santa Barbara Mass Shooting, Elliot Rodger, and Aggrieved White Male Entitlement Syndrome

When an entire social structure has been erected to reinforce the lie that white folks are "normal" and "Others" are "deviant," it can be very difficult to break out of denial.

By Chauncey DeVega
As I often ask, "What shall we do with the white people?"

When an "Arab" or "Muslim" American kills people in mass they are a "terrorist." When a black person shoots someone they are "thugs." When a white man commits a mass shooting he is "mentally ill" or "sick."

Whiteness and white privilege are the luxury to be an individual, one whose behavior reflects nothing about white people as a group.

There will not be a national discussion of a culture of "white pathology" or how white Americans may have a "cultural problem" with their young men and gun violence. The news media will not devote extensive time to the "social problem" of white male violence and mass shootings.

Elliot Rodger, a rich, white, entitled young man, allegedly killed six innocent men and women and wounded 13 others yesterday. Like Adam Lanza, this would appear to be a case of aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome, one which has led to a murderous and tragic outcome.

I have written about what I term "aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome" on several occasions.

In a complementary manner, William Hamby offers up a sharp synthesis of how rage and white male privilege come together to create monsters:Rachel Kalish and Michael Kimmel (2010) proposed a mechanism that might well explain why white males are routinely going crazy and killing people. It's called "aggrieved entitlement." According to the authors, it is "a gendered emotion, a fusion of that humiliating loss of manhood and the moral obligation and entitlement to get it back. And its gender is masculine." This feeling was clearly articulated by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the perpetrators of the Columbine Massacre. Harris said, "People constantly make fun of my face, my hair, my shirts..." A group of girls asked him, "Why are you doing this?" He replied, "We've always wanted to do this. This is payback... This is for all the sh*t you put us through. This is what you deserve."

At the risk of getting too existentialist, I'd like to propose a very simple and elegant explanation for not only school shootings but a host of other barbaric acts in recent years: White men are having a crisis of both aggrievement and entitlement. One need only look at the 2012 election season to see less brutal but equally mind-numbing examples of white men going mad because they are losing their power. The "Republican Meltdown" is a perfect example of men who previously had all the control escalating to madness when that control was lost...
The thing is, losing power hurts. That's the "aggrieve" part of aggrieved entitlement. It's one thing for a bunch of white men to feel hurt because they are no longer the kings of their own private castles, rulers of all they survey. It's another thing for them to feel like they're entitled to power, and more importantly, entitled to punish others for taking it away. And that--aggrievement plus the feeling of entitlement--is what may well drive people like Adam Lanza to these horrific crimes.
Elliot Rodger’s fatal menace: How toxic male entitlement devalues women’s and men’s lives

In moments after unspeakable tragedy we must not rush to conclusions. But here's one thing we already know too well

By Katie McDonough
There is an angry part of me—a frightened part of me—that wants to tear Rodger’s video manifesto apart in the pettiest terms imaginable. Point to how cliched it all is—the tired self-importance, the god comparisons, his lazy use of “sluts” and “brutes” to describe the women and men he would allegedly target and murder only hours later. I have seen these videos before. Women have heard these threats before, and been forced to consider how seriously they should take an anonymous man who says he knows where they live and tells them, “I am the one who is going to kill you.” If Rodger had posted his angry monologue to YouTube or fired it off in an email and then gone about his day—seething privately and without violence about his wounded sense of entitlement and the sting of having his resentful and warped desires unfulfilled—the country wouldn’t be talking about him. Because until the moment that he is alleged to have killed six women and men, Elliot Rodger was every bit the same as the other men who are defined by their resentment toward women and their sense of bitter victimization in the world. Men who threaten women in person and online in an attempt to control their lives. Men who feel that girls and women owe them adoration, sexual gratification, subservience. Men whose sense of rage and entitlement has rotted their brains and ruined them.

And this anger—this toxic male entitlement—isn’t contained to random comment boards or the YouTube videos of disturbed young men. It’s on full view elsewhere in our culture. Earlier this week, a writer for the New York Post quoted a member of a men’s rights group as the sole source in a report on Jill Abramson’s ouster at the New York Times. Mel Feit of the National Center for Men told columnist Richard Johnson that Abramson was systematically firing men and replacing them with women. He said that our society gives women preferential treatment. On his website, Feit bemoans a culture in which men are subject to the powerful whims of vindictive women who exist on “sexual pedestals.” He argues that men can’t be blamed for rape after a certain point of arousal. These views about women and violence are replicated in our criminal justice system. They filter into our media. This is what makes Rodger’s misogynistic vitriol so terrifying—the fact that in many ways it’s utterly banal.

The news out of Isla Vista is still painfully fresh, and in the coming days we will continue to struggle to understand this pattern of violence. And while we do that—the work of considering what laws, support systems and cultural shifts must be put in place to prevent these tragedies from destroying more lives, families and communities—I can’t help but be reminded of all of the women who have been victimized by a culture and a system that denies their humanity.

I’m reminded of Marissa Alexander, whom the state of Florida is trying to imprison for 60 years because she fired a warning shot to ward off a man who had a history of violently abusing her and had told her that he was going to kill her. I’m reminded of CeCe McDonald, a trans woman of color who was incarcerated for defending herself during a brutal assault. “Her gift for survival was a prison sentence,” trans actress and activist Laverne Cox recently observed. I’m reminded of the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted more than a month ago and remain missing because they had the audacity to go to school.

I think of the millions of other women and girls whose names the public does not know, but who have been forced all the same—by institutional forces larger than themselves, by systemic and enduring misogyny and racism, by the sheer bad luck of being at a given place at a given moment—to become statistics or symbols of our culture’s profound disregard for the humanity of women and girls. I am reminded of all of them and I don’t know where to put the pain and anger that comes with that. There is no possible vessel large enough to hold it all.
What Elliot Rodger Said About Women Reveals Why We Need to Stamp Out Misogyny

By Elizabeth PlankWhat happened in Santa Barbara is nothing less than a hate crime, and yet mainstream news outlets are distilling the issue to "mental illness" and "premeditated mass murder." Although we should be shocked by Elliot Rodger's actions, we should not be surprised. In fact, most school shootings share chillingly similar characteristics. It's time we stop treating these incidents as anomalies and start recognizing the deep societal issues at play.

1. Men commit most school shootings

All but one of the mass murders in the U.S. over the last 30 years has been committed by men. The fact that gender is often omitted from the story speaks to how we still see the masculine as the irreproachable and invisible standard. As Michael Kimmel notes in his extensive research on school shootings, if the genders were reversed and most school shootings were committed by women, you'd bet gender would be part of the analysis.

We often instead shift the conversation to "mental illness" and describe shooters as madmen, while the characteristics they exhibit are often an extension of toxic masculinity ideals that are institutionally reinforced.

Details are still emerging, but according to the Daily Kos, Elliot Rodger subscribed to many Men's Rights Activists' (MRA) websites and may have adopted their radical ideology about women. The comments that motivated his killing spree were not far from many of the ones that are openly made by men in those communities. Even in the aftermath of the tragedy in Santa Barbara, a pick-up artist group (many of which often classify as MRAs) left a horrendous comment publicizing their services, as if their view of entitlement to women were valid in the first place.
And:5. Most gunmen exhibit a large sense of entitlement

Like many other school shooters, Elliot Rodger displayed a colossal sense of entitlement in his unsettling manifesto. He describes his inability to attract women as something he needed to "punish" them for. He describes the fact that women are not interested in him as an "injustice" and a "crime" because he is the "perfect guy." In an attempt to prove that he is the "alpha male," he decides to slaughter them. He believes he is entitled to women's bodies and, when denied access, he retaliates. "It's not fair. You girls have never been attracted to me. I don't know why you girls have never been attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it," he says.

This kind of attitude toward females can be seen in bullying patterns too. Although we tend to believe that girls bully girls and boys bully boys, cross-gender bullying is much more frequent than we think. When it occurs, it is often "unpopular boys" who are not deemed to be the Alpha Male by their peers who bully "popular girls." These boys seem to use bullying to prove their manhood.

We live in a society where being white and male affords one with countless privileges and, for some, a toxic sense of entitlement. As Michael Kimmel explains, "righteous retaliation is a deeply held, almost sacred, tenant of masculinity: if you are aggrieved, you are entitled to retribution. American men don't just get mad, we get even."
White guy killer syndrome: Elliot Rodger’s deadly, privileged rage

Can I go ahead and scream yet? It's time for America to admit what it's long resisted: White male privilege kills

By Brittney Cooper
From my standpoint as an armchair therapist—having read transcripts of Rodger’s videos—his anger is about his failure to be able to access all the markers of white male heterosexual middle-class privilege. He goes on and on about his status as a virgin, his inability to find a date since middle school, his anger and resentment about being rejected by blond, sorority women. In fact, he claims he will “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see.” As Jessica Valenti so thoroughly demonstrates: “misogyny kills.” I am struck by the extent to which Rodger believed he was entitled to have what he deemed the prettiest girls, he was entitled to women’s bodies, and when society denied him these “entitlements” he thought it should become the public’s problem. He thought that his happiness was worth the slaughter of multiple people.

This sense of heterosexual white male entitlement to a world that grants all one’s wishes, and this destructive murderous anger that attends the ostensible denial of these wishes, is at the emotional core of white supremacy. Elliot Rodger was a late bloomer, which while socially inconvenient and embarrassing, is neither uncommon nor a problem. But because we don’t have a fundamentally honest societal conversation happening about white male privilege, rooted as it is in sexism and racism, we can’t even observe one of the most basic truths here: What Rodger perceived as a denial was at the very worst a delay. Our society is fundamentally premised on making sure that straight, middle-class (upper class in Rodger’s case) white men have access to power, money and women.

And while we have no problem from President Obama, down to Paul Ryan, down to the preacher in the pulpit talking about pathological black masculinity, we seem wholly uninterested in talking about pathological white masculinity, which continues to assert itself in the most dangerous and deadly of ways.

In this regard, the rage at the core of Rodger’s horrific acts is not unlike the kind of middle-class, heterosexual, white male rage that drives much of social policy in this country. In the era of Barack Obama, we have endured a mass temper tantrum from white men that includes a mind-boggling war on women, with an unprecedented rollback of the gains of the women’s rights movement, and an attempt to decimate whole communities of color, which are disproportionately poor, through school privatization, mass incarceration (which began long before the Obama era) and the gutting of the social safety net.

I’m not calling these guys mass murderers. Of that I want to be clear. But I am saying that we cannot understand Elliot Rodger’s clear mental health issues and view of himself as the supremely forsaken victim here outside a context of racism, white supremacy and patriarchy. I’m also saying that white male privilege might be considered a mental health issue, because it allows these dudes to move through the world believing that their happiness, pleasure and well-being matters more than the death and suffering of others.
Masculine insecurity and entitlement are a big, tangled-up mess

By Amanda MarcotteThis horrible UCSB shooting has, I think, been something of a wake-up call to the country. Elliot Rodger was clearly out of his head in some ways, but his copious amount of writing and video-blogging made it nigh-impossible—excepting the usual denialist suspects, of course—to ignore the bizarre but strong link between entitlement and insecurity. I think most of us, even those of us inclined to deny the realities of racism and sexism, understand quite well that being targeted routinely with messages that your gender or race makes you inferior can negatively impact self-esteem. (Indeed, that concern was a critical turning point in the decision Brown v the Board of Education.) Less well-understood is the negative impact that being told you’re entitled to certain privileges because of your race or gender can also breed insecurity. It’s an insecurity that manifests differently, but it is nonetheless an insecurity.

Obviously, this isn’t true across the board. We’ve all had plenty of experiences with white dudes of the Donald Trump sort, who are so puffed up artificially that they have no idea what blithering idiots they actually are. We’ve all met men who actually believe that the obligatory tittering at their lame jokes that women provide means they are actually funny. It’s sad, but kind of comical.

But being constantly told that, by virtue of being a white dude, you are supposed to be smarter, more sexually powerful, funnier, etc. than everyone else can have a totally different effect, and I think the Rodger situation makes that really clear. A lot of white guys look around and realize that they really aren’t all that smart/sexually masterful/whatever, and they are hit with a profound insecurity. They aren’t what white guys are “supposed” to be!

Of course, where this kind of insecurity is very different than more run-of-the-mill insecurity, where the insecure person just wallows in shame, many men suffering from anxious masculinity react by indulging grotesque power fantasies, hoping by acting like giant assholes—or, worse, actually committing violence—they can become the big men they are secretly afraid they are not. Rodger was direct about this: Murder would make him an “alpha”, with is MRA/PUA terminology for the fantasy of the powerful man. But this sort of thinking crops up in lesser forms all the time.
Comment:  Euro-American history = toxic culture of white male entitlement = genocide of Indians and enslavement of Africans = Elliot Rodger shootings.

For more on the subject, see Newtown Shootings Show America's Pathology and Aurora Shooting Shows America's Pathology.

May 26, 2014

Right-wing terrorism worse than jihadism

Americans Are More Likely to Be Killed by Right-Wing Terrorists Than Muslims—But the Media's Afraid to Say It

We must confront the threat of far right extremism.

By CJ Werleman
When Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) labeled cattle rancher and right-wing extremist Cliven Bundy a “domestic terrorist,” the far Right went into an apoplectic state. But the Senate majority leader may have unwittingly stumbled upon an interesting and sobering fact: that when it comes to domestic terrorism, you are far more likely to be murdered by a far Right-wing American than a Muslim American, but the term “terrorist” remains reserved exclusively for acts of political violence carried out by Muslims.

If terrorism is defined as violence against innocent civilians designed to advance a political cause, then all racist murders that occur in the U.S. are also acts of terrorism, because the perpetrators commit the violent act to send a political message to minority communities (i.e. intimidate them into a subordinate status.)

Arun Kundani, adjunct professor at New York University and author of The Muslims are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the War on Terror, writes: “The definition of terrorism is never applied consistently, because to do so would mean the condemnatory power of the term would have to be applied to our violence as much as theirs, thereby defeating the word’s usefulness.”

Violence carried out by far Right groups or individuals, which have racism as a central component of their ideology, is of similar magnitude to that of Jihadist violence. In the years 1990 to 2010, there were 145 acts of political violence committed by the American far Right, resulting in 348 deaths. By comparison, 20 Americans were killed over the same period in acts of political violence carried out by Muslim-American civilians.

“Both categories of violence represent threats to democratic values from fellow citizens. Whereas the former uses violence to foment a change in the ethnic makeup of Western countries or to defend racial supremacy, the latter uses violence to try to intimidate Western governments into changing foreign policies. Ultimately, to be more concerned about one domestic threat of violence rather than the other implies governments and mainstream journalists consider foreign policies more sacrosanct than the security of minority citizens,” writes Kundani.
Comment:  When white male conservatives don't get their way, they take their guns and man the barricades. (See Cliven Bundy and his supporters as one example.) It's only a step or two from there to shooting at federal agents and blowing up federal buildings. The same pro-white, anti-government sentiments motivate mainstream conservatives and their more extremist brethren.

For more on Cliven Bundy the domestic terrorist, see What Bundy and Sterling Tell Us and Bundy the Conservative Racist.

For more on right-wing terrorism, see Report Documents Right-Wing Terrorism and The Logical Conclusion of Extremism.

May 25, 2014

Conservatives want a race war

Fox News’ divisive race strategy: How O’Reilly, Hannity and Coulter intentionally tore America apart

False claims go unchallenged, racial fears are stoked--and political scientists discover it helps GOP at polls

By Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks
Fox News and associates constantly constructed the average white viewer as a hard-working American who is, at base, frightened by the unfair and racialized agenda of Obama. Characterizing the white viewer as an American under the assault of a dark and dangerous “other” implies a racial conflict in which the white viewer is an innocent bystander in the racial drama directed by the Obama administration.

For example, in July of 2008 Glenn Beck engaged in a pithy race-based fear-mongering remark on his Fox News show. He stated that Obama “has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture” and that Obama “is, I believe, a racist.” After other journalists and activists asked him to specify, rationalize, or retract his remarks, Rupert Murdoch defended Beck’s comment. In a November 2009 interview with Australia’s Sky News, Murdoch said,On the racist thing, that caused a grilling. But he [Obama] did make a very racist comment. Ahhh . . . about, you know, blacks and whites and so on, and which he said in his campaign he would be completely above. And um, that was something which perhaps shouldn’t have been said about the President, but if you actually assess what he was talking about, he was right.Moreover, Sean Hannity joined Murdoch in defending Beck’s assertion that Obama is a “racist.” In discussing Beck’s comment, Hannity stated, “But wait a minute. Wait, hang on a second. When the president hangs out with Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, I’m—can one conclude that there are issues with the president, black liberation theology?”
And:White viewers of Fox were constantly framed as people who should be frightened and apprehensive about issues pertaining to race. In February 2007 Glenn Beck stated that he doesn’t “have a lot of African-American friends [because] . . . I’m afraid that I would be in an open conversation, and I would say something that somebody would take wrong, and then it would be a nightmare.” In this same vein, Bill O’Reilly stated, “Instead of black and white Americans coming together, white Americans are terrified. They’re terrified. Now we can’t even say you’re articulate? We can’t even give you guys compliments because they may be taken as condescension?” In this way, Fox commentators played up racial fears and anxieties, while painting whites as victims of overly sensitive nonwhites, race-baiters, and political correctness.

Seizing upon this fear, Fox News and right-wing commentators anointed themselves as the real civil rights activists of today’s “anti-white” era. Glenn Beck stated that his Restoring Honor rally was to “reclaim the civil rights movement.” So also, in 2007, Michael Savage stated,[B]asically, if you’re talking about a day like today, Martin Luther King Junior Day, and you’re gonna understand what civil rights has become, the con it’s become in this country. It’s a whole industry; it’s a racket. It’ s a racket that is used to exploit primarily heterosexual, Christian, white males’ birthright and steal from them what is their birthright and give it to people who didn’t qualify for it. Take a guess out of whose hide all of these rights are coming. They’re not coming out of women’s hides.Are they? No, there’s only one group that’s targeted, and that group are white, heterosexual males. They are the new witches being hunted by the illiberal left using the guise of civil rights and fairness to women and whatnot.

By stoking racial fears and framing themselves as the true heirs of the Civil Rights Movement, conservative commentators can effectively advance a pro-white agenda that seeks to roll back some of the progressive gains toward equality of the past half-century while mystifying any such overt claim or color-conscious agenda.

These examples illustrate that the white-as-victim narrative both is widely shared and carries resonance across the right-wing media airwaves. Indeed, the story of white victimization is, in our supposedly “post-racial era,” a dominant feature of the media’s obsession with race. The right-wing media calls out to its viewers to identify as racialized white victims. And in competing for audience viewership, networks like Fox attract white viewership by telling them they deserve both social sympathy and a (white) badge of courage for the battle wounds they have received for simply being white.
And:Beck was not alone in painting Obama as a president obsessed with race. In June 2009, Rush Limbaugh opined,They want reparations. What they don’t know is that Obama’s entire economic program is reparations! If I were Sharpton, if I’d been guest hosting Sharpton’s show and I got a call like that, somebody complaining, I’d say, “Shhhh. Shhhh. Shhhh. Let me tell you the truth here. Everything in the stimulus plan, every plan he’s got is reparations. He gonna take from the rich. He’s going to take from the rich and he’s going to give it to you. It just can’t happen overnight. Be patient.” It’s redistribution of wealth, reparations, “returning the nation’s wealth to its rightful owners,” whatever you want to call it. It’s reparations.If not framed as a reparations-obsessed president, Obama has often been painted as either a candidate or a politician pandering to racial interests. In January of 2007 Rush Limbaugh stated, “Hey Barack Obama has picked up another endorsement: ‘Halfrican-American’ actress Halle Berry. As a ‘Halfrican American’ I am honored to have Ms. Berry’s support as well as the support of other ‘Halfrican Americans.’” In February 2008 Ann Coulter said in utter simplicity, “You’re electing a black guy and he only cares about African Americans.”

Obama was also characterized as a racial hypocrite who would exacerbate racial tensions due to his unfair bias toward blacks. In July 2010 Fox Business News’ America’s Nightly Scoreboard host David Asman stated that Obama “is defending racists in . . . letting the Black Panthers off.” Conservative radio host, author, and political commentator Laura Ingraham stated in July 2010 on The O’Reilly Factor that “I believe much of what’s been done in this administration unfortunately has set back race relations in this country, perhaps a generation. I predicted that would happen a year ago on my radio show. And I stand by that today.”
Comment:  For more on conservative racism, see Conservatives Champion White Privilege and The Science of Conservative Racism.

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.”

Fox News defends "Redskins"

Faux News defends the Redskins' response to the 50 senators' letters about the offensive team name:

Megyn Kelly Likens Request To Change Redskins Name To Curtailing ‘Speech Rights, Basically’

By Ellen[T]he lone voice advocating for the name change was Simon Moya-Smith, of Indian Country Today. He explained that the term “Redskin” is a “dictionary-defined slur.” He added, “So I don’t know where the debate is.”

I guess he didn’t know that Fox News is the network where insulting minorities is viewed as legitimate opinion not to be squelched.

Kelly asked, “You don’t see any distinction what’s in somebody’s head and what’s in somebody’s heart? Do you think that the team owner of the Redskins is a racist man?”

She showed no such skepticism with Shapiro when he condescendingly lectured Native Americans–and suggested they have no business complaining about anyone else but their own shiftless selves:The political games that are being played here are absolutely ridiculous. The fact is that 49% of Native American kids were not graduating high school. As of 2010, only three were going on to college, only 10% of those were graduating in four years. And the Senate is focused on the name of the Washington Redskins–as though that’s the biggest problem facing the Native American community? The name of the Washington Redskins is about a hundred on the list of issues facing Native American communities today.
Ah, the old "Don't you have more important things to worry about?" argument. As if people don't deal with multiple issues every moment of their lives.

'Unless We Interrupt Your Sports, You're Not Paying Attention to Us'According to host Megyn Kelly, if most people think something isn't racist, then it's not a problem. This is a strange argument that would invalidate every improvement in the public dialogue concerning race, since African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans and American Indians are all minority groups. Ben Shapiro of "media watchdog" website said that this is not the most important issue facing Native Americans, therefore they cannot complain about it. Sportscaster Jim Gray, reading from notes we'd like to see, shared the utter falsehood that the NCAI designed the Washington Redskins logo. Wait, what? Shapiro quoted the U.S. Constitution, which is always a smart move on Fox News even if it's not relevant, and he and Kelly concurred that the real issue here is, as usual, that our darn government is too big for its britches. All three had stopped making sense well before the end of the segment--Moya-Smith's kicker about interrupting sports was accurate when it comes to football and the sport of cable news punditry."Term of respect"?!

Fox News tries again:

Fox Panelist: Washington Redskins Name Is 'A Term Of Respect' (VIDEO)

By Catherine ThompsonFifty senators wrote a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday calling for the removal of the "racial slur" from the name of Washington's football team. Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth, however, said he viewed the team's name as a "term of respect" for Native Americans.

"It's a historical name. But I don't think there's a lot of people--first of all, when is the last time you heard people use that as a racial slur?" he asked. "It's not used commonly at all as a racial slur. It's used historically as a term of respect to people. And I think that's how we should remember that."
Comment:  "It's used historically as a term of respect to people"? False. Extensive documentation shows it's been used as an ethnic slur or vulgarism for 100 to 150 years, at least.

Most racial slurs aren't used "commonly." Their shock value comes from their rarity. So that part of the argument is false too.

It would be easy to prove whether "redskins" is a term of respect to Native Americans. Simply call them "redskins" to their faces and see how they respond. If they're happy, it's good. If not, it's bad.

How about it, Redskins supporters? Would you call a Native a "redskin" to his or her face? Answer the question, cowards: yes or no?!

Then there's this feeble attempt to court Harry Reid:

Redskins Invite Harry Reid to Game After Demands for Name Change

May 23, 2014

Trebek, Wale defend "Redskins"

Redskins use rapper Wale, Alex Trebek to defend their nameAllen's letter states their usual defenses of the name, including that an "overwhelming majority" of Native American tribes are not offended by it. He backs up this claim with a poll that was taken 10 years ago, even though a Sports Illustrated article written two months ago found that although it is "a complicated and nuanced issue"€in the Native American community, the name is not defended by an overwhelming majority.

The team went on to retweet a Washington Times article about D.C. rapper Wale speaking out against Senator Reid and then sent out another tweet showing Jeopardy host Alex Trebek's support of the name.
Two giants of pop culture weigh in. No word yet on what Kim Kardashian, Paula Deen, or Honey Boo Boo think.

Wale a rappin’ about Reid attackin’ Redskins owner

By Steve Tetreault“Anyone been following the Senator Reid Stuff???” Wale wrote, following with “I don’t respect it. He pointin fingers but he super sketchy. Senator Reid got a lot to say about other ppl bein racist. But I did a lil research. He sketchy.”

Reid “tryna use racism to make a bigger name for his self. I’m. Not into politics like that but it’s a right an wrong thing.”
Rapper Wale says Reid denounced "Redskins" to gain attention. Yeah, because a powerful senator needs more publicity.

Redskins respond to senators' letter

Redskins continue to defend team name in letter

By Mark MaskeThe Washington Redskins continued to defend their team name in a letter sent Friday to a top Capitol Hill lawmaker.

The letter from Redskins executive Bruce Allen to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader, calls the team name “respectful” toward Native Americans.

“Our use of ‘Redskins’ as the name of our football team for more than 81 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans,” Allen wrote in the letter, which was released by the team.

Reid was among the 50 Democratic Senators who wrote letters Thursday to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him and the league to endorse a name change by the Redskins.

“The Washington Redskins are one of the NFL’s flagship franchises,” Allen wrote in his letter to Reid. “We have played in 11 NFL Championship games and have won five World Championships. With over 81 years of tradition created by thousands of alumni and millions of fans, the Redskins team name continues to carry a deep and purposeful meaning.”

Allen wrote that the team name “originated as a Native American expression of solidarity” and its logo “was designed by Native Americans.” He cited polling to write that an “overwhelming majority of Native Americans do not find the name offensive” and that the “vast majority of Americans are in favor of keeping the team name.”
Redskins GM: Nickname staying

NFL team defends 'Redskins' name after 49 senators call for change

Redskins fire back against Harry Reid, senators on name change

May 22, 2014

50 senators denounce "Redskins"

Half of US Senate says Redskins should change nameIn a letter dated Wednesday, 49 senators--48 Democrats and one independent--said the recent condemnation by National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver of racist comments from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "sent a clear message that racism will not stand in the NBA."

"We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did," the senators wrote, adding it was the "opportunity for the NFL to take action to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises."

"What message does it send to punish slurs against African Americans while endorsing slurs against Native Americans?"

The letter said tribal organisations representing more than two million Native Americans across the US have said they want the Redskins name dropped.

Despite federal laws intended to protect tribal culture and identity, "every Sunday during football season, the Washington DC football team mocks their culture."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Maria Cantwell, chairwoman of the Senate Indian affairs committee, led the letter-writing effort. Florida Democrat Bill Nelson wrote separately.
50 senators to NFL: Change Washington team’s racist name

By Alan FramHalf the U.S. Senate urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday to change the Washington NFL team’s name—a nickname for native Americans considered offensive­—saying it is a racist slur and the time is ripe to replace it.

In one letter, 49 senators cited the NBA’s quick action recently to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after he was heard on an audio recording making offensive comments about blacks. They said Goodell should formally push to rename the team.

"We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports," read the letter.

Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, wrote his own letter saying he doesn’t believe that retaining the Washington team name "is appropriate in this day and age." He described himself as "one of your great fans for both the game and you personally."

The letters come at a time of growing pressure to change the team name, with statements in recent months from President Barack Obama, lawmakers of both parties and civil rights groups.
Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians Praise 50 U.S. Senators for Letter to NFL Urging Change for the D.C. Team's Mascot"Washington team owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have claimed that using the R-word epithet somehow honors Native peoples, but it is quite the opposite," said Halbritter. "The R-word is a dictionary defined racial slur, which likely explains why avowed segregationist George Preston Marshall decided to use the term as the team's name. Continuing an infamous segregationist's legacy by promoting such a slur is not an honor, as Mr. Snyder and Mr. Goodell claim. It is a malicious insult. That is why leaders in the Senate, in the House of Representatives, in the White House, and at all levels of government across the country are uniting in opposition to this offensive and hurtful name."

NCAI Executive Director Jackie Pata said: "The name of Washington's NFL team is widely recognized as a racial slur. The NFL is a global brand, but if it wants to contribute to the positive image of the United States across the world, rather than callously promoting discrimination against Native Americans, then it must stop promoting this slur and finally change the name."

In recent months, the campaign to change the Washington NFL team name has received strong bipartisan support in Congress from advocates including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Representatives Tom Cole, Betty McCollum and Eleanor Holmes Norton. In addition to federal legislators, policymakers at the state and local levels have also been critical of the Washington team's continued use of the R-word epithet. City councils, mayors, governors, and even the President of the United States have spoken out against the ongoing use of the slur.

Just days ago, the New York State Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling upon professional sports leagues to end their use of racial slurs. The NFL is headquartered in New York, and the resolution specifically cites the Washington NFL team's R-word mascot as a dictionary-defined epithet.

Change the Mascot has also received support from civil rights organizations, faith leaders, sports icons, leading journalists, and top Native American organizations.