Unless you’ve been in interplanetary exile for a few years, you probably have heard that the Washington Redskins’ team name has become controversial of late. How disparaging is the Redskins name, really, and to what percentage of the only people who matter in this: the American Indians? Later I’ll propose an iron-clad, foolproof way to find out.
Why do I bother with this? I only will this one time. Absolutely more important issues for this nation abound: our outrageous national debt, the orchestrated illegal-alien crisis (as part of a broader Cloward-Piven strategy to overwhelm services), our passive, misguided foreign relations as the world comes unraveled in the Middle East and elsewhere, the deep problem of the jobless who don’t count as “unemployed” because they’re not even trying (another Cloward-Piven manifestation), and of course the overseer of it all, the most scandal-ridden presidency (including Nixon’s) in my lifetime.
Really, I’m only a football fan with (at most) the very tiniest ancestral few drops of native blood, a fan who bleeds OU crimson on Saturdays and Dallas blue and silver on Sundays. I live in a red state with red dirt that respects the red-blooded traditions of the red man–a state populated with a lot of tribal members. Guess what…their opinions vary. Some natives are offended by the Redskins’ team name. Others use it as their own. Some are fine with it. In speaking with some natives here, and in travels to other areas with a large Indian population such as South Dakota and the Olympic Peninsula, it has become apparent to me anecdotally that their opinions on this issue not only are mixed, but seem to be dominated by either “No” or “I don’t care” to the question of whether the Redskins should change their name. The offended, in my experience, are a small and perhaps unrepresentative subset.
A poll taken in 2004 bore this out. Ninety-one percent (91%) of the natives polled did not consider the name offensive; 9% did. How valid is the poll still today? And does it even matter to most non-Indian, anti-“Redskin” advocates what the Indian consensus thinks? I suspect not, because they think they know what’s best for everyone. Imposing their political correctness on the rest of society is what’s most important, not actually respecting the wishes of the affected people’s consensus.
As an outspoken, outlying, sociopolitically conservative scientist, I also am bombarded with a lot of sanctimonious faux-outrage from intellectual white-liberal friends, people of sheltered privilege who, as non-Indians, don’t really understand the issue any more than I (as a non-Indian from a background of inner-city poverty). Still, their opinions don’t tend to vary much on it. They fall lock-stock in company line with the latest “social justice” outrages, fads of sanctimonious offense spoon-fed to them by MSNBC, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, the Obama administration, or any number of the usual empty-headed Hollywood celebrities.
Presumptuous, Patronizing, Racist White-Liberal Thought Police
That’s exactly the right descriptor for every single white liberal of privilege who has decided the term is racist. Based on what scientifically reproducible poll of all willing American Indians? Start looking for that, okay…and good luck. Meanwhile, sanctimonious liberal moralists: shut your trap and don’t hold your breath while you look. Until such a poll is done (see below), your basis lies only in subjective, arbitrary, capricious opinion of a vocal few–an invalid basis, and not provably representative of the people as a whole. Yes, whole…not some, not loudest, but whole.
The Indians have every right not to trust the entity you hold so dear: government. White liberals’ socialistic, pseudo-Utopian ideal of government as all-providing, all-knowing force for greater good actually has a horrible history for our native peoples. I mean, rotten to the core! Through these links, look at what government has done “for” the Indians over the course of time at places like Wounded Knee, Sand Creek and Fort Robinson, countless broken treaties, forced sterilization of native women as late as the 1970s, federal swindling of tribal land that continues to this day…and those are just the tip of the iceberg. And yet, liberals, you think government knows best? Try convincing some Lakota Sioux or Cheyennes of that. History should teach us that neither government nor corporations nor any non-Indian individual should decide what is right for the natives to accept or reject.
Get this, moralizing, patronizing white liberals: IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS–I repeat, none of your business, what the natives should think about this or any other issue. You are not an Indian, and neither am I. That disqualifies all of us. It’s that simple.
Neither your opinion nor mine matters as to whether the term is offensive. Only the Indians should decide. Yet despite Big Government’s absolutely horrid track record of treating the Native American, it still thinks it knows what’s best today. To wit…
Constitutionality and Due Process
Most recently, the U.S. Patent Office has overstepped its constitutional bounds by rescinding the team’s trademark because it has decided unilaterally, arbitrarily and capriciously that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans”, and was at the time of filing. Say what? Get this–it is very important: If the name was so bad at the time of filing, why did the Patent Office grant the trademark in the first place?
What a bunch of overreaching, presumptuous bureaucratic bullies! This sets a terrible precedent in that any existing trademark that a particular administration or sociopolitical movement declares “offensive” will be removed without due process. That’s right: without due process. A trademark represents intellectual property. To take property of any sort, intellectual or otherwise, without due process is patently (pun intended) and obviously unconstitutional. If Daniel Snyder is smart–and he seems to be in areas other than fielding a worthwhile football product–he’ll attack from this angle (among others) in court.
The Ultimate Solution: Let All the American Indians, and ONLY Them, Decide!
So, what is my opinion on this issue? Simple common sense: let the Indians decide. Once again, it is none of the white man’s business what the native tribes should think–least of all the patronizing, “We know what’s best for you” ethos of the government-knows-best limousine liberal. My proposed solution is a very specific, much bigger variant of the poll of over 700 Native Americans already done ten years ago.
The team’s ownership should pay for an independently conducted nationwide survey of all willing American Indians, by mail, postage prepaid, channeled through and in cooperation with the tribes themselves, in order to maximize distribution, maximize participation and maximize perceived legitimacy on the part of participants. Only registered members of tribes would be eligible. The survey form should be one-page, straightforward and crystal clear, with the question: “Should the Washington Redskins change their name?” The possible answers: “yes”, “no”, “don’t care or no opinion”. A space for comments can be provided also.
Daniel Snyder absolutely can afford this. He has enough wealth that, for him, paying several million for this would be 1) a drop in the bucket, and 2) a great way to show sincerity of purpose with the Indian community nationwide. The survey would be tallied by an independent, reputable surveying and/or accounting organization, its results released jointly by Snyder and tribal representatives. If the majority say “yes”, Snyder agrees to change the name effective for the 2015 season. If the majority is “no” or “don’t care”, the issue is shelved for ten more years, and another survey taken.
There you go: a solution that gives the full voice to the only people who rightly deserve it: the natives themselves!
What if the majority of Indians, or pre-emptively team ownership, eventually decide that the name is wrong? As a Dallas fan, I’ve got some suggestions for renaming that Washington team. Thank me later for my benevolence.
Washington Redskin Potatoes: Too long, and demeaning to spuds of all races and colors.
Washington Deadskins: Often true and quite appropriate, but hackneyed. Lost its luster after a thousand uses in the ’60s and ’70s.
Washington Foreskins: I’m pretty sure I invented this one as a teenager after calling Joe Theismann either of two male-anatomical insults that rhyme with “lick”. Problem is, it’s probably too obscene for audiences under 13. I don’t want to be responsible for tens of thousands of innocent kids having to learn what this is, nor for whatever logo would have to appear on the team helmets as a result.
Washington Cherry Blossoms: Dress them in pink and white with flowers on their helmets. I love it–unless it creates a sort of Boy Named Sue effect that makes them really tough, for the first time ever.
Washington Turd Piles: Hey, this team stinks, and has for a really long time, so it fits. The self-appointed thought police of the PC crowd won’t let it happen, though. Besides, to dung beetles, composters and other advocates of legitimately useful manure, it’s potentially insulting and offensive for that to be associated with this truly useless football team.
Washington Politicians: The one name that would make them even more hated by Dallas fans worldwide. Use a leaking bucket of pond-scum-colored slime, the pail being labeled both with jackass and elephant heads, for the helmet logo, as the most fitting representation of the name. Eureka!
Oh, and one final note: GO COWBOYS!