Saturday, September 6, 2014

Go Redskins!


As in go away!

Let me be blunt! The Washington Redskins need to change their nickname. It's clearly offensive and no amount of blather about tradition and heritage is going to change that simple and potent fact. It's an epithet, intended to diminish and define a race of people who are complex and have a long history full of all the human strengths and weaknesses.


And once the "Redskin" name is gone, then it's time for the Cleveland Indians to do likewise. While not quite as offensive as the Washington nickname, it's nonetheless demeaning.


And certainly Chief Wahoo doesn't help. His grinning mug has become an iconic symbol of jingoism, and again arguments about tradition and heritage don't change that simple fact.


And while we're at it, this one has to go too. I don't think "Irish" so much as the pugnacious parody of a an Irishman, which regrettably calls to mind the once intentionally provocative notions of drunkeness among that population.

I don't imagine the latter will change soon. Nor do I expect the Indians will actually change their name, though if they're smart they will dump Wahoo. But Dan Snyder needs to get his head out of his exceedingly rich ass and do something about the Washington club.

In interviews he seems not to understand the nature of the complaint. Adopting a feckless "nothing-to-see-here" attitude and bemoaning the fact that folks don't like the name. This is one case where it's not about political correctness, an attempt to minimize the complaint, but about actual clarity about what we will tolerate as free, but nevertheless polite speech.

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2 comments:

  1. Interesting article as Scot I was (slightly) aware of the issue re the "Redskin" name (less so re the "Indians" but I see that could be an issue also) but in the UK these images of the "Redskins" are viewed and worn on t shirts as a fashion statement of Americana I think a lot of Brits would be stunned its offensive. Whilst the perception of the Irish in the US is one of fighting and heavy drinking, in the UK they the Irish were looked on more as not being clever (similar I think to the way I think the Polish are perceived in the US from some jokes I have heard from US tv) and in the 70s this literally took up most of our comedians (mainstream ones that is) acts ie jokes about thick Irish, so much so these comedians eventually became a joke themselves so it no longer happens (well not often) -

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    1. Mascots by nature are simplistic and play to widespread previously formed impressions. That's the point. The Redskin name in particular feels of a different time entirely when such racial slurs were sadly all too common in the popular culture, comics being a prime example.

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