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Do you think Snyder should change the name of the Redskins?


DBIsports

Should the Washington Redskins change their name?  

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Team has no intention of changing the name:http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=8949586

Redskins might be the most tone deaf and dense organization in the league, so poorly managed by Snyder and Allen. They not only won't consider the fact that they have a truly racist team name, they won't even do anything to improve that wretched stadium.What an awful franchise. I would be so embarrassed to be associated with this team.
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Team has no intention of changing the name:http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=8949586

Redskins might be the most tone deaf and dense organization in the league, so poorly managed by Snyder and Allen. They not only won't consider the fact that they have a truly racist team name, they won't even do anything to improve that wretched stadium.What an awful franchise. I would be so embarrassed to be associated with this team.
If they're paying customers truly cared about the name by not re-upping their season tickets, I bet it would get changed pretty quick. Problem is, they don't care. So neither does Snyder. As for the stadium, well you got me there. One of the worst in the league.
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Snyder has said he's not changing the name. IMO, only two things will change the name while he is owner:

1. A legal ruling forcing the change or

2. People actually stop using the word when referring to the team, making it a business decision for Snyder.

If it's clearly so offensive, why does the NFL not force a change? Why are ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC ok with broadcasting their games and saying the word? Why is the Washington Post ok with using the word over and over and over in their work? Why is Prince George's County, Maryland, ok with a stadium with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why is Loudoun County, Virginia, ok with a practice facility with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why did the city of Richmond recently agree to host Redskins training camps and market it using the word "Redskins"?

OK, I guess money answers a lot of these questions. But, why is there money to be made there? If "much of society" says the word is negative, as Greg Russel's posted article says, then why does much of society continue to use the word, leading to there being a market for the team name? Why do people at this message board not call out others for using the word and accuse them of using a racial slur? Better yet, why do all the people in this thread who claim it is clearly an offensive slur continue to type the word on this board and use the word as part of their language?

Part of it is that when a team nickname has been around forever people kind of stop thinking about what it means and their brain just goes to the team when they hear the word rather than the other meaning of the word. When was the last time you heard the team name of the New York basketball team and thought of baggy trousers that were popular in the early 20th century? Or heard the name of the LA basketball team and thought about people who live near lakes?

I think the money question is ultimately what turns this, though. I haven't analyzed it too much but I think Snyder will ultimately lose on the trademark challenges, and obviously you can't afford to own an NFL team that doesn't have a trademark on its name and attire. You'd lose millions. The challengers lost last time around on a procedural snag, but that'll get cleaned up next time around.

Actually, the term "Lakers" refers to the ships that sailed the Great Lakes, not the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/mpls/mplslakers.html

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Snyder has said he's not changing the name. IMO, only two things will change the name while he is owner:

1. A legal ruling forcing the change or

2. People actually stop using the word when referring to the team, making it a business decision for Snyder.

If it's clearly so offensive, why does the NFL not force a change? Why are ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC ok with broadcasting their games and saying the word? Why is the Washington Post ok with using the word over and over and over in their work? Why is Prince George's County, Maryland, ok with a stadium with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why is Loudoun County, Virginia, ok with a practice facility with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why did the city of Richmond recently agree to host Redskins training camps and market it using the word "Redskins"?

OK, I guess money answers a lot of these questions. But, why is there money to be made there? If "much of society" says the word is negative, as Greg Russel's posted article says, then why does much of society continue to use the word, leading to there being a market for the team name? Why do people at this message board not call out others for using the word and accuse them of using a racial slur? Better yet, why do all the people in this thread who claim it is clearly an offensive slur continue to type the word on this board and use the word as part of their language?

Part of it is that when a team nickname has been around forever people kind of stop thinking about what it means and their brain just goes to the team when they hear the word rather than the other meaning of the word. When was the last time you heard the team name of the New York basketball team and thought of baggy trousers that were popular in the early 20th century? Or heard the name of the LA basketball team and thought about people who live near lakes?

I think the money question is ultimately what turns this, though. I haven't analyzed it too much but I think Snyder will ultimately lose on the trademark challenges, and obviously you can't afford to own an NFL team that doesn't have a trademark on its name and attire. You'd lose millions. The challengers lost last time around on a procedural snag, but that'll get cleaned up next time around.

Actually, the term "Lakers" refers to the ships that sailed the Great Lakes, not the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nba/mpls/mplslakers.html

Whoa. Mind blown.
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Snyder has said he's not changing the name. IMO, only two things will change the name while he is owner:1. A legal ruling forcing the change or2. People actually stop using the word when referring to the team, making it a business decision for Snyder.If it's clearly so offensive, why does the NFL not force a change? Why are ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC ok with broadcasting their games and saying the word? Why is the Washington Post ok with using the word over and over and over in their work? Why is Prince George's County, Maryland, ok with a stadium with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why is Loudoun County, Virginia, ok with a practice facility with the word "Redskins" on it in their county? Why did the city of Richmond recently agree to host Redskins training camps and market it using the word "Redskins"?OK, I guess money answers a lot of these questions. But, why is there money to be made there? If "much of society" says the word is negative, as Greg Russel's posted article says, then why does much of society continue to use the word, leading to there being a market for the team name? Why do people at this message board not call out others for using the word and accuse them of using a racial slur? Better yet, why do all the people in this thread who claim it is clearly an offensive slur continue to type the word on this board and use the word as part of their language?

Personally I only refer to them as Washington or the "'Skins", thought skins is like saying "N-word" instead of the full offensive word. I expect part of it being accepted is the term doesn't seem to be widely used as a negative term. At least growing up on the east coast it wasn't for in my area. I wonder if part of that is a lack of Native American populations? Like, there is ethnic areas of most large cities but there doesn't seem to be a "Little Native America".As far as how the "Skins became accepted by some? I guess it's like how it seemed fine that the confederate flag was painted on the roof of a car for a hugely popular TV show.
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Michigan tribe takes opposite tack, supports Native American mascots

"Good read with a thoughtful, interesting perspective. The tribal leader they interviewed makes a sensible distinction IMO."

They have no problem with the imagery, BUT, are opposed to the team name "Redskins", according to the interview.

"Many of the people taking part in this debate see it as a black-and-white issue. Either they're completely opposed to all uses of Native American imagery, or they have no problem with any of it. What's your position, or your tribe's position, on that?"

It's very, very clear for us, because we've worked with so many institutions in our area. Our position is that if it's not derogatory and it's being used appropriately, with an opportunity to share or cross-share our culture, then it's fine. There's nothing derogatory about "Warriors" or "Braves." There's nothing derogatory about "Indian." But terms like "Redskin" or "Half-Breed," those are derogatory terms to us.

Edited by DBIsports
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Michigan tribe takes opposite tack, supports Native American mascots

"Good read with a thoughtful, interesting perspective. The tribal leader they interviewed makes a sensible distinction IMO."

They have no problem with the imagery, BUT, are opposed to the team name "Redskins", according to the interview.

"Many of the people taking part in this debate see it as a black-and-white issue. Either they're completely opposed to all uses of Native American imagery, or they have no problem with any of it. What's your position, or your tribe's position, on that?"

It's very, very clear for us, because we've worked with so many institutions in our area. Our position is that if it's not derogatory and it's being used appropriately, with an opportunity to share or cross-share our culture, then it's fine. There's nothing derogatory about "Warriors" or "Braves." There's nothing derogatory about "Indian." But terms like "Redskin" or "Half-Breed," those are derogatory terms to us.

I have heard this time and time again. It's a basic human respect issues, and while it's not Snyder's or the fans' fault that the Redskins are called the Redskins. But, they are all certainly at fault for letting their selfishness override basic human dignity, decency, respect, etc. And, the fans of the football team are the most to blame. Because, as a collective, they could rise up and say they're sick of being associated with blatant racism.

But, they haven't up to this point, so I doubt Snyder will have an epiphany anytime soon that he has the ugliest team name in pro sports.

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Michigan tribe takes opposite tack, supports Native American mascots

"Good read with a thoughtful, interesting perspective. The tribal leader they interviewed makes a sensible distinction IMO."

They have no problem with the imagery, BUT, are opposed to the team name "Redskins", according to the interview.

"Many of the people taking part in this debate see it as a black-and-white issue. Either they're completely opposed to all uses of Native American imagery, or they have no problem with any of it. What's your position, or your tribe's position, on that?"

It's very, very clear for us, because we've worked with so many institutions in our area. Our position is that if it's not derogatory and it's being used appropriately, with an opportunity to share or cross-share our culture, then it's fine. There's nothing derogatory about "Warriors" or "Braves." There's nothing derogatory about "Indian." But terms like "Redskin" or "Half-Breed," those are derogatory terms to us.

He flat-out says the Redskins should change their name.

As I'm sure you're aware, there's an increasing movement to have the Washington Redskins football team change its name. Any thoughts on that?

I think that would be most appropriate.

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So when you say it's fine to use non-derogatory imagery as long as it's being used appropriately, you're saying that part of that "appropriate use" is educational content about Native Americans?

Yes. For example, in 2003 we entered into an articulation agreement with Central Michigan University, because they were the Chippewas. As part of that agreement, the tribe and the university each has an obligation. Every year I go in and address every freshman athletic student about our culture and what it means to be a Chippewa, and about the proud, competitive nature of our people. We explain that it's not about war paint and fake feathers. It's about honoring the triumph of these resilient, competitive people.

They also have areas on campus that are dedicated to the presence of the Chippewa Nation. So it's a good cross-cultural exchange. And when they go out there and compete, they're Chippewas, they're fighting like a Chippewa, fighting to win. We've made that university our school of choice for Native Americans, because our tribal community is close by, so we can help support those Native students.

What if a high school or university wasn't interested in doing these types of cultural exchanges and educational efforts? What would your feelings be about their use of Native imagery?

It would be completely different. If they're not willing to celebrate and show the culture, they shouldn't have the privilege of depicting it.

What about states that have already banned all Native imagery from their high schools, like Wisconsin and Oregon?

I think that's a missed opportunity for the type of cultural exchange and education that I just described.

How do you feel about the NCAA's regulations restricting the use of Native American imagery but allowing it when permission is granted by a local tribe, as in the case of Florida State University and the Seminole Tribe?

I think that's absolutely fine. That's basically what we do with Central Michigan University.

Many teams say that their use of Native American imagery is meant to be an honor, especially when they use team names like "Warriors," which is meant to symbolize American Indians' fighting spirit. But there are others who say this plays into stereotypes of Indians as savages who aren't good at anything except making war. How do you feel about that?

Once again, it goes back to the responsibility of the school. If they're using a menacing-looking Indian and trying to intimidate the other team because they might get scalped, that's inappropriate. But if they're using an image that evokes spirit and competition, and they've celebrated the culture, then they've done their job and they've earned the right to proudly display that logo.

Everything we've discussed so far is about schools, which can offer the type of educational programs you've mentioned. But what about professional teams that use this imagery, like the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. They're not in the education business. What's your feeling about them?

If they're not going to educate and they feel no obligation [to do so], then they have no right to use this imagery. They shouldn't have that privilege if they're not going to celebrate where it comes from.

Edited by BobbyLayne
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So when you say it's fine to use non-derogatory imagery as long as it's being used appropriately, you're saying that part of that "appropriate use" is educational content about Native Americans?

Yes. For example, in 2003 we entered into an articulation agreement with Central Michigan University, because they were the Chippewas. As part of that agreement, the tribe and the university each has an obligation. Every year I go in and address every freshman athletic student about our culture and what it means to be a Chippewa, and about the proud, competitive nature of our people. We explain that it's not about war paint and fake feathers. It's about honoring the triumph of these resilient, competitive people.

They also have areas on campus that are dedicated to the presence of the Chippewa Nation. So it's a good cross-cultural exchange. And when they go out there and compete, they're Chippewas, they're fighting like a Chippewa, fighting to win. We've made that university our school of choice for Native Americans, because our tribal community is close by, so we can help support those Native students.

What if a high school or university wasn't interested in doing these types of cultural exchanges and educational efforts? What would your feelings be about their use of Native imagery?

It would be completely different. If they're not willing to celebrate and show the culture, they shouldn't have the privilege of depicting it.

What about states that have already banned all Native imagery from their high schools, like Wisconsin and Oregon?

I think that's a missed opportunity for the type of cultural exchange and education that I just described.

How do you feel about the NCAA's regulations restricting the use of Native American imagery but allowing it when permission is granted by a local tribe, as in the case of Florida State University and the Seminole Tribe?

I think that's absolutely fine. That's basically what we do with Central Michigan University.

Many teams say that their use of Native American imagery is meant to be an honor, especially when they use team names like "Warriors," which is meant to symbolize American Indians' fighting spirit. But there are others who say this plays into stereotypes of Indians as savages who aren't good at anything except making war. How do you feel about that?

Once again, it goes back to the responsibility of the school. If they're using a menacing-looking Indian and trying to intimidate the other team because they might get scalped, that's inappropriate. But if they're using an image that evokes spirit and competition, and they've celebrated the culture, then they've done their job and they've earned the right to proudly display that logo.

Everything we've discussed so far is about schools, which can offer the type of educational programs you've mentioned. But what about professional teams that use this imagery, like the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. They're not in the education business. What's your feeling about them?

If they're not going to educate and they feel no obligation [to do so], then they have no right to use this imagery. They shouldn't have that privilege if they're not going to celebrate where it comes from.

Again, it's an interesting perspective but it has nothing to do with the question of the derogatory Redskins name, which he specifically addresses.
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Does anybody know how the name for Washington became the 'Redskins' in the first place? The political center of America names their football team after a group of people they explicitly tried to wipe of the face of the earth? It would be cool if the Redskins got together with the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians and announced name changes for all three in the name of sensitivity.

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Does anybody know how the name for Washington became the 'Redskins' in the first place? The political center of America names their football team after a group of people they explicitly tried to wipe of the face of the earth?

In 1932, the Boston Braves were born. The story goes that attendance was so poor the first season, that owner George Preston Marshall wanted to change the name. It was somewhat common in those days, apparently, for football teams and baseball teams to have similar names and share stadiums. In 1933, the Boston Braves began playing in Fenway Park and changed their name to Redskins, which is sort of kind of in a way similar to Redsox...'cause they both start with Red. There is also a story that the owner used "Redskins" to "honor" their head coach at the time who claimed to be Native American. I say "claimed" because I've read that some people have questioned whether he was or not. They moved to Washington in 1937 and kept the name.So, from what I've read, it's really not 100% why they chose that name. Shouldn't there be some Boston news articles from 1933 about the name change? It would be interesting to read anything from that time about the name change. I realize the country was a different place in the 1930s (and that the owner was a racist), but I do find it a little hard to believe that Marshall picked a racial slur for his team name. Even though times were different then, I would expect some news articles about it and even pointing out that they picked an offensive name.
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It seems like quite a stretch to lump it in with other racial slurs or racially charged language since literally no one uses this word outside of referring to an NFL football team. This isn't just a word, the name is a trademarked brand. I don't know of any other so-called racial slur that is trademarked. I think the only way Synder could be convinced to change it would be for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to void the trademark.

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Another perspective...http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002961.htmlMarch 26, 2006The Origin of RedskinThe controversy over the Washington Redskins trademark has attracted considerable attention, here and elsewhere. We have had quite a few previous posts about this. It began with a petition by seven American Indian activists led by Suzan Harjo in 1992 to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Department of Commerce requesting cancellation of the trademark on the grounds that the word redskinwas and is a pejorative, derogatory, denigrating, offensive, scandalous, contemptuous, disreputable, disparaging and racist designation for a Native American person In 1998 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decided in favor of the petitioners and cancelled the trademark. Pro Football, Inc. appealed to the United States District Court, which in 2003 overturned the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and reinstated the trademark. It gave several grounds for its decision: •that there was an absence of evidence that the term redskin is disparaging in the particular context of the name of the sports team;•that the TTB did not sufficiently articulate its inferences and explain how it decided between competing pieces of evidence. In particular, the District Court was critical of the fact that the TTB ruled on the basis "of the entirety of the evidence" but did not review that evidence in any detail and made few findings of fact; •that the petitioners' claim was barred by the doctrine of laches, which provides that a right or claim should not be enforced if the long delay in asserting it puts the respondent at an unreasonable disadvantage. In this case, the Court held that opposition to the mark should have been asserted when the mark was issued in 1967 or shortly thereafter and that the delay of twenty-five years was unreasonable.The case was appealed to the Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit. In its 2005 decision, the Court of Appeal held that the doctrine of laches did not in principle bar the suit of one of the petitioners, Mateo Romero, the youngest, because he was only one year old in 1967 when the trademark was registered. (In US federal law, the clock for laches starts when the petitioner reaches the age of 18.) It therefore returned the case to the District Court for further consideration of whether laches should bar the suit on the part of Mateo Romero.¹ The Court of Appeal did not address the question of whether there was sufficient evidence that redskin is disparaging in the context of the name of the sports team because there is no need to decide that question if the suit is barred by laches.² Although the main topic I want to discuss is a linguistic one, I've reviewed the legal history because I think that much of the discussion of the case has been rather misleading. To a large extent the decisions of the courts have focussed on the "technicality" of laches, not on the question of whether redskin is disparaging. The District Court did not simply ignore overwhelming evidence as some commentators suggest. Indeed, even in its holdings on the disparagement issue, the District Court's criticisms of the TTB were that it did not sufficiently address the question of whether redskin is disparaging in the context of the name and that the TTB did not make sufficient findings of fact. And in overturning the District Court, the Court of Appeal made no judgment whatever as to whether redskin is disparaging. Its decision dealt exclusively with laches. In short, the decisions of the courts have been concerned largely with technical questions, not with the linguistic issues. I think that it is well established that redskin is taken by most people today to be disparaging. What is more interesting is whether it has always been so, as Harjo et al., as well as various others, claim. One interesting piece of evidence is the origin of the name Washington Redskins. In 1933, George Preston Marshall, the owner of the team, which was then located in Boston, renamed it the Boston Redskins in honor of the head coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, an American Indian.³ When the team moved to Washington in 1937 it was renamed the Washington Redskins. George Marshall clearly did not consider the name disparaging. The term redskin of course goes much farther back than 1933. The details of this history have recently been explored by Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution, in a paper conveniently available on-line. Some of the evidence is available in greater detail on Goddard's web site. You can read speeches by the Meskwaki chief Black Thunder and the Omaha chief Big Elk in which the expression redskin is used, and early nineteenth century examples of the Meskwaki usage of terms meaning redskin and whiteskin. I won't review the evidence in detail because Goddard's paper is short enough and accessible enough that if you are interested you should read it yourself. I'll just summarize it. Goddard shows that the term redskin is a translation from native American languages of a term used by native Americans for themselves. Harjo's claim that it "had its origins in the practice of presenting bloody red skins and scalps as proof of Indian kill for bounty payments" is unsupported by any evidence.⁴ The term entered popular usage via the novels of James Fenimore Cooper. In the early- to mid-nineteenth century the term was neutral, not pejorative, and indeed was often used in contexts in which whites spoke of Indians in positive terms. Goddard concludes: Cooper's use of redskin as a Native American in-group term was entirely authentic, reflecting both the accurate perception of the Indian self-image and the evolving respect among whites for the Indians' distinct cultural perspective, whatever its prospects. The descent of this word into obloquy is a phenomenon of more recent times. The response to Goddard's paper is disappointing. Other than reiterating the unsubstantiated and implausible theory that the term owes its origin to scalping, Harjo and others have merely waved their hands, asserting that as Indians they know differently without presenting any evidence whatsoever. A typical example is found in this Native Village article, which quotes Harjo as follows: I'm very familiar with white men who uphold the judicious speech of white men. Europeans were not using high-minded language. [To them] we were only human when it came to territory, land cessions and whose side you were on. The only point here that even resembles an argument is the bald assertion that Europeans never spoke of Indians other than disparagingly. This is not true. Evidence to the contrary is explicitly cited by Goddard. What is more disturbing is that Harjo's primary response to Goddard is ad hominem: that as a white man what he says is not credible. Whether he is white, red, or green is of course utterly irrelevant, as thinking people have known since at least the Middle Ages. Goddard presents his evidence in detail, with citations to the original sources. You can evaluate it yourself, and you need not rely on his statements of fact but can, if you are willing to devote some time and effort, check out the sources yourself. Furthermore, without the slightest evidence Harjo imputes to Goddard not merely bias but racism, a charge which, based, as her own words reveal, entirely on racial stereotyping, merely reflects back on herself. So, there you have it. On the one hand an utterly unsubstantiated and implausible theory advocated by Suzan Harjo, who exhibits no knowledge of the history of English usage of redskin, of American Indian languages, or of the early history of relations between Indians and Europeans. On the other hand a detailed account with numerous explicit citations to original documents by Ives Goddard, who has dedicated his entire life to the study of American Indian languages and the documentation thereof. It is always possible that some new evidence will be brought to bear, but for the present I don't think that there can be any ambiguity as to which is the more credible account. Notes:¹ The District Court held that Romero's suit was not barred by laches simply as a matter of the length of time that had elapsed since the cancellation petition was filed only seven years from the date of his majority, but might nonetheless be barred by laches if the delay of seven years put Pro Football at an unreasonable disadvantage. For this reason it is important to understand that laches is distinct from the doctrine of statute of limitations. A suit is barred by the statute of limitations if there is legislation setting such a time limit. In contrast, laches is an equitable doctrine and is based on the principle that too long a delay is unfair to the respondent, not on any particular time limit. ² Similarly, the District Court never addressed Pro Football's arguments that section 2(a) of the Lanham act, under which Harjo et al. sued, is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment right of free speech and the Fifth Amendment right of due process because it overturned the TTB's decision on other, non-constitutional, grounds. ³ Harjo et al. question this story of the origin of the name, but as the Circuit Court noted (p. 13, footnote 6), they provide no evidence whatever to the contrary and give no convincing reason to disbelieve the primary source, a newspaper article presenting the account by Marshall's grand-daughter. Some authors have also claimed that Dietz was not an American Indian. The articles cited, however, do not cite their sources, so it is difficult to evaluate their claims. It is, however, undisputed that Dietz presented himself as an American Indian and that George Marshall publicly presented him as one. George Marshall surely thought that Dietz was an American Indian, which is really what counts here. ⁴ A point that has not, as far as I know, been mentioned in this context is that scalps or other body parts presented as evidence of kills would not, in general, have been red. As I can attest from personal experience with the processing of animals killed by hunters, mammalian blood is bright red when fresh but darkens quickly as it oxidizes. When dried it retains a dark red tinge if thin but in any thickness is black. Under most circumstances bounty hunters did not present their trophies for payment until days or weeks after the kill, by which time the blood would have been more black than red. The suggestion that such trophies would give a primary impression of red is due either to a false idea that they would usually have been presented when fresh or to a lack of familiarity with dried blood. A further difficulty with Harjo's hypothesis is that, although whites did indeed collect Indian trophies as evidence of kills, the popular image of scalping was and is that it was an activity engaged in primarily by Indians who mutilated the corpses of their white victims. There was therefore no reason to associate bloody trophies, red or not, with Indians. If anything, the association would have been with the white victims of scalping. Posted by Bill Poser at March 26, 2006 06:42 PM Site Meter*************************************************************************************************************************Repeating this part for those who didn't want to sift through the whole thing:I think that it is well established that redskin is taken by most people today to be disparaging. What is more interesting is whether it has always been so, as Harjo et al., as well as various others, claim. One interesting piece of evidence is the origin of the name Washington Redskins. In 1933, George Preston Marshall, the owner of the team, which was then located in Boston, renamed it the Boston Redskins in honor of the head coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz, an American Indian.³ When the team moved to Washington in 1937 it was renamed the Washington Redskins. George Marshall clearly did not consider the name disparaging. The term redskin of course goes much farther back than 1933. The details of this history have recently been explored by Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution, in a paper conveniently available on-line. Some of the evidence is available in greater detail on Goddard's web site. You can read speeches by the Meskwaki chief Black Thunder and the Omaha chief Big Elk in which the expression redskin is used, and early nineteenth century examples of the Meskwaki usage of terms meaning redskin and whiteskin. I won't review the evidence in detail because Goddard's paper is short enough and accessible enough that if you are interested you should read it yourself. I'll just summarize it. Goddard shows that the term redskin is a translation from native American languages of a term used by native Americans for themselves. Harjo's claim that it "had its origins in the practice of presenting bloody red skins and scalps as proof of Indian kill for bounty payments" is unsupported by any evidence.⁴ The term entered popular usage via the novels of James Fenimore Cooper. In the early- to mid-nineteenth century the term was neutral, not pejorative, and indeed was often used in contexts in which whites spoke of Indians in positive terms. Goddard concludes: Cooper's use of redskin as a Native American in-group term was entirely authentic, reflecting both the accurate perception of the Indian self-image and the evolving respect among whites for the Indians' distinct cultural perspective, whatever its prospects. The descent of this word into obloquy is a phenomenon of more recent times. The response to Goddard's paper is disappointing. Other than reiterating the unsubstantiated and implausible theory that the term owes its origin to scalping, Harjo and others have merely waved their hands, asserting that as Indians they know differently without presenting any evidence whatsoever. A typical example is found in this Native Village article, which quotes Harjo as follows: I'm very familiar with white men who uphold the judicious speech of white men. Europeans were not using high-minded language. [To them] we were only human when it came to territory, land cessions and whose side you were on. The only point here that even resembles an argument is the bald assertion that Europeans never spoke of Indians other than disparagingly. This is not true. Evidence to the contrary is explicitly cited by Goddard. What is more disturbing is that Harjo's primary response to Goddard is ad hominem: that as a white man what he says is not credible. Whether he is white, red, or green is of course utterly irrelevant, as thinking people have known since at least the Middle Ages. Goddard presents his evidence in detail, with citations to the original sources. You can evaluate it yourself, and you need not rely on his statements of fact but can, if you are willing to devote some time and effort, check out the sources yourself. Furthermore, without the slightest evidence Harjo imputes to Goddard not merely bias but racism, a charge which, based, as her own words reveal, entirely on racial stereotyping, merely reflects back on herself. So, there you have it. On the one hand an utterly unsubstantiated and implausible theory advocated by Suzan Harjo, who exhibits no knowledge of the history of English usage of redskin, of American Indian languages, or of the early history of relations between Indians and Europeans. On the other hand a detailed account with numerous explicit citations to original documents by Ives Goddard, who has dedicated his entire life to the study of American Indian languages and the documentation thereof. It is always possible that some new evidence will be brought to bear, but for the present I don't think that there can be any ambiguity as to which is the more credible account.

Edited by nittanylion
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It would be cool if the Redskins got together with the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians and announced name changes for all three in the name of sensitivity.

If by "cool", you meant stupid, I agree.
It turns out, I did not mean 'cool' as in 'stupid', but rather 'cool' as in 'cool', or 'good'. We're talking about nicknames for sports teams, why not be exorbitantly PC, when you consider losses vs. gains?
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Agreed. The orgins of the name are irrelevant.

Classic example is the now defunct Sambo's restaurant chain. The name was taken from it founders, Sam Battistone, Sr. and Newell Bohnett but that didn't make it any less offensive to African Americans who found the term "Sambo" pejorative.

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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Interesting etymology lesson: referring to gay people by a word originally meaning a fat stick good for burning dates back to the practice of burning gay people alive. Things like this are why all this PC nonsense really matters. When you call someone a ######, you're basically saying they aren't good for anything but firewood. That may have been acceptable given the social mores of the day, but is really reprehensible today in a society that really should know better. And ignorance, in my mind, is the opposite of an excuse- it's even more reason to change it. When we have millions of young kids running around calling each other firewood without realizing what they're saying, it's our job as responsible adults to EDUCATE them about what they're really saying.Similarly, when millions of people are cheering on the Redskins oblivious to the fact that the name is pejorative, we shouldn't just shrug and say "well, as long as they didn't know, I guess it's okay".
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Interesting etymology lesson: referring to gay people by a word originally meaning a fat stick good for burning dates back to the practice of burning gay people alive.
Actually it doesn't, that was not the origin of the derogatory term for someone gay (not meanng to hijack the thread):

There are also several false etymologies for this slang sense of ######.

One that commonly appears on the internet is that it is a medieval term referring to burning homosexuals at the stake, the wood in the bundle serving as fuel for the fire. And indeed ###### has a history of being used to refer to the executions of heretics at the stake, although this does not date quite as far back as medieval times. Phrases like fire and ###### and fry a ###### were used to refer to such executions, although the word ###### was never applied to the heretic himself, referring instead to the fuel for the fire. And, as we have seen, the word was not applied to gay men until much, much later. We can see this reference to the burning of heretics in Hugh Latimer’s Sermons and Remains, written before 1555:

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/more/285/
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Agree 100%. Your points illustrate that some people are overthinking the issue in a convoluted way. What matters is what current understanding the word immediately evokes. Case closed.
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I think that it is well established that redskin is taken by most people today to be disparaging.

I'm not sure why this is just taken as fact. I know I've been beating this drum over and over in here, but if "it is well established that redskin is taken by most people today to be disparaging", then why is the word continually used by just about everyone when referring to the football team? I would think that if most people found it disparaging, then most people would not refer to the team as the Washington Redskins.I wouldn't argue against someone saying "we are headed in the direction of most people thinking it is disparaging", but I see little evidence that we are there right now.
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Agree 100%. Your points illustrate that some people are overthinking the issue in a convoluted way. What matters is what current understanding the word immediately evokes. Case closed.
A football team.
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Just read the part I cut out at the bottom after the line of asterisks.

The whole etymology-based argument is stupid. Can I name my team the [rhymes with maggots] and then claim it's not derogatory because it used to mean a bundle of sticks of whatever? Of course not. All that really matters is the current understanding of the word, and there is zero doubt that many Native Americans (and lots of other people) think it is derogatory. Case closed.
Agree 100%. Your points illustrate that some people are overthinking the issue in a convoluted way. What matters is what current understanding the word immediately evokes. Case closed.
A football team.
This is the stuff white Washingtonians are being forced to do now more than ever...bury their heads in the sand. Congrats. You're part of the racist mob.
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The bottom line is that the name should be changed.

No. ...unless it's changed to the Bear Jews. That would be great....or the Bleeding-heart PC Pansies, but I don't know how successful their marketing would be outside of the West Coast and New England areas. :thumbup: Edited by spider321
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The bottom line is that the name should be changed.

No. ...unless it's changed to the Bear Jews. That would be great....or the Bleeding-heart PC Pansies, but I don't know how successful their marketing would be outside of the West Coast and New England areas. :thumbup:
Or, you could grow up and wise up. You don't have to be a tree hugging liberal to know that being a racist doushbag is a dickish way to go in life.
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The bottom line is that the name should be changed.

No. ...unless it's changed to the Bear Jews. That would be great....or the Bleeding-heart PC Pansies, but I don't know how successful their marketing would be outside of the West Coast and New England areas. :thumbup:
Or, you could grow up and wise up. You don't have to be a tree hugging liberal to know that being a racist doushbag is a dickish way to go in life.
I'm offended that you're offended that someone might be offended. Bigot.Man, that was easy. Now go sniff your own farts and plug in your Prius.
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The bottom line is that the name should be changed.

No. ...unless it's changed to the Bear Jews. That would be great....or the Bleeding-heart PC Pansies, but I don't know how successful their marketing would be outside of the West Coast and New England areas. :thumbup:
Or, you could grow up and wise up. You don't have to be a tree hugging liberal to know that being a racist doushbag is a dickish way to go in life.
I'm offended that you're offended that someone might be offended. Bigot.Man, that was easy. Now go sniff your own farts and plug in your Prius.
You've got the wrong "liberal" with whom to pick a fight. I drive German, I know every line of Atlas Shrugged, I don't recycle, and I voted for a Bush twice (albeit, regrettably now, but dad and son each received my vote). Is that the profile of me you were thinking of? If not, then take your blathering right wing excess over to the political and gun threads. This topic is about a team and fanbase that explicitly and implicitly embraces racism. Nothing liberal/conservative about it.
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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

:Honda:
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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

:Honda:
The tribe has spoken...
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The bottom line is that the name should be changed.

No. ...unless it's changed to the Bear Jews. That would be great....or the Bleeding-heart PC Pansies, but I don't know how successful their marketing would be outside of the West Coast and New England areas. :thumbup:
Or, you could grow up and wise up. You don't have to be a tree hugging liberal to know that being a racist doushbag is a dickish way to go in life.
I'm offended that you're offended that someone might be offended. Bigot.Man, that was easy. Now go sniff your own farts and plug in your Prius.
You've got the wrong "liberal" with whom to pick a fight. I drive German, I know every line of Atlas Shrugged, I don't recycle, and I voted for a Bush twice (albeit, regrettably now, but dad and son each received my vote). Is that the profile of me you were thinking of? If not, then take your blathering right wing excess over to the political and gun threads. This topic is about a team and fanbase that explicitly and implicitly embraces racism. Nothing liberal/conservative about it.
I never mentioned liberals/conservatives. You did. Edited by spider321
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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

:Honda:
The tribe has spoken...
b b but Cobalt shed a tear for them. Someone, somewhere just has to be offended, right?

...and as we all know, if someone, somewhere is offended we all must bend over backwards to appease them.

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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

:Honda:
The tribe has spoken...
b b but Cobalt shed a tear for them. Someone, somewhere just has to be offended, right?

...and as we all know, if someone, somewhere is offended we all must bend over backwards to appease them.

Yeah, those damn ######s took away our right to call black people ######s. Stupid cry babies, hippies, tree huggers.

I swear, the IQ you folks possess would make the AAIDD send their condolences.

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While we are at it, we should cancel Columbus Day as a national holiday since Columbus lead to the mass slaughter of Native Americans. If everyone wants to be full on PC, put your money where your mouth is and ban Columbus Day. The way the Redskins name is used is not in a derogatory way at all. Their fight song is "Hail to the Redskins". No one who says the name "Redskins" means anything derogatory by it. Get real.

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Poll finds very few Indians offended by Washington Redskins name

WASHINGTON (AP) — A poll of American Indians found that an overwhelming majority of them are not bothered by the name of the Washington Redskins.

Only 9% of those polled said the name of the NFL team is "offensive," while 90% said it's acceptable, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.

:goodposting:

Somehow it is hip to find a way to be offended by something these days. I don't know what it is, but it seems everyone wants to find a way to be offended. Like that stupid Volkswagen commercial that had a white guy talking like a Jamaican guy. A few (non Jamaican) New York Times writers were outraged, but when they asked actual representatives from Jamaica, they liked the commercial.

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While we are at it, we should cancel Columbus Day as a national holiday since Columbus lead to the mass slaughter of Native Americans. If everyone wants to be full on PC, put your money where your mouth is and ban Columbus Day. The way the Redskins name is used is not in a derogatory way at all. Their fight song is "Hail to the Redskins". No one who says the name "Redskins" means anything derogatory by it. Get real.

Cobalt thinks it's offensive. That's all that matters.If you disagree with him, you are dumb and racist.
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