Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, This Name Actually Has To Go!!

On Sunday, a group of Native Americans and their supporters will take to the picket lines outside of Lambeau Field to protest the name of the Packers opponents, the Washington Redskins.  It is the opinion of the Wisconsin Indian Education Association that the name "Redskins" is racist--and has no place on the TV's radios and sports websites of our society.  And you know what?  I completely agree with them.

I've taken to this forum several times to deride efforts to change high school and college mascots and team names in the past.  But in those cases, the attacks are undertaken against common words in our vernacular: "Indians", "Chiefs", "Braves" and "Warriors".  And unlike the state Department of Public Instruction--and the Democrats who passed the current mascot law--I don't use a blanket policy to cover all use of words and logos.  Instead, I prefer to consider cases individually and apply logic and common sense to each situation.

You cannot make an argument that there is anything positive or "honorable" about the word "Redskin".  Plain and simple, it was a derogatory reference to Native Americans from the inception of its use by early European settlers and explorers--and at no point has it ever been adopted by the Indians themselves as the "N-word" has been by African-Americans.  Even the logo seems to have been designed in such a way to play up on the "red skin" reference

 As compared to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux:
Or the Chicago Blackhawks:
The mascot opponents are starting to find some support in the media.  Several newspapers and NBC's Peter King are now refusing to use the "Redskins" name--referring to the team exclusively as "Washington" in their reports.  Washington-based "Pardon the Interruption" has also taken team owner (an arrogant money-weasel) Daniel Snyder to task for defiantly defending the name and logo.  Although Tony Kornheiser has made the ludicrous suggestion to switch the logo to a "redskin potato" in order to keep the name:
Hopefully, Packers fans won't harass the protest group and fan the flames by lobbing racial epithets their way while heading into the stadium--and instead will, like some of us have, consider this case on its merits and realize that this is indeed a logo that has to go.

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