“Come Monday…” is a weekly series that will involve a review of (or commentary about) websites, movies, documentaries, television shows, sports, music, and whatever else may tickle my fancy at the time. Be assured that these reviews will be generally positive, as in accordance to the Jimmy Buffett song “Come Monday.” This is subject to change, however. In fact, I would be most derelict in my duties to neglect going on a rant every once in a while. For rants promote change, and change can be good—right? Therefore, since good is generally considered as being a positive force in 99.3% of the parallel universes that I am aware of, even a rant could be considered as being something positive, and a genuine hissy-fit would be even better (so I’m told).
This started out to be quite a rant. For the [“stuff”] is starting to hit the proverbial fan again over the name of the [Washington Redskins], and I do not see where anyone should find it offensive.
Yes, “redskins” is indeed racist. That is, at least in the broadest sense of the term. For only Indians (feather, not dot) are referred to as being redskins, but in order for it to be reasonably considered offensive, it must be used in a derogatory manner.
No, calling an Indian a redskin has never been the same as calling a black person the “n” word. Of course, some have used it in the same way, but it does not carry the same meaning to most Indians.
Be assured that I know a thing or two about what I am trying to say. For aside from coming into contact with Indians all over this country during my adventures, my mom’s father was a full-blood [Cherokee], which would have made her half-Indian, along with being half-Irish. Now, if you were to have called her a half-breed, or just a breed, you would have seen her get her Irish up and go on the warpath, but she did not mind being called a redskin at all. Neither did my Uncle Paul, who was a full-blood [Choctaw].
Besides, in the case of the NFL team in Washington, D.C., the name is meant as an expression of pride (along with hoping to strike fear into the hearts and minds of their opponents). Is that not the way it is for all sports teams? After all, do you think that the owners of the [Carolina Panthers] wanted to call their team that on account of panthers being generally recognized as being cute and cuddly?
Okay, maybe I need to back up just a little on that sort of reasoning. For when nerdy academics are involved, the names of their athletic teams do not always make a whole lot of sense to the rest of us (take the [Maryland Terrapins] for an example).
In all fairness, it may have been that the area around what is now known as [CollegePark, Maryland] was overrun with box turtles when the beginnings of the University of Maryland was established there in 1856, and a bite from a box turtle can cause a nasty infection. Since this was before much was known about infections, one of their bites could have led to death. So, encountering a bunch of box turtles would have been a fearful thing.
I must admit that I do not know what someone was thinking when they chose the [Kewpies] for Columbia (MO) Hickman High School. I am also in quite a quandary over the Sparta (MO) Trojans. Although, for a different reason.
Until I received some more information last Saturday morning, I was going to propose a compromise of changing the name of the Redskins to the Natives, and I thought that would be a very good one. For the team could keep all of their icons while giving political correctness an obvious nod.
Oh, but I now know that this would not be enough. For the trouble is not so much about the team being named the Redskins as it is more about where it is located. For it was various administrations in Washington over the years, who broke all of the treaties with the Indians, and then left them to fend for themselves after taking away practically everything they had to work with.
Alas, it was really no different in America than it has been everywhere else over the ages, but the ugly details to the conquering of this land are still relatively fresh. After all, there is not anyone screaming about the NBA team in Boston being called the [Celtics] because the [Celts] were conquered and absorbed into the civilizations that took over their territories hundreds of years ago. Whereas, there were still parts of this country under the control of various Indian tribes just 125 years ago (or so).
Nonetheless, there is much about the history of America that we should be deeply ashamed of. Therefore, if changing the name of the Redskins will make some Indians happy, so be it, but I now realize that changing it to the Natives is not the answer.
How about changing it to the Bureaucrats? Would this not strike fear into the hearts and minds of men and women of all colors and creeds? Oh yeah, just slap a Treasury Department seal on the sides of their helmets, and you would see 300 hundred-pound men on the opposing team crawling back to their sideline and crying to their coach, “Come on man, those are IRS auditors on that defensive line!”
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