Off Script: An Editorial

The opinions I express in the following editorial are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the site owners or other writers on the site.

The Redskins name change debate that has heated up over the past year is beginning to boil over. Before becoming the latest cause célèbre, it was rarely mentioned, let alone noticed, by anyone outside the local DC media. Now folks are coming out of the woodwork to decry Daniel Snyder and the team name.

I find the incredulity and outrage of these heretofore oblivious name change proponents laughable, at best. Where have they been up to now? Probably waiting for the bandwagon to drive by.

Even more annoying than this sudden concern for, and acute awareness of, Native Americans is the shaming rationale these do-gooders employ: “The R-word is as awful as the N-word!”

No. Wrong. Back up.

Ives Goddard, in his article, “”I AM A RED-SKIN”: The Adoption of a Native American Expression (1769 – 1826),” gives a thorough accounting of the term’s derivation. He calls redskin “…a genuine Native American idiom…” He describes its first use as a way that Native Americans identified themselves to and distinguished themselves from the Europeans with whom they were beginning to come into contact more and more. The term was adopted and used by whites through communication with Native Americans. By all accounts, use by whites was not seen as an affront.

Contrary to the term redskin, the N-word did not originate with African Americans. It is not a term, at least in American culture, that whites adopted as a means to communicate positively with African Americans. It very well may be a term that the African American community has reclaimed, but it is still not seen as anything other than pejorative in our society. Just look at the Paula Deen debacle.

How is it that there is so much controversy over a team name? Because alarmists and the (conveniently) politically correct must have someone at whom to point a finger of judgment and disapproval. According to these illuminati, the Redskins owner and fans are responsible for racist actions throughout history; Snyder, by virtue of the fact that he refuses to spend millions of dollars to rename and rebrand the business he owns, and fans because we support our football team.

A growing number of media outlets and sports writers are refusing to refer to the team as the Redskins. That’ll show Dan Snyder! Refusing to use the team name will retroactively honor all the treaties that the United States government failed to fulfill, and will bring back all the Native Americans who were slaughtered in the name of manifest destiny.

All the Redskins need now is a new name. Maybe the anti-Redskins bandwagon hoppers can tear themselves away from writing letters demanding amnesty for Leonard Peltier long enough to deliver one…

In the interest of full disclosure, @dvnmsm is a life-long Washington Redskins fan. She has attended Redskins games for decades, and gleefully sings “Hail to the Redskins!” whether with fellow fans at FedEx Field or at home. She owns Redskins jerseys, Redskins shirts, and purchased, in a moment of dire necessity, a Redskins scrunchy. Don’t judge. A woman attending a preseason game in 70% humidity who’s having a hair emergency will do what she has to…

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