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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

See if this makes sense to you:

For years, I’ve argued with certain African-American people about their insistence upon using the so-called N-word which, to my ears, is, inalterably, a statement of self-loathing. They say I don’t understand. They say the word no longer means what it has always meant. They say it’s just a friendly fraternal greeting.

I say one cannot arbitrarily decide that a word — especially an old and bloodstained word — suddenly means something other than what it always has. I say that while language does change over time, it doesn’t do so because a few of us want it to or tell it to. And I say that if I call you an “idiot,” but say that “idiot” now means “genius,” you will be no less insulted.

Does that seem logical? If so, then perhaps you can understand my impatience with people who insist on defending the Washington football team whose nickname is a racial slur.

The latest is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Last week, he responded to a letter from members of the Congressional Native American Caucus, questioning the appropriateness of the name “Redskins.” That name, wrote Goodell, “is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.” The team took the name in 1933, he noted, to honor then-coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, who was reputedly (it is a matter of historical dispute) an American Indian.

“Neither in intent nor use was the name ever meant to denigrate Native Americans or offend any group,” he wrote. In other words, we have changed the meaning. It no longer means what it has always meant.

As it happens Goodell’s letter follows a novel — though ultimately failed — effort earlier this year by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights to ban Indian team names and mascots at primary and secondary schools. The complaint MDCR filed with the Education Department argued that such things are not merely insulting, but damaging. It cited the work of Dr. Stephanie Fryberg, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona who has studied the effects of the team names and imagery on Native American students.

She has found empirical proof that those names and imagery lead to lowered self-esteem and sense of community worth among American Indian kids. They also damage aspirations and heighten anxiety and depression.

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61 responses to “The Curse Of Redskins”

  1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

    There are terms associated with Native Americans in both MLB and the NFS. The Chiefs, the Braves, and the Indians are not as offensive as some team names and definitely not as offensive as the DC franchise. OK, change the name. Only please don’t use the “Washing Senators”. If everyone thinks they are jinxed as the ‘Skins, imagine how jinxed they would be in named for the most ineffective group of 100 people in the entire world.

    But now, to lighten this conversation up a bit. Technically, the term “Yankee” is also a curse word, however mild. No, I am not referring to those from south of the Mason-Dixon line and their use of it. I am referring to its original context. Yankee derives from the Dutch term indicating that the English settlers were thieves stealing land from the Dutch west of the treaty line of the Connecticut River and the Nassau-Suffolk county line in Long Island.
    Yankee was later used as a derogatory term by the British General Wolfe describing the Colonial militia assigned to his troops in the French-Indian (US branch of the 7-Years) War. This was due to their often rag-tag equipment as compared to the “properly kitted” British Army Regulars.
    Therefore on behalf of all people of British Isles descent, I hereby request that the New York Yankees officially change their name. They can change it back to the Highlanders (which I am sure those of Scottish descent would not find offensive), or even what Jake Rupert tried to change it to when he first bought the team – Knickerbockers! Although that latter name could lead to some confusion, given the other team with that name, New York City’s lackluster NBA franchise, especially as the NBA season doesn’t end until around the MLB All-Star break. So, New York Highlanders it is.

    • Jim Myers says:

      If you think The Washington Senators is bad, imagine if it were renamed “The Washington Representatives.”

  2. Germansmith says:

    Chicago CUBS is a cursed word
    Washington Redskins is a curse as long as they keep losing.
    The bad thing is that I never have to wonder what Leonard Pitts will do for a living if racism is gone…..

  3. A_Schick says:

    If you know anything about George Preston Marshall, you’ll know that the name “Redskins” was NOT chosen as an homage to their then-coach.

  4. Jim Mosenfelder says:

    Thank you Mr. Pitts, I feel strongly that a nickname is offensive if the person or group it is associated with finds it offensive. “Good intent” doesn’t cut it when the group named has made it clear that they are not happy with the name, it just shows an unwillingness to listen and respect.
    Fan sentiment doesn’t trump humanity.

    The courts need to uphold the provision in trademark law which denies trademark protection to derogatory terms. Washington and all the other franchises using racial nicknames would change their logo’s and nicknames in an instant if anyone who pleases could reproduce the team logo’s on merchandise without obligation to pay the franchise royalties.

    Ironically, reproducing the racist logos might be one of the most effective ways of driving them out of usage.

  5. Mark Forsyth says:

    Chinks,Pollacks,Waps,Gooks,Krauts etc. If any of these words were employed as a team name there would be outrage and not just from those people to which those words are applied.Ultimately,the use of the name Redskins in the face of Native objection,reveals a continuation of the attitude that Native Americans[Indians] don’t matter and are not worthy of concern.
    That this attitude persists comes as no surprise when considering the fact that the American Government has never offered a formal apology for the genocide that was perpetrated on the Red race of people,or for the myth of Manifest Destiny that engendered the hate that ensued toward Native People.
    Many times over my life I have encountered individuals that had the arrogance to state that I nor any other Indian mattered.It has been many years since I engaged in any physical altercations,but I will state that I am not the only Indian who welcomed the opportunity to give an attitude adjustment to someone who said that we don’t matter. We were not destroyed,We were not eliminated,We are still here,We are strong,We have a contribution to make to mankind both as a group and as individuals.We are as much a part of the world as any other people.We are not going away.We are here.
    As a human being I say to the the owners of the Washington football club: Change the goddamn stinking fucking name!

    • PissedoffinAZ says:

      Mark, I once (gladly) blew a job interview by asking If the United States had ever apologized to Native Americans for stealing their land, decimating their cultures and killing their people. It was in response to a question about whether the USSR (yes, it was that far back) should apologize to the US for some slight so unimportant, I cannot even remember what it was.

      • Mark Forsyth says:

        Your integrity is appreciated and I hope that you found gainful employment .

        • PissedoffinAZ says:

          Thanks Mark! I soon started my first business. I was more than happy to pass on that opportunity and maintain my integrity and the right to shoot off my mouth when needed, lol!

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Well,unless I’m mistaken you have backed up your stand with the way you have lived.As is sometimes said “If you don’t stand for something,then you will fall for anything.Curiously,I too was self employed,I worked as a commercial fisherman on Chesapeake Bay for twenty plus years doing what I love.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            Wow, that sounds like a great job! I was a landscaper originally, although it turned out to be more grounds keeping. I was in great shape, outside all the time (well, April through October, maybe, as it was Wisconsin!) I worked until I was 6 months pregnant (at 42), then “retired” to raise my daughter for several years. Then when she was about 9, my husband and I started a contracting business here in AZ; I am office manager and oh-so-much-more. I’m sure you know what I mean. Like that Staples commercial where they showed the guy doing everything. That’s me, except for the actual installations. Then it’s my husband! Guess this is the new one, and no, I’m not shilling for Staples, just laughing!

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            I’m inclined to think that you have a happy life despite the challenges.I hope that you and yours are able to keep cool and comfortable in Arizona this summer.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            Hell, I didn’t even get into the challenges, and won’t! Life is kind of what you make it: the older one gets, the more apparent that becomes. As for cool in AZ? Surely you jest, LOL!

      • CPAinNewYork says:

        What did the mistreatment of the American Indians have to do with your job interview? Just curious.

        • PissedoffinAZ says:

          Did you read my full comment? This was a company that posted the Kiplinger Report on the company bulletin boards, and solicited for donations to GOP candidates at election time. (I had previously worked there for 10 years, so I knew the shtick. Some people wanted me to come back, hence the interview.)
          They were pointing out Reagan on the cover of Time, and asking me if I agreed with his selection for Man of the Year, and further questioning if the USSR should be apologizing to the US about some perceived offense. My answer was to ask them if the US had ever apologized to the wrongs it perpetrated on Native Americans. (The answer was and still is, no.)
          I already knew I was not going to get hired by the Gestapo sent to interview me, despite my excellent record and their need for my skills and knowledge. Plus, I think honesty is the best policy, as opposed to groveling and lying.

    • CPAinNewYork says:

      I’m glad that you wrote what you did. Knowing that you’re filled with hate, I’ll ignore your future posts.

      • Mark Forsyth says:

        Were you born stupid or do you practice? Whatever brand of convoluted logic it is that you employ,it leads you to exactly the wrong conclusion.You don’t even begin to have any understanding of what I said.With that in mind,please do ignore my comments as you have proved that you lack the comprehensional skills necessary for correct interpretation.

        • CPAinNewYork says:

          You got it, dum-dum. For me, you don’t even exist.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            Say this to yourself ten times fast,it is an accurate description of you– OWA- TAFU- LIAM

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            And you say this to yourself: va vangula.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            You are diki dow and diki dui,too bad.Lets see how good you are at ignoring me.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            First you said, above, “…please do ignore my comments….” Now, you want to ensure that I don’t ignore you. Which is it dum, dum? You want recognition, is that it?

            If that’s your goal, then all you have to do is regale us with your down home Indian tales. People seem to love them. There’s always been a tendency to side with the underdog in America and you may be able to play on that theme.

            For me, I don’t care what stories you tell. I’m not interested in them or you.

          • Mark Forsyth says:

            That’s fine with me,now you can ignore my suggestion to not respond.

      • PissedoffinAZ says:

        Where do you get filled with hate out of that? Mark rightfully had anger, as do African Americans, Hispanics, and women. All groups that are frequently held in disdain by white males who think nothing of perpetrating discrimination against others, but who cry like babies the minute the tables are turned ever so slightly, and the playing field is tilted a tiny bit against them.
        See: Supreme Court cases being decided this month. Affirmative Action suddenly turned on the light bulb for white men in the US. Suddenly, they wanted “equal” treatment after centuries of the 100% white quota system.

        • CPAinNewYork says:

          You write that he’s “had anger” but not hate. I think that they’re the same and that they affect whatever he writes.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            I hate sweet red wine, but I am not angry with it.
            I was angry that Brett Favre played for the Jets, but I did not hate the Jets.
            Do you understand the difference? If not, then I think you need to look within your own heart, but not extrapolate your feelings to others.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            Your posting makes no sense to me at all. Do I “understand the difference”? Difference between what? I sense that your intent is to somehow embarrass me but you don’t know how.

            Frankly, I don’t know what you’re trying to say.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            Difference between anger and hate. My intent was to point out that they are two different emotions.

            No need for me to embarrass you. You are doing fine by yourself.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            I’m not embarrassed, except perhaps for your pathetic attempt to explain emotions.

            To me, anger and hate are almost synonymous. You seldom, if ever, see one without the other. Indians hate whites because of what whites did to them. They’re also angry about it.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            May be synonymous to you. Your problem.

  6. CPAinNewYork says:

    So Leonard Pitts found some copy for his article. I would have preferred something substantive as a subject, like the idiot hawks who are trying to get us into Syria. But, I guess that Leonard Pitts focuses on racism, so he did what he feels he does best.

    Personally, i think that his screed is a piece of crap. I don’t think that the indians have any cause for complaint, although naming any team after indians or other group is silly, unless that group actually had something to do with the team.

    • PissedoffinAZ says:

      CPA, I am sure you have much more to offer that a Pulitzer winner.

      • CPAinNewYork says:

        So he’s a Pulitzer winner. So what has that to do with my criticism of his article?
        I guess Pitts needed a soft target, so he chose a sure fire winner. Can’t miss writing something about the mistreatment of the indians.

        • PissedoffinAZ says:

          What it has to do with your criticism is, Leonard Pitts has written a lot of articles, columns, books, editorials, blogs and answers to questions over the course of 35 years. Most have not been on sports.
          Have any been on Syria specifically? YOU take the time to research it. If you are not willing to do so, then STFU.

          If a guy who writes for a living wants to weigh in on a sports-related issue, he has every right.

          The only one needing a soft target is you, CPA. I’m thinking it’s a soft, non-white target in your case.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            I haven’t “weighed in” on any targets, hard or soft, nor have I denied Pitts his right to write on whatever target he chooses. I’m saying that his article on the appropriateness of the Washington NFL football team using “Redskins” is a lightweight piece of literature that would be better left unwritten.

            I’m not going to research whether he’s written on Syria. I don’t care if he has. I just used Syria as a subject more weighty than the Washington team’s choice of a team name.

            As to your last sentence: It tells me that you’re a hate-filled clown. By the way, what does “STFU” mean?

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            1.) Pitts weighed in, not you.

            2.) It’s only lightweight to you; others may not agree. You earlier called it a “screed {that} is a piece of crap. The subject is not crap to others.

            3.) Apparently, anyone that disagrees with you is hate-filled. (By the way, I’m white.)

            4.) Once again, Google it.

          • CPAinNewYork says:

            I think that Pitts’ article was a lot of lightweight crap. He took off after the Washington football team for calling itself the Redskins.

            What fearless journalism. What a crusader. What a jerk.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            So, what does that make you?

  7. PissedoffinAZ says:

    I wondered if changing the name to the Washington Warriors would be an acceptable alternative? I am asking for some Native American input here. The logo would not need to be changed. However, as a white woman, I do not think my opinion or feelings carry any more than weight than Roger Goodell’s.

  8. howa4x says:

    If America really cared about native Americans, we would not have killed so many, and threw them off their land into reservations on the worst land we could find

  9. charleo1 says:

    “And if thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out.” If a sport franchise has taken
    a name that does truly cause Native American children to feel ostracized, or to
    have a lower opinion of themselves. Then, it should be changed. Yes, we not of
    Native American heritage, might feel that, gosh who knew? And it was never
    meant to be hurtful, or disrespectful. Fans love their Redskins! They buy jackets,
    caps, t-Shirts, license plates, bumper stickers, and decals. But, that’s hardly the
    point. If the Houston Oilers can become the Tennessee Titans, and the St’ Louis
    Cardinals can move to Arizona. Well, then maybe it’s not such a big deal to change
    the name. And, just stick with animal names. I mean, if Bobcats are offended, what
    can they say? Although, Dolphins are rumored to be very smart. And if I were a
    Dolphin, I might file a lawsuit to have the name of my species removed from a
    team that continues to have the worst ground game in pro football,

  10. bhaggen says:

    Reminds me of the quicksand scene in Blazing Saddles when Clevon Little says “Excuse me, but I distinctly heard him ask for a couple of ni##ers…….to be honest with you… mother was Dutch!” This political correctness is out of hand. Obama’s comment that Travon Martin looked like his son was as racially divisive as it gets. He had a great shot at uniting us…………Epic fail!

    • PissedoffinAZ says:

      Wow, the right can send around emails showing the POTUS as a witch doctor, and he and his wife as a pimp and hooker, and far worse. FOX commentators regularly sneakily allude to the President’s blackness. The entire Tea Party is white except for the occasional really fucked up token black, like Alan West or E.W. Jackson. But all of that’s ok.

      The President actually said: “IF I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.” This after weeks of silence on the case, as well.

      Political Correctness is only out of hand to those who do not wish to acknowledge the problem.

      If you really believe that whites and blacks are treated equally in this society, I have a link for you.

      • bhaggen says:

        And the left can call Bush a Nazi & Republican women whores & sluts. Boo-f’ing-hoo! I watch Rivera, Stossel, O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly (she’s fine) and have heard no references to the Messiah’s “blackness”. So conservative persons of color are “tokens”? Wow, that’s not political incorrectness, that’s outright racist.

        The President’s position on a criminal matter is: “I’m sure our American judicial system of being innocent until proven guilty in a court of law will ultimately prevail” but Obama decided to put a racial spin on the case. The first week he took office he said “if the Republicans want to get on board they’ll have to go to the back of the bus” Political Correctness is IN hand to those that wish to create a problem where none exists. I asked my mailman (Native American) his thoughts on the “Redskins” controversy. He laughed and replied “Stupid white people with issues”.

        As long as we have race brokers like Al & Jesse around you Americans will have a race problem, and they will make sure of that since without a race problem Al & Jesse will be unemployed! After all, preachers have been lining their pockets since the slave trade. If you really believe that blacks are unfairly profiled, I have links for you.

        • PissedoffinAZ says:

          I have never heard anyone on the left call a Republican woman a whore or a slut, but we certainly have commented on the ignorance and sometimes outright stupidity of Palin, Bachman, O’Donnell. Other than that, GOP women seem to appreciate the power they now have that was won by liberal women fighting for it, with no cognizance of how they got it and how they jump to the defense of the party that would gladly take it away along with reproductive rights including birth control.

          Your Nazi comment is downright laughable. First, the Bush family fortune was made by G.H.W.’s father through his dealings with the Nazi’s. You can look that up right here on the interwebs. Despite that, not one Dem candidate who ran against either Bush brought that up. Nazi comments are slung about far more often by the right, and some on FOX regularly show{ed} clips with Nazi video in the background to impugn the POTUS.

          No one on the left ever called Obama the messiah, or even suggested he was. hat’s just typical right wing over-the-top bullshit. The right just can’t stand that a black man won the office twice, and rather than look at their own massive shortcomings, it is easier to blame the guy who won.

          Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson lived through shit none of your white-boy talkers have. I guarantee Rush, Bill, Shawn, even GOP women never had to literally sit in the back of the bus, drink from a separate water fountain, swim in a different pool, or be turned away from a restaurant. Their parents/grandparents didn’t have burning crosses on their lawns; their friends and relatives did not die by lynching.

          Are you equally appalled by white preachers who take advantage? Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, Jim & Tammy Faye Baker, Billy Graham, there was a long line of white ripoff preachers, most of whom made (and still make) way more money than Rev. Al. and they do little or nothing to help the poor and oppresses, rather using their power to line their own pockets.

          Lastly, yes, by definition, which apparently you don’t know, the blacks on the left are indeed tokens: they are tiny specks of color in a sea of white that only tolerates their presence because they toe the party line, and allow their white “brethren” to say – “See? Here is a person of color who agrees with our assessment of the racial situation.” In the old days, they would have been called “Uncle Toms” , after the fictional slave who defended and catered to his owner.

          As for your videos, do you really think that they prove there is no discrimination? Read the book “Black Like Me”. Better yet, darken yourself way up and see what happens.

          • bhaggen says:

            Ed Schultz called Ingraham a slut; Bill Maher called Palin a cunt; that’s off the top of my head. Rest assured there were others. Actually Palin was the final straw in my voting for Obama in ’08. She looked pretty good until she opened her mouth….yikes! But Obama has disappointed me ever since. Too many misplaced priorities & debacles. Actually I’m equally disgusted with both the Democrats & Republicans & their pissing contests. You’re saying that the Republicans want to take away the right to reproduce AND the right to birth control? Haven’t heard that one yet. I’m no fan of Bush, but just because his grandfather did business with a German businessman doesn’t make GW a Nazi, any more than Obama’s father being Muslim makes him Muslim. Talk about laughable!

            Larry Elder went through a lot of that shit growing up. Blacks were not allowed to try on apparel without buying, even hats! But he and his parents moved on and is a strong critic of the left’s destructive policies. He also notes that Al now demands a lynching of Zimmerman. Just like he tried to lynch the Lacrosse team and never apologized after the bitch admitted she made the whole thing up. I don’t like preachers period but Al & Jesse are race baiters and can’t seem to master the English language.
            The blacks on the left are indeed tokens? The left can’t handle the thought of a conservative person of color can they? That’s why they lynched Herman Cain making sure they connected him with white women for maximum effect.
            Your video didn’t prove there is discrimination only that some people are more inclined to suspect fowl play when a young black male is involved. My video lends credence as to why. We have a black woman “working” for us in the audit dept. The ONLY reason she’s still there is because she’s black. If she was white we would have fired her long ago. What sort of impression is she making on the Asian & white people who have to pick up the slack for her?
            So you think if I darken myself way up, does the attitude go with it, or do I have to work on that too?

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            I just wrote you a long answer, which got lost when I tried to log in. Shit. If I have time later, I will do it again. Meanwhile, I am hoping it magically reappears.

          • bhaggen says:

            Reality check! You have to log in BEFORE you post! This just in: I just got the report from our development dept, and the new “persons of color” are doing fabulous! But they are not African-Americans! So thanks to more failed U.S. policies we are now importing our “persons of color” into our labor pool. One of them is always a “step ahead” and I believe great management material. The color of his skin only matters to you racist liberals! I don’t give a rats ass as long as they pull their own weight and make the company money. Remember: You can’t polish a turd!

          • bhaggen says:

            You hope it magically reappears? LMFAO! Sounds like a liberal thing. If magic worked real I would have hoped the Messiah out of office! If you want magic, take the family to Disneyland.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            Wow, you really do have issues, don’t you? Obviously, I thought I was logged in, and most of the sites I post on do NOT wipe out your comment if you have forgotten. By “magically reappear” I meant that I may have opened the link twice and it might not have been lost.
            I am new to this site, but sadly, not new to rude people like you. By the way, seems he is your Messiah, as you voted for him in ’08. I personally don’t do religion, don’t worship anyone of, or not of this earth, and have no need of a messiah.
            I might have taken the time to rewrite and repost, but you aren’t worth the effort.

          • bhaggen says:

            Wow, how sweet of you to say that my little bitch…..I think I’m getting all verklempt…..I think I hear your mother calling!

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            My mommy is dead, as is my daddy. I am all grown up and probably old enough to be your grandma. By the way, if you DO darken yourself up, don’t worry about the attitude. You already have it.
            Oh, and maybe you should give up voting if you are so uniformed that you jump party from election-to-election. “Independent” is political-speak for “Don’t really know what the fuck I stand for.”

          • bhaggen says:

            That would make you 100 yrs old! And you still believe in magic? How about the tooth fairy? The last time I felt right with my vote was 1984, the year my son was born. Did your parents have any offspring that lived? Just curious. I don’t have a dysfunctional African-American attitude. I sent you a link. The man on the right is an African American I would be proud to call my neighbor. The guy in the background has the destructive attitude I’m talking about, brought on by decades of failed leftist policies and political correctness. Enjoy!

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            I’m eliminating negative crap from my life, and you have been given the ax.

          • PissedoffinAZ says:

            Oh, and I may be a little bitch, and proud of it, but I am not YOUR little bitch. I have better taste than that.

          • bhaggen says:

            Yeah, but you attention whores just keep comin’ back for more don’tcha

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