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August 08, 2013

Heap Big Narrative Fail

A Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter ventures forth in search of Outrage:

The recent wave of left-wing discussion panels calling for the Redskins to change their name seems to have died off, but not everyone has given up hope. Paul Woody of the Richmond Times-Dispatch identifies himself as someone who would like to see it change. To bolster his case, he went and spoke to leaders from three different Virginia tribes of Native Americans...
“It doesn’t bother me,” said Robert Green, 66 and chief of the Patawomeck Tribe in Virginia. “About 98 percent of my tribe is Redskins fans, and it doesn’t offend them, either..."

Kevin Brown, 58 and chief of the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia, said, “I’m a Redskins fan, and I don’t think there’s any intention for (the nickname) to be derogatory. The majority of the people in my tribe don’t have a problem with it. There are a few who do, and we respect their feelings.

...“I like the uniforms. I like the symbol (logo).”

G. Anne Richardson, chief of Virginia’s Rappahannock Tribe, had to stifle a laugh when asked her feelings on the Redskins’ nickname.

“I don’t have an issue with it,” she said. “There are so many more issues that are important for the tribe than to waste time on what a team is called. We’re worried about real things, and I don’t consider that a real thing..”

Woody should have known, and he could have just gone back a few years to find the survey of Native Americans done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2003 and 2004. From a sample of 768 American Indians, they found that 90 percent don’t mind the Redskins, and only 9 percent do.

Is there anything more heart wrenching than the sight of Oppressed Indigenous First Worlders who have more important things to worry about than the subtly coded racism of affluent Caucasians? Don't they know how authentic Native Americans are supposed to feel? The answer, we're certain, is education.

The White Man has stolen everything from them. Even the ability to detect obvious put downs:

A sports team is a celebration of masculine warrior culture. They aren’t going to name themselves “the wimps” or “the jerks.” They all pick (or at least try to pick) cool nicknames for themselves that demonstrate toughness (“Bears,” “Vikings,” “Cowboys”) or evince an appreciation for local or American history (“Ravens,” “Packers,” “49ers”). As it happens, “Redskins” achieves both.

We are thinking that Runs With A Penis would not be pleased.

Via Bad Blue.

Posted by Cassandra at August 8, 2013 07:50 PM

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"The White Man has stolen everything from them. Even the ability to detect obvious put downs."


And the trail of tears becomes a super highway.

Posted by: George Pal at August 9, 2013 07:28 AM


Posted by: Cass at August 9, 2013 07:50 AM

As much as it pains me to go against the Falcon's interests, I hope RGIII continues to heal and gets back into the game soon.

That said, Go Braves!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at August 9, 2013 09:32 AM

Let's see if I got this straight -
The Irish, even the more peaceful variety, are cool with Notre Dame Fighting Irish b/c being named after it is seen as a sign of respect.

Same for the LA university known as the Rajun' Cajuns.

Mass. Minutemen have nearly been retired twice b/c the mascot is seen as "promoting" violence, maleness, and whiteness.

Schools with Less Recently Immigrated American (LRIA) names are not seen as a problem when they use names indicative of their culture.

But names of all other sports teams that refer to themselves with a LRIA name are denigrating. Because when you make a team mascot and name, the thing you want to do is come up with a name that is insulting and demeaning, not a name that promotes positive traits about your team.

Logic like this makes my cheeks chafe.

Posted by: Man Riding Unicycle Naked at August 9, 2013 11:18 AM

"That said, Go Braves!

I'll second that emotion!!

Posted by: DL Sly at August 9, 2013 12:05 PM

Three stories: 1. When the University of North Dakota chose "Sioux" (later "fighting Sioux") for the name of their mascot, they asked the local Sioux for permission, and got it.

2. When the Portland Oregonian got excited about this issue, they decided to drop all team names from their stories. One of the names they dropped was the "Braves" -- which belonged to a team from a a reservation.

3. There have been (and may still be) a few other reservation teams that used "Redskins" as their team names.

Posted by: Jim Miller at August 9, 2013 01:57 PM

If I remember correctly, the Florida State Seminoles did the same thing. Again, if I remember correctly, the mascot, who wears the full Native American Dress at the football games, is always a member of the Seminole Tribe.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at August 9, 2013 02:22 PM

I remember a few years ago a high school team on one of the reservations in North Dakota changed their name to the "Tighty Whities". It was meant not only in jest, but also as an attempt to put the shoe on the other foot. Only problem? Everyone (white people especially) loved it. Talk about deflated balloons.

Posted by: DL Sly at August 9, 2013 03:39 PM

"2. When the Portland Oregonian got excited about this issue, they decided to drop all team names from their stories. One of the names they dropped was the "Braves" -- which belonged to a team from a a reservation."

The Oregonian has never been known for any basic grasp of nor cognizant demonstrations of common sense. Given the blue ribbon steelhead rivers and streams, the salmon runs, etc., it's pretty obvious what function it serves for the vast majority of Oregonians.

Posted by: DL Sly at August 9, 2013 03:45 PM

The Miami (Ohio) University used to be the "Redskins", and they actually had a good working relationship with the Miami Tribe (Delaware Indian Nation) on their reservation in Oklahoma. And then something changed (could be PC, could be something else) and Miami changed their name to the "Redhawks", which is a predator bird (red-tailed hawk).

No recent complaints from the hawks or bird watcher societies have been noted.

Of course, it could always be worse. They could be "Buckeyes", which are "nuts of little value".

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 9, 2013 03:57 PM

Things have really changed. When I was a boy, we used to say, "Go Braves... and take the Falcons with you!"

Posted by: Grim at August 9, 2013 04:25 PM

Here's an idea: Why don't the Redskins simply change their helmet logo to something less offensive, like this.
Truth in advertising.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 9, 2013 05:41 PM

That's a sad spud. All alone.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 10, 2013 07:25 PM

I agree, Don. It needs this for company.

Posted by: DL Sly at August 12, 2013 12:20 PM