Friday, June 20, 2014

10 Reasons Why the Washington Redskins Should Keep Their Name

The national debate over whether or not the name and logo of the Washington Redskins needs to be abandoned has been going on for a few years. However, there really shouldn't be a debate on this issue and the team should not cave to pressure on this issue. 

Here are the following reasons why the team should keep their name and logo: 
1. Most people don't that it was an Indian that designed the Redskins logo and the Indian leaders that approved it in 1971. One of those Indian Leaders was Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, a former President of the National Congress of American Indians and Chairman of the Blackfeet Nation. Mr. Wetzell's son, Don, explained that, “It needs to be said that an Indian from the state of Montana created that (“Redskins”) logo, and did it the right way. It represents the Red Nation, and it’s something to be proud of.”

2.  Before they were the Washington Redskins, they were the Boston Redskins, and the Boston Braves before that. The team name "Redskins" has been around for a long time and no one really objected to it. Yet, the name didn't become "offensive" until recently within the last 5 or 10 years.

3. There's a poll that was taken back in 2004 that showed only 9% of Natives Americans were offended by the Redskins name. Furthermore, the same poll also found "13% of Indians with college degrees said the name is offensive, compared with 9% of those with some college and 6% of those with a high school education or less. Among self-identified liberals, 14% found the term disparaging, compared with 6% of conservatives."

4.  The US Patent and Trademark recently canceled the team's trademark. Yet, the same thing happened to the Redskins back in 1999. A panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team's trademarks in 1999 on the grounds that the name disparages American Indians in violation of federal trademark law. Yet, in 2004, a federal judge ruled the team can keep its name, finding insufficient evidence to conclude it is an insult to American Indians. I suspect that those who are making a second attempt to have the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancel the team name will fail even though they will try hard. They will shop around to find a judge who will be sympathetic to their cause. However, the 2004 decision is Res Judicata and will help the Washington Redskins alot.
5. The government is involving itself on an issue it has no authority or right insert itself into. For American's who are concerned over government overreach, this is just another example of abuse of government power. Clearly, our government is trying to pressure the team into dropping the name and mascot of the team.  It is as if the government is saying, "Say, that's a nice football team you have here, I'd hate to see something happen to it." The US government is clearly using its muscle to get the outcome it wants on a private issue. That is very disconcerting.
6. 71% of Americans think the name is not offensive and that the team should keep their name. Those who push to have the team abandon the name are clearly in the minority.

7. There are plenty of other sports teams with Indian names. There's the KC Chiefs (Football), Cleveland Indians (Baseball), Chicago Blackhawks (Hockey) and the Atlanta Hawks (NBA). There are colleges with team names such as the University of Utah Utes, The Florida State University Seminoles and the Golden State Warriors. There has been no outrage over these teams names. The outrage towards the Washington State Redskins is extremely selective in light of the fact that we have other teams with Indian names. 

8. This controversy reveals the stupidity behind liberal identity politics. There are plenty of other teams that could be offensive to other people and yet no outrage there. I think there are Irish Americans people who are offended Notre Dame's Fighting Irish with their mascot that looks like he's looking for a drunken brawl. When did Americans start having a thin skin and being offended over stupid petty issues such as this? For me, Political Correctness is the prime suspect for why Americans have developed a thin skin.

9. I find it funny that most of the people who are "offended" by the Redskins name or who are "empathetic" towards the Native Americans on this issue are people who are NOT Native Americans. We have people who are "offended" by the team name and they have no right to be offended because they are not Native Americans especially when a majority of Native Americans are NOT offended by the name. If we are going to be consistent applying liberal identity politics on this issue, then we should be concerned about non-Native Americans being upset over an an issue for which they are not a member of and how they are trying to stir up the American public and Native Americans to be upset over this team name. We have mostly non-Native Americans trying to tell Native Americans how they should feel. In the liberal/progressive mindset, that should be problematic. Yet it isn't.

10. Of all the issues that face America (and the world), we are obsessed over this stupid controversy. If we are truly going to be concerned for the welfare and feelings of Native Americans, we should not be worried about the name of a football team but we should protesting the fact that many Native Americans live, not of their own design, in poverty on reservations. I suspect that this is a feel good protest for liberals because its easier to address this issue than to address the real issue of what is happening in American's reservations.
In the end, I don't think the Redskins will lose their name or logo or mascot. At least they shouldn't. The name isn't offensive. It wasn't offensive back then and it is not offensive now. Most of the people who are "offended" by the Redskins name or who are "empathetic" towards the Native Americans on this issue are people who are NOT Native Americans. Thus, I caution people to beware of those who misuse the concept of "offensive" for their own agenda when it is clear that there is no offense to be taken here. I suspect that there is some thing larger happening here and that there's something more than just offensiveness over a team name. What that agenda is, I'll leave my readers to speculate on. Ask yourself, why are people making this an issue when a majority of Americans and Native Americans are in united in support of keeping Redskin name and logo?

Edit: A reader pointed that if the Redskins should change their name, so should the state of Oklahoma.  Another reader pointed out that that many of the names given to military helicopters are based on Native American tribes.