Have we talked about this yet? I think many ppl would agree that "redskin" is a derogatory term in any conversation not involving potatoes; so what should the football team be renamed? I'm thinking "Regulators" might be good... Thoughts?
Right now my HS Alma Mater is having this very discussion. Their sports teams, too, are The Redskins and the matter is before the Board of Education. A representative from the Mohawk Tribe, who has been involved in the efforts to remove the negative imagery, working with schools, educators, politicians and the media, sent out an informational letter which is pretty convincing.
I understand the emotional attachment to the name and the memories of students and alumni attached, and frankly don't consider those from my community intending on it sounding disrespectful. But years later, must say I wince when hearing them still referred to that way. The term certainly has been used disrespectfully in the past. It's about time they chose something else. And we're in an historical area that yields lots of ideas for alternate names.
Can't cut and paste from the letter, but it says the following:
(To paraphrase - The Native Americans and settlers lived and cooperated in peace until the Revolutionary War, when they sided with the British because of treaty obligations and promises that their lands would be protected.)
"In order to rationalize the theft of the land, falsehoods were created which de-humanized our people....cannibals, warlike primitives without intellect. Among the most tragic of profanes were those books used in schools, which grossly distorted our history and passed on terrible lies about us.
The use of "redskins" was among the worse of these labels. That word originally referred to the Beothuks of Newfoundland, a peaceful people who coloured their skin with red ochre as adornment and to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Their passivity was mistaken for weakness and after the waves of European diseases killed most of them, those who survived were hunted and murdered for sport... One of the reprehensible tactics was to remove the skins of the Beothuks and use them as covers for books and as leggings for the hunters.
This act of skinning Native people, both men and women, continued on along the frontier. It was an act of terror meant to instill fear and drive the Natives from coveted lands. It was justified by these stereotypes that were highly effective in undermining the dignity, pride and self-assurance of our people. ..."
And then he goes on to mention the recent conference held this week in DC on Racist Stereo types and Cultural Appreciation in American Sports.
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
oh sure change the name to the Chieftains which is a slang term for a politician and would link the historical name to the present name; but that could be confused with Kansas City....but another slang name for a politician would be the Baby-Kissers... which I find more fitting...
The Monday night for all the marbles is between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Baby-Kissers , yes that has an intention getting ring to it
My alma matter had to change the team name a couple of years ago. The Redskins had survived one attempt to change the name in the 1990s. We are now the Wolverines, which I find humorous as I don't believe Maine has ever had a real Wolverine. It is nicely alliterative, Wiscasset Warriors, but I wish we'd gone with Red Hawks, as we have many Red Hawks in the area, and it would have been a nod to the Red in the old name, which historically had morphed from Red's men, for the guy whose place they originally played in long before my time, to Redskins. Oh well. It always surprised me that high schools were dealing with this issue when the pro sports team was still "allowed" to continue.
I think they have tried this before and failed, although the Washington Bullets were changed to the Wizards (guess the thugs didnt protest much). Eagles would be fitting, but Philly wouldnt like that much.
Splitting my time between Brightwood, VA and Oyster Bay, NY
Curious, are the American Indian lobbying for calling the red-skinned potatoes something else?
My fiance's alma mater used to be the Red Men; mascot was an Indian. Now they are the Red Storm. He still bitches about that.
Since the Washington baseball team decided to use Nationals rather than resurrect the Senators name, the football team could use that or the Presidents or my favorite mentioned above, the Politicos. Realistically, though I think Warriors would allow the use of the logo and I like the alliteration.
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Perhaps, but if the team were called the Washington Niggers, would that be okay? I suspect that the term Redskin is as offensive to some Native Americans as the aforementioned N-word is to African Americans. I don't think it is just a matter of politcal correctness or getting over being offended. We don't have teams named the Dagos, Kikes, Spics, or other names that ridicule a particular minority.
I do understand the owner's concern about changing a name that has long been associated with a lucrative franchise. I know it is hard to change.
I've been calling them the Deadskins or the Dreadskins for years myself. I doubt they would want to use these names. Perhaps Pig Latin would be a compromise. Anyone for Edskinray?
This subject has come up many times for all teams named after Native Americans in some form. And it is always media generated, not stirred up by the NAs. They "get" that naming a sports team after them is a sign of honor and strength, not derogatory. My high school team was the Mound Mohawks. What is derogatory about that? Just a name. But oh boy! It had to be changed because it was so offensive. To whom? Now they are the Mound White Hawks, as white bread and boring a name as you could imagine. Keep Redskins. And this area had/has MANY NA tribes, so it is a suitable name.
I'm with ironwood; for instance, the town where i grew up is named after the local tribe, and the high scool team is (still) the Indians. And isn't the atlanta team still the Braves? (Now the tomahawk chop thing is just stupid, imho. )
I grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL. We were the Tuscaloosa High School "Black Bears". Because of the word, "Black", my high school had to change the mascot. Now, they are the Falcons. Political correctness to the extreme.
I am part Native American. I lived near Cleveland, but had no problem with "The Indians". The Chief Whaahoo logo may have been a bit much, but it did not really bother me. I believe that they have changed their hats and helmets to have a "C" on them anyway.
I lived near DC, too. I have no problem with The Washington Redskins, either. The Seminoles at Florida State were given permission by the Seminole Nation to use the Seminole for their mascot.
Maybe the Redskins should be changed to the Washington Crooks, since a lot of our government leaders immulate them so well. Shysters was not a bad choice, either. Or, they could leave well enough alone.