I know I said I didn’t want to write about politics. I never said I wouldn’t write about stupidity.
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), chair of the Indian Affairs Committee and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) a member of the Chickasaw nation have taken on the issue.
According to CNN, “Cantwell said she was ready to make an issue of the tax-exempt status the NFL enjoys and plans to push for Senate hearings on the subject.”
Okay, that raises two questions:
1) Doesn’t Congress have anything better to do?
2) Why the HELL does the NFL have tax-exempt status to begin with?
But, the second point is another story.
With the economy in the toilet, the disaster that is Obamacare, record unemployment and more, Congress decides to throw a hissy fit over the name of a football team?
Look, I understand that some Native Americans (American Indians in Virginia) believe this name to be offensive. But not all. In some cases there’s a dispute between tribes.
Some Native Americans LOVE the Redskins, the team and the name.
When I did the Thanksgiving reenactment at Berkeley Plantation, members of the Chickahominy Tribe were there in traditional dress to participate in the friendship dance. They were accompanied by friends and family members, many of whom were wearing Redskins paraphernalia.
This controversy has been brewing for a while. Way back in 2005 Edna Barney wrote at Vanishing Memories, “…there exists documentation that the name “redskin” was conferred upon the native inhabitants by the English Colonists because of the red body paint they wore in battle.”
She goes on to quote a 2002 article in The Washington Post that said, “The genesis may always remain murky …. But it is clear that the Boston Redskins, who moved to Washington in 1937, sought to capitalize on their Indian players and coach: The team played wearing red war paint. And Indian players from the time considered the name and trappings an honor.”
I get so tired of people being offended by everything. But if you’re going to be offended by the Redskins, be offended by their record, not their name.
The Redskins offered a near perfect response:
“Senator Cantwell should be aware that there are many challenges facing Native Americans, including an extremely cold winter with high energy bills, high unemployment, life threatening health problems, inadequate education and many other issues more pressing than the name of a football team which has received strong support from Native Americans. Surely, with all the issues Congress is supposed to work on such as the economy, jobs, war and health care, the Senator must have more important things to do.” [FoxNews.com]
Meanwhile, Justin Higgins writes, “Why is Cole targeting the National Football League and not the citizens and government of his home state of Oklahoma? If the word ‘Redskins’ is offensive, then surely ‘Oklahoma’ is offensive, since it literally means ‘red people’ in Choctaw. Is it a racial slur in English but not a racial slur in another language?”
I have no doubt that the Ninnyheads of Political Correctness (which would make a great name for a sucky band) will eventually prevail and the Redskins will be forced to change their name. That’s how these things work.
But, it’s not up to Senator Cantwell and Representative Cole. And I hope their constituents remind them of that when Election Day rolls around.
In the meantime, Hail Yes! to the Redskins!