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@thedirtyhippie @MarkCNSullivan @myproxy See, it's not so hard! Try Los Angeles Dodgers next. If one can explain that to an eight-year-old, Redskins -- like Knickerbockers or 49ers -- should be a piece of cake.
12 months ago on Peter King's MMQB website won't use the term 'Redskins'
@TheNetSet @Under_Dog_Lefty And correspondingly: Such a lack of civility in so few words. Impressive?
@myproxy I'll take a stab at it. How about, "Redskins is an old word for American Indians going back to the early days of the country. The team took the name because of the Indians' bravery and strength."You're on your own for Packers, Pirates, Dodgers, Lakers and the Utah Jazz.
@souvien @MarkCNSullivan Well, actually, the n-word *has* always been used in a pejorative way -- sorry to fall back on etymology, but if you go back to the dictionaries and newspapers of 50-100 years ago, you will see the N-word then was clearly meant and used in an offensive manner -- Whereas Redskin was another word for Indian -- Sitting Bull himself referred to himself as a Red Man. Again, my take is that Redskin is archaic, James Fenimore Cooper-vintage -- not inherently offensive. I appreciate that some today perceive the term to be offensive, so for PR reasons, at least, the team might wish to consider a name change. That said, would you oppose changing to another Indian-related name -- say the Potomacs or Powhatans -- to honor the tribes of the Washington and Northern Virginia area? Chiefs from both of those tribes have said they are not offended by the term Redskins, so they likely would not oppose calling the team after their tribes.Or do you feel that *no* Indian references should be used, given the sorry history of Native Americans in this country? At which point, I again raise the question of references to Indians in popular culture -- which are allowable, and which are not?
@souvien @MarkCNSullivan Souvien, I gather you didn't bother to read the essay I posted. Anyway, the Redskins began in Boston as the Braves. When they moved to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, they became the Redskins -- a way to keep their Indian theme and echo the name of the baseball team with which they shared the park. They did this because Redskins was commonly used as a synonym for American Indian, as a look at contemporary dictionaries and newspaper headlines shows. Whether George Preston Marshall was a racist -- he was, as were many Southerners and other Americans of the age -- has not a single thing to do with the meaning or usage of a word. Redskins, at that time, was not considered a pejorative.Now, if you are saying that, because of Indians' history of ill treatment, that American culture should not use representations of Indians: well, shouldn't Oklahoma -- meaning Land of the Red Men -- change its name? How about Indiana, meaning Land of the Indians? How about more than half of the 50 states, whose names come from Indian words?
Meantime, will they be cleansing the site of all previous mentions of the R-word? http://mmqb.si.com/tag/washington-redskins/
The term "Redskins" is not "blatantly racist," but merely an archaic term for American Indians, and one that originated with the Indians themselves. A linguist at the Smithsonian Institution has done an illuminating study of the term's provenance. [http://anthropology.si.edu/goddard/redskin.pdf] It is only in the past generation that dictionaries have listed the term as offensive, and given the perception today that is, the team might wish to consider changing it. However, the term is not, and has not been in the past, inherently pejorative. Those who claim the term is "racist" perhaps should study up on the historic usage of the word. And since, in the current day, the vast majority of people who use the term are doing so in a positive fashion, why should a vocal minority who take offense carry the day? Why not just proclaim it a positive term?