Censorship

Is "Redskins" Really an Offensive Name for a Football Team?

If you want to know how unhinged and divorced from reality political correctness has become, look no further than the controversy over sports teams with offensive names.

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If you want to know how unhinged PC has become, look no further than the controversy over sports teams with offensive names.

On both sides of the Atlantic, football teams with archaic names are under attack by self-styled guardians of proper speech and moral purity.

In Britain, the fans of Tottenham Hotspurs, a London-based soccer club, are being chastised for referring to themselves as "Yids." Yid, of course, is a derogatory term for Jew. Why do Spurs fans call themselves Yids? Is it some kind of weird self-abusive anti-Semitism? No, they use the Y-word in the same way some American blacks use the n-word – in order to defuse what was for many years a slur and transform it instead into a badge of identity pride.

This is something that fans of Spurs, which has historically had many Jewish supporters, have been doing for decades. Spurs fans joyously chant "We are the Yid Army!". The magic of this is that it utterly disarms any opposing fan who might have been planning to hurl some anti-Semitic abuse at Spurs – there's no point calling a Spurs fan a Yid when he's already loudly and proudly bellowing out the Y-word to describe himself.

Yet now the Yid Army is under assault by the PC Army, that gaggle of killjoys who cannot permit the existence of anything it finds unusual or offensive.

A coalition of football officials, anti-racism campaigners and commentators is trying to expunge the Y-word from football stadiums. London's Metropolitan Police have told Spurs fans the Y-word is "unacceptable." A fan was arrested at a Spurs game earlier this month and charged with a public order offense for the "crime" of calling himself a Yid. Imagine the police going around to Jay-Z's house and arresting him for calling himself and his friends niggas – that's how crazy this is.

Some context might be useful here: British football fans have of late been subjected to extraordinary levels of speech-policing.

At some stadiums, stewards wear head cameras to capture offensive chatter among fans. Liverpool football club has drawn up an actual list of words you are not allowed to say in its stadium, including everything from "nigger" and "queer" to everyday phrases like "man up" (sexist, apparently.) In Scotland, a new law—the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act—forbids fans from singing sectarian and political songs. The Yids are only the latest victims of the British authorities' war on football fans' traditions.

The Washington Redskins are also being lambasted for using an outdated word. "Redskins" was once commonly used as a pejorative term to describe Native Americans, so it is totally inappropriate for it to be used in the world of football, say the PC police.

This week, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas said the Redskins' name was a "slur." Even President Obama has got stuck in, saying that if he were in charge of Washington Redskins he would "think about changing" the name. There have been legal challenges to the Redskins' name, launched by Native American community leaders, but they've thus far proven unsuccessful.

The use of the name Redskins is different to the tag "Yid Army" in one way: where Spurs fans use the Y-word to refer to themselves, to their club's historic roots in London's Jewish communities, "redskins" is a term that refers to others, in fact to The Other, as Native Americans were seen for many years, particularly by racists.

Some will argue that it is one thing for an informal community of sports fans to ironically use a pejorative term about themselves, but it's another thing for a team to use a term that has traditionally been a slur against people that fall outside of its support base.

Perhaps. But the sport-based uses of the Y-word and the R-word also share something very important in common, which is that neither team, neither Spurs fans in Britain nor Redskins fans in the U.S., uses these terms abusively. There's absolutely no offensive intent. Indeed, these once-shocking words are denuded of their wickedness, emptied of their historic horribleness, when they're innocently uttered by proud modern-day sports fans either to refer to their cultural roots, in the case of the Yids, or just as a straightforward team name that has been in existence since 1933, as with the Redskins.

The Yid and Redskins controversies tell us a lot about the craziness of PC. Both are underpinned by the central conceit of PC: that the "right" of certain groups or individuals not to be offended trumps the freedom of speech of other communities.

But the right not to be offended is not a serious right. The desire to never feel offence is just sensitivity disguised as a right, emotional weakness dolled up as a "freedom from offence," and it is used as a battering ram against real liberties that actually matter—particularly the liberties of speech and association. The war of words against any team or informal community that speaks in a way decreed "inappropriate" by the self-elected guardians of correctness shows how imperious PC can be.

The simple fact is this—neither the name of the Redskins nor the tag Yid Army has any racial intent. On the contrary, when fans holler "Come on you Redskins!" or "We are the Yids!," they are making completely harmless, even positive statements, about themselves and the team they support. But that doesn't matter to the PC brigade, which is now so cut adrift from the real world inhabited by the rest of us that it cares not one jot for the context in which words are spoken.

PC violently wrenches words from their context and imbues them with an extraordinary power to do harm regardless of the meaning behind them. So even the positive use of the word Yid as a term of Jewish empowerment and the totally innocent, sports-based use of the word "redskin" can be interpreted by the overlords of PC as "racial slurs." This is mad. Surely in order to make a racial slur, you need to be a) racist and b) intending to make a slur? Not in the eyes of PC agitators, it seems, for whom context counts for nil.

Indeed, Britain's Football Association has decreed that dodgy words are unacceptable in football "regardless of their context." It was on this basis that, earlier this year, an FA official called Paul Elliott, who is black, was forced to resign for calling another black man a "nigger" in a cellphone text message.

PC's philistine disregard for the context in which things are said takes us back to a medieval attitude to language. It imbues certain words with an innate power to cause harm simply by being uttered. Like the kids in Harry Potter who never say "Voldemort" for fear that evil will befall then, so PC lobbyists tell us we must never say "redskins," "nigga," or "Yid," in any setting whatsoever, because such utterances might pollute minds, cause distress, damage souls—all modern versions of saying "unleash evil."

Once, censorship was primarily concerned with obliterating certain ideas, be it communism, fascism, or whatever. Now it has bigger ambitions: to blacklist not just certain ways of thinking but also certain forms of chatter and banter between friends and teammates. It wants to colonise not just our ideological universes, but our personal lives and friendships, our informal discussions, our very self-identification.

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  1. With everything else going on, THIS is an issue?

    Priorities people!

    1. Oh, you want us to pay attention to your phony scandals?!!

      SOMEONE’S CALLING THEMSELVES A “R***KIN”, FRANCISCO! A “R***KIN”! IN 2013!!! THIS WILL NOT STAND!!!

      1. Don’t make me come down there and “TOM**AWK CH*P” you. I’ll do it.

        1. Come on, you two, sm*k*m h**p b*g p**ce p*pe and make up.

          1. What you put’m in that p**ce p*pe?

            1. That some good loco mentally-illweed

  2. Also should be banned toot sweet:

    The name Oklahoma comes from the Choctaw phrase okla humma, literally meaning red people. Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government regarding the use of Indian Territory, in which he envisioned an all-Indian state controlled by the United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs. Equivalent to the English word Indian, okla humma was a phrase in the Choctaw language used to describe the Native American race as a whole. Oklahoma later became the de facto name for Oklahoma Territory, and it was officially approved in 1890, two years after the area was opened to white settlers.

    1. Nonsense, it’s an honorific to noble savages. But, according to the DHS, the New England Patriots are honoring terrorists. Now that’s a franchise that needs to be charged with treason.

      Enjoy the land of the free. And remember not to quote the Constitution, Comrade.

  3. How easy of a life must you live when the biggest concern on your mind is the name of a professional football team? Limousine Liberalism, with said limousine doors locked speeding through the ghetto, at its worst.

  4. Yid, of course, is a derogatory term for Jew.

    In English. In Yiddish, for example, the word “Yid” is merely the self-selected ethnonym of the Jewish people themselves. Thus, one finds “Yid” as the standard ethnonym of Jewish people throughout the Germanic and Slavic language groups.

    1. In Polish, the word “Zhid” is the normal term for a Jewish person, with “Evrei” (from Hebrew) being a pejorative.

      In Russian, “Evrei” is the normal word, with “Zhid” being the pejorative. In fact, when French writer Andr? Gide visited the USSR in the 1930s, the authorities had to point out that Gide wsa Protestant by birth.

  5. #FirstWorldProblems

  6. In Washington, D.C. the government is trying to use eminent domain to build a stadium for the D.C. United soccer team. The stadium would cost $300 million dollars which is 6 times what the team is worth.

    Meanwhile, Native Americans have the lowest life expectancy of any ethnic group in America, the highest rates of alcoholism, a Native American woman living on a reservation is more likely to be raped than a woman living anywhere else, and they’ve got massive rates of parentless children because of the low life expectancy.

    In other words, the name ‘Redskins’ isn’t the most offensive thing currently happening in D.C. sports and it doesn’t make the top 50 in the most important issues facing the Native American community.

    What the fuck happened to priorities?

    1. If those racists want to keep the offensive team name they should wear small pox-infected jerseys.

  7. I found Charles Krauthammer’s recent article on the subject to be somewhat persuasive. Some snippets:

    -Fifty years ago the preferred, most respectful term for African Americans was Negro.

    -And then, for complicated historical reasons (having to do with the black power and “black is beautiful” movements), usage changed. The preferred term is now black or African American.

    -If you were detailing the racial composition of Congress, you wouldn’t say: “Well, to start with, there are 44 Negroes.” If you’d been asleep for 50 years, you might. But upon being informed how the word had changed in nuance, you would stop using it and choose another. And here’s the key point: You would stop not because of the language police. Not because you might incur a Bob Costas harangue. Not because the president would wag a finger. But simply because the word was tainted, freighted with negative connotations with which you would not want to be associated.

    Proof? You wouldn’t even use the word in private, where being harassed for political incorrectness is not an issue.

    Similarly, regarding the further racial breakdown of Congress, you wouldn’t say: “And by my count, there are two redskins.” It’s inconceivable, because no matter how the word was used 80 years ago, it carries invidious connotations today.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..story.html

    1. I personally think they should change the name, and Krauthammer’s point is correct.

      I just think that when reporters are asking the president about what is essentially a non-issue, our country has lost sight of what’s important and what really isn’t.

      1. I would guess the question was a plant to have the subject changed from the NSA and such, but I am not sure it would be a winning debate for Obama so I do not know.

      2. I personally think people need to get over being offended.

        Fuck that cripple Krauthammer.

        1. I think they should change the name to something less controversial but which still has local tradition, like the Washington Bullets.

          Also, I am not sure how one can take Mr. Costas seriously on the issue since I seem to recall a commentary he did warning about Chiefs having access to firearms.

          1. The Washington Asshole Politicians.

            1. Wrong Washington. Unless you’re suggesting every state’s sports teams be renamed in that fashion.

          2. Here’s a few options:

            Federal Parasites

            DC Bureaucrats

            Washington Swarm (of Officials)

            the Red Ink

            Beltway Bolsheviks

            Capitol City Collectivists

          3. Everything eventually becomes controversial. Keep the name.

            But if you must submit, how about the Rougeskins?

          4. Washington had a basketball team called the Bullets. They thought it reflected poorly on the crime-ridden city where guns were already banned, so they wanted to change to a less offensive name. Somehow they came up with “Wizards” which has its own deeply negative connotations in the South.

        2. Same goes for janitors, garbage men, secretaries, stewardesses, and every other group that’s somehow so ashamed of who they are that they need to change their names.

          1. With the obvious differences that A) none of those terms are racial slurs, and B) those terms are derogatory terms for a different group of people. None of the professional football players in Washington has red skin.

      3. But do you ever hear or read people insulting Indians by referring to them as redskins? You know, like, “Get back on the reservation, redskin.”, the way someone might say, “Go back to Italy or Spain, dago.”? I don’t think the term is in current use as an insult. Maybe Google Ngrams could help with this.

        Come to think of it, if you wanted to insult an Indian by a group appellation, what word or phrase would you use these days?

        1. what word or phrase would you use these days?

          take your pick.

        2. “Get back on the reservation, redskin.”

          That kind of invites the reply, “get on boat, go back to Europe, Paleface-With-Small-Penis.”

        3. They applied ‘dago’ to Spaniards?

      4. No, his point is asinine. There is nothing wrong with the term “Negro”, which is simply Spanish for one of the “preferred” terms, black. If it were so tainted, surely there would be demands that the United Negro College Fund (or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) change its racist, demeaning name? Unless, of course, there is another reason for this debate entirely.

    2. If I don’t use the term “negro” in private conversation, it’s solely because it sounds archaic because the preferred term shifted so overwhelmingly to “black” back in the ’60s, not because it has any negative implications. “Black” probably caught on as decisively as it did because it was one syllable shorter and didn’t sound quite so high-falutin’ and academic. I don’t generally use the term “caucasian” conversationally either for the same reasons, and surely that’s not freighted with anything.

      I think “Redskins” is arguably derogatory, albeit in a quaint, archaic fashion. My main reason for opposing a change is that I’m confident it would only be the first step in a purge of names like “Indians”, “Chiefs”, “Blackhawks”, and “Braves”, none of which I consider remotely derogatory. After that, would the Cleveland Browns survive?

      1. You really think the only reason you would not use the word ‘Negro’ in the company of black people is that you would worry it would sound archaic? I am sorry, I do not buy that.

        1. The NAACP hasn’t seen fit to change its name. Neither has the UNCF.

          Why? Because the context makes it obvious that it’s not offensive.

          If I had a spare billion dollars, I would donate the Washington Redskins to the nearest Indian tribe. Then they’d be insulated from these bogus charges of “racism”.

        2. I do. I haven’t heard of “negro” being a racial slur, it held the same place that “coloured”, “black”, and “African-American” have held.

        3. “Worried that it would sound archaic” is an odd phrasing, but yes that is why I don’t use it, any more than a would call a Muslim a “Musselman”.

          I suppose, in thinking on this, that there are terms that have been tarred as “racist” simply for having been in use during particularly racist periods in history — I’m trying to get my head around the logic that probably considers “Chinaman” to be a racist term, while “Frenchman” and “Englishman” are not.

          “Negro”, I’ll grant, might be subject to the same homophonic suspicion that has damned “niggardly” into disuse, but I truly can’t see anything else inherently wrong with it.

          1. “considers “Chinaman” to be a racist term, while “Frenchman” and “Englishman” are not.”

            The Chinese equivalent would basically be “Chinese man”

            1. No it wouldn’t.

              Frenchman and Englishman are the same sort of nicknames that are borne out of a desire for brevity.

              Nobody says French Man, or English Man, or Spanish Man.

      2. It can be argued that the Browns were name after a person, Paul Brown, one of the greatest football coaches of all time. He was the original coach of the team. He also coached Ohio State and owned/coached the Cincinnati Bengals as well.

        But history doesn’t always matter to the PC police.

        1. I think we need to go whole hog on this and rename States and cities:
          Native Americana instead of Indiana.
          Immigrating Neighbors instead of New Mexico.
          New Jackass Mayor instead of New York City.
          First President instead of Washington.
          Girl Runs Fast instead of Virginia.
          What Fourth Amendment? instead of Boston.
          … Like that.

    3. The preferred term is now black or African American.

      I’ve noticed that white kids in their 20s get real nervous when I say “black”. I’ve even heard them referring to African blacks as “African American” before realizing that they were being stupid.

      -jcr

      1. Well, at least give them credit that they realize they’re stupid.

      2. SNL had a good skit on this, back when Glory was out, when the first black regiment met the first gay regiment in the Civil War. They sat around the campfire correcting each other on which derogatory labels were no longer acceptable, and which they now preferred.

    4. You wouldn’t even use the word in private, where being harassed for political incorrectness is not an issue.

      I actually wouldn’t avoid using the word in private, as long as there was some useful usage for it, because none of my friends are hyper-sensitive grievance mongering pricks, and if they were I wouldn’t be interested in their company.

    5. Couple thoughts on ‘African American’
      -All blacks aren’t from Africa
      -All black people in America have not all changed their citizenship
      -Whites from South Africa or those from Egypt that became citizens are also African Americans

      1. And if it’s an ancestry thing, we’re all African-Americans.

    6. I can understand your logic here, however, it sidesteps the issue that we are not discussing common language, nor racial connotations. I do not see the words you list as necessarily invidious, but rather, antiquated. For a word to be offensive, it must carry some painful weight, either by the one giving or receiving. It becomes a perceptual issue when the offense is carried solely by the individual receiving. To choose to be offended by a name that carries no offense is self inflicted. Why would an individual choose to be hurt by something which has not ill will intended? Do we ever really wish to ask the important questions or is it easier to jump on the bandwagon? Do we change the names of the Braves, the Chiefs, the Indians (as aren’t they Native American’s) – all have been used as a derogatory term. When will it be about healing rather than allowing pain?

  8. But the right not to be offended is not a serious right.

    This is some serious hate speech right here. The right not to be offended is second only to the right to vote and ahead of the other rights like to a living wage, free birth control, gun free zones around your children etc

  9. Gluten-free bread and Cirques du Soleil

    1. Today in the Colosseum, fair trade Christians vs. free range lions!

    2. Fuck that. I want old fashioned gluten rich bread and mistreated dangerous animals in my circuses.

      1. Preferably some sort of nut bread, or with peanut butter on it.

  10. What the fuck happened to priorities?

    Priorities are undemocratic, dude.

  11. Next we won’t be able to refer to Japs as “little lemon-colored characters”.

    Krauthammer has no point. No one was calling Indians “redskin” in common usage 80 years ago and the Washington Redskins are not Indians.

    1. If you were introduced to a Native American and soon within your initial conversation they asked you if you knew of any Native American congresspersons would you say ‘Yeah, there are at least two redskins in Congress?’ I really do not think you would.

      1. You are right, but not because of any negative connotation with the word, because it would never occur to me to use it in that context.

        1. Maybe if they were shirtless and covered in red ochre.

      2. So what? I also wouldn’t refer to congresspersons as Buccaneers, even if it is a pretty accurate description.

        1. Lord, save us from such hyper-literalism!

          1. Lol, coming from you? That’s beyond fucking rich, dude.

        2. I prefer “tapeworms” Mr. Bolger, but I probably would use the term in conversation.

  12. “And by my count, there are two redskins.” It’s inconceivable, because no matter how the word was used 80 years ago, it carries invidious connotations today.

    Has the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People weighed in on this?

  13. Washington Slavers.

    1. Well, that may be somewhat unfair as Washington did free his slaves in his will-Oh, you were not talking (interestingly) about that slavery.

      1. Washington DC was a major slave trade hub well into the 1850s.

  14. That shitty football team from D C; you know, the Shitheels.

    1. The Washington Team That Had the Last Really Good White Running Back*

      * Until someone gives Peyton Hillis a real chance at least.

      1. I think you need to define running back and what constitutes really good. There have been several non-yardage-wise really good fullbacks since Riggins.

      2. Mike Alstot was a pretty damn good white running back. He would have put up far better numbers than Riggins had he ever been used as the feature back.

        Besides nobody uses the running game anymore, and linemen don’t train to run block. It’s a pass happy league and teams only run it occasionally to try to keep teams off balance. They don’t really expect to accomplish anything with the run. Even teams with guys like adrian peterson are only giving them 15-20 touches a game. In the old days somebody like that would be getting a minimum 30 touches a game more than likely nearing 40.

  15. Washington Parasites.

  16. Washington Looters.

    Plunderers.

  17. Fuck that cripple Krauthammer.

    I would prefer to put him, wheelchair and all, in a catapult, set him on fire, and launch him over the Potomac.

    1. i’d pay 50 to see that on payperview

  18. “Imagine the police going around to Jay-Z’s house and arresting him for calling himself and his friends niggas ? that’s how crazy this is.”

    I’m not that’s that crazy if other people are to be arrested for using the same word.

    What’s crazy is anyone being arrested for using a word. If you have already accepted a premise that words are a crime, the rest logically follows

  19. Just change the mascot to some white guy with a sunburn…

    1. Washington Rednecks?

  20. Mascots are chosen as reckless terrifying victors.

    Redskin is a great choice for many reasons, one of which is that they painted themselves up for battle to look scary. Redskin is a feral observational description. It wasnt even a proper name when it was first uttered. The mental landscape in which this word would be used involved small families with muskets on the oregon trail. Its part and parcel of why it makes a good mascot name but why it looks ugly when removed from its mental landscape and put into modern PC society without any of its proper context.

    1. I can imagine why some Native Americans these days may be less than satisfied with depictions as ‘scary, reckless, terrifying’ people.

      1. Should Scandinavians be offended by the Minnesota Vikings?

        1. I think a better example is the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish. Of course, these examples do not prove much except perhaps there are other names that should be thought of as offensive.

          1. …these examples do not prove much except perhaps there are other names that should be thought of as offensive.

            Or that people need to harden the fuck up and lose the perpetual grievance. Hardly a stunner which side you come down on.

  21. Washington Rednecks. Mesh trucker helmets. Greasy denim uniforms. Every time they play away, they leave behind a broken washing machine on the host’s field.

  22. I coach in the Indian-themed Warrior Football Club ( http://www.eteamz.com/bronxwarriorsfootball ), and not only do we have a Redskins team, we have several other teams named for specific tribes. This year I’m coaching the Navajos (which a fellow coach abbrs. the ‘jos, pron. “hoes”), and we have tomahawk stickers and say “woo-woo-woo”. But actual Indians at war really did use tomahawks and say “woo-woo-woo”, so it’s not an exaggeration. For all I know, the club may have been founded by Indians in 1952; we’re in a part of the Bronx where a lot of streets and other geographic features have Indian names.

    I’m sure the other teams I’ve coached on in the club, the Blue Devils and Saints, could be construed as offensive too somehow.

    1. Considering the likelier ethnicities of the Warrior founders, maybe we should be the Yids. That’d be really cool if we were pressured into a name change, as a fuck-you. The actual pressure we’re facing, however, is from the local assemblyman, who entered a bill to outlaw adult-organized football for players under 10 YO.

      1. The New York Wusses.

    2. You know who else said, “Woo, woo, woo”?

      1. Ric Flair?

        1. Jerome Horwitz, the notorious yid?

  23. Raising the specter of “censorship” in this context is incorrect and shrill. No one has called for legislation forcing the football team to change its name. Suggesting it be changed, and expressing an opinion that the name is offensive, is not the same as calling for censorship, nor is it itself a form of censorship.

    1. Exactly. I can’t see how anyone would defend the name, and I can’t understand why the team owners didn’t change it a long time ago, but I wouldn’t vote for a law banning it.

    2. Except that the “suggestion” and the expressions of opinion have all come from politicians and other idiots.

      This is not some grass roots movement by indians that want the name changed or think it’s offensive. It’s a few high profile celebrities taking up the cause on behalf of people that have no interest in the cause.

  24. Landover Redskins?

  25. For fuck’s sake, I honestly can’t remember the last time Reason published something this stupid. Free speech (i.e. people saying they find “Redskins” offensive and won’t support it) countering other free speech (i.e. Washington calling its team the “Redskins”) equals censorship? I’d expect drivel like this from The Weekly Standard but last time I checked Reason was supposed to be pro-free speech. This isn’t political correctness run amok, this is the market working. And the market is getting sick of team names that offend minorities, regardless of whether the intent was to offend.

    1. Your whole post is unadulterated bullshit. If the “market” wants to go to work on the Washington Redskins, they wouldn’t be the third-wealthiest team in the NFL.

      And the market is getting sick of team names that offend minorities, regardless of whether the intent was to offend

      Real Indians love the name Redskins! How many times does this need to be pointed out? Progressive Whites are choosing to be offended on behalf of the Poor, Defenseless Minorities even though said Minorities aren’t even offended. You won’t find a richer example of condescending paternalism that borders on bigotry than that.

      1. Some Indians love the name; some don’t. Some white people love it; some don’t. Marketplace of ideas, and what-not.

        1. And here again, the marketplace hasn’t punished the team. The existence of a marketplace means you won’t necessarily get your way, and the rest of the market participants are perfectly entitled to tell you to go get fucked.

    2. Well said. I completely agree.

    3. This is NOT the market working.

    4. The market means you get to voice your ideas. When they are rejected, it means you get to go get fucked. When politicians with the power to destroy your life start “suggesting” that “I’d consider changing the name if I were you…”, it’s no more a market than when the local mafiaso drops by your business and says “Nice place you’ve got here, be a shame if something were to happen to it”.

  26. I think “tapeworms” would be an ideal name for any DC team.

    -jcr

    1. I concur, as I unknowingly indicated upthread. 😉

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  29. Dan Snyder should agree to change the name, concede that racial stereotypes have no place in the 21st century, and say the nation’s capitol deserves a football team with a name properly reflecting its heritage and place in society. Then announce he’s changed the name to the Washington, D.C. Black Crack Dealers Who Disproportionally Murder People.

  30. Its still OK for me to call followers of Islam “Mahometmen”, right?

    1. “Musselmen” is my favorite.

  31. Every derogatory word when spoken in hate or anger can also be complimentary when spoken with love or friendship. Every name that is symbolic to humans (individually or as a group) has some basis in both love and hate for different people. Many consider Yankee to be an honorary – except if you live in the South/England. Trojan/Spartan are likely hated and celebrated by various parts of Greece. Pirates/Raiders/etc come from no uplifting social context. When I watched Pulp Fiction and Jules says to Marsellus, “Shit Negro, that’s all you had to say” it was probably the first time that I had heard the N-word in a completely complimentary way. Culturally speaking Caucasian men are not allowed to have derogatory names. So when Jules uses the N-word as a deep display of friendship and respect, I was envious. Would I ever have a friend who I was close enough to that taboo words could be spoken in such a complimentary way? Could I, if I am white? A true display of an egalitarian society would be when previously taboo words are no longer taboo and can be used to bring people of all races together – when everyone involved could be called the X-word and have each person feel pride when being called that. Sadly, we may be a long way from the N-word being used in that context, but the R-word was getting closer. People of all races were not ashamed to use it or be called it. To me all those who are against the R-word are taking us away from the egalitarian society they so desire.

  32. I suggest a switch to The Washington Scandals.

    The mascot would be a sack of money with legs. The cheerleaders would dress as scantily clad interns and cheer mostly from their knees. The refs would be dirty and bribery would take place out in the open, WWE style, to reverse calls etc. The coach would dress in a power suit and call in the plays from a briefcase phone.

    I’d watch.

    1. +3.1415927

    2. And fuck it. Add another 69.

  33. The Mets stands for “Metropolitans.” As a resident of flyover country, I find this classist.
    The Dodgers are named after Trolley Dodgers. As a neo-Luddite, I find this offensive to my love of the past.
    The Mariners are just a lousy team. But I digress.
    The Athletics are named because of the alleged “athleticism” of its team members. As a rural, Luddite, handi-capable person, I find this offensive in eight different ways.

    1. No one calls themselves a “Yankee”
      “Yankee” if still used is by old school Southerners as a playful insult.

      1. Besides, it’s spelled yanqui

      2. No one calls themselves a yankee anymore. But the word does actually have it’s american origin in people calling themselves yankees. Granted it was a mistaken adaptation of an every day french insult at the time. But it came to represent one’s solidarity in the fight for freedom against the crown.

        The only reason southerners used it as a sort of candy coated insult was because a great many of them had always been supportive of the british and considered themselves more a part of britain than a part of some new country.

  34. I find the word ‘community” offensive, and because I do, it must be banned. Now.

  35. I’ve always thought the Washington Redskins was a horrible name. While we’re at it, how about the New York Jews and the San Francisco Chinamen?

    1. I’m not Jewish or Chinese.
      I do have Indian blood and and Southwest Spanish blood.

      I would find the Arizona Redskins or the New Mexioo Conquistadors to be quite a complement.

    2. Don’t you mean the NY Kikes and the SF Chinks?

  36. There are a bunch of animals like tigers, dolphins, bears…
    Has anyone checked with these species if they care for this cheap exploitation for the sake of human sport?

    1. As a fair minded liberal, Bo is offended for them.

  37. Alright already, change the name damit. Change it to something more reflective of the big businesses of Seattle that support the team. How about the Starbucks Lat’es. Anyway, who cares about Indians anyway. We don’t need to be reminded of Roy Rodgers and Dale Evans; they are dead, dead, dead…. like America…past tense.

    1. Yup, all those latte-sipping Seattle-ites in Landover, Maryland. After all, it’s only a 2,800 mile trip one-way.

    2. Or the Supersonics. Even though most of the jets made there aren’t supersonic.

  38. People afraid of words. How novel and typically progressive.

    A giant ‘K’ kill it, KILL IT!

    Obama: “If I were the owner…”

    You’re not, so shut up and go to work.

    1. I’d prefer that he not go to work.

  39. My leftie friend insists the Apple analogy is very accurate about the roll-out.

    Did Samsung ever have glitches? Curious.

  40. Usually mascot names are taken as a point of pride: wildcats, bears, maple leafs, even cowboys. Why is Redskins considered a pejorative?

    1. Because unlike the other terms, it’s a racial slur.

      1. Incorrect. It’s never been used as a racial slur.

  41. Sometimes I really wonder if Reason just is running out of things to say, and consequently they post the completely inane in an attempt to be too cute by half.

    Redskins is a slur, plain and simple, and any grade school student could tell you that. To argue the point as if there is another side just shows how silly the Libertarian can be in an attempt to take “freedom” to its most illogical conclusion.
    Regardless, the name will get changed…its just a matter of time, and you, Brendan, will go down in history as one of the few who foolishly tried to defend it. Shame on you.

    1. Because grade school students have done the research into the history of the word? Or is it because grade school is a hotbed of anti-native american sentiment and the kids know the worst words to use?

      1. Indeed…even grade school students know that calling out classmates by a physical feature is offensive, particularly skin color, real or exaggerated.
        Well, at least if taught by their parents that it is not a nice thing to do.
        But hey, their kids, they might make a mistake once in a while. That’s not a good excuse for an adult owner of a sports franchise.

        1. The only thing you have shown is what the kids are being taught and regurgitating. It proves nothing.

    2. Actually, the piece brings up good points.

    3. Redskins is a slur, plain and simple, and any grade school student could tell you that.

      It’s good to see you keeping with your policy of addressing any given issue from the mindset of a grade school student.

      Trayvon Martin was stalked and gunned down in cold blood too. Plain and simple.

      I guess when you’re simpleminded, there’s not much that isn’t plain and simple.

      1. You shouldn’t let me bother you so much, PM. But good to see that you finally admitted the truth about Trayvon Martin…I’ve made headway!

    4. Except it isn’t a slur. It didn’t start as a slur. It has never been popularly used as a slur. And is only considered a slur by ignorant fools and the couple of indians trying to take advantage of the situation to get themselves a sweet buyoff like the florida state situation.

  42. I am 76 years old, and the only time I even heard the word ‘redskins’ used to refer to American Indians was in movies made at least 60 years ago, and those movies were set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And I never heard ‘redskins’ used in film with the same derogatory intent that the n-word connotes. It is an archaic term and lost any of the negative valence it may have once had. It’s like calling somebody a ‘poltroon’.

  43. So apparently “queen” is banned by Liverpool. I wonder if they kick people out for singing the national anthem?

    1. The Sex Pistols rendition becomes more relevant with each passing day.

  44. I guess it might be more clear to conservatives if they imagine an NFL team named “The Jews” with a Bernie Madoff profile on the helmets. I guess that would be cool with everyone, right? Free speech and all that.

    1. This is a libertarian website, not a conservative website. And I think you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a single person besides the occasional Kos or DU griefer who would give a runny shit about a team called “The Jews”.

    2. Go with Moshe Dayan and I’m on board with that.

  45. Personally, I’ve always felt that the Cleveland Indians’ logo is far more offensive than anything about the Redskins.

    Anyway… how about them Fightin’ Whities? 😉

  46. Offensive names? How about Vikings, Raiders and Buccaneers? Celebrating criminals enterprises of the past.

    1. Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School, home of the Villains!

  47. The beginning of the end of free speech in America.

  48. Let’s Call them the D.C. Tampons then so we can piss off every one.

  49. It think it’s offensive in the sense that you wouldn’t call your team the Loosers either. I know they have a warrior looking mascot but lets be honest, European white boys kicked their ass pretty damn easily. Sure they thought they were all bad ass when they rolled their people’s heads down pyramids and slaughtered each other over land before us whitey’s came to town, but who is in charge today peace pipe smoking scalpers?

    1. Isn’t calling ticket resellers “scalpers” also racist?

  50. “Redskins” was once commonly used as a pejorative term to describe Native Americans, so it is totally inappropriate for it to be used in the world of football, say the PC police.

    FTFY

  51. This is really a vanity cause for the individuals involved – a small faction of ancestors of Native Americans. I’m pretty sure they’re much less “offended” than they are ambitious and eager to make a name for themselves. The more obscure the cause, the easier it is to gain recognition. That’s how most causes are born. That’s not a dig at them per se. It’s human nature.

    Also, I think I read the name was suggested by a Native American tribe back in the day.

    BTW, remember the song “Red and Yellow, Black and White, they are precious in His sight…”? Despite the explicit statement of love and tolerance when taken in context, is that actually racist now?

    1. And don’t get sidetracked by the religious song reference. It’s just an example of a CLEARLY well-meaning use of oversimplified skin-color as a means for communication.

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  53. The name redskins/redman didn’t begin as a racial slur anyway. It is what the indians collectively called themselves to distinguish themselves from whites. It was a term of honor because they considered white men beneath them.

    It has never at ANY point been popularly used as a racial slur. People had plenty of racial slurs to hurl at the indians back in the days, redskins was NOT one of them.

  54. Redskins is better than the runner-up in the “name the team” contest:
    Washington Go Get a Fkn Job You Useless Fkn Indians.

  55. Like the kids in Harry Potter who never say “Voldemort” for fear that evil will befall then, so PC lobbyists tell us we must never say “redskins,” “nigga,” or “Yid,” in any setting whatsoever, because such utterances might pollute minds, cause distress, damage souls?all modern versions of saying “unleash evil.”

    Jehovah! Jehovah? Jehovah! What are you going to do about it? Stone me a second time?

  56. Has anyone ever raised an issue with the Apache Helicopter name? Whats the diff?

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