Native Americans

Poll Finds 90 Percent of Native Americans Not Offended by Washington Redskins

Not surprising?

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Joseph Glorioso Photography/flickr

The Washington Post polled 504 Native American adults, finding that 90 percent said the Washington Redskins name did not bother them. Only 9 percent said they found the name of the NFL franchise offensive. Just 21 percent said they felt the term redskins was offensive in general, with 17 percent saying they'd be offended if a non-Native American called them a redskin.

A vast majority, 73 percent, said the use of Native American imagery in sports didn't bother them. A majority of respondents said the issue of the Washington Redskins' name wasn't important to them at all, even though three-quarters had heard at least something about it.

The Washington Redskins have been called the Redskins longer than they've been in Washington. They moved to the city from Boston in 1937—but changed their name from the Braves to the Redskins in 1933.

The most recent wave of controversy over the Redskins name started about half a decade ago. In 2013, a report from the National Congress of American Indians explained the organization's opposition to the use of offensive Indian imagery, singling out the Washington Redskins. In 2014, the Redskins lost a series of trademarks related to their team name. The Post's poll this week appears to be the first one to actually survey Native Americans on their opinion since then*.

"Cultural appropriation" has become a hot topic in the renewed political correctness/culture wars. Anything from chanting to dreadlocks to tequila to yoga can be identified as cultural appropriation by the perpetually aggrieved. It's a 21st century academic play on the "white man's burden," with American "activists" taking up the burden of fighting cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation critiques "reaffirm the very thing they intend to oppose," Minh-ha Phan wrote in The Atlantic, "white Western domination over and exploitation of culture at the expense of everyone else."

While sports commentators who've chimed in on the Washington Redskins naming issue before, like ESPN's Michael Wilbon on Pardon the Interruption yesterday, expressed shock at the results of the Post poll, perhaps it shouldn't have been so surprising. In 2013, ESPN.com's Rick Reilly wrote about the attitudes of actual Native Americans he talked to, and pointed to the numerous majority-Native American high schools that use the Redskins name and Indian mascots for their sports teams.

At the intersection of the issues of Native Americans, race in the U.S. and cultural appropriation: despite the mainstream left police reform movement largely organizing around the mantra "Black Lives Matter," Native Americans are the most likely racial group to be killed by police.

*As noted by commenter Gilmore, a 2004 survey had similar results.

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  1. Nice pom-poms!

    /what the alt-text should have said

    1. That is native ceremonial dress you cis hamster shitlord.

    2. I’d let my Great Serpent near those mounds, ifyouknowwhaddImean!

      1. I live by the Cahokia mounds…interesting people that we know very little about.

        1. How do you know they’re interesting?

          1. bacon-magic is drawn to the mystery. The civilization could have been made up of the most boring people in history.

            1. The Mississippians’ civilization collapsed around 1400 AD when they literally couldn’t even anymore.

              1. Global warming killed the Mississippians. And it’s coming for you next.

  2. Race traitors, clearly.

    1. Yeah. Has someone whitespained to them how 9 out of 10 of them are racists?

  3. Look man, there is nothing racist, or culturally appropriative, for a bunch of white intellectuals being not only offended for them, but also to use the force of the government to make you do something in their name. We will also be allowed to use their silence as agreement that they are super duper offended, and we may or may not use a token member of that group to be our mouthpiece! Nothing wrong with that!

    If you do it though, watch out boy. We will be there with a limited free speech zone so fast your rights will spin!

  4. In 2013, a report from the National Congress of American Indians explained the organization’s opposition to the use of offensive Indian imagery, singling out the Washington Redskins. In 2014, the Redskins lost a series of trademarks related to their team name. The Post’s poll this week appears to be the first one to actually survey Native Americans on their opinion.

    So, people who are paid to exploit the history of the Native American, exploit the history of the Native American. Three years later, actual Native Americans are asked their opinion.

    Yep. Sounds about right.

    1. My favorite part is the Outraged’s opinion on the people who participated in the poll:

      “I don’t accept self-identification,” Harjo told the Post. “People say they’re native, and they are not native, for all sorts of reasons. Those of us who are leaders in Indian Country … know who we are representing. We also know if we are representing a minority view. And this is not the case here. Our experience is completely the opposite of the Annenberg poll and this one. I just reject the whole thing.”

      “Look, we know we’re right so just fuck off with your evidence to the contrary.”

  5. Not being offended by imagery isn’t surprising, not being offended by the name kind of is.

    Regardless, I don’t care. Dan Snyder can call the team whatever he wants.

    1. not being offended by the name kind of is.

      Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?

      Some people even take differential labeling and the connotations that go with it as a point of pride (see Southern, Redneck, Texan, etc.).

  6. When I was at SDSU, we had to tinker with our mascot because the Native American group on campus decided it was insensitive. We were the Aztecs. Insensitive to who? They’re all fucking dead.

    1. Tell me you changed the name to The Conquistadors, please please please.

      1. They’re still the Aztecs. The mascot just looks kind of gay now. He used to be more savage.

        1. Now he’s just *sassy & fierce*

        2. Ass-techs?

    2. Aztecs enslaved and sacrificed many other natives…glad to know that some people still remember. *grabs obsidian knife and prepares for next ritual

      1. Fun fact, a trained surgeon found a method for extracting a heart with a flint knife in 17 seconds. It involved going up under the rib cage from below in a manner that is facilitated by the position of someone who’s been stretched over a sacrificial altar. He did it twice (on fake torsos). It was fast enough that a real heart would still be beating and the victim would still be conscious.

        1. Cite? That sounds entirely too awesome too be true.

          1. Dammit, it’s been a decade (or more)

            I’m afraid to find out what my supervisors would do if I googled “howto perform an aztec sacrifice”

            (I’ll see if I can find it through less incriminatorty search terms)

    3. No, they’re not all dead, they’re called Mexicans now. But they don’t care about silly football names, they just care about getting to the USA.

      1. No, they’re not all dead, they’re called Mexicans now.

        Considering the Empire fell almost 500 yrs. ago, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say they’re dead and that anyone living there now is, at best, a descendant.

        Though I do appreciate the hope of dealing with the ongoing troubles with indigenous tribes of the Northern Californian province of New Spain.

          1. How many crying children have they sacrificed to Tlaloc?

          2. Of course only one member of the band is even *half* mexican. It still doesn’t stop the half-irish/half-italian ones from pretending to be Zapitistas while raking in millions in royalties.

            1. The *only* redeeming quality about the band is that they do actually manage to be more politically ‘enlightened’ and ‘challenging’ than 99.9% of the rest of the Pop/Rock/Rap world.

              At least, when talking about political philosophies and the merits/harms thereof, I’d much rather have an ‘intelligent’ conversation about Marx, Thomas Paine, and Malcolm X than have my soul sucked out by a zombie blathering through the profundity of Lemonade.

              However, considering more than half the people I know can listen to a song about people dying of cancer or heroin overdoses and find it happy or uplifting because of the composition or melody, I choose not to have such discussions with the public at large.

              1. The *only* redeeming quality about the band is that they do actually manage to be more politically ‘enlightened’ and ‘challenging’ than 99.9% of the rest of the Pop/Rock/Rap world

                I want Political Philosophy in my Music like i want Gender-Theory in my Industrial Engineering.

                IOW, i don’t.

                To the degree i care about lyrics at all*, i hope they achieve some poetic quality, and (to me) the measure of poetry is often in its ability to transcend petty-materialistic, temporal stuff like ‘politics’.

                (*fairly little; at heart i’m a jazzbo who likes lots of other stuff)

                1. I want Political Philosophy in my Music like i want Gender-Theory in my Industrial Engineering.

                  I don’t disagree, but it seems more and more likely that you’re going to get both whether you like it or not. And, if it’s going to be there, I’d *much* rather address questions like “Are the police racist murderers or not?” and “Should we teach Marx in public schools or not?” rather than “Did Jay-Z cheat on Beyonce or not?” or “Hasn’t she sent such a great message about being a black Woman?”

                  1. They aren’t

                    Again- 40% of cops killed are killed by blacks

                    Just under 30% of those killed by police are black

                    That shows – no racism

                    cops also less likely to shoot Asians than whites

                    And women than men

                    Because we shoot based on who presents threats – however disproportionately they do

        1. Yeah, what I meant is there is no active Aztec culture. No one speaks Nahuatl except anthropology professors.

        2. Heh…like when I sent a post card to my friend Nancy in Upper Canada (Mich.).

    4. My college was the Shippensburg Red Raiders. In the 1980s, the logo was of red Indian in profile. In the 1990s they changed it to a red sailing ship. They said that the ship was a raiding ship plus it connected to the nickname of the college, “Ship.” Nevermind that Shippensburg, PA is at least 100 miles away from nearest navigable body of water.

      The origin of Red Raider that the university denies does in fact refer to the raiding Indians of the late 1700s because Shippensburg was once the last white settlement going west before the Alleghenies. That history has been flushed.

      1. Real history is always flushed. No one wants the truth.

  7. The Post’s poll this week appears to be the first one to actually survey Native Americans on their opinion.

    That’s actually not correct.

    A very similar poll was conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2004, which the WaPo mentions in their piece as having very similar overall results.

    e.g.

    Most American Indians say that calling Washington’s professional football team the “Redskins” does not bother them, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

    Ninety percent of Indians took that position, while 9 percent said they found the name “offensive.” One percent had no answer. The margin of sampling error for those findings was plus or minus two percentage points.

    That earlier study has been cited dozens of times by people defending against criticisms of racism… but of course has still been generally ignored by pundit-experts as “nevah hoppened” for the sake of the click-generating & page-turning “White People feigned-moral-outrage”-business, which is booming.

  8. I find their color scheme to be offensive to the eyes.

  9. In the other hand, the lack of cleavage in that photo is highly offensive.

  10. Redskins fan for life, here.

    If they change the name, it should be to something like, the Confederate Rebels.

    Local Maryland and Virginia culture has been overwhelmed by people coming to DC to work for the government. It’s another impact of the Great Society. DC had some of the most intense symptoms of white flight, and the local culture prevailed through that. With the explosion of government, however, came the outsiders.

    It’s a bit like why there are so few loyal football fans for local teams in San Diego and LA. Everybody’s from somewhere else. If the founders really cared about Virginia, they should have put the capital in New York. Why fill the state with all those sniveling, whiny bureaucrats? Maybe we should move the capital to Hawaii or Puerto Rico.

    1. Yeah, I think much of the locals around here, including those who actually do support a name-change, are more offended by the mass influx of self-righteous, over-educated, twenty-somethings who showed up and immediately proceeded to lecture them about how backwards they are. My wife wanted Snyder to change the name until around 2012, when this controversy caught fire.

      I personally wanted the team to change its name to the Washington Bullets.

      1. May Yahweh forgive me for this link.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dQ7GZFHgBI

      2. I’ve seen some conservative sites selling ‘Washington Drones’ t-shirts (think Predator drones). If they have to change the name, I think Washington Drones is most appropriate.

    2. Maybe we should move the capital to Hawaii or Puerto Rico.

      Good idea. I vote for whichever one is farther away.

  11. Poll Finds 90 Percent of Native Americans Not Offended by Washington Redskins
    Not surprising?

    No. Not within 1000 miles of surprising.

    People name their sports teams based on a proud tradition that the name evokes.

    Otherwise we’d have teams named “The Uncoordinated Retards” or “The Incompetent Slappy Facers”. At that point, I could fully understand that uncoordinated retards and incompetent slappy facers might take umbrage.

    1. Otherwise we’d have teams named “The Uncoordinated Retards” or “The Incompetent Slappy Facers”.

      Which is what i’ve been telling people “Knickerbocker” actually means for the last 15 years or so.

      1. Why bother telling them? It should be apparent to anyone watching.

      2. It probably won’t be much longer before the leftards are claiming that “knickers” is a racist term.

        1. No, they’ll claim it is pornographic, since “knickers” refers to underwear and how dare we have such references during games marketed to children.

          1. Clearly the term knickers is insensitive to women!

            1. So if a woman has a huge collection of lingerie, does that make her a knicker-lover?

      3. How dare the New York basketball team call itself a name that denegrates the traditional dress of the indigenous people of the Netherlands!

        I am sponsoring a Healing Space for any Dutch survivors of this traumatic act of racism.

    2. Yeah, the association of Indians being wild, free, and indigenous goes back to the original Boston Tea Party, at least.

      These are not negative qualities.

      I should also add that the opinions of Native Americans shouldn’t necessarily be paramount here. It’s supposed to be a free country–not a safe space from sea to shining sea.

      Some people may say and do things that make us angry or sad.

      1. I don’t think it’s paramount, as Snyder intended to keep the name regardless of who was offended by it (so long as it wasn’t his wallet suffering). I think it’s noteworthy, though, in that it takes the air out of all the shouting by upper-middle-class college-educated SJWs claiming that they are supporting the poor Indian unable to speak for himself. He’s spoken and said he doesn’t care. Let’s focus on real problems.

        1. Incidentally, if Snyder ever sells the team, I expect the other owners will make their approval for the sale conditional on a name change–just to make the controversy go away..

          I hope Snyder lives to be 100 and is wildly successful.

          1. He may live to be 100, but if his track record is any indication, I wouldn’t hold out hope for successful.

      2. Indians being wild, free, and indigenous

        If you use the word “gambol,” I will rip your balls off and feed them to Tulpa.

      3. But the POLLING METHOD!

        They’ll always find a way to weasel the narrative back to their side.

    3. *scratches names off proposed team names list*

      Thanks a lot, “Diane”.

    4. Otherwise we’d have teams named “The Uncoordinated Retards” or “The Incompetent Slappy Facers”.

      I’m actually a little surprised that I don’t find those.

      With all the hype surrounding legalization, I’m kinda surprised nobody’s named a team ‘The Buds’ or similar.

  12. So, John was right the whole time? Wow. This is a disturbing development. I wonder what else he could be right about.

    1. John is right about everything. Just ask him. It stems from his ability to read minds.

      1. John reads his prophecy from the rolls of fat womyn.

      2. He’s also the handsomest guy on these forums.

      3. His musical taste is second to none, too.

      4. I find him to be very agreeable.

        1. He is less antisemitic than MNG.

  13. Native Americans are the most likely racial group to be killed by police.

    They’re also probably the most likely to be killed by a drunk driver.

    1. I couldn’t stop laughing at this. I’m a bad person.

      1. It’s a stereotype because it’s couched in truth. Driving around the sovereign nation of Taos Pueblo at night is a hair-raising experience.

        1. You see Indian dogs sitting, screwing, fighting in the middle of the fuckin’ roads on the Rez.

  14. It’s funny how they can’t see the irony in “Hey: let me speak on behalf of an entire culture to inform you of your cultural appropriation crimes!”

  15. The only thing these groups are offended by is their lack of a payday. All they want is their cut. In 2005, the NCAA mandated a ban on Native American names, imagery, etc. Schools could receive a waiver if their name was an actual tribe and if they had endorsement of said tribe. So, most of those schools ponied up money to give to the tribe to be able to keep their name (FSU Seminoles, Central Michigan Chippewas). I can’t prove their is a direct correlation, but I find it odd that this mandate came down in 2005 and in 2006, the Seminole Nation bought Hard Rock Cafe for $900M+. And I also have to ask, even without a payday from FSU, how in the fuck can the Seminole Nation afford $900M when all these other tribes are so destitute?

    1. +1 more pull on the one-armed bandit.

  16. Our entire football club, the Bronx Warriors, is Indian-themed. About half our team names are of particular Indian tribes, but we also have the Redskins generically. Then again, a lot of the Bronx has Indian-themed names. But our president emeritus also has a headdress!

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