Every few years the topic of sports teams with "offensive" names pops up, and we have to listen to the debate over whether or not teams with Indian-related names and mascots should take on new monikers.
The Washington Redskins, who have used the nickname since 1937, seem to take the brunt of the heat, but teams such as the Cleveland Indians and the Florida State Seminoles have seen no shortage of anger.
This "controversy" has gotten a boost as of late from 10 members of the United States Congress, after they penned letters to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder in May urging a name change.
In part, one letter reads: "Native Americans throughout the country consider the 'R-word' a racial, derogatory slur akin to the 'N-word' among African Americans or the 'W-word' among Latinos."
There was a time when these terms were commonplace in the American lexicon — right, wrong or indifferent. Have Americans become so sensitive that a mere moniker is offensive? I'm afraid to say so.
It's hard not to look at the current Paula Deen scandal as it relates to sensitivity.
The Food Network canned one of its most beloved television personalities after the southern-inspired cook admitted, while under oath, to using the N-word in the past.
While I have no tolerance for derogatory name calling, we must take into account that Deen is a 66-year-old woman that resides in Savannah, Ga. I'm sure she is not the only person raised south of the Mason-Dixon line that has used that word in her lifetime.
Is what Deen said wrong? Yes. Did her admission warrant being fired? No.
Should the Redskins be forced to change their name? No.
Leave the decision to Daniel Snyder. He, and his wallet, will suffer the repercussions.
When Los Angeles finally fields another NFL team, it won’t be under the nickname “Blackskins.”
Could you imagine a scenario that would legitimize such a moniker?
Of course not, Southern California would burn.
We all know that such arrogant disregard for an entire race of people is evil. Especially when that group was violently and systematically oppressed for centuries.
Now, change “black” to “red.”
I’m not going to position the history of slavery in America against the forced removal of Native Americans from their land. In my opinion, these two portions of our country’s history are, by far, the most terrible.
So why can the NFL exploit a race that was almost eradicated, but it can’t reference the most predominant culture within the league to create a nickname?
Because you can’t defend yourself if you’re not alive!
The reason that the Washington Redskins continue to take the field under an offensive name, which was created 81 years ago, is because the few Native Americans that have not perished as a result of “Manifest Destiny” are still trying to survive in barren regions into which they were forced.
It’s not a coincidence that the poorest counties in the Unites States are all on reservations.
And, white people, let me stop you before you say, “I wouldn’t care if they were called the Whiteskins.”
You don’t know oppression! You can’t imagine what it’s like to have your family’s tragic past held in such small regard.
So don’t waste time trying to empathize. You’ll never really understand. Just know that a change must be made, now.
I, honestly, don’t really care as to how Washington’s NFL franchise is referred, as long as it’s not racist.
Call them the Washington Monuments.
No? Too phallic? So racism is fine, but sex is too much?