Sunday, September 04, 2011

Annual Screed About The "Redskins", 2011 Edition

This here little blog basically started as a place to discuss the World Cup, way back in 2006. But one of the first causes aside from the World Cup that I took up was discussing the craziness that there was a team, in the 21st century of the Common Era named The Redskins.

It is a horrific legacy of racism and genocide.  "Redskins" is racist; and there aren't enough big money Native Americans in the DC area to impact the team name because, well, you know--there just aren't that many Native Americans living on the East Coast, because of that whole genocide thing.

The first year of this annual screed, I wrote, "I've known a few Native Americans, and they have never discussed how it became somewhat cool to refer to each other as "redskin". It's too hateful to reclaim, and too basic. It isn't some word of uncertain origin. It's origin is right there in the name. Just as Asian baseball players won't ever happily claim the nickname "The Yellow Peril". Indians, Chiefs, etc, are bad enough. But Redskin is on another level. There simply isn't a metaphor than can do the Awfulness of it All justice. The Washington Dirt-Eating Savages might be more respectful."

Let's be clear--Redskin is a pejorative.  It's a fucking insult.  If you call a Native American a "redskin", I recommend that you be very, very, very good friends with that fucker.  Because if you are just casual friends, calling him or her that will result in you getting your ass kicked, or (at best) relegated to Dumb White Person Status.  TV comedy has mined jokes about White people being overly comfortable with Black Friends, until they say something like, "Oh man, you are my nigger."  And then there is a record-scratch noise, and the friendship takes a detour.  Go ahead, friends...track down your casual Native American acquaintance and call him or her "Redskin."  Oh wait--you don't have any Native friends, or acquaintances, or co-workers?  It's not your fault.  It's called Genocide, and it happened well before you were born. But just because there aren't any Native Americans in your workplace, or on your list of Facebook friends, doesn't mean they are not out there. They are! They watch TV. Unless they are on one of those Reservations that still doesn't have reliable electricity.

So here's The Washington Redskins, owned by a guy in Dan Snyder who is so thin-skinned himself that when a  free Washington Paper jokingly drew Devil features on him, he sicced his lawyers on them, and accused them of anti-Semitism.  Last time I checked, that case was still pending, even though it was complete bullshit.

I grew up in DC, and I love my DC Football.  I love Art Monk and John Riggins and Gary Clark and Donny Warren and Neil Olkewicz and Charles Mann and Dexter Manley and Gerald Riggs and Joe Jacoby and Russ Grimm and Greg Manusky and Darrell Green and Ernest Byner and Henry Ellard.  I love them all--they are not responsible for this slap in the face to Native Americans.

I love, goddamn it, the Redskins.  But that can't be their name.  Not any longer.  No more, god damn it.  It is not just insulting.  It is a reminder that Genocide works.  That white people run the country, or at least, the NFL.  Dan Snyder is pissed off and pretending it is racism that a paper gave him a mustache and horns?  Hell, Dan--imagine running a team called the Kikes, featuring a super Jewish cartoon on the helmet.  Bet you  would have changed that shit after buying them.

It's called empathy, you dick, and it isn't hard to manage.  Just ask yourself, "How would I feel if..."


Andrew Wice said...

Henry Ellard is on that list?

Big Blue Monkey 2: The Quickening said...

For me, he is. I know that is weird.