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Sorry, but "Redskins" isn't cool


While I'm no fan of political correctness- and an avid fan of the Chicago Blackhawks- I've always had a problem with the Washington NFL franchise being called the "Redskins."

"Redskins" is not "Indians," or "Braves," or "Warriors," or "Blackhawks." The problem is that "Redskins" is an ethnic slur. It seems to me that Dana Milbank the Washington Post has it exactly right (please excuse the hypothetical names compared to "Redskins"):

To see whether it’s right to use “Redskins” as a mascot, NFL owners gathering in Georgetown on Tuesday for their fall meeting should substitute some other common racial epithets and see how they would sound: The Washington Wetbacks? The Houston Hymies? The Chicago Chinks? Or perhaps the New York Niggers? That would be enough to send anybody to the shotgun formation.

The issue isn't whether Native Americans are cool with the name or not. The issue is that the rest of us shouldn't be. We just shouldn't use ethnic slurs as names for sports teams. In fact,  we just shouldn't use ethnic slurs, period. We all should be offended by "Redskins" for the same reason we're offended by the alternatives Milbank offers.

Yes, I know. The Washington Redskins are a storied franchise whose history is synonymous with that of the NFL. But maybe history is where their nickname belongs. We once saw nothing wrong as a society with ethnic slurs. I'd like to think we're better than that now.

Retire the name "Redskins" with honor. But retire it.

HT: Real Clear Politics

ADDENDUM: I see where some Native Americans are trying to include the Cleveland Indians in the offensive category. That would work- if Hibernians were upset about Notre Dame's team name, or Scandinavians were livid about the name of Minnesota's professional football team, or... well, you get the point. It's just not the same thing.

HT: Drudge

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