The pressure on the billionaire owner of the “Redskins” football team, Dan Snyder, to change his team’s name has been mounting in recent weeks, especially after the National Congress of American Indians‘ hard-hitting television ad titled “Proud To Be” aired during the NBA Finals game on June 10. One week after it aired in the prime-time slot, the United States Patent and Trademark Office took the step of formally cancelling six of the team’s trademark registrations due to its being named a derogatory racist slur. And while Snyder vows to fight to the end, there’s growing optimism that his days of directly profiting from the ‘R-s***s’ franchise are numbered.
But as is the case any time a government entity or institution signals it will no longer be an accomplice to preserving such overt symbols of racism, the right-wing traditionalists of white conservative America are quick to make a huge fuss about how their rights, freedoms and liberties are slowly-but-surely being taken away from them! (If this isn’t a perfect example of white privilege…) As can be expected, the defenders of racis… I mean “liberty” have to resort to the most illogical arguments to rail against what they perceive as “political correctness” – case in point, many of the hilariously absurd rants left by users in the comment section of an article posted on the NBC Sports website.
The article quoted current New Orleans’ Saints cornerback Champ Bailey, who used to play on Snyder’s team, as saying, “When you hear a Native American say that ‘Redskins’ is degrading, it’s almost like the N-word for a black person. If they feel that way, then it’s not right. They are part of this country. It’s degrading to a certain race. Does it make sense to have the name?” This was apparently enough to infuriate a number of readers, who expressed their displeasure in the following comments:
[SIDE NOTE: This idiot just compared the feelings of the Original Americans to the feelings of horses.]
[As is typical of these comments, they rely on a bunch of false equivalencies to make their case.]
[NOTE: Considering how the NAACP was founded over a century ago to combat discrimination faced by people of color, while the R-word Team was founded solely for the purpose of making a few white men enormously wealthy, this comparison is of course illogical and not-very-well thought out.]
[It’s amazing how these super-defensive whites always try to bring every conversation about race back to “but if Black people can say the n-word why can’t I?!?! It isn’t fair!” I suspect those who make this argument know the answer to this question, but resort to asking it anyway because they want to deflect the focus from their own racism.]
*Have you heard any wackier arguments made by irrational right-wingers? Please, do share in the comments below:
I used to be a Redskins fan; That changed after my love for gridiron died and discovering the racist nature of this “redskin” word.
Yes, I remember the very first time I discovered the racist nature of the word when I was a kid and wondered why so many people seemed so emotionally attatched to it that they insist on preserving the insidious name for the team.
I discovered the racist nature of this term in my adulthood years.
I’m stunned and speechless… we say in French: le ridicule, la bêtise, le pénible et l’ignorance ne tuent sur aucun méridien…
I’m going to have to type that into google translate, but I have a feeling I’m going to agree with it lol.
A great post, Caleb. Interesting that Mr. Rodriguez, who has of course experienced racism as a Latino, could not come to terms with the obvious points being made by Native Americans. Sometimes, as a white person, its hard for me to know exactly what to say.
You did a great job saying what needs to be said, though. It was particularly effective the way you used those comments – they made the point themselves.
Well done – thanks for another great contribution.
Thank you for your kind words Claire Marie! These comments by the users on the NBC website were just so incredibly illogical that I couldn’t resist sharing them for my visitors to poke fun at Lmao. The one about petitioning to “remove saltine krackers” from the shelves really takes the prize don’t ya think?
Hey, I’m offended! (-:
LOL. ’cause you know those crackers at Kraft Foods were definitely being insensitive to us other crackers when they decided to make a box with our name on it. LMAO I can’t believe that commenter who wrote that was able to type it out and hit “post” after he wrote it.
Reblogged this on Setting the Record STR8.
Great post, Caleb. You have done an excellent job linking stories that highlight the attitudes that keep racial slurs like “redskins” in place. In case you’re interested, here’s a link to one of my first posts, about mascots: (http://carolahand.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/were-honoring-indians-2/).
Thank you for raising this issue!
Thank you so much for sharing the link! I advise everyone reading this to go and check it out now. Carol, you have a truly amazing story.
Thank you, Caleb. You are amazing as well for raising awareness about so many important issues!
Thank you so very much!
I can’t listen to people expressing this kind of bias, I begin seeing shades of red. It’s so upsetting I suddenly cannot have a rational conversation. But you would be surprised who thinks the above type of fanfare is okay.
I have to learn to calm down, because I usually can’t hear them through before I start attacking in anger.
I know how you feel as far as being frustrated by the amount of ignorance shown. That’s a big reason I started blogging is so I could have an avenue to express my views instead of going back and forth arguing with people who simply will not listen to reason. Lol
Ahhhhh. Hmph, makes sense. Yeah because it’s draining and at the end of the day you don’t think you affected anything. But when people have to slow down to read, or watch a film they can be — sometimes.
Glad you started one, you have a pretty incredible blog, even without the reasons. It’s powerfully done.
Well of course thank you my dear cyber friend (-: lol Then again, there might be even less a chance that some people will take the time to read a big long post I write, but at least I get it out there at once instead of trying to take on one argument at a time at different places and on different fronts, which can be like talking to a brick wall sometimes. I know you know what I mean! Lol.
I guess I see what you’re saying. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like people on here read. It sometimes appears like if they actually have to read, it’ll be a no go. I see posts like yours addressing some pretty interesting stuff and it will have like 2 likes. Then I will see a picture post about weeds growing on the side of a garage, and it will have 50 likes.
Because I think alot of people on here are doing friendship instead of actually reading what their friends (cyber) are writing. And I like reading different sides of an argument, it can be pretty educational. Other times offers just that extra bit. So, keep at it.
In between, have a new post in relation to the film if you want to keep up. My argument for directing…
Stay cool. Hot as hell in NY.
Hell yea. Excellent advice. Btw it is hot down here in Louisiana too lmao. And I know what you’re saying, in that wordpress is kind of like a social networking sites for some folks lol. (-;
OH RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!! I forgot you were in Louisiana?!?! Why was I thinking SC?? Anyway — what??! How are you staying cool? I am so about to get in trouble w/ the air conditioner.
Yes, it’s a social networking site for majority — which is fine. But I think it’s good to actually read the posts too. You never know what you can discover. I mean it’s like talking to people.
What a loss if you spend the time reciting back to them what they’ve said just for agreement.
It’s a version of not being in the exchange (same kinda thing liking for liking sake without any kind or absorption). IMHO.
So true. I try to my best to take the time to read and comment on all my friends’ blogs, but sometimes when I do that I somehow get so distracted that I don’t get any of my own writing complete! Lol. Like I’m not good at multi-tasking that’s for sure.
And no, Louisiana is where I am. Not South Carolina. I don’t know which is worse tho 0-= Lol
OMG, if I lived there my weight would be way out of control. Love the food, and the chefs from Louisiana don’t play. My mom makes me watch cooking shows with her pretty much all day when I visit her.
I dunno if you’re a foodie. But I am and just wow.
Yeah I understand what you mean about getting distracted, but I like knowing people pretty intimately, then the exchanges grow and take on dimension both ways.
Well have a great meal today for me. Haha.
Gee now I’m hungry (love cajun food)!!!!!
Well, I’m a foodie as in I like to eat when I’m hungry, but I’m not like “Oh I’ve got to try out all the new foods and know what it is called” and all that lol. I’m just a fan of eating it but not so much knowing a whole lot about it if that makes sense lmao.
Yeah well it’s better that way, hold any fascination at bay. Doesn’t help weight as you climb in years. LOL. 🙂
bahahaha. I will take your advice. (-; Lol
Agree completely with @”godtisx” –> “Glad you started one”! I’ve been following your blog for well over a year now, possibly longer and I am embarassed to admit Caleb, that I was initially very suspect of you :$ your ‘motives’ (one’s I imagined) as, being white myself, I thought I knew ‘how white people think’ and…yeah 🙂 It seems I owe you an apology. I was wrong.
Your blog//you/your thoughts have become a true sense of inspiration 🙂
Leaving me thinking “…there is hope for us…”
and one more thing re: “people who simply will not listen to reason…” I’ve learned that there are just some people who are simply incapable of reasoning – Frantz Fanon refers to it, I believe, as “cognitive dissonance”; and therefore choose to rather focus on those that really matter!
No need to apologize Samantha. I write what I write because I am angered and outraged by the sheer hypocrisy of the attitudes of the majority of the society I grew up in and it’s through this medium that I can bring this hypocrisy to light the best way that I can. I come close to losing my mind otherwise lol. I’m proud to say that you and godtisx were among my very first followers from the time my first post appeared in January, 2013 to now. It’s crazy how fast the time went by and how much has happened since then!
Thank you for your many posts as well as the support you’ve given from re-blogging.
Keep doing the great work you do Samantha!
Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.
It’s when names or labels are mixed with power, and a history of discrimination that the full impact is felt by the people who were (or are) oppressed. JM Coetzee speaks of this very well in ‘Taking Offence’. It’s about the power to name, and the history of discrimination, marginalization and pain which came with it.
Naming, or changing of names, is not about political correctness, it is about which groups get to have a say, who gets to decide, and the power plays that go with this. It is about the right to avert the gaze and dis-remember history.
But more than anything else, I think it has to be about respect for people with a history of oppression. And that’s why, if marginalized groups want to protest, or use racial slurs as a way of taking away the sting, then it isn’t for power groups to say “why can’t we do that?” because the context is different. And a little empathy would help people to understand that.
Excellent way to put it! It amazes me how people who invented and use derogatory words for those they oppress get so outraged when the people they’ve been oppressing use the same term in a different way. To me it shows a great amount of ignorance.
Thanks for visiting and for leaving your thoughts. (-;