This Washington Redskins name change issue has apparently exited the arena of civilized debate and run headlong into absurdity.
One of this country’s most recognized satirical publications, The Onion, has turned its poisoned pen toward Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder in an article more tasteless than testy. Snyder, who happens to be Jewish, was called a “Kike” in an Onion attempt to use what authors certainly hope is a term as offensive as the dreaded “R” word.
The irony here is that persons of more liberal persuasion never seem to think a well-placed slur is inappropriate if the target “deserves” the sluridity. The rules of engagement never seem to be the same for all.
The piece on the Onion website follows by a couple of weeks an on-air shame-down of Snyder and the Redskins name by broadcaster Bob Costas during a Sunday Night Football halftime editorial. Costas called the team’s name “an insult” and “a slur.” Many viewers who tuned in during Costas’ diatribe may have been confused and thought he was referring to Washington the seat of government rather than Washington the football team.
It’s true that activists have for years been trying to remove any Indian moniker from sports teams. The wise, competent, understanding, compassionate NCAA took up that fight years ago and threatened teams which kept such nicknames with sanctions which included omission from post season play.
Unfortunately, capitulation followed and gave us more acceptable teams such as the Red Storm, Red Wolves, Thunder Wolves, Fighting Asparagus (although Fighting may be dropped as too aggressive), Cardinal (not a Catholic reference, naturally) and (my wife’s favorite) the Bonnies. A few teams including Florida State (Seminoles) and Utah (Utes) received permission to keep their tags after tribes granted “written permission” and acknowledged there were no hurt feelings.
Snyder has stuck to his original statements that he would never change the name. Others, however, won’t let that distasteful slurity slip from their lips or their pens. Peter King will use “Washington team” instead; Slate joins the Washington City Paper, Buffalo News and Philadelphia Daily News in dropping the Redskin reference.
Your humble observer happens to be of Indian ancestry on both maternal and paternal sides of the family and doesn’t consider this “recognition” an evil, racist conspiracy. It’s more a tempest in a teepee. Perhaps the “activists” should spend more time worrying about conditions on the various reservations and less time hunting perceived “racial” boogers.
A joke currently circulating claims the Washington Redskins owner will drop “Washington,” which is certainly the most offensive part of the name. There may be more truth than comedy in that suggestion.
Spam comes in all forms. YHO prefers the type that comes in a can to that which appears daily in his email. Even the email stuff can be divided into categories of offensiveness. We much prefer the offers to pick up a gross or two of inexpensive, but effective, male enhancement pills to those from my political party of choice which request money to fight off the dreaded opposition.
During the government shutdown/slimdown/punishmentdown we were inundated with chances to donate as little as five bucks to make sure Boehner got his comeuppance, Nancy got her speakership back and Harry continued the good fight. In other words if it moves, breathes, coughs, spits or sputters, we can raise money off it.
Well, my fellow Donkeycrats, you won’t be raising it off this senior citizen. Let me remind you, politicians of both parties, that you threatened to cut off my Old Aged Pension, cut back my Medicare, eliminate non-essential spending like aid to military personnel and their families and stop medical treatments at veteran’s facilities.
It was a well-thought plan to pick those who could least take the punishment and make it hurt. And, if the administration dude was representative of most government types, it didn’t matter how long it lasted or how many it damaged as long as “we won.” All the while, you bombarded our email with requests for money.
Funny, isn’t it. These fund raising requests came at a time when the bunch responsible for funding millions of Americans were banditizing the pocketbooks of millions of Americans. There isn’t even honor among thieves in D.C.
Pat Culverhouse is a journalist and political columnist who lives in Minden.