Monday, April 7, 2014

Ace on the Redskins Flap...

Ace goes to great lengths here to try and elaborate on his stance on the Washington Redskins’ naming flap.  

He questions why it’s okay to call a team the “Braves” or the “Indians” or the “Vikings” but not the “Redskins.”

He points out that none of those other teams are in a flap because of their references to ethnic groups of people.  He points out that naming a team after something or someone is a sign of respect; no one names their team the “Schnauzers” because team names are supposed to be something noble, fierce, respectable, and… 

…whatever.

This is actually a pretty common argument when it comes to folks taking exception to a team name.  “It is meant to be a compliment, not an insult!”

The problem here, which Ace misses, and I think anyone that is defending the team name “redskins” in any manner other than “it is what the team is called, deal with it,” is that “redskin” is a racial slur.  To further the example above, I don’t think anyone would have a problem one with a team name such as, for instance, the Sheboygan Zulus, but would rightfully have trouble with the same team being called the Sheboygan Spearchuckers.  The team name “Zulus” refers to a tribe of black men who had a fierce reputation as warriors.  The team name “Spearchuckers,” refers to black men, also, but in a way that was historically reserved for insulting them in some way or another. 

So call a team the “Braves” and you’re referencing a proud warrior tradition in Native America, and that is something that you can get behind naming your team.  Call them the “Redskins” and you’ve essentially co-opted a recial slur and used it as your team name. That isn’t complimentary.  It’s insulting.

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