Sunday, May 22, 2016

You Are Supposed to be Offended

Some background: there is an American football team with a team nickname that has been the target of Social Justice Warriors for a few decades – sometime with more intensity, sometimes with less.  The Washington Redskins – a nickname deemed racist and offensive to Native Americans (well, I don’t know that they were native)…er…American Indians (they aren’t from India)…er…well, you know what I mean.

There has been a big push lately regarding the name – legal battles over the trademark, a push by the city of Washington, DC (the team would like to build a new stadium in the city) to change the name, etc.

Well, guess what?

Nine in 10 Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name, according to a new Washington Post poll that shows how few ordinary Indians have been persuaded by a national movement to change the football team’s moniker.

This result from this most recent poll mirrors a 2004 poll by the Annenberg Public Policy.

Responses to The Post’s questions about the issue were broadly consistent regardless of age, income, education, political party or proximity to reservations.

Seven in ten did not find the word disrespectful; eight in ten said they would not be offended if they were called by this name.

I guess they don’t realize that they are supposed to be offended:

The results — immediately…denounced by prominent Native American leaders — could make it that much harder for anti-name activists to pressure Redskins officials…. Suzan Harjo, the lead plaintiff in the first case challenging the team’s trademark protections, dismissed The Post’s findings.

In fact, it is a who’s who of SJWs who feel the 90% are just plain wrong:

[The movement for a name change has garnered] support from President Obama, 50 Democratic U.S. senators, dozens of sports broadcasters and columnists, several newspaper editorial boards (including The Post’s), a civil rights organization that works closely with the National Football League and tribal leaders throughout Indian Country.

The owner of the team, Daniel Snyder, vows never to change the name – he has been consistent throughout his entire tenure as owner.  As testimony to the religious fervor of those who deem it their business to right the wrongs that are virtually imperceptible to the supposed victim group:

Activists, however, have argued that the billionaire must act if even a small minority of Indians are insulted by the term.

To satisfy this almost imperceptible victim group, the vast majority must, instead, be harmed:

Their responses to The Post poll were unambiguous: Few objected to the name, and some voiced admiration.

But their view doesn’t matter.

The Post interviewed more than two dozen of the survey participant:

“I’m proud of being Native American and of the Redskins,” said Barbara Bruce, a Chippewa teacher who has lived on a North Dakota reservation most of her life. “I’m not ashamed of that at all. I like that name.”

This next part is funny:

Bruce, 70, has for four decades taught her community’s schoolchildren, dozens of whom have gone on to play for the Turtle Mountain Community High School Braves.

They call themselves the Braves!

Some attribute the results of the poll to a low self-esteem within the larger community.  Others see much bigger issues as the main contributors to the problems in the community:

Those interviewed highlighted again and again other challenges to their communities that they consider much more urgent than an NFL team’s name: substandard schools, substance abuse, unemployment.


What goes unsaid and remains unsaid: the treatment of this group by the US military and government over the last two centuries – and especially since the end of the Civil War – ranks right up there with some of the worst colonial episodes in western history. 

Take a poll of Native Americans regarding this – I suspect the results will be damning to those who view America as exceptional.


  1. The attitudes of SJWs to American Indians is disgusting (in fact they treat all non-whites as being helpless pets).

    I remember when the late great Russel Means was on NPR and the smug host was actually pushing back against his use of the term American Indian and questioning whether or not Sovereign Indian Nations are in their interest (the host was not AI).

    They want us all disarmed and subservient to them. American Indians are no exception but they have to pretend to be less hostile to them. I will see if I can find the interview for anyone interested.

  2. Sticks and stones, eh?
    It still cracks me up that Stanford changed their name from the "Indians" to "The Cardinal (not the bird, the color)". That was pretty dumb. Their mascot is a tree!!! If logic was followed, I suppose the proper mascot would be a crayon.
    As if that weren't wacky enough, Dartmouth changed THEIR name from "Indians" to "The Green"!!! What is it with the colors, already? Anyhow, the supreme irony here is that the school's ORIGINAL name was "The Dartmouth Indian School". It was established to teach and "Christianize" the local Native Americans. You can't make this shit up.

  3. I don't have much to add about the Redskins issue, but I thought I'd add some things to your conclusion.

    Mail order tobacco was one (very successful) enterprise where various tribes had a loophole to become very prosperous. It's my understanding they have a very short list of businesses they can operate otherwise.

    But Barry H. took care of that early in his first term when smokers found a low cost alternative to expensive name brand tobacco, and all tax free.

    In light of these poll results, I wonder which of these two issues Native American's would rank higher on the list of concerns.

  4. There is a movement afoot to eliminate American Indian names and symbols from America. If I was an American Indian I would be very suspicious of this.

  5. It seems that the skin of many Native Americans is somewhat red – at least as much as mine is “white”. Are they supposed to be ashamed of their skin color?

    ` TomO

  6. They should change the name. Bears ,Raiders, Redskins,
    names to warn the opponent of a savage foe. Perhaps the Washington Imperialists is more appropriate.

  7. They should name the team the Washington Leaches

    That way it will show Washington's history as a swamp and its present of being infested with blood suckers

  8. BM,

    It occurs to me that some writers like yourself are constantly being accused of not building a big enough system of thought that includes everybody, everywhere. I think people forget that Thomas Jefferson had little to say about who produces the fruit and who they are supposed to sell it to; he had a lot to say about they basis for a sound, just and wealthy society. (It is worthwhile to note that his system was based on a historical understanding of the nature of men and the institutions they had wrought.)

    I think if people are looking for a libertarian theory that describes both a private property and NAP abiding society as well as including caveats for potentially offensive sports team names, then those people will be left holding an empty bag.

    I am glad to see you forcing so many people to come to terms with the idea that you can have both a sound basis for a society and a lot of individual uncertainty regarding customs, mores and taboos.