Don’t let the Redskins make an ass out of you and me
As of Monday, the National Football League’s Washington, D.C. franchise is no longer known as the Redskins.
If you’re glad to see the name go (as I am), I’d caution you to be careful about assuming all Native Americans are glad too — especially if you’re not Native American.
Assigning the same thoughts to people of the same color is a form of prejudice and trying to save those who don’t want to be saved is a form of toxic paternalism.
The super liberal thinkers behind our societal tsunami of Cancel Culture (and behind terms like “toxic paternalism”) should think twice before maligning their strange bedfellows in accomplishing social change — because the thing that really got Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder to ultimately make his team the now-former Redskins were the not-so-veiled threats made by “evil corporations” like Pepsi, Bank Of America and FedEx.
And while the Cancel Culturalists are rethinking maligning these Capitalists of Change (as I’m calling them), maybe they can rethink their assumptions about who does — and doesn’t — feel maligned by certain nicknames.
Case in point: a 2020 survey of more than one-thousand Native Americans, done by the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley, found that only about half of respondents say they’re offended by the name Redskins.
And some Native Americans actually wear the label proudly.
Red Mesa High School serves Navajo students near Teec Nos Pos, in far northeastern Arizona.
Because I spent a good chunk of my childhood growing up on the Navajo Nation, I not only know where that tiny town is, I played football against Red Mesa — the Redskins.
Here’s what’s written on the welcome webpage of Red Mesa High School: “Yá’át’ééh …at RMHS, we are proud of our ancestry; we are proud of who we are, and we are proud to be the home of the Redskins.”
It’s not a good idea to assume that all people of a particular color all feel the same about a particular issue because (as I already mentioned) that’s a form of prejudice.
But maybe it’s mainly a bad idea to assume anything about anybody because, as grandma said, “that makes an ass out of you and me.”
And that’s a name no one likes to be called.