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Old 07-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #16
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Originally Posted by SC Skins Fan View Post
The reflexive response to the issue of Native American mascots is not particularly surprising given the forum, but I am more ambivalent (at best) and would make a few points.
  1. It is incorrect to say that "nobody gave an ish about the Redskins being called that for 65 years." Much of the energy to fight the use of Native American mascots came out of the Civil Rights era and as early as 1972 Native Americans petitioned Washington Redskins lawyers to change the name and began attempting to meet with ownership, though no litigation began (because no viable strategy existed). (Suzan Shown Harjo, "Fighting Name Calling: Challenging 'Redskins in Court', 189-207, in C. Richard King and Charles Fruehling Springwood, eds., Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001]). It seems disingenuous to claim that a minority group lacked the power or organization to launch a formal challenge so therefore no one must have cared.
  2. It also seems dishonest to say that the courts "again" ruled in the Redskins favor. In 1999 a panel of three trademark judges ruled that the trademark registrations on the name Redskins "would be canceled in due course." The case was a culmination of a legal strategy begun in 1992 to challenge the trademark rights of the team name (one developed by Stephen R. Baird) under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which states, "No trademark...shall be refused registration on the principla register on account of its nature unless it - (a) Consists of or comprises ... scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage...persons...or bring them into contempt, or disrepute" (Harjo, 198, 203-205; see also and 15 USC 1052, Trademarks registrable on the principal register; concurrent registration (BitLaw)). The ruling was vacated in 2003 by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly who said that the plantiffs waited too long to file a challenge of the original 1967 trademark. It then went to the U.S. District Court of Appeals, who said that the youngest plantiff was only one year old in 1967 and thus too young to take legal action. The case was sent back to Kollar-Kotelly, whose latest ruling said that the plantiff had waited too long after reaching the age of majority (in 1984, lawsuit filed in 1992) to take legal action (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3483483). So basically one judge has twice ruled in the Redskins favor on what strikes me as a fairly specious premise.
  3. Though you provide no evidence for your claim that "most Native Americans don't have a problem with it", I would be willing to bet that you probably have a point. I would also bet that the number is inversely proportional to socio-economic and educational status. That Native Americans are, as a group, among the poorest in the nation is a product of a history of colonial power relations between Euro and Native Americans. That the majority group historically had the power to define a minority group in official discourse (in this case the naming of sports teams) and that those names continue to be perpetuated is a product of that same historical legacy.
  4. I realize few, if any, here will agree with me. I am conflicted myself, as I own as much "Redskins" branded merchandise and memorabilia as just about anyone. But even if you don't agree I think it is worth thinking about more deeply then just reflexively saying "I like the Redskins, the name has always existed in my living memory, I am not offended, therefore anyone who thinks a problem exists is a fringe radical". I wanted to think some more about this so I went and picked up the book I referenced above, Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy. I have only read the introduction and the chapter on the Redskins (which is not particularly scholarly since it was not written by a scholar), but it appears quite interesting and scholarly from the introduction. It is an edited volume so it contains a number of articles.
Yeah, I have a response. Uh, what?



Here's your link below. Most Native Americans don't care. And you're right in saying those who are uneducated care less than those who are. But a not insignificant number of them are indeed educated. From the data, by simple math, once can infer that half those polled were college graduates. And only 14% of those educated found it offensive.

'Redskins' mascot acceptable, poll says - NFC East - MSNBC.com
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:32 PM   #17
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

Did anyone else notice the overuse of the term "Indian" in that article...it struck me as odd.

EDIT: Fixed the misspelling of notice (somehow it was "not")
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:34 PM   #18
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Did anyone else not the overuse of the term "Indian" in that article...it struck me as odd.
Yeah I noticed that too and at first it made me question the authenticity of the article. But then, it's posted on MSNBC, a legit source of journalism.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:37 PM   #19
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Yeah I noticed that too and at first it made me question the authenticity of the article. But then, it's posted on MSNBC, a legit source of journalism.
I agree, it just struck me as odd
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:47 PM   #20
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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I agree, it just struck me as odd
Maybe this helps explain it:

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A 1995 US Census Bureau survey found that more American Indians in the United States preferred American Indian to Native American.[77] Nonetheless, most American Indians are comfortable with Indian, American Indian, and Native American, and the terms are often used interchangeably.[78] The traditional term is reflected in the name chosen for the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened in 2004 on the Mall in Washington, D.C..


Native Americans in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:10 PM   #21
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Interesting...
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Old 07-14-2008, 02:28 PM   #22
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

I watched a show on this subject a year or so ago and it just did not seem like it was that big of an issue. This one lady on the show was trying to hold a protest out side of the RFK back some years ago. They showed her doing all of this planning and calling of Native Americans to come out and support the cause. They then showed her protest at the game and it was just her and her two children. So that tells me it must not be that big of a concern. Where do all of these people who protest stuff get the time to do them and work?
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:17 PM   #23
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

It's not that the term "redskin" is offensive as much as it is another example of the majority using the culture of a minority for profit without comprehension of it's meaning. Putting on headdresses, doing a tomahawk chop while chanting or calling oneself a "brave" is rude and demeaning. However, is it any more so than suburban kids listening to rap music? The difference is that Johnny lives in a cul-de-sac while promoting himself as a straight up gangsta with all of the vernacular and actions associated with another culture every day while he is spending his parents money and giving it to the industry that is fed off of his ignorance and stupidity. Our money goes to the NFL and Snyder, not an American Indian.
As long as mainstream news can and do use a racist term like "Indian Summer" to describe those untrustworthy and sneaky days of heat, I'll wear my Redskins shirt with pride and lament the day that Wanchese and Manteo welcomed a boat of Europeans into this land.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:59 PM   #24
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Originally Posted by SC Skins Fan View Post
The reflexive response to the issue of Native American mascots is not particularly surprising given the forum, but I am more ambivalent (at best) and would make a few points.
  1. It is incorrect to say that "nobody gave an ish about the Redskins being called that for 65 years." Much of the energy to fight the use of Native American mascots came out of the Civil Rights era and as early as 1972 Native Americans petitioned Washington Redskins lawyers to change the name and began attempting to meet with ownership, though no litigation began (because no viable strategy existed). (Suzan Shown Harjo, "Fighting Name Calling: Challenging 'Redskins in Court', 189-207, in C. Richard King and Charles Fruehling Springwood, eds., Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy [Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001]). It seems disingenuous to claim that a minority group lacked the power or organization to launch a formal challenge so therefore no one must have cared.
  2. It also seems dishonest to say that the courts "again" ruled in the Redskins favor. In 1999 a panel of three trademark judges ruled that the trademark registrations on the name Redskins "would be canceled in due course." The case was a culmination of a legal strategy begun in 1992 to challenge the trademark rights of the team name (one developed by Stephen R. Baird) under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which states, "No trademark...shall be refused registration on the principla register on account of its nature unless it - (a) Consists of or comprises ... scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage...persons...or bring them into contempt, or disrepute" (Harjo, 198, 203-205; see also and 15 USC 1052, Trademarks registrable on the principal register; concurrent registration (BitLaw)). The ruling was vacated in 2003 by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly who said that the plantiffs waited too long to file a challenge of the original 1967 trademark. It then went to the U.S. District Court of Appeals, who said that the youngest plantiff was only one year old in 1967 and thus too young to take legal action. The case was sent back to Kollar-Kotelly, whose latest ruling said that the plantiff had waited too long after reaching the age of majority (in 1984, lawsuit filed in 1992) to take legal action (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3483483). So basically one judge has twice ruled in the Redskins favor on what strikes me as a fairly specious premise.
  3. Though you provide no evidence for your claim that "most Native Americans don't have a problem with it", I would be willing to bet that you probably have a point. I would also bet that the number is inversely proportional to socio-economic and educational status. That Native Americans are, as a group, among the poorest in the nation is a product of a history of colonial power relations between Euro and Native Americans. That the majority group historically had the power to define a minority group in official discourse (in this case the naming of sports teams) and that those names continue to be perpetuated is a product of that same historical legacy.
  4. I realize few, if any, here will agree with me. I am conflicted myself, as I own as much "Redskins" branded merchandise and memorabilia as just about anyone. But even if you don't agree I think it is worth thinking about more deeply then just reflexively saying "I like the Redskins, the name has always existed in my living memory, I am not offended, therefore anyone who thinks a problem exists is a fringe radical". I wanted to think some more about this so I went and picked up the book I referenced above, Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy. I have only read the introduction and the chapter on the Redskins (which is not particularly scholarly since it was not written by a scholar), but it appears quite interesting and scholarly from the introduction. It is an edited volume so it contains a number of articles.
Great points, and I'm in the minority of fans who agree with you. I do think that there is a lot invested in the Redskins trademark, I've seen the bust of the Chief at Fedex Field, and I recognize the positive spin that is placed on the name Redskins by historians. In the end, I have to side with the sentiment put forth by the American Indian Movement (AIM), American Indians are people and not mascots (National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media). I also read Russell Means' book "Where White Men Fear to Tread" and gained a greater appreciation for the American Indian Movement, their struggle and their issues. In the end, the Kenyan proverb "Until the lion has his or her storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story" seems apropos.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:27 PM   #25
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Originally Posted by rypper11 View Post
It's not that the term "redskin" is offensive as much as it is another example of the majority using the culture of a minority for profit without comprehension of it's meaning. Putting on headdresses, doing a tomahawk chop while chanting or calling oneself a "brave" is rude and demeaning.
From the poll Schneed posted earlier, 90% of Native Americans do not find the Redskins name offensive, which would include "rude & demeaning". I believe that percentage probably holds true for "braves" or "fighting Sioux" or Seminoles".

Not sure in this case how the majority is using the minority for profit, these teams could chose any other name/mascot with little effect on their profitability. They would actually see short term profit gains by changing their name/mascot in a spike of new jerseys, hats, t-shirts sales.

The "majority" is not the only group concerned with profits. If you have any knowledge of government contracting or Native American casinos, you will find that there are several government programs that give specific advantage to Native Americans in these areas and Native Americans are certainly taking advantage of them, for a great deal of profits. (Profits are not a bad thing, no matter if it is the "majority" or "minority" making them)

As for the meaning, most on this site know the history of the team name (from the article):
"The franchise began in Boston as the Braves but was purchased in 1932 by George Preston Marshall, who changed the name to honor head coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, an American Indian. The team kept its monicker after moving to the nation’s capital in 1937."
Not sure how this is rude or demeaning or "using the minority for a profit".

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However, is it any more so than suburban kids listening to rap music? The difference is that Johnny lives in a cul-de-sac while promoting himself as a straight up gangsta with all of the vernacular and actions associated with another culture every day while he is spending his parents money and giving it to the industry that is fed off of his ignorance and stupidity.
Are you saying that suburban kids who listen to rap are ignorant & stupid? Or that their behavior is "rude & demeaning?" Whatever you're saying, I'm sure the rap artists and record labels sure appreciate the behavior....all the way to the bank.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:40 PM   #26
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Great points, and I'm in the minority of fans who agree with you. I do think that there is a lot invested in the Redskins trademark, I've seen the bust of the Chief at Fedex Field, and I recognize the positive spin that is placed on the name Redskins by historians. In the end, I have to side with the sentiment put forth by the American Indian Movement (AIM), American Indians are people and not mascots (National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media). I also read Russell Means' book "Where White Men Fear to Tread" and gained a greater appreciation for the American Indian Movement, their struggle and their issues. In the end, the Kenyan proverb "Until the lion has his or her storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story" seems apropos.
If by recognizing "positive spin" you mean facts, then OK.

Nice slogan, but are Irish people "people and not mascots" too? How about people with Nordic ancestry (Vikings)?

This whole issue is PC at its worst. I don't believe for one second the owners who created these team names intended ANY racism. Plus if 90% of the folks who are perceived by some to be offended, aren't, it's a non-issue.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:46 PM   #27
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

If the numbers were in favor of Native Americans fighting against this mascot/name, I have a hard time believing fans would suddenly have a change of heart and support a change. I think we'd still hear the arguments that the name is a symbol of pride or we've become to PC or the marginalized group is too sensitive.

Just because a small percentage of NAs are polled to be "against" the name, that doesn't make the term any less offensive. Type in "redskins" and "definition" in google- see what the dictionaries say. More sources than not include the word "offensive."

There was a time "Amos and Andy" was considered acceptable in popular culture. The civil rights movement changed things for the better. Take the time to see outside of your own looking glass and understand where the other side is coming from. Why hasn't there been a similar civil rights movement for Native Americans? Read some of the books listed in this thread and you'll understand why. Read beyond the numbers that say there isn't an outcry from the Native American people re: mascots and names. This group is uniquely different than any other group in the United States: namely in its historical treatment and current condition due to its past. The poll numbers are direct reflections of a deeper problem.

This is one instance where the power to change things may not come from the weakened group. This change must come from the ones in control. And as such, I don't see it changing any time soon.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:19 PM   #28
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

Are you saying that suburban kids who listen to rap are ignorant & stupid? Or that their behavior is "rude & demeaning?" Whatever you're saying, I'm sure the rap artists and record labels sure appreciate the behavior....all the way to the bank.[/quote]
That is exactly what my point was. If an American Indian had any ownership of any of the sales and they were benefiting from the mascots, I think there would be no problem at all. That was my attempt at comparing the two.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:21 PM   #29
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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If the numbers were in favor of Native Americans fighting against this mascot/name, I have a hard time believing fans would suddenly have a change of heart and support a change. I think we'd still hear the arguments that the name is a symbol of pride or we've become to PC or the marginalized group is too sensitive.

Just because a small percentage of NAs are polled to be "against" the name, that doesn't make the term any less offensive. Type in "redskins" and "definition" in google- see what the dictionaries say. More sources than not include the word "offensive."

There was a time "Amos and Andy" was considered acceptable in popular culture. The civil rights movement changed things for the better. Take the time to see outside of your own looking glass and understand where the other side is coming from. Why hasn't there been a similar civil rights movement for Native Americans? Read some of the books listed in this thread and you'll understand why. Read beyond the numbers that say there isn't an outcry from the Native American people re: mascots and names. This group is uniquely different than any other group in the United States: namely in its historical treatment and current condition due to its past. The poll numbers are direct reflections of a deeper problem.

This is one instance where the power to change things may not come from the weakened group. This change must come from the ones in control. And as such, I don't see it changing any time soon.
Well said.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:29 PM   #30
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Re: Judge Sides With Redskins in Team Name Suit

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Originally Posted by itvnetop View Post
If the numbers were in favor of Native Americans fighting against this mascot/name, I have a hard time believing fans would suddenly have a change of heart and support a change. I think we'd still hear the arguments that the name is a symbol of pride or we've become to PC or the marginalized group is too sensitive.

Just because a small percentage of NAs are polled to be "against" the name, that doesn't make the term any less offensive. Type in "redskins" and "definition" in google- see what the dictionaries say. More sources than not include the word "offensive."

There was a time "Amos and Andy" was considered acceptable in popular culture. The civil rights movement changed things for the better. Take the time to see outside of your own looking glass and understand where the other side is coming from. Why hasn't there been a similar civil rights movement for Native Americans? Read some of the books listed in this thread and you'll understand why. Read beyond the numbers that say there isn't an outcry from the Native American people re: mascots and names. This group is uniquely different than any other group in the United States: namely in its historical treatment and current condition due to its past. The poll numbers are direct reflections of a deeper problem.

This is one instance where the power to change things may not come from the weakened group. This change must come from the ones in control. And as such, I don't see it changing any time soon.
I'm sorry, but WTF are you talking about? This post is so full of convoluted nonsense I can't even express how ridiculous it is. It sounds like you're trying desperately to find a way to dismiss the overwhelming empirical evidence against your argument.

So basically, the Native Americans are weak and can't stand up for themselves, so that's why they figure I might as well vote for complacency in this MSNBC poll? FOR WHAT? TO WHAT END? FOR WHAT PURPOSE? You make it sound like they're women with battered wives syndrome.

If you're asked in a harmless poll whether you find something offensive, you don't have to stand up and take a stand, or fight the good fight, or anything like that. You give your answer, you hang up the phone, and you go back to reading your kids a bedtime story. They have no reason to say they're not offended if in fact they are.

Bottom line: An astoundingly OVERWHELMING percentage said they did not find it offensive. You can read all the ridiculous books you want. But you can't change facts.
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