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Old 08-20-2005, 06:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer
I think a lot of this is PC BS, but even *I* think "Redskins" is probably the worst one out there. I don't see how naming a team the Seminoles is offensive. What's the difference between that and the Trojans or any other group of people. It's not a slur (like "redskins" is).

What really gets me is when teams like Marquette Univ. change their name from the Warriors, because that is somehow offensive to Native Americans. Sure seems like "warrior" is a pretty generic term...why does it have to apply to native americans.

I'm part native american (my grandma was actually born on a reservation), but not enough to actually speak as if I am one.
You are so true..why did "warrior" have to apply to native americans? This was something that I, along with my fellow Marquette students said when the University changed its nickname. Moreover, I can remember that we voted on two choices..Lightning or Golden Eagles and the majority of students that I spoke for voted to Lightning but we all know how that ended. Now a few years later, low and behold my alma mater has another vote and Golden Eagles won again. Warriors was not even on the ballot but an old nickname was - Hilltoppers.

Otherwise - What will happen next, will PETA go after all those teams with animal nicknames?
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMU599
Perhaps I'm partial, but I really don't see it. It's like noting that Native American's skin is red, nothing else. Perhaps it was the big offensive word used bake in the day, I don't know?!

I really agree with the post above that states we have bigger fish to fry like perhaps curtialing terrorism and electing a President that has a better grasp of things. LOL Sorry W. fans.
Well, you are partial... and the fact is that many Native Americans consider Redskins right on par with the N- word. I have a hard time understanding why names like "Warriors" or "Seminoles" or "Braves" are offensive, so I guess I'm partial too.

Yes, we certainly have bigger fish to fry... but all you have to do is spend just a little time scanning this forum and you will find that just in SBS we try to fry everything from little bitty minnows to whales (yes, I know a whale is not fish )

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Old 08-25-2005, 10:58 AM   #18
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Lay off the Redskins until you do some research. Here goes......

Quote:
The first documented appearance of the word "redskins" was found in a colonists letter in 1699 "There would not be so much to feare iff ye Red Skins was treated with such mixture of Justice & Authority as they cld understand." The first Colonial chroniclers believed that the Indians were actually white. "Their skins are naturally white, but altered from their originals by several dyings of Roots and Barks," wrote Maryland settler George Alsop in 1666. "Logically enough," writes historian Alden Vaughan, "redskins' eventually emerged as the epithet for enemies who usually used red paint on the warpath."
Taken from the Washington Post Style Section, November 6, 1994
"Bury My Heart at RFK" (How the Redskins Got Their Name, and Why Just Maybe It Should Be Changed)

Here is my correspondence with Merriam-Webster:
Quote:
Since I am well aware that "Merriam-Webster maintains a large
library of the dictionaries and other reference books the company has published over the course of its 150-plus-year history"; I would like to know how I can gain more information about the word "redskin." In particular, what year was the word first
published in a dictionary (and what was that first definition?)? I'd
also like to know what the definition was in 1933 and 1967 as it
appeared in Merriam-Webster's print editions. Thank you.

THEIR REPLY
Dear Mr. Goddard:

"Redskin" first appeared in Webster's in 1890, in Webster's
International Dictionary (that is, it was not in the previous edition of
Webster's Dictionary from 1865). It was defined as "a common
appellation for a North American Indian; - so called from the color of
the skin." In Webster's New International Dictionary, 1909, and
subsequent editions of the International the definition was simply "a
North American Indian." In 1983, "--usually taken to be offensive" was
inserted in Webster's Third New International Dictionary (principal
copyright 1961). That was the same year this usage note was added in
the Collegiate Dictionary for the newly revised 9th edition. (Thus, to
answer your specific question: in 1933 and 1967 the definition in both
our unabridged and abridged dictionaries was simply "a North
American Indian.")

In 1973, for the 8th edition of the Collegiate, the definition had been
changed to a cross reference to "American Indian." That term, in turn
was defined as "a member of any of the aboriginal peoples of the
western hemisphere except usually the Eskimos constituting one of the
divisions of the Mongoloid stock" until 1993, when it was changed for
the 10th edition of the Collegiate to "a member of any of the aboriginal
peoples of the western hemisphere except usually the Eskimos;
especially : an American Indian of North America and especially the
U.S." In 2003, for the most recent, 11th, edition, the definition of
American Indian was tweaked a bit to "a member of any of the
aboriginal peoples of the western hemisphere except often the
Eskimos; especially : an American Indian of North America and
especially the U.S. -- compare Native American." In the meantime, in
1993, for the 10th edition, the usage note at "redskin" had been placed
before the cross reference to "American Indian," and changed to
simply "usually offensive."

I hope this is what you needed!
I chose 1933 because that was the first year the team was known as the Redskins. 1967 was the year they applied for their trademark. It only became offensive in 1983 (strangely enough, the very year the Redskins won their first Super Bowl)!?

Here is another definition from the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary which was first published in 1989. The edition I'm transcribing this from was printed in 2004:

Quote:
'redskin. Also red-skin. [See RED a. 5c] 1. A North American Indian. (Not the preferred term.)

1699 S. Smith in H.E. Smith's Colonial Days (1900) 49 Ye fiste Meetings House was solid mayde to withstande ye wicked onslaights of ye Red Skins. 1823 E. James's Long Expedition. I. 160 The whites will not harm the red-skins when they have them thus in their power. 1851 Dixon's W. Penn xxiii (1872) 205 A strong believer in the native virtues of the Redskins, when these savages were treated well. 1890 Times (of London) 27 Dec 3/2 After dark the whole band...renewed the attack, Kicking Beat himself leading the redskins.

2. A variety of potato.

[Citations omitted.]

This is from the 2002 Redskins Media Guide:
Quote:
‘Redskin’ Through the Years...
Red Cloud. Red Thunder. Red Eagle. Redlands. Red mud.
“The term redskin, applied by Europeans to Algonquians in general and the
Delawares in particular,” says the Reader’s Digest in its book America’s Fascinating
Indian Heritage, “was inspired not by their natural complexion but by their fondness for
vermilion makeup, concocted from fat mixed with berry juice and minerals that
provided the desired color.” The men “would streak their faces and bodies with bright
red ocher and bloodroot,” adds the Reader’s Digest.
Indians painted their skin for decorative and ceremonial purposes. “Red is generally
accepted as being one of the colors most easily available to and most used by
Indians,” as Ronald P. Koch states in his book Dress Clothing of the Plains Indians.
Why was the football team named Redskins? I've read three different accounts.
1st - They were first known as the Boston Braves and played at Braves Field. MLB was more popular than the NFL in 1932 and football teams often adopted the name of the MLB counterpart. They moved to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, in 1933. Red Sox and Redskins were similar, and George Preston Marshall could keep his uniform motif. The first jersey had a precursor to the current warrior head on the chest of the jersey.

2nd - They were named Redskins becasue of the Boston Tea Party rebels that dressed as "Indians" when they dumped tea in the harbor.

3rd - They were named Redskins to honor head coach William "Lone Star" Dietz, a half-German Sioux who is described in a team history book as "a full-blooded Indian." Dietz brought three Indians to the team with him, "Chief" Larry Johnson, Louis "Rabbit" Weller, and John Orien Crow.

There is no definitive answer, but according to Marshall's granddaughter and various other accounts, it was to honor coach William "Lone Star" Dietz. Dietz's grandson (actually his grandnephew..but by Indian custom is know as his grandfather), Lloyd One Star (a Sioux who lives in a HUD house on reservation land 14 miles from Rosebud, S.D.), says he would have no trouble testifying- on behalf of the team. It wouldn't suprise him if Coach Dietz himself had suggested the name Redskins. "This was a way to be a fierce team."

How did the get their logo? I had read two versions. One was from Jack Clary's book "Great Teams, Great Years, The Washington Redskins." Clary claimed that head coach George Allen "borrowed" the design from the U.S. Mint. That would lead us to the "Indian Head" or "Buffalo" nickel. James Earl Fraser designed the nickel in 1913 (he began designing it in 1911). The buffalo on the nickel was crafted in the likeness of Black Diamond, a resident of the Bronx Zoo that was born of stock donated by Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Indian head was a composite of three American Indians, Iron Tail, Big Tree and Two Moons.


The second version is apparently the version the Redskins are "officially" recognizing. The is a 3-d sculpture of the warrior head on the Club Level at FedEx Field. There is a small plaque at the base of the sculpture recognizing the individual in my next quoted article, Walter "Blackie" Wetzel.

http://www.helenair.com/articles/200...1110303_01.txt

Quote:
Tribal leader rubbed elbows with elite

BY SHAWN WHITE WOLF - IR Staff Writer - 11/03/03

Walter "Blackie" Wetzel learned early on that in order to achieve the success he wanted for his people, he would need to use every bit of political power he had — at home and in Washington, D.C.

In the 1950s and '60s, Wetzel, at the height of his political career, was the chairman of the Blackfeet Nation and president of the National Congress of American Indians.

Born in 1915, Wetzel grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Early on, Chief White Calf gave Wetzel a right of passage of the chieftainship of the Blackfeet Nation.

"I am still a chief today," Wetzel said Friday afternoon from his Helena home.

White Calf, who was over 100 years old at the time, conducted a special ceremony and gave Wetzel his Indian name — Six-o-num, meaning Blackie.


Throughout Wetzel's lifetime, he has served on the Blackfeet council, Montana Intertribal Council, National Congress of American Indians, and worked with Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy and numerous congressmen.

In September of 1990, Wetzel, among others, was honored as a distinguished alumnus of the University of Montana for attending nearly four years at the school back in the 1930s, although he didn't graduate for personal reasons.

Sen. Mike Mansfield once wrote Wetzel a letter that he keeps framed in his living room.

"As a friend of many years, decades really, we both have great appreciation, admiration, and respect for your many accomplishments during your lifetime," wrote Mansfield.

During his time in office, Wetzel said, he fought hard against policies that would terminate tribal governments and reservations.

At the same time, he fought for employment, aid, the development of the tribes' land and minerals and other issues on his own reservation as well as for hundreds of other tribes throughout the country.

"I think President Kennedy would sometimes order the (federal) government to send food," said Wetzel.

Nearly 40 years after Kennedy's assassination, Wetzel said he still remembers his most beloved president.

Just months prior to the assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, the president had visited Great Falls on a nationwide tour.

As decided by Kennedy, Wetzel was to introduce the president at an event in Great Falls on Sept. 26, 1963. However, Wetzel said, at the last minute, Stuart Udall, U.S. secretary of state, changed the course of events.

"The president was there for business, and I was considered too political," said Wetzel.

However, he said, the president insisted that he come into an area blocked off for security reasons.

"Blackie, what do you have there?" Kennedy asked Wetzel as he held an object in his hands.

Wetzel, who named Kennedy High Eagle, presented the president with a carved gavel by Albert Racine, a Blackfeet artist.

In addition to the American politicians, Winston Churchill requested from Wetzel a complete Blackfeet regalia after Churchill found out his mother was half Indian.

"A Royal Guard showed up to collect the regalia, but Churchill didn't come," said Wetzel.


Another eye-opening Wetzel accomplishment was his idea to put the head of an Indian chief on the helmets of the Washington Redskins.

"Back then, (in the 1960s) there was only the letter "R" on the helmet, so I requested a few pictures to be sent down from my reservation of Indian chiefs," Wetzel explained.

Wetzel said he walked into the office of the Washington Redskins and said, "I came here to see you guys about seeing a real Indian on the helmets."

He said a person told him that they would look over his proposal and consider it.

After the team finally picked his idea, he said, he felt really proud — and has ever since — seeing the Indian chief on the helmet.

Since then, numerous groups and American Indian leaders throughout the country have fought against Indian mascots.

Wetzel said that people from the Washington Redskins send him tickets and other types of memorabilia.

A Washington Post reporter has even contacted him about the Redskin logo for a story that ran in January of 2002.

Two weeks ago, he said, he saw it on the news that the team was keeping the name and logo.

"I felt good about that, and they are proud to wear it," he said.



Today, Wetzel said he has retired to his quiet home in Helena after a busy political career and then several years in the U.S. Department of Labor and Montana Department of Labor.

"I am just playing her cool now," Wetzel said while leaning back in his recliner.

Reporter Shawn White Wolf can be reached at 447-4028 or shawn.whitewolf@helenair.com
Last, here is the 2002 Washington Post article that was referenced in the previous article.

Quote:
American Indians Among Admirers Of Redskins Name

Marc Fisher
Column: MARC FISHER
January 26, 2002; Page B1
Scalp 'em, swamp 'em We will take 'em big score



Read 'em, weep 'em, touchdown


We want heap more -- "Hail to the Redskins," original 1937 lyric


In a few days, football will fade from view and the Redskins will lurk in the background as an autumnal hope. But the debate over the Redskins' name knows no seasons; it has been with us for more than four decades and shows no sign of abating.


With local governments now in the act, urging Dan Snyder to pull an Abe Pollin and change his team's name to something bland, the name game takes on a new urgency.


The name changers appear to have the upper hand, as they sweep the nation forcing high schools and colleges to abandon traditional mascots and scrap names such as Indians, Chiefs, Braves and Warriors.


Interestingly, most of the people who sizzle with outrage over Indian team names and mascots are not Indians. American Indians can be found vigorously arguing on both sides. Academics are split, too: Anthropologists call team names and mascots humiliating, while linguists say "redskin" describes "stalwart attributes." Even dictionaries disagree (the Oxford English says "redskin" is "generally benign," while Webster's says it is "usually offensive").


The Redskins debate -- in addition to the latest condemnation from the Metropolitan Council of Governments, a challenge to the team's trademark is tied up in federal court -- focuses on the genesis of the name (was it born as an ethnic slur?) and its use today (does it denigrate Indians?).


There are at least three versions of the name's origin. The official story, says team spokesman Karl Swanson, is that when the Boston Braves football team left Braves Field to play at Fenway Park in 1933, owner George Preston Marshall needed a new name for his squad.


He chose Redskins in honor of Lone Star Dietz, the team's coach and an Indian who often wore an eagle feather headdress, beaded deerskin jacket and buckskin moccasins. Dietz brought four to six -- accounts vary -- Indian players with him to Boston from the Haskell Indian School in Kansas, where he had coached for four years.


Another version has the team being named for the white men who dressed up as Indians to stage the Boston Tea Party at the start of the American Revolution. Yet another genesis story says the name stems from the colored clay that Plains Indians used to paint themselves for tribal ceremonies.


Whichever version is right, "the reality is more benign than people on both sides of the fence are attributing to it," says sports historian and museum consultant Frank Ceresi. "The name was meant very, very positively."


The genesis may always remain murky because Marshall never wrote a word about his choice, the Boston newspapers from the time are silent on the question (football was a minor sideshow in those days), and survivors of the period offer conflicting and vague recollections. But it is clear that the Boston Redskins, who moved to Washington in 1937, sought to capitalize on their Indian players and coach: The team played wearing red war paint. And Indian players from the time considered the name and trappings an honor.


So does Walter Wetzel, former chairman of the Blackfoot tribe and president of the National Congress of American Indians in the 1960s. By the early '60s, the Redskins had dropped any reference to Indians in their logo, uniforms and merchandise. Wetzel went to the Redskins office with photos of Indians in full headdress.


"I said, 'I'd like to see an Indian on your helmets,' " which then sported a big "R" as the team logo, remembers Wetzel, now 86 and retired in Montana. Within weeks, the Redskins had a new logo, a composite Indian taken from the features in Wetzel's pictures. "It made us all so proud to have an Indian on a big-time team. . . . It's only a small group of radicals who oppose those names. Indians are proud of Indians."


Snyder, meanwhile, intends to keep the name, no matter the protests. "Frankly, we don't hear much from fans about this," Swanson says. "Words take power from their usage. We don't use funny mascots. We don't have tomahawk chops. We've always used the word in a respectful way, to mean tradition, courage and respect."
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:00 PM   #19
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Terrific research! It was very interesting as well.....thank you!
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Old 08-25-2005, 01:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMU599
Terrific research! It was very interesting as well.....thank you!
Don't want to burst your bubble.... but gridironmike did a good job of just posting one side of the story... not really research.

A simple "google" of redskin name opposition will give you a lot from the other side of the story, also.

This is one of those emotional topics where one side's beliefs will probably never influence the other side's beliefs. When a football fan hears redskins, he/she thinks of the all the glory of battles won and lost by a sports team on the football field. But when a Native America... well, at least some Native Americans hear redskin, a much different image is conjured up. I guess I would just side with what I've heard and read from Native American groups on how this name brings up images of oppression and discrimination.

Just think about this... we hear the word "nigga" or some variation, being used in all kinds of rap songs now adays. Would you really walk up to an African American and say "does it bother you to be called 'nigga'?" I would guess you alread know the answer. Maybe try the same with a Native American. I'm not sure they would appreciate the history behind the Redskins' name.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:39 PM   #21
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Well, I did enjoy it and found it interesting, so to me it was great research.
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Old 08-25-2005, 03:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TundraBarNone
Don't want to burst your bubble.... but gridironmike did a good job of just posting one side of the story... not really research.

A simple "google" of redskin name opposition will give you a lot from the other side of the story, also.
Say what you will, but I presented factual evidence as to the first use of the word and it's origins. I then went on to say how it became the name of the football team and how they derived their logo. It can be twisted and turned as much as anyone wants, but the facts were presented in my post. Red skin or redskin first referred to dyed skin.
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:03 PM   #23
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Is there concrete evidence of it ever being commonly used as a racial slur?
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:29 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMU599
Is there concrete evidence of it ever being commonly used as a racial slur?
Well, you quoted newspaper articles... how about this:

Quote:
The evidence against "redskin"

Harjo: Dirty word games

Posted: June 17, 2005

by: Suzan Shown Harjo / Indian Country Today

Only a few wounding words carry pain so severe that they are not dulled by time. "Redskins" is such a word for most Native people. Once you've been stung by that word, you never, ever forget it or the venom of each modifier, most commonly "dirty," "lazy" and "stupid."

Manley A. Begay Jr. was "about seven or eight years" when he was hit with the R-word by a non-Indian in his own Navajo land in Arizona: "'You dirty redskin, you stinky redskin, you dirty Indian, go back to your hogan.'

"And he kept on repeating that, you know, and yelling and screaming at me and making these racist and insulting and degrading remarks: you stinky redskin ... you stupid redskin."

Norbert S. Hill Jr., who is Oneida from Wisconsin, was called the R-word during a high school football game. "I remember tackling ... a conference top player for a two-yard loss, and he called me a 'dirty f***ing redskin."

William A. Means Jr. was "applying for a job to make hay" when a "white rancher" referred to him "as a redskin." Means, who is Oglala Lakota from South Dakota, then "felt prejudice, intimidation, so I left."

Begay, Hill and Means went on to run Indian education programs and schools, and to sue the Washington professional football team regarding its dreadful name.

Their statements are evidence in the lawsuit, Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., now in its 13th year of litigation.

We won the case in 1999, when three trademark judges unanimously canceled the federal licenses for the Washington football club's name "on the grounds that the subject marks may disparage Native Americans and may bring them into contempt or disrepute."

A federal district court judge, without so much as a hearing, overturned their decision in 2003, opining that the trademark judges got it wrong. We appealed the 2003 ruling and expect a decision any day from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Our other co-plaintiffs are Vine Deloria Jr., Standing Rock Sioux author, lawyer and retired educator; Raymond D. Apodaca, a former tribal leader of his Tigua Tribe in Texas and now a federal Indian program official; and Mateo Romero, a Cochiti Pueblo artist in New Mexico.

Deloria testified that in Marine boot camp "they would just blast the hell out of everybody, using 'nigger' and 'spic' and 'slope' and 'redskin."' Apodaca recalled remarks about the "noisy and obnoxious redskins." Romero stated that "the term 'nigger,' like 'redskin,' is racial."

It's hard to understand how the federal district court judge could substitute her opinion for the judgment of the three trademark judges - and for our actual experience - and say we aren't disparaged.

The judge also thought we waited too long to bring the suit, saying we should have filed in 1967 when the Washington football club first applied for federal trademark protection. At that time, only one of the seven of us was 21 years old and Romero wasn't even a toddler.

The judge said nothing about the fact that the football owners waited more than 30 years before seeking a federal license. In all likelihood, they were prompted to file for federal protection in the 1960s by protesters on campuses nationwide who wanted to end "Native" sports references and cited the Washington "Redskins" as the worst of all.

Among the mountain of evidence considered by the trademark judges over the first seven years of litigation were examples of the way the R-word was used in newspaper headlines, showing no difference between 20th century sports headlines and 19th century news headlines.

"Redskins Start Bloodletting Today," "More Cuts Likely to Follow Full-Scale Redskin Warfare," "Redskins Ambushed," "Redskins Back on the Warpath" and "Giants Massacre Redskins: General Custer Avenged" were sports headlines in the 20th century.

Nineteenth-century news headlines were "Custer's Men Lured Into Trap by Wily Redskins," "On the Warpath ... Redskins Attack," "Redskins Sent to the Happy Hunting Ground" and "Ready for Battle ... The Rebellious Redskins."

Opponents of the majority Native American position say the R-word isn't used against Native people today. They're wrong on this count, too.

Stanford linguist Geoffrey Nunberg, an expert witness in our case, wrote to me on June 13 that "Ron Butters posted a message to the American Dialect Society list a while ago claiming that 'redskin' was rarely used and was not disparaging." Butters is an expert witness for the Washington football club, but did not identify himself as such in his posting.

"I did a search in Google Groups," wrote Nunberg, "and found a number of citations that demonstrate that the word is still widely used in its pejorative sense. I attach these; the names of the relevant discussion groups are in parens. These are all from the last ten years or so:"

— "Hey Redskin: Go back to the Indian Reservation and make some illegal booze." (rec.sport.pro-wrestling)

— "These redskin c***sucks up at the reservation are now claiming that THEY own the portion of Nebraska that pertains to Whiteclay....Times like this make me wish Custer had access to air support and a couple of tactical nukes." (alt.tasteless)

— "Hop down to Any Boat store. Don't you know how to read? I bet your one of the redskin, indian whoop de do's who object to seeing sports teams demeaning native americans and bitch about everything." (alt.scooter)

— "I am getting f***ing tired of these damn redskins belly aching about how the paleface came and stole their land. Why don't they get off their lazy, reservation living-asses and start working?" (alt.discrimination)

— "As I said the white Europeans had 'firesticks' for CENTURIES before the redskin savages even HEARD about them! The redskin savages didn't even have the incredibly complex machine known as 'the wheel' until CENTURIES after other races had it! They were a VERY backwards people!" (alt.atheism)

— "Those indian savages instead opted for much more equisite forms of torture and methods of creating intense pain in their redskin neighbor victims." (Thread, "Indians Are Sleaze Merchants," alt.fan.rush-limbaugh)

— "I stopped into a New York club and found an American Indian bar-tending. I ordered a Manhattan and the redskin f***er charged me twenty-four dollars!" (3do.bad-attitude)

The R-word for public school athletic programs is being challenged legislatively in California and Oklahoma, and both laws deserve to pass. Opponents say the word is an honorific, which is has never been and is not now.

No Native person who has been called the R-word has ever said: "Wow, they must think I'm a football player or a sport mascot or a person covered in red paint for war." It has always been a fighting word and has never been a compliment.

People of ill will and poor taste need to stop playing their dirty word games, and good people must stop enabling them. They must have better things to do with their time than to hang on to racial-based stereotypes and anti-Indian vulgarities.

Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C., and a columnist for Indian Country Today.
or how about this from Seventh Native American Generation, a Native American youth organiztion:

Quote:
'Red Face' Does Not Honor Us
H. Mathew Barkhausen III, 24
Wednesday August 17, 2005

PRINT | EMAIL


Long gone are the days when extraordinarily racist “black-face” performers were taken seriously. Racism toward African Americans has not disappeared, but American society’s willingness to turn the other cheek when a group of people is being portrayed in a negative light is mostly gone. Except, of course, when it come to Native Americans.

Rather than widespread praise, when the NCAA announced recently that it would ban teams from using American Indian imagery in postseason tournaments, many in the media mocked its decision. According to the NCAA, beginning in February, any school with a nickname or logo considered racially or ethnically disparaging would be prohibited from using them in postseason events. Mascots will no longer perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders will be barred from using American Indians on their uniforms beginning in 2008. Major college football teams are not subject to the ban because there is no official NCAA tournament.

This decision has been credited to the continued pressure from Native American groups, including the Native American Journalists Association. A decade ago, the athletic community would have never even considered the issue. And it is still a hard pill to swallow for the rest of society. Corporations all over the United States use some sort of “Indian” name, and companies have logos and trademarks with “Indian” themes. From the ridiculous photos on the door of the trucks of the “Navajo” trucking company depicting a Native woman in stereotypical “Indian princess” garb, and for some bizarre reason, with deep blue eyes, to the “Indian princess” depicted on the “Land O Lakes” butter packages, stereotypical images of Native Americans are everywhere.

Tuscarora Yarns Inc., for example, has chosen to represent itself with a logo that is a stereotypical image of a Native American in a Northern Plains Indian eagle feather headdress, often misnamed a “war bonnet.” My grandfather is a full blood; he is Cherokee and Tuscarora and was born and raised in North Carolina, the traditional homeland of both these Native peoples. Knowing this, I educated myself about everything I could that related to both Nations. Tuscarora people did not wear this type of regalia; our traditional clothing and items of adornment were very different from that of the Lakota. I think Tuscarora Yarns has chosen this as its logo because their corporate branding will be recognizable as having an “Indian” association if they sell-out to the lowest common denominator.

One-dimensional representations of Native Americans are not only common, but are thought to be “no big deal” by most non-Native Americans. This apathetic attitude has spread to Indian Country, with many Native people unwilling to speak out against it for fear of being ridiculed. But the racist images used are not representative of Native American culture today, or at any time in the past. But people still argue, “What’s the big deal?”

A conservative talk show host named Bob Enyart has an interesting, and common, argument. He said, “Should the Houston Oilers apologize to oil companies for calling themselves ‘Oilers’ or should the New York Jets apologize to airline pilots and members of the Air Force for calling themselves ‘Jets?'” But such comparison arguments are absurd. “Oilers” are a profession, not an ethnic group, and “Jets” are objects with no feelings, no culture, nor heritage to protect. They can’t think or feel, but human beings can and do.

Often, as Native Americans, we are told by others: “The ’Redskins,’ I guess that’s kind of racist, but the ‘Indians.’ that’s not so bad.” True, the term “Redskin” historically is as derogatory and racist a word as "Nigger," or "Kike." But while it’s not really seen as a huge deal when a team calls itself the “Redskins,” no one would ever dream of calling one the “Kikes.” But both are known to be racist, so why is one okay? This attitude contributes to the poor self-image of Native American youths, which some academics argue that when combined with other social factors, can shed some light on why they have the highest drop out rates in high school, the lowest rates of young people enrolled in colleges or universities, and the highest rates of teen suicide in the entire country.

Sports teams aren’t the only culprits of the negative images of Natives in American society, just as negative imagery are not the sole reason that we face the problems that we do. But the NCAA’s decision is an important first step. And we must not stop pushing for more. We should place unrelenting pressure on all corporations to “cease and desist” defaming our cultures. One day, painting yourself in “red face” supposedly in “honor” of Native Americans will be seen as just as racist as the black face performers of the past.

Hopefully, this “future” will be during the present generation.
just a couple of examples from a few minutes of google searching....
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Old 08-25-2005, 06:45 PM   #25
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Those examples seem to be more editorial opinions though.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:09 PM   #26
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Those examples seem to be more editorial opinions though.
I see, it's OK to quote the Washington Post and the Redskins' media guide, both probably written by white guys, but you don't want to listen to the writings of Native Americans and how they feel about the term.

As I already stated... I don't expect to change your mind or your feelings about your revered football team. But there is another side of the story that you apparently don't want to hear.

So, here's one that's not an opinion... or at least an opinion that you don't want to hear:

Quote:
RED INDIAN - "An offensive name for Native Americans, but a historical term applied by the British to North American Indians, apparently because of 'their copper-colored skin' and to distinguish them semantically from the Indians of India. From 'Red Indian' came the derogatory word redskin." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:26 PM   #27
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Just drop it man. We weren't trying to continue this debate, but you keep being the devil's advocate on this. There are two sides to this and you apparently don't want to hear our side just as much as we don't want to here your's.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:36 PM   #28
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Just drop it man. We weren't trying to continue this debate, but you keep being the devil's advocate on this. There are two sides to this and you apparently don't want to hear our side just as much as we don't want to here your's.
Sorry, I thought we were exchanging viewpoints. I read yours and gave another side of the story. You seem to be the one who is getting upset that someone disagrees with you. You asked for evidence for my arguement and I gave it to you.

I thought this thread was to have just this sort of discussion. Didn't mean to offend you.

Oh... by the way.... GO STEELERS!!!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 09:58 AM   #29
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Tundra, you can probaly dig up thousands of articles like that. I gave you the very first noted appearance of the word "redskin." I also gave you the belief that the skin was dyed by roots and makeup. The dictionary definition of the word was not deemed offensive until 1983. You used an article by Susan Shown Harjo, the lady that got this fight started. Maybe she needs to see what the word was supposed to mean. I still contend that the ONLY way I've ever heard that word used was to describe the football team. You know what Harjo didn't mention in that article? There was a term used to describe the Native American culture that was thought to be much more offensive than "redskin." It is blanket-a$$.

Quote:
Suzan Shown Harjo's (the Indian lady spearheading the case versus Pro Football, Inc.) father says there was a name worse than redskin. It was "blanket-***." That made them feel like a cartoon Indian.
Taken from the Washington Post Style Section, November 6, 1994
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:15 AM   #30
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That makes me feel better knowing that there is a worse name than redskin.. That's like saying that calling an Asian "chink" is worse than "slant-eye". And sure, one of the references is from a Native American who is opposed to the football team's name. And the other is from a 24 year old Native American expressing HIS feelings about the term. And if there are thousands of examples of Native Americans feeling this way, why is that not a valid point to consider?

You may be very correct in noting the origin of the word "redskin". I have no doubt that the original European explorers were simply noting the skin color or coloration. But don't you think that the original word's meaning or intent could have changed over the years? I think that's the point that is being missed here. The meaning or intent of saying "redskin" by an explorer in the 1600's could be quite different that the meaning or intent of a soldier or settler in the 1800's... or the meaning felt by a modern-day Native American.

I'm just trying to make the point that you very well may not take the word as offensive... but many Native Americans do... I don't understand why people can't accept the idea that another group might be offended by something that is totally benign to you. We may just have to agree to disagree.

Anyway... good luck to the Redskins tonight. I'll be at the game, however, for me it'll be:

GO STEELERS!!!!
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