Giving up on the Redskins

Native American communities have been battling for decades for the right to influence how their culture and history are used by others. They have enjoyed some success in recent years curbing the use of “Indian” imagery in sports. Now they are closing in on a big prize – a name change for the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

The campaign has prompted a heated backlash. Fox News and conservative talk radio have been particularly fierce in condemning the “political correctness” supposedly undermining our respect for free expression and the sanctity of cherished cultural symbols.

If we are ever going to tap into the massive potential of a truly inclusive American identity we will have to outgrow a culture in which the only broadly respected values are those which are either shared by the white community, or do not bother them. Getting there will require white Americans to come to terms with cultural preferences that favor them in ways so nearly universal that they hardly even notice them.

Because the Redskins brand, like the use of “Indian” imagery in so many major league baseball settings is not deliberately racist or demeaning, it may offer a chance to see the meaning of white privilege in some of its less pernicious and far more pervasive manifestations. There may be an opportunity in this controversy for everyone to better understand the power and implications of a white cultural monopoly that must necessarily come to an end.

To get a better sense what upsets Native Americans about the Redskins, picture an NFL franchise in a decidedly northern city, maybe Boston, called the Texans. So far so good. After all, having a sports team named after you can be a sign of respect and admiration, right?

Boston’s mascot is a cartoonish stereotypical Texan, Nigel, who for some inexplicable reason is a goatherd. He wears a hat just like an authentic Texan, except it’s a small white bowler instead of a Stetson. Like all good Texans he loves to sit around the campfire and enjoy songs. That’s why he always keeps his flute nearby, the instrument that appears with Nigel on the team’s helmet.

Every home-game halftime show includes a routine designed to get Nigel and his Texans energized for the second half. A fan selected from the audience is dressed up in the uniform of a Massachusetts Civil War infantry regiment and forcibly frees Nigel’s slaves, sending him into a rage.

A volunteer chorus of men dressed up as Pentecostal women called “The Holy Rollers” keeps the crowd entertained. When the team needs a fourth-quarter rally, they get the crowd on their feet until the whole stadium joins them speaking in tongues.

Needless to say, this would not be tolerated and any attempt to play a road game in Dallas would not likely end well. More to the point, this would never happen in the first place. No one would be amused by such an explicit abuse of a white culture.

There is nothing explicitly or intentionally insulting in this depiction of a Texan, yet you can be confident that neither Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, nor any of the other folks who have so courageously stepped up to defend the Redskins brand would be defending these fans’ free speech rights.

The really signal detail is that we do in fact have an NFL team called the Texans and no one is complaining. That team is based in Houston where the local community is able to influence how that brand is depicted. Similarly, we have major sports teams called the Fighting Irish, Vikings, Yankees, Rebels, Celtics, Cowboys, Sooners, Steelers, and 49ers. In each instance these identity-oriented teams have roots in the communities that lay claim to those identities. Switch the Yankees and the Rebels and you might get ugly caricatures that look a lot like the Washington Redskins.

We generally assume that mainstream white communities will own their distinct identities while minority communities, like Native Americans, have been on their own. Depictions of minority cultures, no matter how ignorant, exploitative, or just plain dumb are supposed to be tolerated to a very large degree.

Sports mascots are the tip of the iceberg. From Speedy Gonzales, to Tonto, to Long Duk Dong, through an endless parade of cartoonish, dark-skinned terrorist and criminal villains, and on to the use of the “n-word,” minority attempts to exercise some ownership of their culture and image are condemned as censorship while white communities expect and receive the deference that everyone’s culture deserves.

The message is unmistakable and it reads like this: America is a white country that is so big-heartedly inclusive that it mostly tolerates other cultures when it’s not inconvenient. Complaining about crude, boorish, or stupid depictions of minority communities is an infringement on a white majority’s rights to use your cultural symbols in whatever way suits us. Consider it a compliment that we even know you exist.

The argument over the Redskins brand, and the wider conflict over so-called ‘political correctness,’ is not about free expression. Central to this debate is a question of empathy that must be resolved if America is going to thrive as a diverse nation. To finally become what we have always promised to be, a free country in which everyone is born equal, we have to abandon the assumption that some are more equal than others.

Our failure to recognize the offensive and exploitative abuse of Native American culture is not an example of free speech, but an emblem of how reluctant we have been to extend basic human empathy and respect beyond the boundaries of the white community. Respect for racial diversity is not just about who sits where on the bus. It’s about the scope of cultural legitimacy.

Pluralism isn’t easy but it builds a powerfully cohesive, resilient and prosperous nation. Giving up a crudely insulting football mascot should not be considered a high price to pay for that reward, but nonetheless losing the Redskins will have broad implications that some will resent. Making pluralism work means giving up something some Americans cherish very deeply – the idea that America exists for one set of its cultures to which all of the others must defer. Our willingness to embrace a nation in which white cultural assumptions are merely some among many is the price of entry to a freer, more prosperous American future.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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Posted in Civil Rights, Race
247 comments on “Giving up on the Redskins
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  2. tuttabellamia says:

    This blog entry was posted Sunday the 14th, so we’ve been discussing this topic for almost a week. I wonder if any minds have been changed or thinking expanded during this time, if our discussions truly make a difference.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Is this a mind-altering blog?

    • johngalt says:

      Probably not, but there’s some value in having them all the same.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      I don’t know that my mind has been *changed* (though I hope to always remain open to such). But I have had some fun with light-level research, after Fifty’s dismissive comments about Native American civilization.

      I don’t have the resources to *really* find out, but it looks like the American continents may have had fewer easily accessible tin deposits than there were in Eurasia. Tin, of course, is the necessary component for making copper into bronze, a technological revolution which affected warfare in many ancient Near Eastern civilizations and probably helped pave the way toward iron and other metallurgy.

      Now, I’m no professional historian or chemist. It may well be that American tin deposits don’t show up because the Amerindians weren’t as “clever” as the Anatolians or others in “figuring them out”. Did they not mine tin because it wasn’t as available, it was harder to get at, because their culture didn’t need it that much, or because they were insufficient to the task? I’m not so amateur as to seize on one hypothesis without at least considering the others.

      Still, there seem to have been a lot of geological obstacles standing in the way of Old-World-style civilizations for the New World. Jared Diamond pointed out some of these in his book *Guns, Germs, and Steel*, and others look like interesting results of my research. The north-south orientation of the American continents, compared to the east-west extents of Eurasia, make it harder to transfer “packages” of crops and animals for long distances while remaining within a single climatic band, which makes both trade and military conquest more difficult. A lack of such viable targets for military conquest also tends to retard technological progress, since war is such a mother to necessity and invention. And if it was harder to come across tin in the Americas then, despite the bounty of copper available in regions like the Great Lakes, you simply weren’t going to get the boost to both warfare and civilization which bronze provided in the Old World. Couple that with the lack of domesticable animals in the Americas; you simply aren’t going to get a war-chariot aristocracy (or even the idea of a wheel) when your choices to pull those chariots come down to llamas and guinea pigs.

      The dominance of European-derived cultures in the modern world is due probably more to luck (geographical, metallurgical, and biological) than to inherent virtue or skill.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Owl, you might be interested in the book IDEAS: FROM FIRE TO FREUD by Peter Watson.

        It’s an intellectual/cultural history of the world.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Interesting, your observations about the consequences of the north-south layout of the Americas.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Nice reporting, Owl.

      • texan5142 says:

        Good book, Guns Germs and Steel.

      • Actually, Owl, Diamond does discuss your points regarding both crops and domesticated species. One point Diamond does not discuss (perhaps because it remains a subject of debate) is that it appears the Sumerians utilized Onagers as draft animals, a species we now regard as untamable. So it’s possible old world humans didn’t get the whole domestication thing right, either. Speaking of Llamas, they are routinely used in west Texas to guard sheep, primarily because they can be so remarkably ornery. But they got domesticated anyway, due to lack of choice.

        The Incas and their immediate predecessors did utilize bronze (and used tin to make it), but only in a very limited sense. They were at the earliest stage of bronze use when the Europeans arrived. My guess is that more than anything else, the inhabitants of the Americas simply got started later on the process of developing civilization. The old world had roughly a 3,000 head start on the new world. That’s what happens when you have to traipse across a narrow land bridge to settle an empty world while the folks back home are figuring out farming and all that goes with it. The Folsom hunter-gather culture was just figuring out how to slaughter bison in large numbers while the folks at Jericho were figuring out agriculture, pottery, brick making, etc.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        If working with metals is a signatory, of the 100 objects MFAH has collected, and features on its website, there are two pieces of gold from Peru and Panama. (#84, #95).

        Of the two pieces from Mexico, one is gold (#79) and one of clay (#13).

        As Tthor notes, Wikipedia says North American Indians used copper extensively. (Metallurgy in pre-Columbian America).

        It’s an interesting and complex topic. I like it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I nearly always learn things here, if not directly, then in the process of back-checking what others say. I appreciate the mental energy everyone earnestly puts forth here. Even you weird sumbitches that don’t agree with me.

        Best blog going, if you ask me.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Outside of fans of the Washington football team, I really did not know people who would make the argument “No, they should not change the name, and you are overly-sensitive wussies who want to”…now I know they do exist and function well enough to type words into a computer.

      So, my opinion was not changed, but I did learn something.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I find it interesting how name-changers can be characterized so differently. On the one-hand they can be “overly-sensitive wusses” or they can be overly-controlling government Communist types. Passive-aggressive?

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      My mind is the same on this issue.

      I don’t get why it feels so costly to some to simply address people the way they want to be addressed, without malice, without insult.

      It’s free.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        But can one person or a handful of people speak for an entire group? I don’t like being called Latina or Chicana. My personal preference is “Mexican-American.” The general term “Hispanic” is also okay with me. I’m also often called “Spanish,” which is incorrect, but oh, well.

        So much seems to be based on what’s trendy. We went from being Mexican to Chicano to Mexican-American to Hispanic to Latino.

        I’ve gotten to the stage in my life where I don’t care how I’m addressed as long as it’s respectful.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Sure, Tutt…but really, it just isn’t that difficult

        Aside from Stern…everyone recognizes that calling someone a “Redskin” might be frowned upon. Stern thinks it is equally offensive to call someone a “Cowboy”, so there is not much help for him in this issue.

        We aren’t confused about calling Black folks “Blackies” or “colored”.

        I’m going to go with it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to avoid using the term “anchor baby” when talking about American citizen with the same full rights and responsibilities as everyone else.

        No one is really tiptoeing around a minefield of whether or not they can say certain words. Black folks generally aren’t going to be too offended about whether you use the term “Black” or “African-American”, even if they prefer one term to the other.

        If people feel like they are having to tiptoe around “oh, can I say this or that”, they probably are a being a bit dramatic or they have been used to saying some things they probably shouldn’t be saying.

        It just isn’t that hard.

        Tutt, for you personally, it probably would be hard for me to discern a Mexican-American from someone from Belize or Guatemala, so I’m likely to go with Hispanic.

        However, rarely am I confronted with the situation where I’m in a conversation in which I’m saying, “So, as a Mexican-American, how do…” and if for some reason I really needed to know, I would just ask the person.

        It just isn’t that hard.

        You end with,
        “I’ve gotten to the stage in my life where I don’t care how I’m addressed as long as it’s respectful.”

        I think most people of all races are that way, but you are going to be hard pressed to find folks suggesting that “Redskin” is a respectful term.

  3. Crogged says:

    There are some things professional football can do with regards to player safety, but will it be enough? What if hockey eliminated fighting, how did we go from looking at what happened to Muhammed Ali to cage fighting and celebrating such violence? I still watch football, but this puts me more in the moment, time to consider. My father loved football, a UT alum who enjoyed going to games after the kids were out of the house. Then, it began to wane and now he doesn’t even watch any games at all. I’ve never asked him and explored why-but it did seem a natural thing.

  4. Crogged says:

    I’ve blathered too much and obscured the real point-captured perfectly in one sentence.

    “It believed that a common good could be achieved by acknowledging and respecting people’s differences rather than by obliterating them.”

  5. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    Let me grasp at seemingly unrelated things and try to bring them together. Interesting bit of numbers on 538 about the representatives of our elected representatives.

    In 1950: 98% of House Democrats and 97% of House Republicans were White males.
    In 2012: 47% of House Democrats and 90% of House Republicans were White males.

    It probably is important to note that about 31% of the US population is White male.

    Given the conditions in 1950, those numbers from the 50s are not all that surprising. I think the surprising thing is the remarkable lack of progress over the last 60 years.

    If election predictions hold, the House Republicans will become even more White and male than they are now.

    For this blog post, I think it is safe to say that those with a more liberal bent tend to be on the, “yeah, the team in Washington probably should change its name” side and the more conservative folks are a bit more concerned about too much political correctness and over-sensitivity.

    Undoubtedly, a few decades and pandering and gerrymandering (on both sides) have exacerbated the differences in demographic representation of our elected representatives, but I cannot help but think that an openness to “hey, maybe we shouldn’t go out of our way to offend members of a minority group” might help attract members of that minority group as well as members of other minority groups.

    • flypusher says:

      “…“hey, maybe we shouldn’t go out of our way to offend members of a minority group” might help attract members of that minority group as well as members of other minority groups.”

      That is basic common sense, but you’ve got one decent sized bloc of people who can’t see why/ vociferously deny the offense, and another bloc who would say ok, maybe it offends some people, but changing it would be the start of a slippery slope towards an authoritarian political correctness.

    • desperado says:

      Ay there’s the rub. If they don’t go out of their way to offend minorities they lose the white voters they have.

  6. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    As absolutely goofy that the team in Washington has not changed its name, I’m concerned about TThor and the Vikings.

    Their pillaging and plundering mascot has clearly caused an increase in violence by people who wear that logos.

    All joking aside.

    Do not beat your 4 your old with a switch leaving welts and bloody scabs five days later.
    Do not beat your 4 your old with a switch…period.
    Do not beat your 4 year old…period.

    I am sure many or most of us were raised with varying degrees of corporal punishment. Leaving aside the fact that there is no data to support corporal punishment as an effective child rearing technique (and I know many of you will disagree), what Peterson did was not discipline or punishment. It was abuse.

    I never could understand the desire to beat a child until I have children. I now really understand the desire to do it. You just don’t do it.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Well, my mom warned my dad about spanking me — “You lay a hand on her and I will KILL you.”

    • tuttabellamia says:

      HT, how about “corporate” punishment?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Tutt, my small, cozy, and decidedly not-corporate consulting firm merged, bought, and was bought through the years, and now we are part of a much, much larger corporate entity.

        I know now more than I ever wanted to know about corporate punishment.

    • flypusher says:

      “Do not beat your 4 your old with a switch leaving welts and bloody scabs five days later.
      Do not beat your 4 your old with a switch…period.
      Do not beat your 4 year old…period.”

      Just like you don’t coldcock your fiancé if she’s not any threat to do you physical harm.

      • texan5142 says:

        Could not spank my child , did it once when she ran out in the street , i felt every blow to my soul as I spanked her ( gentle spank, no marks, stopped at three quick ones ) sometimes it is warranted to get there attention in a dangerous situation, and that is not abuse.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        One of my favorite stories of all time on this blog is the one by HT about how when as a toddler he ran out into a major street his 8 year-old sister ran out to save him, while the adults just stood there dumbstruck and did nothing.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Or maybe she was 7.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I know numbers are important to HT. I would not want to overstate or understate his sister’s age at the time.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        I’m the big baby of the family. I’m seven years younger than my next youngest sibling, so that made me a toddler of 1+ years and she was 8 years old.

        And I’m pretty sure I got a spanking with a, “don’t-swat-you-swat-ever-swat-do-swat-that-swat-again” on my diaper clad butt.

        My parents were worn out by the time I came along. While I was spanked, they were too tired to do much. I did witness my older siblings get spanked to a level that would be greatly frowned upon today (and my siblings were and continued to be hellions with the spankings). It was poor-parts of small town Texas, and there was lots of “got get a switch” discussions between parents and children in my neighborhood.

        Looking back, and thinking of my own kids now, you realize that it was parents getting a some form of a weapon to cause pain to a child. There is nothing right about that.

      • John Galt says:

        And, as you admit, it didn’t do any good for your siblings. So it’s beating a child for what? Revenge? Frustration? Ignorance? Laziness?

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        JG…probably all those things, probably with frustration leading the way for most people.

      • Crogged says:

        This has been a fascinating enterprise. Charles Barkley, correctly, pointed out that many people in the South use this violence (call it what it is) as ‘discipline’. I was raised in the South, I know it too well.

        Many people who suffered from it connect to their past and then can’t forgive or refuse to understand the difficulty of disconnecting your own experiences. I do see a difference between this event and the event of spousal abuse, but wonder how raining condemnation and bile down on the man solves the problem. There are many many guilty out there, I’m one of them.

        Several years ago I was ranting against this barbarism when someone believing in ‘moderated’ corporal punishment began writing. All is peace and light, but then the child breaks that thing you told them to never touch, that thing you love. That thing, which without thinking about human behavior at all, told your child I am mysterious and powerful and don’t touch me? Sure, tempt them, set them up for failure, show them the apple. That child, which couldn’t understand your love for anything other than himself, deserves to be hit for disobeying you? Like many others I find it hard to forgive. If it were your last day on earth, what reason is good enough to hit your child? On my last day what will be more comforting, cherishing my pain or forgiving?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        A lot depends on the relationship between the parents, and who has the final say, etc.

        Cap’s mom has told me how she couldn’t bear to watch his dad give him a “whooping,” so she’d go outside.

        My mom was fiercely protective of me, and my dad was laid back and usually let her run the show at home, so spanking me was never really an option. I was a good kid, anyway. If they had an issue with me, it’s that I talked back.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And I think parents are less likely to hit their daughters as they are to hit their sons.

      • Crogged says:

        And in some aspects the passive acceptance of the event is the same as being an active aggressor. Maybe in the next thousand years we will realize the futility of inflicting pain on children for their good, there’s plenty of it out there waiting for them.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Cap says he deserved every “whopping” he got. I don’t know what to think, as I don’t have kids.

      • Crogged says:

        Why wasn’t his own disappointment punishment enough? Just feelings that pass in time, better to have a scar?

      • John Galt says:

        Disciplining children is challenging and the most effective means often depends on the child – what he or she response to most strongly. That said, study after study has demonstrated spanking is not generally effective. It teaches children to respond to anger with violence, by hitting someone. Tutt noted that it might be more likely to spank boys than girls. That’s probably true and so we teach boys to respond to anger by hitting. And we wonder why there is an epidemic of domestic violence?

        I’ve never hit my children and never will. That is not to say that I do not discipline them when needed and they are very well-behaved children (according to their teachers and their grandmother).

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, for the record, Cap may have been spanked as a kid but he is incredibly laid back and doesn’t have a violent bone in his body.

      • Crogged says:

        As a species we have been resilient enough to survive our worst enemies, which would be…….us. I didn’t spank, but found other ways to inflict disappointment and bad behavior revealing I’m not as good as I write myself. It’s like the old saying – no one says on their death bed, “I wish I had worked more hours”. I’ll have to tell myself all about those times I let them play in their room while I golfed, watched television or read, wished I had done more of that? I have today, better send my daughter a text. I miss the small memories and didn’t do enough to make more of them and not doing wrong didn’t mean I did enough right.

        Man, I need a shrink…….

      • John Galt says:

        Not everyone grows up to be their parents, or to do things just like they did. Plenty of people who were spanked as kids have made the decision not to use that form of discipline on their kids.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And Cap’s parents are wonderful, loving people, by the way.

      • interesting thread. Corporal punishment has it’s place, IMHO, with caveats. The important thing to bear in mind is that all forms of punishment are intended to be an unpleasant consequence to an undesired behavior. In order for punishment to be effective, the individual being punished needs to be old enough to connect the punishment with the undesired behavior. Establishing this connection is difficult with young children. With young kids (and dogs, for that matter), punishment must occur *immediately* following the undesired behavior; otherwise the connection is not made. In addition, the punishment must be associated with the undesired behavior, not with *you*. This is hard for parents and (dog trainers), and makes corporal punishment for young children problematic. I think the only legitimate use of corporal punishment for young kids is the instantaneous swat on the bottom as part of averting other immediate grievous physical harm (i.e., the kid about to touch a hot stove).

        Different people respond in different ways to different types of punishment. Physically tough kids may not respond to physical punishment, but may be susceptible to other behavioral ‘levers’. It depends very much on the individual as to whether corporal punishment is going to be effective.

        With corporal punishment the key factor is never to administer it in anger. Ever. If it is going to be done effectively, it needs to be formalized. I.e., don’t spank your kid when you’re still mad, or your kid is upset by your anger. Wait until all parties are cooled off.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I don’t believe in corporal punishments for animals.

      • Well, tutta, I much prefer rewarding desired behaviors over punishing undesired behaviors, but that’s not always an option. People tend to think animals are dumb because they don’t speak. Actually, animals are remarkably intelligent. You and I don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to interpret the details of our pets’ non-verbal communication; they spend their entire lives decoding both our verbal and non-verbal communication.

        I employ electronic training collars in training my gun dogs. The nice thing about the collars is that I can hide the transmitter in my pocket. Should a dog require correction I can administer it without the dog ever connecting the correction with me. The dog only knows that its action resulted in an unpleasant stimulus. (Of course this depends on me betraying no negative emotion whatsoever – like I said, difficult.) Still, dogs can get very collar-savvy. To wit:

        Each year I take my dogs to “snake proofing” clinic. The dog is fitted with a collar and turned into an area containing a live rattlesnake. When the curious dog approaches the snake it gets zapped. It’s basic snake aversion therapy. My dogs have all been to the de-snaking clinic multiple times, so they understand the show all too well.

        Several years ago prior to bird season I had my dog with me while helping a buddy build a new deer blind. While we were working my buddy very nearly stepped on a big rattlesnake. It was early and cool, so the snake was largely torpid and was unable to effectively strike – lucky for my friend. I mostly leave rattlers alone when I encounter them in the field, but as this one was literally underfoot in an area where we were working, I shot its head off.

        To my surprise my dog was utterly nonchalant about the dead snake. I concluded she needed a quick refresher lesson. I grabbed the training collar out of my truck and put it on her. The instant that training collar went on she wouldn’t get within 30 feet of the dead snake.

        Kinda funny, really. In my dog’s mind: snake by itself = no problem; snake + training collar = big problem. Oh well. Like I said, way smarter than we give them credit for. And in this case, too smart for her own good. She *always* wears the collar in the field now.

  7. CaptSternn says:

    What a pathetic lot we have here. Saying somebody has red skin is offensive, but calling a person white or black is not? People refer to “whites” as something reserved for saltines is not offensive? Calling grown men “boys” is not offensive, demeaning or derogatory?

    As Fifty pointed out, we can’t even say “man” or “woman” because that is offensive. We have to say “person”. But some persons are not viewed as even being human. Denied their very humanity and basic human rights because some “persons” have the “right” to own other persons as property, to kill them for convinience.

    Sad and pathetic, and the left calls this “logic”. Political correctness of insanity.

    I don’t question posting my comments on this blog any more, I know why I have cut back and probably shouldn’t post at all. I do question why I should post comments anywhere. Ignorance abounds. But what happens when common sense and reality vanishes, when we get so worn down that we give up? What happens when the left wins and those of us that value freedom loses?

    Well, I guess I could give a whole lot of examples, but that think they are the ones that can make it work.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Cap – We seem to agree on some things, and on others we don’t. That’s what dialog is about. Hells bells, you even called me a leftist – but I’ve forgiven you.

      I’m a decade or so older than you, and one thing of value I’ve learned (mostly) in that time is the fact that everyone that fails to see eye-to-eye with me on every issue is not necessarily an idiot.

    • flypusher says:

      Post here or don’t post here, but if you’re going to keep getting butthurt over logical fallacies getting called out as logical fallacies, the 2nd option will spare you a lot of grief.

      • fiftyohm says:

        It was a remarkable irony just now, when in a search for a term the definition of which I was ignorant, (butthurt), I found on the very first page of Google, both that hideous face that Cap posted yesterday, and the very definition of this entire post of Chris’.,”Why are Indians so butthurt about a team name?” I was/am amazed and mystified.

        It’s a great word, though. I shall hereafter use it with the reverence it apparently deserves!

    • Anse says:

      So you’d be cool with a team called the Blackskins? By the way, I don’t know many Native Americans, but I’ve never actually seen one that was red. Just sayin’.

      • rightonrush says:

        My Gran was full blood and she certainly wasn’t “red”. Coal black hair, black eyes, and dark complexion. The only red I saw from Gran was her temper when I didn’t do my chores or got less than a B on my report card.

      • objv says:

        True, Anse and ROR. We could also say whites aren’t really white, blacks aren’t black, and Oriental people aren’t yellow. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Good point, OV. I wish I’d thought of that.

        You bring to mind another point — the use of the word “Oriental,” which has fallen our of favor and been replaced with “Asian.” I personally have a problem with calling people from the Far East “Asian,” because “Asia” is a huge continent including more people than just those from the Far East. I like to use the term “East Asian.”

      • objv says:

        Sigh, Tutt, that’s another word I’ll have to add to my not-PC database. I haven’t heard “Oriental” used in quite some time, so now I know why. I’ll have to use East Asian from now on. Thanks for the correction :).

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Captain, I have limited my comments simply because when Chris posts a new opinion, I already know what his echo followers will say. I know you know this also. They are the definition of groups speak. When that happens, it is futile to try to dialogue with people like that. In fact, after the last few opinions my point was proven without help from any conservatives. But on the good side I actually feel better letting them have their way, but I also noticed Chris’ comments have dropped by about 300%. So, to the liberals, careful what you wish for.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Indeed. This place reminds me of the attempted Coffee Party, then the No Labels Party, which finally became the Occupy Wall Street movement. We all know how that turtned out.

      • desperado says:

        Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. The quantity may have dropped by 300% but the quality increased by 3000% in the very refreshing absence of both of you. Don’t go away mad just go away.

      • rightonrush says:

        Oh for God sakes Buzz, what ignorance. People have tried to be nice to you and your buddy but all we get is a slap upside the head. You are much better off with people that march lockstep to the extreme right tea party. Most that participate on this blog are freethinkers and independents.

      • Crogged says:

        This is your GroupSpeaker Moderator and you have exceeded your limit of self serving congratulatory I’m not like that speech content for the day. Please feel free to add futile dialogue, in fact, you have the best futile dialogue of all the non echoed writers here.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        Notice I didn’t say anything about ‘nice’ or such. If you objectively looked at your comments, there is hardly a difference between y’all.

      • Crogged says:

        It is abundantly clear why you think there are no differences in comments except with regards to your singular achievements..

    • John Galt says:

      Sternn, your ability to conflate issues continues to amaze me. “Cowboy” is not now, nor has it ever been, a derogatory term. Calling them the “‘Boys” as an abbreviation is not now, nor has it ever been derogatory. Calling a black man “boy,” as in, “Boy, fetch me a drink,” is insulting.

      You know damn well, despite your foolish protests, that “redskin” has been used as a racial slur. It is not simply a description. If you doubt this, head to a tribal nation, use that word and see what happens when you claim it’s OK because you’re 1/32nd native or something. The dreaded N-word was originally just a lazy bastardization of “Negro”, the Spanish word for black. Its usage as a term of derision earned it the rare spot as one of the few words that you’ll never hear uttered in polite company (nor, hopefully, in most impolite company either). You are not seriously going to suggest that its use is OK, since its etymology is just a description of skin color?

      Ironically, there were sports teams named the Atlanta Crackers, both in minor league baseball and Negro League baseball. It is important to note the NEITHER TEAM EXISTS anymore, nor have they for 50 years.

    • Crogged says:

      I’ve always been in the majority and never had the chance to feel like an outsider. Because of that, I’m not part of a group- I am the all and can’t be placed into convenient category. I’m not Irish American, I’m not racially identified as not white. So my situation is all, only the others have their places and I have none. I am inclusive, what is your problem?

      The hardest things to see are in front of your nose. I think it accurate to state changing the name of a football team is probably one of the least of concerns of most native Americans, care to discuss why?

    • Crogged says:

      I do believe a vast majority of people concerned with ‘political correctness’ as a problem belong to the racial category of ‘white’. I did not say people concerned with ‘political correctness’ are racist. And if the name of a football team is small potatoes, how about the issue of a supposedly rampant political correctness hurting the we talk, our colleges and way of life in general.

  8. Bobo Amerigo says:

    A few years ago, when I was trying to comment on the rant of Mr. Resistance, I wanted to say that perhaps Indians/native Americans were stone-age sorts.

    But according to Judge William Kellough, when he wrote a history of federal courts in Oklahoma, he had to start with Indian law.

    “Additionally, in 1992, after nearly a year of research, Judge Kellough’s article on the History of the Federal Courts in Oklahoma was published by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

    Having a philosophy of law doesn’t sound so stone-aged to me.

    (Chris, I was trying to post a link with plus signs where spaces or underscores normally are. I think the blog just didn’t like it.)

    • fiftyohm says:

      Bobo- I’ve tried to find the article by Kellough. Where did you find it? Can you please give us a link. Thanks!

    • Bobo Amerigo says:


      I found Bill’s chapter on a 10th circuit court historical society website:

      Click to access 8Chapter6.pdf

      (This is not the link that was giving me so much trouble.)

      p 174

      “…these Five Civilized Tribes brought established and sophisticated customs and laws into the land of the buffalo hunters. They also brought their tribal courts which must be credited as Oklahoma’s first judiciary.”

      Truth is, I never had occasion to read any history of Oklahoma’s court system. But I was standing in Bill and Cathy’s living room in Tulsa not too long after he’d finished the chapter and we were talking about it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Thank you, Bobo. I read the article. It seems the judge held the tribes in high regard, and the judiciary contributed significantly to the Oklahoma’s early judicial system, as you said. I did not get from the piece that extant laws, structure, and/or procedures at the time of the “Whiteskins” coming contributed all that much to early jurisprudence. The Indians later contributed smart, fair-minded jurists, which should come as no big surprise.

  9. objv says:

    Anyone remember this?

    “The Cigar Store Indian” was one of my favorite episodes. I had the great privilege of meeting Kimberly Norris-Guerrero who played Winona when I lived in Southern California. Actually, I saw her weekly for a few months since we attended meetings at the same organization.

    Kimberly was even more beautiful in real life and reminded me of Disney’s Pocahontas. That was easily explained when she said that Disney had used her as one of the models when doing the animation for the movie. Many of the mannerisms and movements were hers.

    I have no idea what Kimberly would think of the sport team name controversy, but I know her heart was with helping young Native American girls. Since alcoholism is a huge problem, many of the girls were growing up in terrible home environments, and Kimberly felt it her ministry to give hope and mentor the girls. She frequently made trips to reservations across the country to speak of her own life story so that the girls would realize that they too had potential to live a good and successful life.

    Interesting as it is to argue about team names and logos, problems in Native American communities run far deeper than what the Redskins are named in Washington. I live in an area where about a third of the population is Native American. What am I currently doing? Nothing. That’s convicting.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Brilliant, objv. Bravo. Remember the “Stinky Car” episode where Jerry has his car valet parked by a (ahem) visible minority guy with really, really bad B.O.? The entire episode was about trying to get the smell out of the car. He ended up trying to get it stolen!

      Why do I bring this up, you may ask? Well, last week in San Diego there was a news item regarding cab drivers. It seems that there has been a long-standing ordinance regarding personal hygiene for cabbies. Apparently, the city is trying to enforce it as a result of complaints from the public regarding stinky cabbies. This has raised quite a hew and cry from the cab drivers and their representatives, with charges of racism. I’m being serious.

      • Crogged says:

        Did anyone have BO one hundred years ago? Seriously, what determined ‘stinky’ prior to plumbing and Proctor and Gamble commercials? Because you have been in this life in this place, what you perceive as ‘normal’ is anything but normal.

      • objv says:

        fifty, That would explain why I’ve never had a French cab driver.

        … Not that there’s anything wrong with that (being French, I mean).

        The cleanest smelling people have to be the Venezuelans. I never noticed any body odor the whole time I lived there. Given the hot tropical climate and general lack of air-conditioning, this was surprising. I was told that most Venezuelans took at least two showers every day. Besides keeping malodorous fumes at bay, showering was a good way to stay cool. I’m sure many Venezuelans were fit to be tied when Chavez tried to institute a policy on five minute showers.

      • Crogged says:

        If someone from Ethopia doesn’t think they smell, are they ‘wrong’? For once, consider yourself as an insider in another group, as part of a culture you find foreign. Can you imagine why someone coming from a place where the average daytime temp is 85 degrees, and is used to living on a couple of bucks a day, may find concerns about odors from underarms as relatively insignificant? If there is no visceral physical reaction-your behavior is learned and not from ‘you’ or ‘normal’.

      • objv says:

        Crogged, Venezuelans managed to stay clean and fresh smelling even though temps rose into the 90s year round. I think it’s more of a cultural thing. My husband once worked off shore on 12 day rotations. I remember him complaining about the Brits and Scotsmen. They got mighty stinky towards the end of their rotations despite having access to showers.

      • Crogged says:

        When do you think “Venezuelans” began this practice? The Inca’s and the Aztecs bathed twice a day?

        Free enterprise has taught us we stink, in addition to other wonderful unintended consequences of trying to find ways to always sell more products. European men often shower and don’t use deodorant (and since there are no ladies to impress or voice complaints-who cares).

        It does become a strong smell, but take a big whiff of sour milk or rotting flesh and try to control your gag reflex. There is a difference, we’ve taught ourselves a new ‘bad’ odor.

      • fiftyohm says:

        100 years ago, most people didn’t use toilet paper, either. That is *not* OK anymore, unless you happen to be in some hot, smelly hell-hole of a place where everyone does the same thing.

        We use toilet paper, and we bathe. You come here, get with the goddam bathing program.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Really crogged, what you are suggesting here is that we must accept the lowest standard of personal hygiene practiced by any country on the planet as *normal* here. That’s the logical extension of your premise, and it’s simply ridiculous.

      • Crogged says:

        Well Fitty, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. People did whatever they could before toilet paper-some methods were probably more effective than others and I don’t think the issues is failure of cab drivers to clean themselves after defecating. But they are ‘different’ and don’t use perfume, I mean, deodorant.

        This isn’t about ‘them’, it’s about you. One can can define ‘racism’ as an absence of understanding (what is sin but the absence of good?) Those in San Diego who worry about BO may appear racist to people who find better uses for money than deodorant.

      • Crogged says:

        I’m sorry but I bet there are far more blue nosed, fart sniffing reactionaries in the group of ‘San Diego Citizens Against BO’ than there are Ethiopians not wiping their ass.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Damn crogged – are you one of those smelly bastards? 😉

        What’s the big deal about toilet paper, anyway? It’s just a little poop. And bathing? Desert-dwellers, Eskimos, hippies (and some Brits), never bathe! Let’s lobby for them to be waiters at Tony’s. It’s *racist* in their minds if we don’t. And let’s serve warthog rectum too, for good measure, because it’s a delicacy in some parts of Africa.

        And you mention “sin”. Well, that’s a relative thing too, now isn’t it? How in the hell can we, or should we, judge the actions and practices of other cultures of which we are not members? To do so is simply racist. Or ethnocentric, or some stupid, sociological term I no longer remember. (Yeah, I wasted time taking that course.)

        I don’t give a rat’s ass about over-perfumed, blue-haired biddies in La Jolla. I don’t want my cab, that I pay for, to reek like the Redskin’s locker room at the end of summer training camp. And I don’t give a rat’s ass whether or not somebody gets butthurt because they think that’s a racist sentiment. Hey – there are stupid people in the world, and they have a perfect right to their opinion.

      • objv says:

        Crogged and fifty, I think we need to “clear the air.”

      • fiftyohm says:

        Oh yeah! I forgot spitting and belching! Those are perfectly acceptable things to so in restaurants in some places I’ve been. Don’t be racist! Let out a good, loud belch and hock a big loogie at your favorite eatery to show your appreciation of the food!

        Gotta go right now for a quick road trip with Mrs. Ohm. I think I might even let one in the Jeep!

      • objv says:

        Well, fifty, as Shrek would say, “Better out than in.” I hope you have a fun trip with the Mrs. and remember to keep the windows down. 🙂

      • Crogged says:

        Usually you argue better than this. And it’s all about the point of this particular blog posting, because of who you are, where you were born and what you’ve observed there is now a pov called ‘normal’. You can’t see it because you are in it. We are the pinnacle of all that is good, we waste water better than any other civilization out there-what would someone from the desert know about the value of water?

        Because of your career and inherited intelligence, technology proves how advanced a civilization becomes. So below, you deride what I’ll call in shorthand as “Indian culture” as in “all those f___s did was eat buffaloes and sleep in tents for thousands of years.”

        As with me you probably watched movies about Indians as a child and avoided those long stupid Kevin Costner movies about them. So your only touch point with the word ‘redskin’ was like mine-football, it’s just a team name. You don’t watch football, but you also didn’t live in 1880, so you have no idea if the word ‘redskin’ is offensive or not, but hey presto–it isn’t.

        And I don’t think popular culture shapes opinion as much as it reflects it, but……….

        Now cab drivers stink–BO and cigarettes! You are entitled, you deserve a no odor existence and those who violate it, they are suspect and not as civilized as you. Like you, I don’t fart on Ms Crogged, we agreed such behavior reflected a lack of respect. We talked about it and I could have left. Is there a sign on America–we support Proctor and Gamble, NO ODORS!

        Man, what do those smelly f___s and Indians want? Respect? Don’t they know respect is earned and not given?

        I have a sneaking suspicion that the Seinfeld episode is more about them than it is about the bad odor. Something tells me he and the writer stumbled on their point and actually intended to say someone could have such bad BO that it would never leave, wouldn’t that be funny. Look at the extremes one can go to in order to avoid such a plague.

      • fiftyohm says:

        objv- Mrs. Ohm didn’t notice!

        crogged- Have to tell you I lost ya right after the nice compliment regarding my debate skills. (Actually, I thought this one was going rather well!) But let me sum up-

        Some things are acceptable from within a culture, but not necessarily cross-culturally acceptable. Like being a smelly SOB. Or spitting and belching in restaurants.

        Other things like slavery, misogyny, cruelty, and chopping people’s frickin’ heads off are not acceptable. Period. I don’t care if they are accepted practice within a culture or not. Barbarity is a cross-cultural concept. It is an absolute. So is civilization. So is human flourishing, health, education, and technology. (I’m obviously not speaking here is misuse of any of these.) “Backward” and “advanced” are not strictly relative terms, but terms that gain absolute calibration, are normalized, when we look at human civilization as a whole.

        Please reread that paragraph above. It summarizes accurately all that I’ve been trying to say

  10. flypusher says:

    Regarding the Houston soccer team, and the controversy over the original name, the owners certainly had every right to dig in their heels and cling to “1836”, just as Synder can choose to cling to his team’s name. But the fan base has the right to vote with their $. You could say those Hispanics ought to just get over it, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the price of keeping “1836” if you’re running that team. If you are in the entertainment business, one of the keys to success is not offending your customer base, and whether or not you think they have the right to be offended does not matter. There are lots of battles to be fought out there, and choosing poorly has social and financial consequences, because humans.

  11. Anse says:

    It’s been a rough time for the NFL, no? Spousal abuse, child abuse, the concussion problem, stupid racist mascots. And yet we still watch it. I do, too.

    Another, completely unrelated note: the media were curious to know how Michael Sam was getting along in the group showers with his teammates. This brings up an important question. Why do they shower together? It costs a billion dollars to build an NFL stadium these days. They incorporate the best technology. They spare no expense on luxuries. Jerry Jones even filled his stadium with high-class art, from what I’ve heard. And yet they can’t afford separate showers for each individual player? As one person noted in another forum, for the kind of money they’re spending, you’d think each player would get his own underground condo.

    Do they like taking group showers or what?

    • Turtles Run says:

      I quit watching the NFL years ago. The only reason I even paid attension to it was for fantasy football and I stopped doing that 2 years ago.

      College football is my favorite sport. But I like to keep it Trill.

      • Anse says:

        I like college ball, but I get tired of the lopsided match-ups. Too many 70-7 scores, too many little schools trying to play with the big boys. You have to wait three or four weeks and then the conference games start, and then it gets good.

        The main reason I watch football is because it gives me an excuse to drink beer at noon on Sundays.

      • rightonrush says:

        I’m at the point where I don’t care for any professional sport. There’s way to much money involved and not enough just pure love of playing sports.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Excuse??? Isn’t it being Sunday at non excuse enough?

        Not that I would know.

        I love those big school little school match ups. Every once in a while you get Appalachian State vs Michigan. Even this weekend you had USC lose to Boston College. These little schools play with a true love for the game.

      • Anse says:

        Oh “true love of the game” yada yada. People are willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for game tickets and merchandise and $9 beers, networks will pay billions for the privilege of showing games; if there’s that much money to be made in sports, the bulk of it ought to go to the players. If those guys are only playing for the money, you’d have to wonder why Michael Jordan decided to try baseball after making a gazillion dollars playing basketball.

        Besides that, there is a ton of money in the college game. Sometimes I think it’s more crooked than the pros. At least the pros are honest about the lucre.

  12. John Galt says:

    At some point, Dan Snyder is going to realize what this controversy is costing him. With the copyrights and trademarks for the Redskins revoked, a bunch of now legal unauthorized merchandise must be taking money out of his pocket. About two years from now, Snyder will announce to great fanfare and with some Native Americans at his side that the name is being changed and he’ll make fans a great deal on new officially licensed jerseys and T-shirts.

  13. flypusher says:

    More fodder for this discussion:

    I agree with the opinion that wearing the war bonnet in that context would be like wearing a high military decoration that you did not earn.

  14. Anse says:

    White conservatives remind me of an old joke my hometown pastor once told in a sermon. Joe goes to heaven eagerly anticipating his Eternal Reward. St. Peter takes him on a tour of the place. They enter a massive palace, a long marble hall with grand rooms on either side. Joe peeks into the window of the door and sees a large crowd clapping and praising and worshiping. “Those are the Lutherans,” St. Peter says. They go a little further down, and there’s another door, and inside another huge crowd, praising and singing hallalujahs. “Those are the Methodists,” St. Peter says. They continue down the hall, passing great rooms filled with Presbyterians, Anglicans, Catholics. Finally they get to a long stretch of the hall. It goes on and on, and everything is very quiet. They finally reach a lone door near the very end. Joe looks in and sees a large crowd sitting in their pews, singing hymns praising Jesus. “So who are these guys, and why are they apart from everybody else?” Joe asks. “Shhhh!!” St. Peter replies. “You need to whisper. These are the Baptists. They think they’re the only ones here.”

    It’s a big country with lots of different people in it. Changing the stupid name of a professional sports team is a small compromise to make for peace and progress.

    • flypusher says:

      “It’s a big country with lots of different people in it. Changing the stupid name of a professional sports team is a small compromise to make for peace and progress.”

      Oh no, it’s an evil slippery slope that leads to communism!!

    • fiftyohm says:

      “Changing the stupid name of a professional sports team is a small compromise to make for peace and progress.”

      Why yes. I’m certain said name change will do much to further “peace and progress”. The mind reels to consider all the other things we might do in such a quest.

      • Anse says:

        What I really hate about that sentiment is that it seems to imply that there is *nothing* that can be done to make this very diverse country a more harmonious place. It seems the only option is for folks to just shut up and let the white people have their way.

        It’s like when Obama was elected, and we liberals were accused of being racists because we voted for the black guy. For a conservative, the only way to not be racist is to vote for the white guy, apparently.

        It’s a dumb, small, probably irrelevant thing in the larger scope of what is going on this country. Which is why it should be no problem changing it.

      • fiftyohm says:

        What did I say that you “really hate”? Seriously – did I use italics or something? What sentiment did I express that was different than precisely what you wrote? Huh? Did it sound different because I’m a gnome? Don’t like my accent?

        I’m sorry, but if it’s such a “dumb, small, probably irrelevant thing in the larger scope of what is going on this country’, I’d suggest that “you liberals” focus a bit more on substance, and a bit less on feel-good nonsense.

        In my view, one of the major failings of the left is their tendency to tout form over substance, and it is insulting to those in the middle how see actual problems. This is a *perfect* example.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Anse – I did really like your joke, though! Do I have your permission to use it?

      • Anse says:

        Well, if it were such a small unimportant thing, why would you defend it so vociferously? And why would you defend it, anyway? “Redskins”. It’s stupid, and racist in a way that would be unacceptable if it were a different ethnic group. It matters not that it’s an old mascot and we’re just now recognizing it as offensive. Just change the stupid name.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I’m not ‘defending’ anything. I don’t give a hoot about professional sports, don’t watch them, and they get none of my money. (A whole ‘nuther discussion.)

        What I dislike, and have taken a position on, is that anything and everything that may or may not offend anyone has to be changed for the sake of political correctness, that words like Indian or postman are all-of-a-sudden ‘impolite’, racist, or sexist. And where have I been “vociferous” in my “defense” of the name Redskins? You need to follow along more closely.

        And another thing: You didn’t answer my question about your joke.

      • Crogged says:

        Fitty, you have a reasonable response regarding other words and ideas, but Redskins? The author’s emphasis was on ‘small’, not ‘peace and progress’, and unwillingness to even concede the term doesn’t arise out of affection for Indians or to claim ‘cowboy’ is a derogation proves the author’s point. I don’t understand, it’s a stupid racist name and the only people upset about changing it seem to be white people besieged by political correctness, which feelings from my observation seem to come mostly from other white people talking about political correctness and emails. It’s kind of like attending ‘sexual harassment’ seminars and the like at work. I used to get annoyed about attendance, this AGAIN, then realized how many men were unaffected by them. Really, where is the problem?

        I was raised in a fundamentalist religion and for a time believed Baptists to be heretical liberals who didn’t read their Bible.


      • Juarez says:

        “…shut up and let the white people have their way.”

        I would argue that there are many, many people of color who are opposed to the Redskins changing their name. But no, it’s only what the white people want.

        “It’s like when Obama was elected, and we liberals were accused of being racists because we voted for the black guy.”

        Huh? This makes no sense. I remember it being said that 97% of black voters voting for Obama seemed to indicate voting patterns based on skin color. I would have to agree with that. Whether or not you call that racist is rhetorical.

        “For a conservative, the only way to not be racist is to vote for the white guy, apparently.”

        Yeah, yeah, conservatives are white racists. Man, this is getting old.

      • fiftyohm says:

        crogged – Let’s just say I wouldn’t name any team over which I had control the “Redskins”. However, I wouldn’t name them the “Assholes”, either. Sports teams are generally named after things the general public holds in high regard, like birds of prey, noble animals, historical figures, and the like. (Those that seem to hold their rectums so dearly are making themselves scarce lately.)

        No one names a sports team an intentional derogation. No one. Is Redskin a derogation? Gotta tell ya, I’ve only heard the term in reference to football. So why now, all of a sudden, does this come up? Well, of course it’s because we’re all so enlightened now. So sensitive. So ‘in tune’ with the potential feelings of others. That, old buddy, is my point.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Juarez – I don’t think you understand. You see, it is not possible for anyone but white people to be racist. Racism comes from being in a power position. Oppressed minorities therefore, and by definition, cannot be racist. It’s a cultural argument. Cultures can only be judged from within. It is not possible to even label anything within a culture in common terms unless you are part of that cultural experience; especially when the labeling is judgmental, like “racism”. Cultures and the zeitgeist associated with each are not to be held to arbitrary, external standards. All such standards are ‘relative’ to that culture itself, and no other.

        And you know I’m not making this up. I’m just not that creative. 😉

      • Crogged says:

        Juarez, Fitty
        I’ve read each of your responses many times now and I don’t understand. Of course there are probably ‘people of color’ who don’t think the name of the team should be changed, so freakin’ what-the French don’t care too.

        Really, where did this issue of ‘political correctness’ spring up, did it come from the ‘burbs from the guys who made lyrics on the fly while two other dudes played fife and drums?

        It’s true, you can’t call anyone or a fag or spic or any other generalized term meant to be inclusive of large groups of people anymore, what a horrible loss for society and impediment to logical thinking.

  15. Tuttabella says:

    I wonder if formalized and widely publicized stereotypes such as those used in team logos could go from being free speech to being considered a form of slander or libel against a group. After all, ethnicities are people, too.

  16. CaptSternn says:

    Did Lifer or somebody else bring up the name of a team, the “cowboys”? Boy? You called grown men “boys”? Do you call black men “boys”? The idea of “cowboy” is offensive. Cowhands, ranch hands, cowpokes.

    Men, not to be called “boys”. How dare you use such a derogatory term, calling grown men “boys”.

    Dallas should be forced to change the name of their football team. Oh, wait, was that football or soccer? Is soccer football? What is “football”?

    Texans? Why, that might be offensive to some people. Why, a Houston soccer team might be made to change the name from “Houston 1836” to “Dynamo”.

    Maybe the term “Lifer” is offensive, since Lifer sees it as the same as a prison term.

    Did I mention that part of my adoptive heritage is German? How were Germans treated during WWII? Can’t claim Japanese heritage. Oh well.

    Now, can anyboy find something to be offended over? Can I be offended that so many people want to find something to be offended about? Yes, sure, and Turtles wants to degrade homosexuals. What is up with that?

    Sometimes what we in IT call the identification of ten dash T.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Sure…those things are exactly like using a racial slur as your football team’s name.

      • CaptSternn says:

        Sure, HT. Nobody has ever referred to a grown black man as “boy”. That wouldn’t be racist or demeaning in any way if they did, right? Is that how people address you, as “boy”? “Hey boy, where is my report?”

        And now you find the name of my football team to be a racial slur, the Texans. Guess that is consistent on your part as you found our soccer team’s name offensive and racist.

      • flypusher says:

        To point out the obvious,

        1) “Boy” and “Cowboy” are not the same words

        2) “Boy” has plenty of usage that does not have any racism, as in referring to an immature male human

        3) “cowboy” has zero racist context

        4) The cowboy profession has been quite glamorized, therefore it has a lot of positive connotations

        5) There were real cowboys of multiple races, not just white

        6) As Chris pointed out, the cowboy is part of the culture of Texas, so the people of Dallas have a kind of cultural copyright

        This is one of your worst arguments, and you’re had some really bad ones too.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Stern…for not the first…and undoubtedly not the last time, I read a comment from you and go, “huh?”

        Not sure what you are talking about regarding the soccer team, and of course, the names “Cowboys” and “Texans” are exactly like naming a team “Redskins”.

        But hey, continue to win hearts and minds with your willingness to recognize others’ perspectives as valid.

      • fiftyohm says:

        HT – For the sake of consistency, you should really be advocating ” cowperson”.


      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        50-you are spot on correct, and I appreciate your recognition of this vital issue.

        I am going to have my mail person deliver you a letter from the chairperson of my advocacy group, and I’m hoping you can dedicate at least a few person hours working on this cause.

      • fiftyohm says:

        You’re a funny guy, my friend!

    • flypusher says:

      Why am I not surprised that you can’t see the difference between the name for a profession that has been quite glamorized and many a small boy dreamed of being, and a racial slur?

    • johnofgaunt75 says:

      Cowboy is not a racial slur. This is just silly.

      The team name for Washington is a racial slur akin to calling an American American the “n” word. I am glad that the Washington Post (and several other new organizations), have refused to use the name anymore.

      Both are relects of a different time in America and need to be thrown in the dustbin of history. None of this will undo the terrible treatment and in some cases genocide that Native Americans experienced in this country. But it is a small jesture to show that we are starting to examine and reflect on the injustices of the past.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        John75, no ones argument holds up. IN only became a racial slur when some decided just a couple of years ago to make it one. There was is and never will be any intent of racism in the name. You know it, I know it and a majority of the fans know it.

        “Mama didn’t have a chance to comb my hair.” A talking head lost his job over that statement. I really think liberals are against free speech but for ‘what I think is okay speech’.

        Even if a word is offensive, everyone should and does have the right to say it if they choose. Or am I wrong?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – You free to use any word you chose but do not expect to be free from criticism. Just as you and Dan Snyder need to recognize that we have to right to call you out as supporters of a racist name.

        Speaking of freedom to speak offensive names but I do not remember you defending freedom of speech when it came to comments you did not care for concerning Christians or tea-baggers.

        As usual your sense of entitlement drives your hypocrisy.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Buzzy – Redskin has been used as a pejorative since at least the 1800’s not a couple of years as you claimed. Just because it is acceptable in your circle of friends and family does not make it so.

        Little news for you the N-word is a racial slur as well. Just in case you did not know, not that it would stop you, freedom of speech and all.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        As noted by turtles, it has been a racial slur for some time. This didn’t just come up a couple of years ago.

        But regardless, times change. The “n” word was used fairly often just a few decades ago in public. African Americans and other decent people finally started saying “No. That is not acceptable.” and things changed. The same will happen with this term eventually.

        It is not a question of if they will change their name. It is a question of when.

      • kabuzz61 says:

        John, the big blow up over the football team is a very recent alleged offense. Of course times change but you and liberals don’t accept the conservatives in Texas changing things. Are you for change only you believe in? Hope and change?

    • Turtles Run says:

      Cappy wrote: Yes, sure, and Turtles wants to degrade homosexuals. What is up with that?

      Experience tells me it is another farcical rant by Cappy, but dang it I am really curious.

      Soooooooo…..what in the bloody blue H-E-Double Hockey Sticks are you talking about? Are your chaps on too tight?

      • CaptSternn says:

        So, Turtles, you throw out homosexual references and insults then claim ignorance, then throw out even more, proving it really wasn’t out of ignorance but actually very deliberate.

        As for the rest of y’all, calling a man “boy” is derogatory and demeaning no matter what the color of skin or ethnic background. The hypocrisy is so thick it burns the eyes. Then again, I would expect nothing less from this crowd.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – what homosexual reference? Are you on meth?

        The closest reference I made to a sexual reference is the term TEABAGGER and that term is not a homosexual reference unless you are claiming that all of you guys in the tea party are gay. Are y’all? Because it would explain a lot of the overcompensation you people do. Also, that term did not become derogatory till the tea party claimed it and then soiled the expression.

      • CaptSternn says:

        It has always been used as a derogatory and demeaning label, Turtles, and you full well know that. Many of us remember the liberals in the MSM sitting around in a semi-circle giggling and snickering while applying that label.

        You are as fixated with homosexuality as the guy that doesn’t visit this place any longer. Then you want to whine and cry about the name of a football team. Keep it classy, Turtles, we expect nothing lessd from the left.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Cappy – I do not know how events play out in your alternate reality but in this one it was the tea party that started referring themselves as tea baggers.

        As you are a person that is fine with labeling others in derogatory terms you seem to be all butthurt when the same is done to you. Especially, when your group came up with the nick name themselves. But in your usual hypocrite entitled view you feel you should be able to label others in names that that are offensive and without criticism butt the same should not be done to you.

        Here is some mood music for you.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I have no idea where that video came from.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Chris – Can you please delete the last email video?. I have no idea how those videos attached themselves. I tried attaching another video

  17. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Am I blocked?

  18. rightonrush says:

    Problem solved.

  19. Juarez says:

    I grew up in northern Virginia and was part of the Redskin’s fan base for the glory days of the franchise, i.e. Joe Gibbs, Joe Theismann, John Riggins, Art Monk, multiple Super Bowl wins, etc. The Redskins fan base is as diverse as the northern Virginia population, and it is fiercely loyal to their team. I still keep in touch with many of my childhood friends that still live in the D.C. area. Many of them are staunch liberals, as politically correct as they come; BUT, with this issue, they are absolutely against a name change. That’s interesting to me.

    By the way, doesn’t the NFL have bigger fish to fry? Like the epidemic of domestic abuse and other bad behaviors? And why the national focus on the Redskins when there are so many other Indian-themed mascots and team names that are arguably more offensive? (See John’s Cleveland Indians logo above; Atlanta Braves and their tomahawk chants; etc.)

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      Cleveland has started paring down use of the caricature, and the Braves have done a modestly decent job reaching out to Native American groups to discuss how they should do things.

      I think the difference is that redskin, as opposed to Indians or Braves, is a racist term. Whether it was meant that way or not by the team doesn’t really matter.

      The fan base is the only thing keeping Snyder’s position tenable. Oddly, the fans generally hate Snyder, but they have his back on this issue.

  20. desperado says:

    If Notre Dame was the Drunken Irish instead of the Fighting Irish, ya think some white folks might have a problem with it?

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      I doubt it. It is hard to get overly sensitive when you are the predominant cultural group controlling the vast majority of dollars and power in media, business, industry, and politics.

      Well, technically, it is not hard to be overly sensitive when you are the predominant cultural group controlling the vast majority of dollars and power in media, industry, and politics (see the made up War on Christmas), but it is hard to take those folks seriously for being overly sensitive.

  21. johnofgaunt75 says:

    Great article as always.

    My particular problem with the name “Redskins” is that it is an obviously racial term used to describe Native Americans at a time when such derogatory and racist words were used. I see it as skin to using the term “Mick,” “Kike,” “Dago,” or other words which I am sure many on here know.

    Perhaps some on here look back on the 1920’s to the 1950’s, when these terms were used regularly and accepted, as the golden age of America. Everyone knew their place (i.e. everyone who was a non-White or female) and such offensive terms were used regularly. While I think there are some admirable things about that time, racial and social policy or general community attitudes is not one of them.

  22. tuttabellamia says:

    Lifer, a better example for a Northern team than the “Texans” would be the Rednecks, like maybe THE BOSTON REDNEX. Just think of the fun they’d have with that one.

    • goplifer says:

      You have a point. Helmet logo is a trailer blowing in a tornado.

      Imagining the Boston ‘Necks halftime show right now…

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I’m curious to know people’s opinion of the term REDNECK. Do you find it offensive?

        Cap and I like to jokingly refer to ourselves as “The Redneck and the Schoolmarm.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Northern teams could also have a field day with “Cowboys.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        In Boston the Rednecks would be the NEX, like the SOX.

      • objv says:

        Tutt, I think a lot of the offensiveness of the term “redneck” has been diffused with humor. Jeff Foxworthy has made a nice living off of “you might be a redneck if” jokes. Larry, the cable guy, and the guys on Duck Dynasty have also embraced the redneck image. Jase Robertson thought it was great when a New York hotel employee kicked him out because he looked like a homeless man. He got great lots of laughs when he attributed it “facial profiling.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, speaking of profiling, I never in my life had experienced profiling until now that I’m with Cap. Actually, Cap is the one who gets profiled. It doesn’t bother him but it certainly bothers me.

  23. tuttabellamia says:

    I propose that we ban the word EXPAT for the wealthy and White, since it is a subtle sign of classicism and ethnic superiority. Everyone is hereby a migrant or immigrant, regardless of class or origin.

    • John Galt says:

      Expat to me has a specific connotation: someone who has been temporarily posted by their employer outside their home country. They aren’t immigrants, because their stay is temporary, usually for a defined period. Migrants (to me) are people who move somewhere else in search of better job prospects, while expats are people who already have a better job.

      My wife’s uncle was an expat employee of a major bank. We visited him once in his Kensington flat – the bank was paying the entirety of the £2,100 PER WEEK rent on the place, plus all the utilities (plus a hefty salary). When he offered to treat us to dinner we didn’t say no.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Thanks for admitting that’s what it means to you.

      • Means the same thing to me.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I know expats who ‘went bush’, too. No – they didn’t become Republican, they just never returned to their home country…

      • John Galt says:

        He almost didn’t come back either. He bounced around for 15 years, with three year stints in Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Geneva, I think, before retiring back in the US. He’s actually quite the schmuck, but I guess he had some valuable skills.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I don’t have time to argue with either one of you about the term EXPAT, yet again. I’ve been though it enough times. Your names are almost exactly the same, but the way — John Gault (aka John of Gault), John Gaunt, etc.

      • John Galt says:

        I guess I’m not getting your point, Tutt. Yes, expat usually implies wealthy and, while it doesn’t explicitly mean white, it usually works out that way. To me it means a specific working situation in which a white collar executive is sent to a foreign office for a period of time. If this implies a different group of people than immigrant laborers, then yes, it does. But the rich are different than you and me. I wouldn’t use the term to describe an Irish kid tending bar or a Chinese student. In the scientific world there are tons of people from all over the world, and I don’t call them expats either, because they came here for a job (or school opportunity) with a new employer.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I think that’s just downright an example of classicism.

      • Crogged says:

        Then we will have the Boston Richies, an overweight banker chewing a cigar stub and wearing a porkpie hat. Add to the image his foot on a woman in a hard hat. Class warfare!

        If ‘redskin’ isn’t racist, nothing is racist. If the New England team moves they can call themselves the ExPats too.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Crogged, you are I are on the same wavelength. I was also thinking of the NEW ENGLAND EX-PATRIOTS.

  24. CaptSternn says:

    This redskin has no problem with a team being called the Redskins. You have a problem with that, paleface?

    Fun thing about being a mutt, I can pick and choose what heritage I support and claim at the moment. I am a Redskin Confederate Union Irishman of English and Dutch lineage that has an adoptive mom and dad of the DAR, NSSAR, Sons of Confederate Revolution, Sons of the Republic of Texas, … and my mom figures that there is some creole on her side from Louisiana.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      And, Sternn, I’m sure you’re just as representative of wider Native American culture and concerns as you are representative of being a constitutional scholar.

      In other words, not a whit.

    • fiftyohm says:

      Dang, Cap. That’s just ugly. Even I feel offended, bra…

    • tuttabellamia says:

      As I’ve posted here before, I would say Cap is more Irish than anything, because of his amazing “rhetorical skills.”

      • fiftyohm says:

        The Blarney Stone thing, eh? It ended up on a list of the ten most germ-infested tourist attractions last week!

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Reminds me of the All in the Family set of episodes in which Archie Bunker received a blood transfusion from a Black lady. At first he freaked out, but soon he was referring to “us Blacks” when it suited him.

      • John Galt says:

        I visited Blarney Castle on a trip to Ireland about 10 years ago. The evening before a local for whom I bought a pint strongly advised me not to kiss the stone (which I was uninclined to do anyway) as he said a few of the village lads had a tradition of sneaking into the castle and relieving themselves on the stone to show their contempt for the tourists. I took the advice.

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Cracker please! I guess the Cleveland Browns will have to change their name. I say it’s time to not care about what the super sensitive feel and deal with reality and to have priorities of what is important and what is silly.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Funny, you are the only person I know that has ever associated the Cleveland Browns with people. I always thought of it as a color. But I guess that speaks to your line of thought more than anything else.

        Super sensitive? I remember you getting all Super Sensitive when it came to people insulting the Tea Party or your Super Sensitivity on comments that you felt derided Christians. Those references are reasons to justify outrage, naming a professional sports team after a racial charged term and displaying callous stereotypical negative images about Native Americans not so much.

        Your hypocrisy and biases know no end do they.

        I propose the the Washington Teabaggers. After all it was the tea party that came up with that nickname so obviously there is nothing wrong with it.

      • johnofgaunt75 says:

        I suggest the Washington Galileans (a derogatory term used by pagans in the late Roman empire to refer to Christians) or what about the Washington Corpse Worshipers?

        During half time the team mascot (a robed man with long hair and a crown of thorns) can askew the whole “turning the other cheek” thing and start bashing representatives of the opposing team over the head with a cross.

      • Turtles Run says:

        75 – I think your half-time show would work for my suggested team name. I propse that since this is Washington DC – we use the Teabagger name and your half-time show. But I also suggest making the mascot look Norwegian. We do not want to offend any fundie religious types with a brown mascot.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        It’s amazing how quickly Kabuzz leaps to racism. Why, it’s almost as though he’s used to it.

        “The name of the team was at first left up to Paul Brown, who rejected calls for it to be christened the Browns. The franchise then held a naming contest to publicize the team, promising a $1,000 war bond to the winner. In June 1945, a committee selected ‘Panthers’ as the new team’s name. McBride, however, changed it to the Browns two months later, the result of another naming contest that suggested Browns, not after Paul Brown himself, but as a shortened version of Brown Bombers, a reference to the nickname of boxer Joe Louis.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mr. 75, the problem with your suggestion of Jesus-as-mascot is that you would end up offending not just your intended target (the White Far Right) but a huge segment of the US population, which is predominately Christian and not necessarily White.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Wouldn’t Joe Louis’s nickname – the Brown Bomber — also be considered racist?

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        “Wouldn’t Joe Louis’s nickname – the Brown Bomber — also be considered racist?”

        Sure. Particularly since other early media descriptions of the boxer apparently included the “Mahogany Mauler”, “Chocolate Chopper”, “Coffee-Colored KO King”, and “Safari Sandman”.

        Of course, Joe Louis accepted the nickname. (Then again, what choice did he have if he wanted to be promoted?) And he was, apparently, a straight-up, generous guy who was thought worthy of emulation and respect. That said, the “Cleveland Joes” might have been a more palatable choice.

        (And I’m pretty sure it all *really* comes back to team owner Paul Brown, despite what he claimed….)

  25. fiftyohm says:

    OK. So why is the word “Indian” in quotes? Look it up in any dictionary. It means, “of or relating to the indigenous peoples of America.”. Is “Native American” OK too? Yes it is. Does this make the word “Indian” improper? Only to the politically correct crowd. Screw that.

    Listen: There were people on this continent for more than 20,000 years. Whilst they mostly hung out, lived short, violent lives, and raised torture and war to high art, whilst the peoples of Asia and Europe, (in addition to the torture and war things), also developed written language, literature, science, philosophy, engineering, public works, technology, and what we now call civilization. The native peoples here remained in the stone age. There is no getting around this. Were they treated poorly? Yup. Now? Nope. At the rate commonly used words are becoming politically incorrect, a few hundred years from now, we’ll all be speaking some sort of stilted Newspeak nonsense and nobody will remember why. (And yeas – I’m talking about utter foolishness like “person-hours”, etc.. (Hat tip, HT! ;-))

    Is there a mythology centered around the Indians? Sure there is. Crap like “land stewardship”, and all sorts of other BS. Land stewardship, my eye. The natives here lived in a biodegradable world. When they got done with a thing, they put it down. It rotted away. It wasn’t made of metal, or plastic. They lacked the technology to even make any sort of lasting mess, let alone much of lasting value.

    The stupid stereotype of the Indian with the tear in his eye, kneeling beside the polluted river from the old 70’s enviro-commercials is about as accurate as the caricatures on NFL helmets.

    And if it makes any difference, (and it damn sure doesn’t to me), I’m more “Indian” than our pal Cap. Was this a rant? No – call it a chant, as that’s about as far as ‘my people’ ever got insofar as music is concerned.! Jeez!

    • flypusher says:

      I tend to use “Native American” just because I know quite a few people from India, and use the term “Indian” to refer to them.

      The myths you refer to are typical American overcompensation for some pretty horrid Wild West native stereotypes where the natives were depicted as one dimensional bloody thirsty savages. As usual, reality lies between the extremes. As for their level of civilization, the Iroquois Confederation was trying out some more enlightened experiments in self governance a few centuries before the American colonists gave it a try. Their system may well have had some influence on America’s Founders, although historians do debate the degree.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Right. Is this history of Iroquois “civilization” written down somewhere? Hieroglyphics? Anywhere? That’s precisely why such things are disputed.

      • flypusher says:

        It was written down, after centuries of oral tradition, not unlike some our own religious/philosophical/ historical traditions. You also have the written accounts of Europeans who interacted with them. The dispute I referred to was not about whether such a society existed, but rather how much influence it may or may not have had on the US Constitution.

        The Iroquois were way ahead of the European curve with regards to the status of women in society. Their preferred treatment of war captives, assimilation as opposed to slaughter, was pretty enlightened for those times too.

      • fiftyohm says:

        “Oral tradition” is an intergenerational Chinese telephone. And about as reliable. And about as subject to contemporary influence. It’s just bullshit, plain and simple – like any of the other of the “interpretive social sciences”, it’s best not to confuse this with objective (written) history, or especially history itself.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Archaeologists still derive useful information from the *Iliad*, and that doesn’t even pretend to be anything but a work of fiction.

        Then there’s the whole issue of the Bible, which similarly spent time as an orally transmitted document before its commitment to print. But, oh, right, that’s supposed to be different.

        No-one’s claiming the Iriquois were saints, fifty. At the same time, you are selling Native American culture a bit short in your rant, above, in terms of technology and achievements. Perhaps you need to investigate some of the more recent archaeology.

      • flypusher says:

        But you still have the European accounts of that society. Dismissing those too?

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl – Who’s saying the Bible is any exception? I tried to distinguish fiction from fact regarding “oral tradition””.

      • fiftyohm says:

        FP – The only “accounts” of the society there were at the time were “European”.

      • flypusher says:

        So their words mean nothing?

      • flypusher says:

        I mean Iroquois words.

      • fiftyohm says:

        FP – Words mean exactly what the speaker is trying to convey at the time they are spoken. No more, and no less. Humans are lousy tape recorders, especially of subjective experience. Human memory is a lousy storage medium. This is more than likely why cultures without written language tend to remain static.

      • flypusher says:

        Yes humans are imperfect recorders, but not completely wrong or worthless either. Societal advances count just as engineering advances do, and the historians have enough evidence about how they did things. Benjamin Franklin had good things to say about how they formed their political union- do you doubt him? They may not have had ships and guns and all the high tech the Europeans had, but they had them beat in women’s rights. Greater equality under the law is as much a mark of an advancing civilization as is functioning sewers.

    • John Galt says:

      The reasons why people in some places developed advanced skills (writing, science, engineering) and others didn’t is worth a few dozen treatises. That Native Americans (I’m with Fly on distinguishing between these peoples and those of the subcontinent) largely did not does not mean they deserve to be demeaned as the butt of jokes. I’m not about to suggest it be legally banned, but I can’t really believe we still put this image on T-shirts.

    • fiftyohm says:

      JG – I don’t necessarily think we should make anyone the butt of jokes either, but if that huge logo were on the seat anyone’s sweatpants, it would be pretty damn funny!

      “Paging Mr. Jass. Mr. Hugh Jass, please pick up the white courtesy telephone for a message. Mr. Hugh Jass.”

    • Turtles Run says:

      “The native peoples here remained in the stone age.”


      Maybe we use a different definition of “here” But the Mayans and Incas (the Native American) built empires and they definitely had developed architecture and engineering skills. The Mayan pyramids and calendar definitely took skilled learning. The Incas even formed their own federal/state system and a method of taxation as well. Granted, both these groups were horrid to their fellow human being but to claim Native Americans did not develop civilizations is simply not accurate.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Turtles – The indigenous peoples of the central and south American areas also developed writing. I was not in reference to them, but rather to those to the north. It was these people from whom the Redskins got their name, and the subject of the parent post.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Fifty, you seem to be ignoring the Mound Builders in North America (see Cahokia and others). They started building earthwork mounds in North America nearly 1,000 years before the pyramids were constructed in Egypt, as part of complex villages that arose from more dense populations, with a specialization of skills and knowledge. At its peak (A.D. 1150 or so), Cahokia was the center of a city with 20,000-30,000 people, a level not exceeded by North American European settlements until after 1800.

        Why don’t we know as much about these cultures? In many cases, the answer seems to be smallpox, which ran far ahead of European settlers and destroyed civilizations (and their populations) before Whites ever arrived.

        And, to be fair, one shouldn’t look at the lesser technological development of American populations as some comment on their own innate, racial inferiority to White Europeans. Jared Diamond’s award-winning book *Guns, Germs, and Steel* pretty well puts paid to that line of thought. It’s hard to design a war-chariot (or draft wagon) intended to be pulled by guinea pigs.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Owl- Yeah, I’ve been to Cahokia. Grass-covered mounds of dirt. Anyway, and not to prolong this, it’s pretty well established that the majority of the mound building began around 900 CE. The pyramids in Egypt saw first construction around 2,700 BCE, or well over 3,000 years *before* the mounds at Cahokia. And yes, there was a sizable population at the city’s peak. And it was also probably an extremely unhealthy place to be, considering a total lack of sewage drainage – a technique developed across the pond more than 1,000 years before.

        Look, my point here is just that for whatever reasons, civilization in North America lagged far, far behind Europe and Asia, and in fact, never progressed much beyond a neolithic stage until the Europeans arrived with their smallpox and firearms. As JG mentioned, we don’t know why exactly this was the case. It obviously wasn’t genetic, or a lack of natural resources, or any of the obvious things. It is possible that the cultures here were not stressed by a lack of resources, and in their abundance, just figured they didn’t need to try so hard. I note here that the most advanced, (technologically anyway) of the native peoples of the north were in the coastal regions of Alaska!

        My rant, (chant) has really been about the modern foolishness called Cultural Relativism, as I’m certain you’ve recognized.

    • Owl of Bellaire says:

      Yep. Tracy would have just bombed them all.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Or sprayed them with a water hose.

      • objv says:

        Owl, doesn’t Tracy have a right to be just as offended and “wounded” by team logos as Native Americans? After all, the Vikings’ logo features a guy with long, blond braids wearing a helmet with horns. It is as much a caricature of a native people as the the Cleveland Indians’ chief pictured below.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        objv, I would dare you to compare the sleek, wind-swept Viking of that team’s logo to the buffoonish, caricatured Native Americans shown (in very large images!) above. If you can’t see the difference in presentation, well, there’s little use continuing the conversation.

        (Easy link for the Google-impaired: ).

      • objv says:

        Owl, I’ll have to admit that it’s hard for me to stay objective because I grew up in Cleveland seeing the Indians’ logo on hats, shirts, jackets, all kinds of accessories, and even yard signs. I’m sorry that the logo is now deemed offensive since it’s a beloved image to people from the Cleveland area.

        Tell the truth now. Isn’t the Viking logo with the blond braids and horns a trifle cliché? Doesn’t it just scream, “I’m off to plunder and pillage?” I’m sure descendants of the ancient Vikings, like tthor, have found better ways to spend their summer vacations – although, like you, I do find the logo aesthetically pleasing. 🙂

      • Well, I am deeply offended by the Vikings logo and mascot. It would imply that all males of Viking descent come with copious amounts of facial hair. Not true – it’s a racist stereotype. I couldn’t grow a Minnesota Vikings-style mustache and beard if my life depended on it.

        (Then again, perhaps the lack of facial hair comes from the eastern-European Jew side of the family. Methinks there might be a Mongol or two out behind the ol’ distaff wood pile. Who says Vikings have a lock on rape and pillage?)

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, I have a cousin from Mexico with a ferocious blond mustache and long blond hair like the Viking in the logo, so I am deeply offended.

      • objv says:

        Tracy, the braids are still an option …

    • kabuzz61 says:

      Agree Tracy. Liberals get their panties in a bunch over the silliest things. With all the problems in the world today, they don’t want to talk about Obama and his failures. No, this silly shit.

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Kabuzz, there are plenty of conservative failures we’ve talked about which you (loudly!) consider irrelevant or silly. And you’ve brought up plenty of attacks on liberals from brain-dead conservative flacks on the Internet which are rapidly disproved or dismissed as silly and obtuse.

        So your hypocrisy seems to be well in gear.

  26. flypusher says:

    Now sometimes the minority culture is OK with the mascot/imagery thing:

  27. Mike says:

    Funny thing is, The Bullets did represent DC pretty well not too long back. That was offensive and got changed.
    Now the folks that get all worked up over newcomers, can’t get over dissing the folks that were here first. Go figure…

  28. flypusher says:

    The old tired rant about “why can’t white people use the N-word” repeats frequently in the chron comments. Although technically no one is stopping them, they just don’t want any of the social backlash. It’s such a stupid whine. Yes, technically it is a double standard, but it’s a minor one, and a rare one in that it’s the white people on the short end. Is saying that word with little or no consequence so bloody important to a whiny white person that they would switch places with a black person? It is? Well?

    The PC card, like the race card and the class warfare card, gets played too much by too many people for too many of the wrong reasons. What do I consider a valid PC gripe? When you shut down a legitimate and honest discussion of a tough issue. A prime example is what happened to Larry Summers a while back, when he wanted to open a discussion of what might be holding women back in science. The left-wing PC crowd crucified him and they were wrong.

    • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

      “The left-wing PC crowd crucified him and they were wrong.”

      The thing is, Summers was wrong too, and he was in a position where his wrongness was going to be broadcast far and wide.

      Both sides being wrong meant an important topic was not discussed.

      Maybe Summers was just a bit inarticulate in his discussion or maybe he left out a few words or conditions for his arguments, but he is a smart man making a public statement that might have warranted a bit more care.

      No doubt, we do see gender differences in math and science scores (not grades) in both means and distributions.

      However, there are lots and lots of conditions where those differences increase, decrease, or go away.

      These ostensibly innate gender differences do seem to manifest themselves in odd ways.

      In general, young girls test better in math and science than do young boys. Third, fifth, and eighth grade girls generally will do better (all along the distributions) than will boys. Then something must happen to activate the innate male superiority in math and science somewhere in high school where you start seeing boys scoring higher and being more strongly represented at the high ends of the distribution.

      So, maybe we can continue to argue that it is somehow an innate ability of males activated by puberty rather than an intense amount of cultural socialization during that time period.

      The problem with that argument is that it tends to ignore the rest of the world and even a big chunk of folks in the US.

      Many countries around the world do not seem to have this innate superiority of males in math and science scores. Take a look at the engineers, geologists, and geophysicists getting hired by your local oil and gas companies, and you are going to find a pretty significant gender disparity when looking at US born applicants. You will find near parity (if not better female numbers) when looking at foreign born students.

      Even within the US, the gender gap and differences in distributions is not all that consistent across groups. Depending on the test, you will find Asian females scoring as high as Asian males, with stronger representation at the higher ends of the distribution. The gender gap is smaller or non-existent for African-Americans and Hispanics.

      So, these innate gender differences in math and science scores seem to really be prevalent for White kids in the US and maybe somewhat less innate everywhere else.

      My early statistics mentor was a geneticist statistical guru, and I am the last person to suggest there are not some huge differences between the genders, but GRE quant scores may are not one of them.

      • flypusher says:

        Summers definitely doesn’t consider his words as much as he should before he speaks, but I took his meaning as not there is something inherent in women’s natures that holds them back, but rather LET’S DISCUSS whether there is something inherent in women’s natures that holds them back, i.e., is it the biology or the culture?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think I hear OV’s footsteps . . .

      • Owl of Bellaire says:

        Absolutely. Such differences in the United States are far more likely to be a result of socialization rather than of biology.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Fly, the freedom to use derogatory terms is not so much ethnicity-based as it is “self-based.” It’s ok if I put down myself, my family, or my culture –self-deprecation is ok — but you and other “outsiders” don’t have the same freedom to say bad things about me or my own “people.”

      • flypusher says:

        Definitely, the “we can diss our own” social rule has been in effect- so then it looks like the whiners want claim other people’s self-dissing, in addition to their own.

        Personally I find the n-word to be horridly vulgar in almost all contexts, no matter who says it. I make exceptions for comedy if it’s integral to the joke or in a historical context, like in “Huckleberry Finn”.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I don’t care who says it. I will NEVER get used to hearing or seeing the N word. It never fails to make me cringe. I have a visceral, physical reaction when I hear it.

      • flypusher says:

        An interesting little observation for you Tutta, there is a word in Chinese (don’t know what it means) that when spoken in a Taiwanese accent, sounds very similar to the n word. I did a double take the first time I heard it in a conversation going on next to me. I wonder if there have been some unfortunate misunderstandings / incidents because of that close phonetic similarity.

        Fans of “Hitchhiker’s Guide” will remember the little aside about Arthur Dent commenting on lifestyle difficulties and that particular sequence of sounds turning out to be the worst insult possible in someone else’s language.

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