Daniel Snyder, owner of the NFL team The Washington Redskins, is being pressured by the media and Native American organizations to change his team name. In a letter to Redskins fans, he indicated his refusal to change the name, while laughably indicating the honor and history of it. This is a microcosm of an apartheid; a disgusting, ethnical dominance over an innocent minority. And this stupidity has forced me to temporarily disown Daniel Snyder as a member of my Jewish tribe – a tribe that fought through similar derogatory behavior.
Ethnicities have distinct physical traits that visibly differentiate one from the other. And generally speaking – if you have common sense – you don’t point out an ethnicity’s physical traits publicly. Unless you’re a comedian, it’s politically incorrect to do so.
You need not read about the history of the term “Redskin” to know that it’s offensive. The term includes the word ‘SKIN’ and the color ‘RED,’ therefore it’s racist in nature – or at the very least, it’s racial.
The Redskins name is as equally offensive to humanity as if you were to call Seattle’s team, the ‘Seattle Yellowskins,’ for its Asian influence – or if you called Oakland’s team, the ‘Blackskins,’ because of the African-American influence – or if you called Mississippi’s team, the ‘Rednecks,’ for their people who work hard in the sun – or if you called Brooklyn’s team, the ‘Big-Nosed, Rich Shorties,’ because of the city’s Jewish influence.
Polls were run in the Washington D.C. area and a majority of the people (60/40) were in favor of keeping the Redskins name. This ignorance of the majority should remind Daniel Snyder of the year 1933 in Germany.
Leading into World War II, if you polled Germans whether they were for or against ethnic cleansing, most would either say ‘yes’ or remain indifferent in fear of Adolf Hitler and the Schutzstaffel (SS). If you spoke in opposition to the German government at the time, it would assure your deportation or worse.
In 1865, if you polled the Confederates of the American South whether they were for or against the emancipation proclamation, most would have been against. While launching a wad of tobacco slobber into a spittoon and chugging a bottle of whiskey, an ignorant Southerner may have spouted, “Who would want to get rid of slavery. It’s cheap labor, baby!”
History has shown us that, from time to time, the majority ineffectively determines right from wrong. Quite too often the majority does not have the guts to say what’s right because they are in fear of the consequences. Sadly, this is the case in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries… but not here.
In America, we have the freedom to say what’s on our mind without the worry of a government official banging on our door. We can be grateful that all minorities, including Native Americans, can live peacefully in America. But this country is clearly not mindful of the abhorrent racism that still exists. The fact that 60% of Washington D.C. does not find the term Redskins offensive is a failure in education. And I don’t blame that 60% for not knowing this. I blame the indifferent and silent 40% who are not raising their voices louder and teaching them.
It doesn’t matter what percentage of people want to keep the Redskins name. What matters is right versus wrong, and there can be no vote on the truth. The reality here is that Snyder and the majority are not cognizant of the discrimination in the Redskins name, and the Native Americans who are offended by this term are being emotionally subjugated.
Where would Jews of Europe be today had the United States not interfered with Germany’s holocaust? Where would African-Americans of the South be today had the North not won the Civil War?
There was a time in America when racial slurs were perfectly acceptable in everyday rhetoric. However, in the America of today the majority does not have the authority to determine what pains a minority, otherwise we would be living in a segregated, racist, and backwards country. But this is not 1864. We don’t live in a White America anymore. We live in a colorblind and colorful America.
When Dan Snyder changes the racially demeaning ‘Redskins’ name, I will welcome him back into the Jewish tribe. Until then, he is making my skin red.