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Friday, October 11, 2013

No need to change ‘Braves’ name, Atlanta mayor says

Some of my “number of friends” happen to be…

This week, Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, defended his team’s name, and insisted he would not change it, despite strong objections from those who feel it’s racially insensitive.

Some critics believe the Atlanta Braves may want to consider a name change too.

But don’t count Mayor Kasim Reed among them. After all, the “Atlanta Braves” is more than a name. It’s also a brand. With a lot of equity.

...But either way, Mayor Reed says he’s not in support of a name change for the Braves.

“I do not,” said the mayor. “I think that the name the Atlanta Braves is a name that we should keep; and I have a number of friends who are Indians, and they haven’t shared any offense with me about it. So I go by my experiences.”

It is rare for the mayor to break ranks with the president. But on the issue of using a race of people as a mascot, they do not agree.

The president thinks team owners should indeed consider changing names that are potentially offensive.

Repoz Posted: October 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM | 264 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   201. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 14, 2013 at 06:56 PM (#4572267)
Interesting. On Special Report moments ago, Charles Krauthammer said that the Redskins name should be changed. Kirsten Powers agreed with Charles while George Will was opposed, asserting that he had yet to hear that significant numbers of Native Americans were offended.
   202. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 14, 2013 at 07:40 PM (#4572288)
Not that it has (or should have) anything to do with anything, but BITD Will was a more or less permanent guest in Jack Kent Cooke's owner's suite at RFK. Don't know about Krauthammer (the wheelchair access at RFK wasn't that great), but noting the pecking order in Cooke's box in any given week was a bit like seeing who was standing where on the Politburo's viewing platform during the Soviet May Day parades: It was one of the easiest ways to tell who was In and who was Out in Washington.
   203. salajander Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4572538)
Finally read that link from #83. Devastating.

I think it really undercuts the whole "90% of native americans don't care therefore it's just fine" line of thought:

Compare that to John Reddy, a high school senior and Oglala Lakota tribal member who hasn’t spent a whole lot of time off of Pine Ridge. “Ehh, whatever,” he said when I asked him if he thought “Redskins” was offensive. Then I put the issue into a real-world situation and asked what he would think if a stranger showed up to his house and called his little brothers and sisters “cute little redskins.” His answer: “Well, I’d #### him up.”

The whole article is fantastic. Well worth the read.
   204. nick swisher hygiene Posted: October 14, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4572554)
199--you sound full of zeal, zealous even, but I wouldn't call you a zealot
;-)
   205. robinred Posted: October 14, 2013 at 11:33 PM (#4572655)
Win about 11 games in a row. That would render the controversy completely moot until the euphoria faded.


Hmmm. You know the team and the town, but ISTM that a big Redskins winning streak might have the opposite effect. If the Redskins had a Denver-type squad, I think that would focus more attention on it.

I mostly agree with your "eventually" take, though.
   206. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:42 AM (#4572680)
His answer: “Well, I’d #### him up.”


Very much in the spirit of the NFL, I would say.
   207. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 07:17 AM (#4572709)
Win about 11 games in a row. That would render the controversy completely moot until the euphoria faded.

Hmmm. You know the team and the town, but ISTM that a big Redskins winning streak might have the opposite effect. If the Redskins had a Denver-type squad, I think that would focus more attention on it.


I doubt it. Even the Washington Post has only so many column yards they're going to use on the Redskins, and whenever they go on even a two game winning streak, visions of Super Bowl glory start erupting from Page One of the A section all the way to the inside of the Metro section. OTOH when they field a typical losing team like this year's bunch of stiffs, there's more room in the local media for side issues like name changes. And remember, Snyder owns all the local sports talk stations.

I'd suggest a "Curse Of The Nickname" campaign as a way of rallying the undecided superstitious, except that campaigns like that need a semi-plausible starting date (selling Babe Ruth; dissing a fan's billy goat) to become even a semi-humorous talking point, and the Redskins have been the Redskins for all but one year of their existence.

I mostly agree with your "eventually" take, though.

The ONLY way that the Redskins name is going to be changed prior to Snyder's death is with an edict from the NFL in the form of an offer that can't be refused. And that takes it into a political realm that I couldn't possibly begin to forecast. It could happen in a few years or it might not happen until most everyone here is dead.
   208. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:00 AM (#4572738)
Snyder's running the moral and analytical equivalent of a segregated restaurant. I'll leave it to others to decide whether it's worse to be slurred on account of your race -- routinely and proudly done in Snyder's place of business -- or being quietly asked/encouraged to move on to another establishment to get your daily dose of fat and chloresterol.
   209. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4572754)
Snyder's running the moral and analytical equivalent of a segregated restaurant. I'll leave it to others to decide whether it's worse to be slurred on account of your race -- routinely and proudly done in Snyder's place of business -- or being quietly asked/encouraged to move on to another establishment to get your daily dose of fat and chloresterol.

Gee, that's a tough question. Maybe you can have Snyder put signs above the Fed Ex concession booths that read "No Beer Sold To Indians" and then take a quick poll to find out.
   210. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 09:44 AM (#4572765)
Maybe you can have Snyder put signs above the Fed Ex concession booths that read "No Beer Sold To Indians" and then take a quick poll to find out.

It's hardly self-evident that that would be worse to the panoply of signs proudly deploying the "Redskins" slur.

A kind of equivalent would be operating a restaurant named "Jigaboos." (Or the lower-grade "Sambo's," which lasted a few years before put quickly out of business under that name.)



   211. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4572797)
Snyder's running the moral and analytical equivalent of a segregated restaurant. I'll leave it to others to decide whether it's worse to be slurred on account of your race -- routinely and proudly done in Snyder's place of business -- or being quietly asked/encouraged to move on to another establishment to get your daily dose of fat and chloresterol.

Gee, that's a tough question. Maybe you can have Snyder put signs above the Fed Ex concession booths that read "No Beer Sold To Indians" and then take a quick poll to find out.

It's hardly self-evident that that would be worse to the panoply of signs proudly deploying the "Redskins" slur.


Not self-evident only to you. Only a complete idiot would equate the Redskins name with Jim Crow practices, or scratch his head and wonder which is "worse". It's exactly this sort of exaggerated hyperventilating that causes lots of people to write off the entire name change campaign. You might consider giving it a rest and let people like Joe Flood (who wrote the article that was linked in #83) make the far more coherent case for the name change without the need for inane comparisons to segregation and intentional insults.
   212. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM (#4572834)
Only a complete idiot would equate the Redskins name with Jim Crow practices, or scratch his head and wonder which is "worse".

That's an unsupported conclusion. I'd submit that you think that primarily because you've been acculturated to the nearly total political and cultural marginalization of Native Americans, a marginalization not (remotely) shared by, really, any other "minority" -- and certainly not Af-Ams.(*) If you really think about it, without preconceptions, you'll see that there really isn't much difference at all, in their essence, between "Redskins" and segregated restaurants. "Redskins" might be worse.

The name "Redskins" is a racial slur. Because it's hard to get our minds around such things, you (**) don't seem to fully grasp that the team has "branded," and the citizenry of DC and its environs have chanted and celebrated, an unalloyed racial slur for almost eight decades now. So you're quite naturally hedging -- it isn't "really" a slur, there's another side to the story, what about TEH BRAND, only an idiot would see any similarity between the name and Jim Crow, etc. The hedging is understandable; we often recoil at believing what's right there in front of us.

(*) Note here the material difference between discrimination and marginalization.

(**) Not you alone, of course.
   213. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4572865)
If you really think about it, without preconceptions, you'll see that there really isn't much difference at all, in their essence, between "Redskins" and segregated restaurants. "Redskins" might be worse.


Both are bad, but I think it's worse to deny someone access to resources than it is to call them an insulting name.
   214. Sunday silence Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4572885)

Snyder's running the moral and analytical equivalent of a segregated restaurant.


another inept analogy.
   215. GregD Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4572894)
It's exactly this sort of exaggerated hyperventilating that causes lots of people to write off the entire name change campaign.
Are you saying you'll support the name-change if he stops making this argument in favor of it? Or is this concern trolling?
   216. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4572903)
Sorry, SBB, that's still a moronic comparison, and I'm fully aware of the history and marginalization of Native Americans.

Now if you'd like to make a comparison between the Jim Crow era and the reservation system for Indians, you'd be onto something, since both are American variants of apartheid. But that's not what you're doing. You're trying to equate the nickname of a football team with institutionalized racism (as exemplified by Jim Crow restaurants), and it's a comparison that doesn't begin to pass the smell test.

Assume the Redskins name is every bit as racist as you say it is, as in your equation of it to the defunct Sambo's restaurant chain. Now ask yourself whether a black person would be more negatively affected by the symbolic affront of that restaurant's name, or by having to drive hundreds of miles to find a restaurant that wouldn't turn him away after he hadn't eaten all day.

Then ask a Native American living on a reservation whether he'd rather see that system dismantled, or whether he'd prefer that the Washington Redskins drop their nickname.

I'm not saying that one wish excludes the other, but I'm just trying to introduce some sense of proportion to an argument that's gone off the deep end.

---------------------------------------------

Are you saying you'll support the name-change if he stops making this argument in favor of it? Or is this concern trolling?

I've said I don't give a damn whether they change the name or not, but if and when I get convinced that such a change is a moral imperative, it'll be as a result of arguments like Joe Flood's, and not by inane comparisons to Jim Crow.
   217. GregD Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4572909)
Then you acknowledge that your prior statement--that you were less likely to support it because of his argument--was inaccurate?
   218. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4572920)
Assume the Redskins name is every bit as racist as you say it is, as in your equation of it to the defunct Sambo's restaurant chain.

Given the massive media coverage and the eight decades of operations and the massive number of patrons, the various proprietors' operation of the "Washington Redskins" entertainment chain is pretty clearly worse than "Sambo's."

Not that it's really necessary to compare them; the primary point is that things you (*) take for granted as "offensive" (**) to Af-Ams (and rightly so), you hedge on when Native Americans are the objects. A reasonable supposition is that is the result of living in an environment wherein Native Americans are virtually never thought about, as opposed to the omnipresence of Af-Ams in our lives and the nation's life.

(*) Not you alone, of course.

(**) Not my favorite word, and not really the right template to organize our thoughts with, but it'll do for now.
   219. robinred Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4572921)
I doubt it. Even the Washington Post has only so many column yards they're going to use on the Redskins, and whenever they go on even a two game winning streak, visions of Super Bowl glory start erupting from Page One of the A section all the way to the inside of the Metro section


Yeah, but the NFL is a nationwide entertainment industry, and is less of a "local" sport than baseball. If the Redskins made the Super Bowl, there would be endless bandwidth spent on the nickname, and I think it is certain that Native American groups who want the name changed would use the spotlight for protests, etc. And I think a strongly contending, exciting Redskins team would cause it to ratchet up, even absent a Super Bowl trip.
   220. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4572933)
It's exactly this sort of exaggerated hyperventilating that causes lots of people to write off the entire name change campaign.

Are you saying you'll support the name-change if he stops making this argument in favor of it? Or is this concern trolling?

I've said I don't give a damn whether they change the name or not, but if and when I get convinced that such a change is a moral imperative, it'll be as a result of arguments like Joe Flood's, and not by inane comparisons to Jim Crow.

Then you acknowledge that your prior statement--that you were less likely to support it because of his argument--was inaccurate?


Only if idiotic arguments like SBB's were the only form of support for a name change. Fortunately for everyone's sake, that's not the case. And if you'll note what I wrote originally, it was "lots of people", not first person singular. If I'd meant to say "I", I would've written it.

-------------------------------------------------

Assume the Redskins name is every bit as racist as you say it is, as in your equation of it to the defunct Sambo's restaurant chain.

Given the massive media coverage and the eight decades of operations and the massive number of patrons, the various proprietors' operation of the "Washington Redskins" entertainment chain is pretty clearly worse than "Sambo's."


That's fine, but a minute ago you were also equating the name to Jim Crow restaurants. Nice to see that at least you're putting that moronic comparison on hold for now.

-------------------------------------------------

I doubt it. Even the Washington Post has only so many column yards they're going to use on the Redskins, and whenever they go on even a two game winning streak, visions of Super Bowl glory start erupting from Page One of the A section all the way to the inside of the Metro section

Yeah, but the NFL is a nationwide entertainment industry, and is less of a "local" sport than baseball. If the Redskins made the Super Bowl, there would be endless bandwidth spent on the nickname, and I think it is certain that Native American groups who want the name changed would use the spotlight for protests, etc. And I think a strongly contending, exciting Redskins team would cause it to ratchet up, even absent a Super Bowl trip.


Could be, on the national level. Hell, there were demonstrations outside the Super Bowl in Detroit against the Redskins name back in 1992, and I'm sure that such visible protests would be even more likely now. But that wouldn't affect public opinion in DC, where the majority take would more likely be "Jesus, this again? Just STFU and enjoy the moment."

Again, as I said, the only way the name is going to change is via an edict from the NFL. I can't see that happening in the aftermath of a Super Bowl celebration, but I suppose stranger things have happened.
   221. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4572955)
That's fine, but a minute ago you were also equating the name to Jim Crow restaurants. Nice to see that at least you're putting that moronic comparison on hold for now.

Actually, no, it's not on hold. As did the southern white-only restauranteurs, Snyder's running an enterprise engaged in blatantly discriminatory activity and his customer base is aiding and abetting the discrimination. Snyder, of course, has far more customers.

It's really a mix of analogies. Like Sambo's, the trade name (*) under which the business operates is "offensive" (**), and like the southern white-onlies, the activity inside the business is discriminatory, with customer participation in the discrimination. So, like the southern white-only proprietors, the business of the Washington NFL franchise has had the knock-on impact of corrupting its customer base and generallly lowering the moral output of the community.

(*) As is the business's primary logo.

(**) Same caveat re the word as in 218.
   222. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4572964)
That's fine, but a minute ago you were also equating the name to Jim Crow restaurants. Nice to see that at least you're putting that moronic comparison on hold for now.

Actually, no, it's not on hold. As did the southern white-only restauranteurs, Snyder's running an enterprise engaged in blatantly discriminatory activity and his customer base is aiding and abetting the discrimination.


Yes, we all can see that he's turning away customers based on their race. He's refusing to hire people because of their race. He's contributing his profits to the Ku Klux Klan and the Keep Em Down On The Reservations Committee. And his customer base is cheering his every move from their racially segregated seats. I can only wonder what's next in your Great Analogy Hunt of 2013.

   223. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4572996)
Yes, we all can see that he's turning away customers based on their race. He's refusing to hire people because of their race. He's contributing his profits to the Ku Klux Klan and the Keep Em Down On The Reservations Committee. And his customer base is cheering his every move from their racially segregated seats.

Relevance? He's not murdering the opponents' players after the game either. That's the purpose of analogies; if every characteristic was the same, there'd be no need for analogy.

He is, OTOH, doing the things I listed -- about which, you still seem to be in denial.



   224. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4573014)
That's the purpose of analogies; if every characteristic was the same, there'd be no need for analogy.

Reasonable analogy: "Washington Redskins": "Sambo's Restaurants"

Moronic analogy: "Washington Redskins": "Lester Maddox's restaurant"

You really don't see the difference, do you?
   225. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4573021)
You really don't see the difference, do you?

Why "Lester Maddox's restaurant"? I never said that; I said a "segregated restaurant."(*)

Even then, I'm not sure that does much for you, since the name at issue was bestowed upon the Washington NFL franchise by an arch-racist of Maddoxian scope. So for many years, the Washington NFL franchise was Lester Maddox's restaurant (**). But I'm sure G.P. Marshall had only the most benign of intentions when he named the team, right?

(*) Sambo's necessarily entered the discussion to match the slurrish trade name under which the Washington NFL franchise operates. The run of the mill white-only restaurant did not have a racial slur as its public trade name and thus, matched only one element of the Washington NFLers. In order to match both, you need the slurrish trade name and the discriminatory conduct within the business, aided and abetted by customers -- thus, Sambo's.

(**) Right down to the owner laundering the profits to other racist causes and endeavors.
   226. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4573029)
You really don't see the difference, do you?

Why "Lester Maddox's restaurant"? I never said that; I said a "segregated restaurant."(*)


Which is exactly what Lester Maddox was running, in case you didn't know it. In fact it was perhaps the most famous segregated restaurant in the country, before he closed it because FREEDOM.

But keep up with your analogy search; I'm sure you'll come up with something.
   227. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 15, 2013 at 01:43 PM (#4573037)
In fact it was perhaps the most famous segregated restaurant in the country, before he closed it because FREEDOM.

If it was because FREEDOM, wouldn't he have kept it open?

And, as noted upthread, there were likely plenty of restauranteurs who kept things white-only because changing things would hurt their "brand" -- the very same thing you've at least held open (if not outright supported, it's still hard to tell) as a legitimate counterveiling concern of Snyder. Why does he get to worry about his "brand," when Maddox couldn't?(*) Inquiring minds want to know.

(*) Note that I'm not saying here that Maddox's concern would be legitimate. It wouldn't be. But I haven't suggested Snyder would have a legitimate concern, either.
   228. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 15, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4573103)
In fact it was perhaps the most famous segregated restaurant in the country, before he closed it because FREEDOM.

If it was because FREEDOM, wouldn't he have kept it open?


Of course not, as Maddox's conception of FREEDOM was dependent on being able to refuse service to blacks**. Without that, he felt he might as well have been living under "Communism"---sort of what some of the more heated Obamacare opponents say about the individual mandate.

And, as noted upthread, there were likely plenty of restauranteurs who kept things white-only because changing things would hurt their "brand" -- the very same thing you've at least held open (if not outright supported, it's still hard to tell) as a legitimate counterveiling concern of Snyder. Why does he get to worry about his "brand," when Maddox couldn't?(*) Inquiring minds want to know.

So under what law should the Redskins name be outlawed?

The segregationists' loss of that particular form of "brand" was indeed quite real to them, but that loss was neutralized by its universality once the CR law went into effect and their competitors were forced to comply along with them. A few diehard racists like Maddox closed down in protest, but the rest of them were somehow able to survive the affront to their FREEDOM. They merely had to come up with a better form of brand.

With that Maddox precedent in mind, perhaps you might want to make the Redskins name illegal by applying some form of hate speech law, but I doubt even you would go that far. Even idiocy has its limits. You might just want to consider reverting to persuasion.

**Although he tried to maintain the fiction that he meant "anyone", and not just blacks.
   229. Ron J2 Posted: October 15, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4573144)
#36 It's probably a bit simplistic, but:

When's the last time that Viking was used a a racially specific pejorative? It might have been a charged term as late as the 14th century, but not since then. There is the slightly awkward issue of the 5th SS Panzer division (IE the Viking division), but even that shows that it's a name that the people in question were happy to be identified by.

Same with Celtic/Celtics. Or Canucks for that matter.

Fighting Irish could have been offensive. I mean it can easily be taken as a reference to "those drunken Irish brawlers". But again the community has embraced it (in precisely the same way that my adopting SDCN as a term of identification removes it from the realm of effective insults against me)
   230. base ball chick Posted: October 15, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4573211)
tshipman Posted: October 12, 2013 at 01:19 AM (#4570203)
Never mind sports teams, when can we outlaw broadcasts and stage performances of The Merchant of Venice?


Shylock is possibly the most sympathetic character to a modern reader. That play really works as one of the blackest of the Shakespearean comedies. It's one of the best plays for a modern audience as it's so malleable. It's there in the text, too, it's quite a subversive play for its time.


- i saw the movie with al pacino playing shylock - saw it with my kidsss. pacino's best acting performance by a long LONG shot

#2 son told me he thinks that shylock is like the kid who gets picked on at skool, everybody makes fun of him but then they try to get him to do their science project for them cuz he's smart. but the queen bee tricks him when he tries to get his own back and he ends up even worse off with no friends and no family and getting expelled.

he wants to know why people hate jews so much so i said - why do you hate the spurs so much. and he sez, but they suck. well i sez, it's when you think that those who suck need to be dead, that the trouble starts. people can't just let it go, no, everybody gottta root for the rockets or be dead. or expelled from skool.

so explain to me why the spurs suck and why their fans suck and why it isn't ok to have spurs players and spurs fans, even if they DO suck. why can't you say - like, so what, and let it go. and that's why people hate jews.

i told him - go read your Bible - check it out.
   231. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: October 15, 2013 at 05:31 PM (#4573333)
Wait, does anyone here actually deny that Redskin is a racial insult?

I get the debate over Braves/Seminoles/etc., but Redskin is pretty clearly a racial insult right?
   232. Morty Causa Posted: October 15, 2013 at 05:49 PM (#4573367)
Why do you think the discussion ends with deciding if something is an insult--racial or otherwise?
   233. BDC Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:12 PM (#4573399)
shylock is like the kid who gets picked on at skool, everybody makes fun of him but then they try to get him to do their science project for them cuz he's smart. but the queen bee tricks him when he tries to get his own back

Well, if the kid had agreed to do the science project on condition that he get to vivisect one of the bullies' dogs, that would be Shylock :)
   234. Howie Menckel Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4573405)

"Fighting Irish could have been offensive."

I'm 100 pct Irish, and it offends me that the college football program that uses my ethnic name might be the "least Irish" program in the country.

They have their own TV network, for gosh sake, and they haven't even deigned to play in a conference. They lost I think nine bowls in a row because every year they played "above their class" because they are so powerful and privileged that bowls clamor to get them to get rich. And that makes Notre Dame richer because of it.

I'd much rather have the "Irish" team be a plucky underdog that may not have the numbers or resources of the big schools, but they find a way to somehow overcome those disadvantages and compete strongly anyway - even if they won't realistically be able to win a championship. The Irish national team in the soccer World Cup has reflected that determination several times, qualifying in spite of its small size and hanging pretty tough against some of the world's best on the biggest stage (they didn't make it this time, and that stupid Thierry Henry handball(s) kept them out at the last minute the previous time around. But that stuff happens to the Irish, and we dust ourselves off and keep battling).

   235. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:30 PM (#4573426)
Why do you think the discussion ends with deciding if something is an insult--racial or otherwise?
I didn't say it did.
   236. Morty Causa Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4573428)
Thanks for the clarification. What's your point then?
   237. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4573469)
I think the debate would get a lot clearer if people would say whether they think it's a racial insult or not. I get that you have no problem with the idea that a sports team has a name like that, and that's a coherent position. Andy seems to be dancing around the issue though.
   238. Morty Causa Posted: October 15, 2013 at 06:53 PM (#4573491)
Thanks. Too much it seems like people on the verge of a PC version of Punch Buggy going rampant.
   239. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 12:25 AM (#4574062)
I think the debate would get a lot clearer if people would say whether they think it's a racial insult or not. I get that you have no problem with the idea that a sports team has a name like that, and that's a coherent position. Andy seems to be dancing around the issue though.

If someone calls an Indian a "Redskin" to his face, it's definitely an insult, because the intent to insult is clear. If a football team has been using that name for 76 years and not a single person has used it with any intention of insulting anyone, it's an insult of a far lesser order, as witnessed by the distinctly indifferent reaction that many (or perhaps even most) Native Americans have to the name.

That doesn't settle the issue, but it takes it out of the realm of intentional provocation and brings it down to a much more manageable level of discussion. I realize that some people here want to frame the issue in far more apocalyptic terms, but that's an opinion not shared by everyone.
   240. BrianBrianson Posted: October 16, 2013 at 03:34 AM (#4574099)
Wait, does anyone here actually deny that Redskin is a racial insult?


Meh, I might be willing to take this position. At the time it was used, I'm not sure it was an insult per se above any other possible term for Indians (or Inuit). As far as I can tell, it simply isn't an English word anymore, anymore than wereman or knavegirl is; nominally, I know what these words mean, and they were once English terms, but they're entirely deprecated. Which is, presumably, why with the reporter going to the reservation, no one was actually offended - it simply isn't used as an insult anymore. (Indeed, would be better not to presume, but I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to ask any of my Indian friends/family about it).
   241. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 07:21 AM (#4574117)
If someone calls an Indian a "Redskin" to his face, it's definitely an insult, because the intent to insult is clear. If a football team has been using that name for 76 years and not a single person has used it with any intention of insulting anyone, it's an insult of a far lesser order, as witnessed by the distinctly indifferent reaction that many (or perhaps even most) Native Americans have to the name.


The only way to cobble together this "intent" distinction is because the Native Americans are entirely out of sight, out of mind to the users. (*) In other words, the use is the archetypical "casual racism" -- the equivalent of the snob who doesn't argue with his "lessers," but simply pays them no heed. That's not a reason to keep the name; it's a reason to get rid of it.

And it's already been demonstrated that a common non-slurrish use of a word does not negate its slurrish features -- otherwise a team could be called the "Washington N______s," as "n_____" is used non-slurrishly more frequently than the nickname of the Washington NFL team.

You're (**) self-interested in the issue. You've been a fan of the team, used the name, and feel warmly about the city and community that has used and celebrated the team and logo. You have friends and acquaintances who have done the same. The team and the name have been prominent features of the sports culture you've followed most of your life. That's pretty clearly biasing your perspective. You don't want to believe that your community has done the things they've done, and so aren't seeing it clearly.

(*) And I wouldn't concede that George Preston Marshall and the early users all had the intent you describe.

(**) Not you alone, of course.
   242. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 10:32 AM (#4574239)
You're (**) self-interested in the issue.

Yeah, I'm so self-interested that I've repeatedly said that I don't give a damn whether or not they change the name, and in fact I have a direct, if minor, self-interest in hoping that Snyder loses the Redskins trademark.

You don't want to believe that your community has done the things they've done, and so aren't seeing it clearly.

Exactly what "things" have the Washington community done to Native Americans, besides cheer their football team, that distinguishes that metropolitan region from the rest of the country?

(*) And I wouldn't concede that George Preston Marshall and the early users all had the intent you describe.

I eagerly await any evidence you may have that shows that Marshall intended to insult Indians by using the name**, let alone any evidence you have that Redskins fans intended it that way. And as a matter of curiosity, I'd love for you to cite a single sports nickname in history where the intent of the name was to insult the people associated with it.

**And please spare us any further recitations of Marshall's racism against African Americans, which I've realized since I was about 13 years old, and are known to everyone by now.
   243. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM (#4574262)
Exactly what "things" have the Washington community done to Native Americans

Regularly and repeatedly slurred them, and paid them no heed by pleading lack of "intent."

And as a matter of curiosity, I'd love for you to cite a single sports nickname in history where the intent of the name was to insult the people associated with it.

"Redskins." I don't buy the lack of intent argument. There's not necessarily overt intent to slur, but there's clearly extreme recklessness. The name is used intentionally (*), with the knowledge that many people believe it to be a slur -- so how's that not some species of intent?

And you would never let a white guy say to another white guy, "Oh, Tyrone -- he's a good n____r, great guy" and then excuse him on the grounds that the white guy didn't "intend" to slur Tyrone or Af-Ams. Come on.

You're essentially trying to give the DC community what we can call the "hip-hop exception" for the use of the name, but white people and black people don't get the benefit of the exception -- just as white people don't get to use "n____r" because Jay-Z does.

And please spare us any further recitations of Marshall's racism against African Americans, which I've realized since I was about 13 years old, and are known to everyone by now.

Why? You don't think a guy that virulently racist against Af-Ams was also racist toward Nat-Ams? Please.

(*) Other than by the numerous media voices who have decided not to use it anymore, for essentially the reasons I've outlined.
   244. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4574280)
Congratulations on one of the best examples of circular logic I've seen displayed in quite some time. You've decided that the intent was to insult, so therefore everyone who's used the name must be guilty as charged. The queen in Alice in Wonderland would be proud of you.

Like I've said, I don't give a damn whether or not the Redskins drop the name, but if it's going to change at all, it won't be because scattershot charges of intentional racism get spit out like sunflower seeds in a dugout. All you're doing with your three days of nonsense is preaching to the choir. It's about on the same submental level as Ray's nonsense about memories of boyhood heroes being the only reason for opposing steroid users for the Hall of Fame.
   245. BrianBrianson Posted: October 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4574288)
hy? You don't think a guy that virulently racist against Af-Ams was also racist toward Nat-Ams? Please.


There's a reason Indian heritage was exempt from the one drop rule.
   246. Ron J2 Posted: October 16, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4574298)
You don't think a guy that virulently racist against Af-Ams was also racist toward Nat-Ams?


I think the evidence is pretty clear that Indians were treated in a different manner by plenty of racists. Jim Thorpe was able to play major league baseball for instance. For that matter, John McGraw attempted to get around the color bar by claiming some prospects were Indian not black (and didn't get away with it)

I don't think we can infer his attitude on the matter, and it's not like he felt the need to be subtle on the matter.
   247. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM (#4574333)
Congratulations on one of the best examples of circular logic I've seen displayed in quite some time. You've decided that the intent was to insult, so therefore everyone who's used the name must be guilty as charged. The queen in Alice in Wonderland would be proud of you.

That's not really what I did, and I spelled out why I think the "intent" argument fails.

GP Marshall's attitudes aren't necessary to what I'm saying, and I stand corrected on the superfluous suggestion regarding his state of mind in adopting the name. I'm not suggesting that his original sin, such as it is, binds the people of today or makes them participants in it. Some people have said that.
   248. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4574364)
SBB, you might simply admit what's obvious to everyone who looks at the record and thinks about it for fifteen seconds, namely that nobody has ever spoken or written "The Washington Redskins" with any intent to insult Native Americans. Not today, not in 1933 when the name was adopted, and not at any point in between. It's an assertion without a shred of evidence to back it up. Why you continue to try to embellish a perfectly legitimate argument for a name change by dragging this false side issue into it is a continuing mystery.
   249. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM (#4574389)
SBB, you might simply admit what's obvious to everyone who looks at the record and thinks about it for fifteen seconds, namely that nobody has ever spoken or written "The Washington Redskins" with any intent to insult Native Americans. Not today, not in 1933 when the name was adopted, and not at any point in between. It's an assertion without a shred of evidence to back it up. Why you continue to try to embellish a perfectly legitimate argument for a name change by dragging this false side issue into it is a continuing mystery.

Why would I "admit" something that obviously isn't true?

If some rube got to the US a couple hours ago and called somebody a "n_____" because he heard the term on the radio, then yeah, I'd say he didn't intend to slur. But that's not the situation with "R_____s," right? It's been repeatedly pointed out to the users, with varying degrees of intensity over many years, by voices of many races, that the name is a slur. Dictionaries of record call it a slur (because it is). What is "unintentional" about continued use of the term in that context? Some imagined non-slurrish usage noted almost solely by the users of the word? What's "really in the hearts" of the users?

Sorry, no sale.
   250. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4574410)
Right, so when a million Redskins fans talk about the previous day's game at work on Monday, every time they mention the team's name they're intentionally insulting Native Americans. If you say so.
   251. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4574458)
Right, so when a million Redskins fans talk about the previous day's game at work on Monday, every time they mention the team's name they're intentionally insulting Native Americans. If you say so.

Not intentionally and not maliciously (*), but not unintentionally either. Closer to intentionally than unintentionally. At this late date, virtually all the team's fans are on reasonable notice that the term is a slur.

(*) Which might be the term you're looking for. I'd certainly agree that the usage is not malicious.
   252. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4574478)
Not intentionally and not maliciously (*), but not unintentionally either.

We can put that in the "I'm not sayin', just sayin'" category, I suppose, and it's a rather poignant summary of your overall coherence on this topic.
   253. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4574508)
We can put that in the "I'm not sayin', just sayin'" category, I suppose,

Wrong category. Your claim that the slurs are unintentional is not accurate. That's what I'm sayin'.

So when the million R____s fans talk about the team at the water cooler, and refer to the name, they're intentionally using a word that is a slur. Their intent might be to use it in a form they believe is non-slurring, but they fail in that effort. Moreover, at this late date, it's difficult to credit the purported belief in a non-slurring usage. It's not as though they're saying, "Have you tried Buffy's Redskin potato salad?" They're using the term to refer to a team whose logo is a Native American.

Does that clear it up?
   254. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 16, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4574703)
Does that clear it up?

There's the fog of war, and then there's the fog of your last three days worth of explanations about "intentions". A guerrilla war in the monsoon has nothing on you.

So does that make all these self-deceiving (but still "intentionally using a word that is a slur") Redskins fans a bunch of racists for using the name around the water cooler? It's hard to see how you'd view them otherwise, but man, that sure is a lot of racists.
   255. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 16, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4574712)
There's the fog of war, and then there's the fog of your last three days worth of explanations about "intentions".

You want the fog, you need the fog. Clarity's your enemy here, as is easily seen.

So does that make all these self-deceiving (but still "intentionally using a word that is a slur") Redskins fans a bunch of racists for using the name around the water cooler?

Interesting question and worthy of further thought. The first thing I'd say is that the parry, "man, that sure is a lot of racists" doesn't mean they aren't. That seems to be the essential, fundamental corn husk stuck between your teeth that you can't seem to get out in this whole thing: "Things can't be as depicted because that would mean there'd be a lot of people and maybe even my whole community guilty of something and that just can't be." Maybe it can be. In fact, I'm leaning toward, "It is."

   256. salajander Posted: October 16, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4575198)
Which is, presumably, why with the reporter going to the reservation, no one was actually offended - it simply isn't used as an insult anymore.

Wait, what? From that article:
Compare that to John Reddy, a high school senior and Oglala Lakota tribal member who hasn’t spent a whole lot of time off of Pine Ridge. “Ehh, whatever,” he said when I asked him if he thought “Redskins” was offensive. Then I put the issue into a real-world situation and asked what he would think if a stranger showed up to his house and called his little brothers and sisters “cute little redskins.” His answer: “Well, I’d #### him up.”
My question was a variant on a challenge that Ray Halbritter, head of the Oneida Nation’s tribal government and CEO of the tribe’s successful business arm, Oneida Enterprises, has been issuing publicly to Redskins owner Dan Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“Come to our reservation,” says Halbritter, whose tribe does business with the Buffalo Bills, “get up before everybody, families with children, and start out by saying how many cute little redskin children you see in the audience. Then try and tell us that you’re honoring us with that name.” (No one has taken Halbritter up on the offer.)

So not offended, then?
   257. Morty Causa Posted: October 16, 2013 at 08:33 PM (#4575203)
Besides, White Eyes speak with forked tongue.

Edited to remove reference to Maverick.
   258. Morty Causa Posted: October 16, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4575205)
Compare that to John Reddy, a high school senior and Oglala Lakota tribal member who hasn’t spent a whole lot of time off of Pine Ridge.

Staying true and taking pride in his deep-seated instinct for going extinct.
   259. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: October 16, 2013 at 09:18 PM (#4575299)
Staying true and taking pride in his deep-seated instinct for going extinct.


A comment like that is exactly why Native Americans have a tough time living off the reservation.
   260. Morty Causa Posted: October 16, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4575306)
I hang my head--and laugh.

They should have started living off the reservation 150 years ago. And, indeed, some did.
   261. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 16, 2013 at 09:28 PM (#4575314)
Compare that to John Reddy, a high school senior and Oglala Lakota tribal member who hasn’t spent a whole lot of time off of Pine Ridge. “Ehh, whatever,” he said when I asked him if he thought “Redskins” was offensive. Then I put the issue into a real-world situation and asked what he would think if a stranger showed up to his house and called his little brothers and sisters “cute little redskins.” His answer: “Well, I’d #### him up.”


Woah woah woah, calm down there chief, no need to go on the warpath.
   262. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: October 17, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4575602)
So does that make all these self-deceiving (but still "intentionally using a word that is a slur") Redskins fans a bunch of racists for using the name around the water cooler?

Interesting question and worthy of further thought. The first thing I'd say is that the parry, "man, that sure is a lot of racists" doesn't mean they aren't.


So how do you propose to distinguish among these folks who are "intentionally" insulting Native Americans, merely by using the Redskins name around the water cooler without any apparent sense of guilt? Individual followup questioning by modern liberal sensitivity trainers?** Or are they all "racists" simply because they root for the Redskins and don't want the name changed? For someone who always claims that "modern liberals" are "race obsessed", you're sure exhibiting a pretty good show of that particular mindset.

That seems to be the essential, fundamental corn husk stuck between your teeth that you can't seem to get out in this whole thing: "Things can't be as depicted because that would mean there'd be a lot of people and maybe even my whole community guilty of something and that just can't be." Maybe it can be. In fact, I'm leaning toward, "It is."

Without any proof beyond assertion, of course, that plus your own circular logic. I've heard of some strange litmus tests for "racism", but this one wins the blue ribbon.

**Some of whom are likely "racists" themselves (at least according to some people around here) because they believe in "racist" race-based affirmative action. But then I guess that would fall into the category of having a jury of one's peers, so you would probably be cool with that.
   263. Sunday silence Posted: October 17, 2013 at 12:51 AM (#4575629)
Closer to intentionally than unintentionally.


favorite quote so far.

That some people might get offended by damn near anything, is probably true. These "intention" arguments are rather murky. It being near impossible to say what someone's intent is.

That example above of Mr. Reddy, is just one example of how the context might change his, (Reddy's) perception of an insult.

SO I dont think one can say with certainty that no one ever intended to insult someone with the term, or that no one was ever insulted by the term.

ANother interesting question: is anyone offended by the term: "black" to refer to African Americans? Next question: is anyone offended by the term: "black skins" to refer to Af-Ams?

   264. BrianBrianson Posted: October 17, 2013 at 03:09 AM (#4575650)
So not offended, then?


Yes, not offended. He asked if he was offended by the term "Redskin", and only got no as an answer. Since that wasn't the answer he wanted, he replaced it with "well, what if I was trying to be offensive?". Almost anything can be offensive if your intent is clear.
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