The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

August 3, 2013

Redskins’ name is a shame

The debate is on — again — in our nation’s capital over the nickname of that city’s National Football League franchise: the Washington Redskins.

Is it an iconic name harming no one’s feelings, or is it a racial slur that ought immediately to be relegated to the scrapheap of American insults to a minority group? In our view, the latter.

The issue arose a decade or so ago, and a number of teams on several levels acted positively to change their name to an inoffensive alternative.

But the NFL Redskins refused to submit, and they still do. Team owner Daniel Snyder was quoted in the Washington Post on June 26 as saying, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use all caps.”

A poll in the D.C. area had found that 61 percent of respondents like the team’s name, and two-thirds say the team should keep it. That, although 56 percent of those liking it admit it is inappropriate. Only 28 percent consider the term acceptable to use.

It confounds logic to consider a term unacceptable to use, inappropriate — even offensive — and yet prefer to retain it.

One respondent, a 52-year-old woman in construction sales, said, “I’m Irish. Should the Notre Dame Fighting Irish change their name because I don’t like it? Hell, no.”

That is an argument put forth by many. But it has no persuasive power. “Fighting Irish” offends no one. “Redskins,” in sharp contrast, is a hurtful, demeaning insult to an entire race. Would any person outside that race feel comfortable personally addressing a Native American as “Redskin?” We would certainly hope not.

Why would anyone think that, in another context, the term would be acceptable? We’re talking about sports — fun, entertainment. What an odd setting for an intentional affront.

If one Native American is hurt by this degrading treatment, it ought to be stopped at once. No amount of team tradition is worth the price of that kind of damage inflicted by one American on another.

This is not just one more example of so-called political correctness run amok. It is a personal assault on the dignity of a great many Americans of a particular heritage.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014