Tag Archives: Washington Redskins

The Only Good ‘Redskin’ Is a Deleted ‘Redskin’

Does this man know leftists consider him a bigot?
Does this man know leftists consider him a bigot?

Does this man know leftists consider him a bigot?

The Thought Police at the Washington Post are on the warpath once again over the Washington Redskins nickname. In spite of the fact it would cost owner Daniel Snyder heap–big wampum to change the name, they say it is bad medicine and it has to go. They are also angry about calling people who sell their own tickets “scalpers,” but that’s for another time.

What fired up the grievance machine this time was a gripefest on sports nicknames at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. One of the panel participants gave a summary of the ‘anti–Redskins’ argument when he challenged the paleface Washington owner to visit the National Congress of American Indians’ next meeting and start calling the attendees “redskins” and see if they consider it an honor.

That would be equivalent to visiting the nearest university Women’s Studies department during a performance of the Vagina Monologues and making a case for the positive contributions of heterosexual men.

Just because one is surrounded by screaming fanatics does not mean you deserve to be burned at the stake. (Note to Jesuits in the reading audience, I mean no offense with this analogy.)

Frankly it sounds to me like the staff of both institutions have been sampling the firewater. The Red Man has already had his revenge. Indians introduced white eyes to tobacco and that golden leaf is adding to the death toll as I type. The largely imaginary “smallpox blankets” were not even a rounding error compared to Big Tobacco’s body count.

The WaPost cites Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute as a strong supporter of sporting censorship. (Rule of Thumb: beware of experts who use all their names.) She says there are some 900 troublesome nicknames and mascots across the country, down from a peak of more than 3,000.

Harjo is proud of the fact that among the first mascots flayed was ‘Little Red,’ who used to perform at University of Oklahoma games.

I remember ‘Little Red.’ We attended OU at the same time. He was a genuine Kiowa who volunteered to be part of the athletic program. People cheered him during games. Students appreciated the work he put into his authentic costume and his footwork. Plus he didn’t leave a mess in the end zone like the Sooner Schooner. All these accolades were too much for professional Native American outrage intensifiers so they worked to have him fired.

I’m surprised Harjo let the school off so easy, merely stopping with the banishment of ‘Little Red.’ ‘Sooners’ itself is a nickname rife with bigotry. It’s a negative reference to cheaters during the land rush that crossed the border early and is no doubt a slap in the face to illegal border–crossers everywhere.

While we’re at it, how about Notre Dame’s ‘Fighting Irish?’ Doesn’t that imply the Shannons might have a drinking problem? What’s more, nicknames are just the tip of the iceberg for those “who oppose the appropriation of Native American imagery in sports.” Are they casting their gimlet eye on tomahawks, feathers, loincloths, arrows, and buffalo? Where does it end? Must 7/11 stop selling jerky?

But fair is fair. Why do ‘First Americans’ get to hog (no offense to Jews & Moslems) all the outrage? What about all those pagans wearing crosses around their necks? Or Germans and Hispanics wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day? And don’t get me started on honkies that give soul shakes.

What’s more, the Redskins aren’t the only sports enterprise with a ‘hurtful’ name. What about the Cleveland Browns? Isn’t that offensive to Hispanics and people suffering from melanoma? How would you like someone to make fun of your freckles?

Among the worst of the commercial enterprises is the Jolly Green Giant: A continual poke in the eye to tall people and committed environmentalists.

The person I feel sorry for is ‘Skins general manager Bruce Allen. This slang term controversy is déjà vu all over again for the Allen family. First the WaPost goes and lights up his brother for saying “macca” in a campaign appearance, now they are after him and his team for a name that’s been around for decades. Allen no doubt thanks his lucky stars that he’s never used the word “niggardly” in conversation.

Even the ‘conservative’ Washington Times is clinging to this bandwagon. One of their sports columnists asks, “When was the last time you used “redskin” in non-sports discussion? If the word really, truly honored, we’d have a National Museum of the Redskin…” Whoops, Faulty Analogy Alert! Formal names don’t usually incorporate nicknames, this is why the Marine Heritage Museum is not called the Jarhead Heritage Museum.

Frankly, I feel sorry for the agitators. How pathetic does life have to be to support a belief that the nickname of a professional football team is damaging to one’s psyche?

Personally, I don’t harbor any particular affection for the Redskins as you can read here. But I do hope they stand firm in the face of hysteria.

Otherwise I’m afraid my team is in imminent danger, because it will only be a matter of time before vegans come after the ‘Packers.’

Hell to the Redskins

The Green Bay Packers are renovating Lambeau Field without spending a dime of taxpayer dollars.

The Green Bay Packers are renovating Lambeau Field without spending a dime of taxpayer dollars.

When compared to the $498 million fleecing Minnesota taxpayers just endured, the $6.4 million Virginia taxpayers will be spending — thanks to Republican Governor Bob McDonnell — on improvements to the Redskins’ training facilities looks like small potatoes.

Regardless of size, both the Vikings’ new stadium and the Redskins “deal” feature the same credulous acceptance of imaginary threats, insider dealing and Babbitt boosterism that undermines the democratic process and contributes to voter alienation.

In Minnesota Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell used the threat of a Vikings move to California to put pressure on legislators. In Virginia you’d have thought Irsay Moving & Storage had trucks idling in the parking lot, ready to whisk the Redskins away if the state didn’t pony up to renovate facilities that supposedly didn’t compare with other NFL franchises.

Why do politicians fall for this horse hockey? I’ve heard better rationalizations from my teenagers. Evidently Minnesota politicians haven’t been keeping up with demographic trends. In LA they do like football, only it’s spelled “Fútbol” and they don’t wear helmets. Besides, LA used to have an NFL team, but it moved and the city survived.

The Redskins organization isn’t moving because it has over 15 years left on the FedEx Field lease. But what about team headquarters and practice facilities? What are the alternatives?

There’s Maryland, where the income tax rate is 55 percent higher than Virginia’s, and Prince Georges County where the last county executive is in prison. A higher tax climate and a lower ethical climate, what’s not to like?

Don’t forget the District. Its income tax rate is also 55 percent higher and two council members have been convicted of crimes in the past year. But DC is also the home of Councilman Mary Cheh (D–I Know What’s Best) the woman who intends to mandate the color of DC taxicabs.

There is also the “Native American” question that’s always on the fringes of Redskin Nation. In Massachusetts we have Democrat Elizabeth Warren who’s running for the US Senate and claiming to be 1/32nd Cherokee because she has high cheekbones. I don’t suppose it has escaped the notice of Redskins brain trust that the first three letters of Commissar Mary’s last name are also the first three letters of “Cherokee,” making her last name three–quarters Indian. How long do they think the team will be based in DC before Ms. Cheh decides the nickname “Redskins” is racist?

There is a better chance the US Park Service move the burial location of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s left arm, than there is of the ‘Skins moving in this decade.

Then there’s the backroom element of these travesties. In Minnesota the legislature essentially overturned a 1997 Minneapolis ordinance requiring a referendum if the city agreed to spend more than $10 million on a professional sports facility. They rightfully assumed city voters would take a dim view of throwing money at out–of–state sports plutocrats. Republican members in the House of Delegates also felt Virginia taxpayers would take a dim view of giving tax dollars to out–of–state sports plutocrats. They twice told Gov. McDonnell the House would not approve spending the money.

This put the governor in a box. Dwight Schar is a minority owner of the Redskins and since 2009 has contributed $165,000 to McDonnell and his political organization. This kind of money gets your phone calls returned. One has to assume Schar was interested in enlisting the governor’s help. McDonnell could have told Dwight that he tried twice with the legislature and was rebuffed, but he would continue to help with Richmond and Loudoun County.

But no, the governor decided to channel his inner Obama and do it by executive order (eliminating McDonnell as a surrogate Romney speaker when it comes to attacking Obama for his Imperial Presidency). The administration justified the use of “economic development” funds by claiming it means “more jobs and increased revenue for Virginia.”

Statistics bandied about by ‘Skins boosters claim the team supports 1,832 jobs “directly and indirectly” and generates “nearly $200 million in economic activity.” These numbers sound suspiciously like the Keynesian multiplier figures used for Obama’s government spending that has brought so much prosperity to us all.

An “investment” generates a return; this money is a subsidy that will not result in anything the state does not already have. Virginia’s low taxes and business climate should have been all the incentive the team needed, unless it suffers from Buffett’s disease.

Thanks to Gov. McDonnell’s leadership, an business that wasn’t going anywhere in the first place has decided to stay. A team that is named after Washington, D.C. and plays its games in Maryland will continue to wash its jocks in Old Virginny.