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Monday, October 7, 2013

To Change or Not to Change, That is the Question!

For this week's blog, you have a small assignment.  Below is a link that you need to go to and read the article from the Washington Post.  The article is 5 pages long, but won't take you that long to read and is important for you to understand the purpose for this week's blog post.

Granted, some of you may not be big sports fans, or even more importantly for some, football fans, but the issue that is raised here goes far beyond that concept.  The real issue here is dealing with an question that is as old as the United States its self (actually, the issue probably can be traced back all the way to the first Europeans arriving in the New World).  But I'll stop here, for I really don't want to influence anyone's opinions on this issue.

Make sure you READ the article before responding to the topic for this week and feel free (highly encouraged) to use information from the reading to support your point of view.

Click here for the Washington Post article

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC QUESTION:
Should Native American themed mascots (for all teams, both professional and even high school) be banned?   Or are we simply becoming too politically correct?  Defend your point-of-view.

54 comments:

  1. In short, keeping the name for Native American themed mascots is a necessary retention towards semantic toleration and cultural integration. First trace back to the ancestral meaning of the word “redskins”, despite the later derogatory senses it possess, it actually implies no more than the color of war paint, that is mostly used by Indians to decorate their faces for ceremonial purposes. Now let’s move our attention to the application of “Redskins” by the franchise of Washington’s football team: the very origin of its establishment appears to be rather ambiguous in the first place---whether the honored then-coach William “Lone Star” Dietz has had his roots in Sioux or does steal the identity of a Native American man, is still remained a dispute. If he is truly who he’s known to be, his intention of spreading the pride of being Native American should be respected by all the others, and thus the name should never even be considered to be changed. Because it holds no mean of offensive or aggressive regards in any shape or form. If on the other hand, he isn’t really a Native American, then the story of honor might be altered to a history of shame to some degree. Nevertheless, in either case, the issue should be centered on a CHARACTER not a wide range of MISCONCEPTION of the word itself. Unfortunately, as a human instinct, we tend to define a word according to its relevant business. As we dig more and more deep into its political accordance, our efforts to eliminate this name might be an idiotic approach to conceal Dietz’s shameful history.

    Well, so what do the Native Americans deem? As Ida “One Star” Marshall pointed out in this article, her families all hope that the name would encourage children and aim at assimilation. What a familiar word: the native-born Africans in the 17th century contributed to the growth of a distinctive slave culture by integrating their own elements of speech, religion, and folkways into American cultures. The Africans’ assimilation might be inevitable due to the slavery in a long run, but it’s justified to say that in order for assimilation to take place, an acceptance from both contributors are required. Therefore in the case of “Redskins”, if this name is to be overthrown, its subtext seems to be that the Americans still own a potential or reluctant suspicion towards this alleged assimilation. In other words, is changing the name really a way to “respect” the Natives? Is it really producing some sort of welfare for the Natives? Or does the majority still believe in the treatment of Native Americans with the notion from reservation---that we shall stay separate and peaceful without offending each other---then it’s just a cold cultural diplomacy.
    Ultimately, merely a handful of polls are being conducted. Such voting in Annenberg Institute indicates “nine out of 10 Native Americans were not offended”. These voting results are vague, but there’s saying all around that as long there is one “no” in a thousand “yes”, the proposal cannot pass. Although this may totally tie up to something beyond substantiation, it may be worth to mention that a minor rejection is totally INEVITABLE. According to Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism, a law is helpful if it provides greatest happiness in largest amount of people (WCH notes!!). So now, if most of the Native Americans are not feeling offended, otherwise if they really feel---no protest is there against the “Redskins”! Why does it even bother to change a NAME that’s ultimately a NAME, which its real value is the athletes' effort and the patriotic spirit it conveys?

    p.s.Really helps brainstorming on a chilly windy day. Hoping someone would point out any flaws in this post that are not logical…my head is bursting when writing it..:))

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    1. I really liked how you pointed out that "Redskins" is only a name, and that what really matters is the athletes' performance, and the spirit of patriotism that it portrays. However, I'd like to offer a counter-statement (I'm not bashing at you post). When you talk about the patriotic spirit, that spirit is based off of a name that came from killing Indians, then carving off their scalps for money. That is what the Native Americans are grouped with in many American households: a guy in a suit, while people loudly cheer the same racial slur over and over again. While they have a very honorable culture, the very premise of naming a football team after them shows that, like panthers or giants, they should be feared. In my opinion, that isn't how they should be remembered (again, this is only my opinion, I'm not trying to trash your comment!)

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    2. You asked if changing the name would really respect or provide welfare to the Natives; I find myself saying yes. I don't believe it implies that Americans still hold suspicions about assimilation. Removing the name acknowledges the fact that the term was, and still is, used in disparaging remarks for a whole race of human beings. The change may not exactly give them money or a job, but it does help destroy the long-lived cage of ignorance about the Indians and their way of life. It lessens the ammunition often used in the teasing and mockery of those with Native American ancestry. As you mentioned, 'redskin' refers to the warpaint they used. A bunch of people painting their faces red to show support for a football game take this tradition out of context, making it lose its sacredness. Though the team is really about the athletes themselves, the name is not just a name. No matter which way you spin it, 'redskin' is still a degrading slur, much like the n-word or (forgive me for this) 'ching-chong chinks.'

      Let's just agree to disagree.

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    3. Carrie I really do think that changing the Redskins name would make the situation better. I don't know if you heard of this team but it's called the Kansas City Chiefs. Their also a football team based of off Native American culture. They haven't been criticized by their name, probably because it represents a strong presence. There is also a baseball team called the Indians and there not attacked at all. The reason people are bothered by the Redskins is because it's judging only on skin color.

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  2. “Redskins” What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? As humans our instincts go straight to the prominent meaning of this term, a Native American. The word “redskin” has a negative connotation. We were always taught and still are taught that a name has a deep meaning and strong significance. Remember the first day of our English classes for the past 3-4 years? The teachers wanted us to define our name and explain how it related to us. They wanted us to realize our names make us who we are and are connected to us. So, someone without very much knowledge about sports or this team is particular will first analyze its name, just like we judge a book by its cover, or a human because of their looks. It’s a human instinct after all!! A name has a significant meaning, just like a label, or stamp…it identifies who you are. While some people may argue “its just a name” others may say this name has a significance-perhaps having a negative connection.

    As stated in this article, the newspaper’s editorial board took a stand against this arguing “no matter its storied tradition or importance to many fans- is a racial slur of Native Americans so offensive that it should no longer be tolerated.” Reading this article I thought of the various stereotypes or names that can be connected to my race. To some this may just be a name but for others it’s considered a form of a racial slur. “Redskins”- it may not have started out as a racial slur but was soon used to describe Native Americans as less than human. This work not only has negative interpretation but is also a stereotype.

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    1. Human instinct is an issue, and stereotype is an issue as well especially when it comes to racism. Name is undoubtedly important as you point out---it carries these deep connotations and strong significance and it's more like a form of reputation. Your reasons are valid, Iqra, but I have to hold on to my own opinion in this case. Changing the name will ONLY lead to a FURTHER stereotype and negative interpretation to the "Redskins". Replacing it with another "pure" name has only temporary effects, but for the "Redskins", the Native Americans in a long run, there existence will only receive growing smirch and being refrained from mentioning.

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    2. I like how you point out that it is only human instinct for us to judge someone by their name. When you hear someone's name, you can determine what language it sounds like, and guess what ethnicity the person is. However, as you pointed out, at some point, people can end up associating a word to an ethnicity, i.e. "Redskins" to Native Americans. If I was Native American, that is not how I would want millions of people to remember me by. It is much easier to peel off a stamp and wash away the residue than to get rid of a racial slur, and correct millions of people who use the word without a second thought.

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    3. Iqra, I completely agree with your argument about the importance of a name. If you think about it, in today's society everything revolves around the name! If it has a good reputation amongst the public, then it should prosper. If it does not, the chances of failure are heightened.
      As you had mentioned, Its only human instinct to judge based on a name, is true! The name is like as description of something or someone, so based of what is said about them, one cannot help but to make an assumption of what they will expect out of them.

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    4. You are right in saying that more often than not, we find ourselves judging, even subconsciously, others according to their names. Various studies have been conducted in the past regarding foreign sounding names in resumes, and there was a much lower chance for callbacks from hiring managers, regardless of their experience (managers admit to jumping to the conclusion that the applicant was an immigrant and therefore had less fluency in English). Though petty, the example points out the almost ingrained sort of judgement humans have against others. And this is only for a name; how much more would it be for a degrading racial slur tolerated by the majority of Americans.

      It's sad that society, mass media, and man's basic level of distrust to those 'not of his kind' cultivate this racism in us from the time of our youth.

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    5. I completely agree with your argument Iqra! I like how you mentioned that the word "redskin" has a negative connotation. That is a very accurate statement. To some people, it may just be a football team name. To others, it may be an extremely painful and offensive slur. Just as many races out there get offended when they are called a racial slur, Native Americans may feel the same way about this. Although it happened a while ago, it is and will always be apart of our history. Nothing can change that. It effected lives and many people will remember what happened to them as a horrific event. Bottom line, just because people think it isn't a big deal doesn't mean that others aren't extremely offended by it. To some people, a football team name doesn't mean too much, but to others, it may mean the world.

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    6. Yes everything has a name, but whats the problem now!, its been 40yrs since the team name was established, and no one found anything wrong with it. And now when Obama goes somewhere he shouldn't have gone (talking about sports, not the government shut-down), now it gets offensive. if you ask me, if Obama never said anything, this blog would have been a different question.

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  3. While we may not all be fans of American football, we all have a name. When we first get to know each other, we try to find out each others' name. When you first think of something familiar, we first think of its name. You see the importance of names. Then, there are names that are meant to be offensive to a certain racial group. For the war paint they put on their faces, Native Americans have "earned' the title "Redskins." This eventually found its way to the football team for Washington, who still has the name to this day. Let us all remember, these are racial stereotypes! They are meant to be used as ammunition for hatred against a group, to pin a group to that title for eternity, to make them feel that they are less than human. It is bad enough that they have been shoved off of their ancestral lands by foreign invaders, but they have to live with an extremely popular (and lucrative, I may add) sports team being called a name that is offensive to them. I never actually realized that every Sunday, Native Americans have to live with hearing "Hear come the Washington Redskins!" Centuries ago, that would have meant "Look, savages!" I'm sure that there are some racial groups that still use the term negatively to this day. That's why we need to change it. Yes, 90% of the Native Americans in the country are disinterested about, or even admire, the Redskins name, but what about the 10%? What about the people who actually feel sick when they realize that this is what they are being remembered as. What probably hit me the most is the African American Redskins fan who realized that the Redskins name is offensive. Then, you realize that one of the few redeeming qualities of the name, the fact that it honored a Native American coach of the team, is shattered because the coach might have stolen a man's identity. I realize that the name is loved along with the team it represents, but many other sports teams went through name changes. I doubt that many people have heard of the Houston Oilers, but I bet many of you know them as what they are called now, the Tennessee Titans. This happened as recently as 1997. If the team you are representing doesn't change, then why care if the name changes. Just keep your old merchandise. You can even sell it one day when it is really valuable - one day when we don't use "Redskins" to think of the Sioux, or the Mohawks, or the Iroquois, or any other Native Americans.

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    1. Brandon, I'm not going to disagree with your point of view, but I do have a question for you. You stated, "Yes, 90% of the Native Americans in the country are disinterested about...what about the 10%? What about the people who actually feel sick when they realize that this is what they are being remembered as. " Do you feel that a given policy, regardless of what it relates to, should be changed if only 10% of a population disagrees with it? What about "majority rules"?

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    2. Brandon, I would like to make the arguement of freedom of speech, Would you agree this is applicable here? Especially how you mentioned there is only a 10% who are actually affected by this, would this 10% in comparison to the 90%, be enough to eradicate the whole use of Native American names?

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  4. All names have a history behind them. Some have only simple stories to tell, perhaps an endearing moment with a grandmother or an amusing experience with a friend. Other, however, have complex histories that span decades, even hundreds of years. Take for example, the term 'redskin.' Depending on which you choose to believe, it referred to either the war paint early Native Americans used or to the hunts for savages Europeans conducted, in which anyone caught had their scalps peeled from their heads. Whatever origin it may have had, the racial slur was and still is shouted at football games where the Washington Redskins play. Though it's always been a controversy, nowadays the issue has blown up larger than ever before.
    Opponents of the name change argue that using the term honors the Native Americans for their ferocity and bravery. Its use was even started because the original team owner had apparently wanted to a Native American coach. Using a racial slur, however, is most definitely not an honor. Rather, it is a slap of both ignorance and apathy to the Indians and their traditions, a reminder of their past every time the team's football fans cheer.
    Is the Native American race really subconsciously considered to be that low that people have decided to use them as mascots for their own teams, much like one would use an animal as a good luck charm? Had it been another race, such as the Chinese or the African Americans, masses would have cried for blood, demanded justice. In this way, the nation practices a hypocrisy that somewhat boggles the mind.
    Another argument opponents often bring up is that people are simply becoming too sensitive, too politically correct. We are reminded of the children's saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." The question is this: what gives one the right to decide for others which term is derogatory and which is not? After all, reactions to racial slurs that do not insult one's own race are quite often considered to be exaggerations. Opponents also cite recent polls that reveal up to 90% of Native Americans do not feel offended by the term. Heck, some of them even regard it as pride for their race. While it can't be denied that each is entitled to their own opinion, one must consider if the ones surveyed were true Native Americans or if they simply had the ancestry.
    Finally, it all boils down to the loyal fans themselves. The majority resist such a change, highly reluctant to call their home team with a different, unfamiliar name. It's as if it is the name, and not the players' skills and coach's strategies, that determine whether the team will win or lose. Is it not true that "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?"

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    1. I like how you pointed out that the Native American mascots are only people dressing up as other people. I never actually thought about how people can regard Indians as so low that they actually class them with bobcats and the Jersey Devil. It ties in with the African American Redskins fan who realized that the Redskins' name was essentially saying a racial slur millions upon millions of times. Lastly, I like how you said the very idea of having a mascot that depicts a Native American is like a hypocrisy: if it was any other race, there would be mass boycotts, and extreme amounts of ethnic violence and suspicion. Why not in this case?

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    2. Hanna, you have made a good point in which some people do not care. You highlighted the fact of how some Natives actually take pride in their tough name. That totally changed the point of view on many things especially because many are arguing how offensive it is, but no one is actually realizing on how others may actually like it!

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    3. Hannah, your points are very strong. After reading your post I also noticed one point that really stood out to me. The way one thing can connected to another and soon be considered a stereotype. This is prominent in the naming of the redskins. At one time the meaning was not associated at it is now but its is imbedded in the human to think of it as a racial slur.

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    4. I agree with your post 100%. You brought up some really good points. I like your concluding paragraph. It tied everything together and it was just overall a good ending. What stood out to me most was how you said "the nation practices hypocrisy" because now that I realize it, you're absolutely right.

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    5. The real problem people have is the name. It should be changed yet it's ridiculous to change anything else. I do enjoy how you talked about if there was a racial African American team. Millions of blacks would be infuriated by this. However, for the redskins? There are barely any Native Americans left.

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  5. Many people believe a name is already defined, when in reality, thats not the case. We are given a name, but we have to be careful, because the name does not define us, we define the name. Recently there has been much social controversy with the Washington football team, the “Redskins.” People have been arguing over the negative connotations this name carries, although, not many have acknowledged the positive use of the Native American name.

    Ever since the early 1800-1900's, little children would play games pretending to be the Natives, just as kids today would pretend to be firefighters or police officers. This alone is evidence of the American people drawing inspiration from the Indians. Much culture of our country is carried within them due to their origin and the group's identity.

    Nevertheless, there is the fear in which carrying a name that has gained a negative connotation over the years, could take its toll on the mindset of our society. People could learn and become accustomed to associating the Natives to be less than human, since that is what “Redskins” would refer to. The fact that President Obama had a say in this, only caused the social controversy to intensify. Most should take into consideration that we are a country founded on the sole essence of freedom. Freedom which is embedded into our Constitution as the first amendment grants “freedom of speech, press, religion, and assembly.” Therefore, it right for this name to exist up until it becomes an issue. If any schools prohibit the use of a Native American names for a team, the country as a whole could be considered to be acting too politically correct. It would be as if our country is a frozen ice pond, and any action a person would make could cause a crack, or if sever enough, it could cause the entire person to sink into the freezing water. In the end, it is ultimately up to you to interpret the history of the name of the “Redskins” and personally decide how it should be perceived, because after all, it will only be your opinion which matters.

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    1. Iamka, your point if the constitution was extremely strong. The explanation of the constitution explaining the freedom from a different perspective was shown. There is an extent to this freedom. Your analogy was also a great tactic to explain the extent of freedom. This negative connotation of the redskins in my opinion needs to be removed.

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    2. I like how you said, "the name does not define us, we define the name" That is soo true. A name is nothing until we give it meaning.

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    3. President Obama's speech only caused this controversy to intensify---I cannot agree with you more Iamka. The discrimination that derived out of this name seems only be a knot in the Americans' mindset. It's even like inviting troubles from the very beginning when the name is first settled. Although I cannot fully consent to your point that the name should be changed when it becomes an issue, since it's somewhat an intense situation right now. But the "sole essence of freedom" is what really convinces the choice of keeping the name.

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    4. If ""the name does not define us, we define the name" is to be taken as truth, then the converse "if we do not define the name, the name does not define us" also has some logic behind it. Think of it like this: imagine all Native Americans did not find anything bad with the oft-called "degrading term" redskins, and instead, felt complete indifference toward the term. In this case, the term would not be classified as a racial slur, or perhaps not even having a connection with the Native Americans. I just find it fascinating that the targeted person's reaction to a specific word is what constitutes and defines a word as a racial slur. If every race in the world did not take offence to any word, then there would be no racial slurs. To me, this is one of the biggest examples of irony in the world.

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    5. Iamka,
      This post was very well written overall. The notion that the team defines the name is completely true and that quote was very powerful in itself and should be addressed. I also completely agree with the fact that many inspirations have been obtained from Native Americans, in fact, the Natives had impact on everyday things such as our monetary currency for example. I also liked how you mentioned how negative connotations arose because of a different mindset, which is true. Overall the point of view was also interesting and different than others.

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    6. Agreeing with Nirali- your name means nothing until you give it a meaning. If you do nothing to give your existence a meaning or purpose, then nothing matters. We're here to make a difference and give our name a definition. Love that.

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  6. I believe Native American mascots should stay the same. It's not degrading to be named after football team. They're supposed to represent spirit and toughness. Imagine if we had a football team called the Gehms. I believe Mr.Gehm would be quite proud of that. That's why we have teams like the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, and etc. It should be taken with pride, not insult.
    However, I do believed the "Redskins" should be changed. It's very insensitive and does not bold well with Native American culture. If we had teams like the Whiteskins, Blackskins, or Yellowskins it would be widely offensive. We should still keep everything the same aside from the name. The Kansas City Chiefs are based off of Native American culture, yet they're not under fire because their name isn't intolerant. Rodger Goodell says that the name represents pride. How does the color of your skin give any sort of pride?


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    1. You say that " It's not degrading [for the Native Americans] to be named after football team", but wasn't the team actually named after the Native Americans?


      I strongly agree when you say that being called Blackskins or Yellowskins would be offensive. Being called anything regarding the color of your skin would definitely bring racial offense.

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    2. Ok after reading this post I'm really confused. Do you believe the name should be changed or kept the same? yes you stated both sides of the argument but it left me puzzled sin you stated "I believe Native american mascots should stay the same" and the you said "however, i do believed the "Redskins should be changed" If the mascot stays the same but the name changes there will still be a negative connotation attached to the name. Remember, human instincts judge with their eyes not their mind. Can you please clarify you argument?

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    3. I initially have the same issue with Iqra, but after reading it thoroughly I might be able to help clarify somewhat. You use several examples that are not offensive to illustrate the point of keeping the name, while the examples you use for changing the name are purposely aggressive. So Dylan, do you suggest that as long as the name is positive and can be accepted in a vast scale, it can stay as what it is? Yet in the case of “Redskins”, it should be changed because its denotation is just like "Whiteskins, Blackskins, or Yellowskins"?

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    4. I felt there was going to be some confusion on this.
      Nirali: a little slip up on my part but I think my point gets across
      Iqra: I had two different answers for two different questions.The topic was should Native Americans be used as a mascots for school, which I said yes. Another part is should the Redskins change there name? Which I said yes to on the grounds that it had nothing to do with Native American culture and is just a racial slur.

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    5. Yes I agree with you Dylan because it IS supposed to show their bravery and strength which is just another reason to keep the same name and not worry about changing it.

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    6. Dylan, I must disagree about your statement "How does the color of your skin give any sort of pride?" I, along with many others, in fact, take great pride in the colour of my skin. To me, and countless others of different creeds, the physical colour of skin represents part of one's culture. For example, in the Indian religion, one of the biggest stories is about the changing of the pigment of skin. While I do find it unfortunate that people tend to judge others by the colour of their skin, I also find that that same colour tends to bring people of the same culture, but different ways of life, together, and thus, it is essential for both one's acceptance of culture and for self-respect that one must take pride in the colour of their own skin.

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    7. I have to agree with Pranav. One's pride in their skin color almost always ties to one's pride in and belief of the importance of their own culture. For example, there's a Filipino myth I grew up with that tells of how God made man by baking clay. White people came to being when God pulled out the clay too early while blacks were born because He left them in the fire too long. God carefully watched over the last batch and He got them out at the right time. They were with golden brown skin and God was satisfied. The story doesn't imply the same aggressive superiority early European settlers had; it simply taught us to embrace our culture.

      This pride only becomes a horror when a person starts judging or justifying their own misdeeds against others because they were of a different color, much like how the Europeans were with the blacks and Native Americans.

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    8. I don't think it is a racial slur Dylan, it more on the lines of our great American history, since the Natives Americans played a huge role. it was never intended to be racial, just to show the power the team possesses, because the indians were a cause of most of the wars and a force to reckon with, as in the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, ect.

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  7. Native American themed mascots should be banned due to racial disturbances. Calling a Native American a Red-skin is just like calling an African American a Negro. Both are offensive. They were once thought of as a ‘lesser’ people. The name brings back memories of hardship and struggle to the Native Americans. “The use of such an offensive term has negative consequences for the Native American community when it comes to issues of self-identity and imagery.” According to Washington Post’s articles, “Redskins fans have, for decades, watched the team slowly shed pieces of its Indian-themed imagery.” They shed pieces of the imagery; Why not shed the name as well?
    In the article, it said that the name was “even a point of pride.” How can being named after a man who stole an identity be a point of pride?
    A few questions come to mind: Is the name itself really that important? Will changing the name affect how well they play? How can this team represent “Redskins” if they had an all-white roster until 1961(They only became integrated because of threat from the federal government)?
    “In 2004 poll by the Annenberg Institute showing that nine out of 10 Native Americans were not offended by the team’s name.” In coordination to taking a poll of who was offended by the name, they should’ve also ran a poll on who would be bothered if they changed the name. If an even fewer percentage minded the name change (in comparison to the number offended by the name), it would be worth changing. In a world where not everyone agrees, we must attempt to satisfy the majority.

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    1. It's good that they're slowly but surely shedding pieces of their Indian-themed get-up. To them, it may seem like an act of honor to do 'rain dances' and cheer their athletes while dressed up in 'Indian-style' costumes, but it's not. It's a mockery that shows their ignorance and besmirches the Native Americans' way of life. For example, the band used to wear elaborate feather headdresses. A quick search, however, reveals that not all tribes employed this famous headdress. In the dozen or so tribes that did, this type of headdress was reserved only for chiefs and warriors who earned each feather that made the headdress up. Anyone who wore this was deeply revered in the tribe.

      Among all the questions you asked, the one that stood out the most was how this team could possibly represent the 'redskins' when they had an all-white roster until 1961. Yes, it was supposed to commemorate one of their coaches; however, there are a thousand other names they could have used. Why did the original team owner decide to use a well-known racial slur instead of, oh I don't know, the coach's favorite animal?

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    2. I agree, it seems very degrading towards people who were branded with that name. Who experience torture, slavery, and murder of an entire race. It's like saying "Let's have a team called the 9/11ers!" I don't think skin color should be a way to idolize your team. I mean how intimidating is skin supposed to be.

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    3. But Nirali like you said nine out of ten Native Amercian people are not affected by the name. It shouldn't be SO important that it is urgent change the name of the football team name right away. It's not like we're directly calling them redskins it's just a name to show the pride and strength that the redskins have so technically we are actually complimenting them.

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  8. A lot has been said on the moral issues that surrounds the word "redskin", but not much has been said on the economical repercussions of the name change. To recall and then remake all the merchandise, which vary from caps to cups, would take an immense amount of money for the Redskins organization. It has been estimated that the name change would cost about 20 million dollars for all of this to occur. This, according to Forbes, is higher than 9 NFL team's operating income. To spend all this money on changing a name only 1 in 10 people who are affected by this "degrading name" would spell huge losses, and this does not even account for the fan's willingness to buy new merchandise.
    As per one of the comments I have read about this argument, if the Redskins chabge their name, than should the Dallas Cowboys for its connotation with whites, and the New Orleans Saints for its connotation with Christianity. This argument has been blown out of proportion due to its connotation with Native Americans, in which case the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Blackhawks should alsk have name changes done. With the plethora of other names that can be classified as degrading, couplesd with the amount of expenses it would take to change the name, proves that it would be a bad decision to rename the Washington Redskins.

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    1. I definitely agree with you Pranav. People are only focusing on the Native American racial name while other people aren't worried about the other names that may be racial to other religions. This is why if its not that important to a huge majority then it shouldn't really be involved in government or political issues. They have many other serious things to worry about.

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    2. Pranav,
      Overall, this post was very straightforward and well support through analysis. You took an unexpected point of view when you mentioned the financial factor of things when it came to the actual team name change. It was also surprising to hear that 20 million dollars could be the cost of a team name change. One issue with this post was that you didn't completely answer the prompt because you were asked whether Native American themed mascots should be banned, which you failed the answer.

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  9. In my personal opinion I believe that Native American mascots should not be band. It is just something that shouldn't be too important when there are other things going on that may be much more important then changing a football team name. This team name has been around for many years and it confuses me why they are suddenly try to change it now. Also many people are already used to the football name and wouldn't really want it changed after so many years of the same tradition. Also most people don't really believe its offensive and just want to enjoy a football game with a mascots and the players on the field. Other teams aren't any different such as the Cleveland Indians that have a baseball team. It truthfully isn't any different from the football team so I'm confused why it's so crucial to change the name.

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    1. I agree when you say this isn't that important. Obama should be focusing on more important things like ending the government shut-down.

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    2. I find it very interesting on the way you had approached the question. It is somewhat (unusually) effective on how you say that President Obama and other people of authority should have other things to do than to worry about a sport's name debate that has been going on for decades. Your straight-forward reasoning and logic make for blunt and honest point of view.

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    3. Juliet,
      There are a few flaws with your post. Firstly, your argument seems weak and you should have used more facts along with a deeper insight on the prompt. Secondly, just a point of clarification, you stated that "they are just trying to suddenly change the football team name now," when in reality, the article states that the first efforts to change the Redskin's team name has been in 1972. Thirdly, you stated that "most people don't think it is offensive," but that is also not true. In fact, many organizations consisting of Native Americans have campaigned against the name, since there are 5.2 million Native Americans, some of which are bound to want the name changed.

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    4. I absolutely agree with you! As president of the United States, Barack Obama should most definitely NOT be focusing on things like this. But, leaving President Obama out of this, should the "Redskins" be called that? Is it fair to the people who suffered in the past? Yes, Obama should not be worrying about this, but other people in this world should. My point is that this is not mainly about only Barack Obama's opinion, but the world's opinion or take on this.

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    5. I agree with you 100%. President Obama has to have his head on a different planet when he wants to talk about sports, and not even all the teams with native american type names, instead of trying to stop the shut-down, or the chemical weapon warfare that has been going on in the middle east.

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  10. Native american themed mascots shouldn't be banned in high schools across the nation for a few reasons. Firstly, we have to discuss about what a mascot is or can be interpreted as. A team mascot is something that is supposed to represent a team in terms of strength, spirit, etc. Now, if a native american head is used as the mascot, why should that be offensive? It should instead be considered a good thing for Native Americans since it shows that teams respect them enough to have a Native American represent what they are as a team. The 5.2 million Native Americans in the United States should be proud that they are significant enough for team mascots unlike other races in the country. Now, there are exceptions to this belief as well. The Native Americans shouldn't be called things that they find stereotypical such as "Redskins" because this takes a symbol of significance for the Natives and turns it into one of contempt. Names such as "Redskins" can anger many people because of the fact that it brings up skin color again after all of the cruelty due to skin color. An example of this cruelty can be the African slaves who were lowest in social class because of their position as slaves and eventually because of their skin color. Stereotypes like the Redskins should not be used at any level of sports even in high school sports because there are a substantial amount of people who find this term or terms like these to be offensive. In a nation that is built by definition on the promise of freedom of race and religion, banning stereotypes, especially on high stages like professional sport teams, should be a given. With all of the diversity in this country, we should think about mascots and team names that aren't pejorative to any group of people. In a free nation, groups like Native American shouldn't be singled out with names from Europeans that haven't experienced the hardships like their Native American ancestors have experienced. We seem to live in a generation where racial slurs are taken very offensively, so names like the Redskins should be dissolved completely. As seen with New World colonization, skin color, even though not originally a problem, was a series of tragedies followed by another. So much cruelty and death was forced upon thousands of people just because of skin color, so naming the Native Americans once again based on skin color in the 21th century should be intrinsically thought of as wrong, as we should have learned from our mistakes. High school Native American mascots should not be banned in general, but should be banned when the name is disparaging.

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  11. A part of the article that really stood out to me was the conclusion. Reading about the colored Redskins fan at the end truly gave me chills. His eyes opened when the man had asked him to take off the cap because it offended him. This part showed most readers that you don't really see the situation until your in the other person's shoes. The colored man didn't see where the Native Americans were coming from until the old Indian man said something to him. Andre Holland realized that if someone had called him the "n" word or any other word that made him uncomfortable, he would not appreciate it.
    Although it was only a cap, it was still offensive. Seeing that people are representing something that brought your people so much pain and agony is horrific. People need to focus less on the point that it's just a football team and that they're making money, and more on the point that this football team name is actually hurting people. The word "redskins" brings back memories that aren't so pleasing to various amounts of people.
    Why should naming a football team "redskins" be acceptable if saying one offensive racial slur to someone else is inappropriate? Just because it happened a while ago does not, in any way, mean that it isn't apart of our history. They should be remembered as something more than "redskins". I understand that people think that naming the team "redskins" may be heroic or honorable, but perhaps changing the name to something more suitable to them would be better. Naming the football team something that none of them would be offended by would be much better than keeping it as "redskins".
    As Reed Hundt said in the article, “If you can’t look at somebody and use a certain name because it is an insult, then that is the moment of awareness that it is time for the name to be changed,”

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    1. Your almost as late as me! I actaully liked your argument that the man didnt see himself in the shoes of the Native American man but in the end he did put the jersey back on so i guess his eyes weren"t open for that long.

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  12. There is no sense in changing The Washington Redskins name to anything else due to the majority of Native Americans not taking offense by it and others even relishing it.
    We are not children bickering over so-and-so calling us this and crying over that, so why is there such a big fuss being made by so few people over the name associated with an american football team?
    A study done in 2004 by the Anneberg Institute actually displayed that the vast majority of Native Americans were not at insulted by the name "Redskins", the exact numbers were a whopping 9 out of 10 not being offended. So why then must we change the name if most of the people who the name is directed at take no offense to the name itself.
    There are Natvie American descendants living in Washington that actually stated that they actually liked the name "redskins" as it tied the associated area and team name to them as a people. The name also reminded them of there roots, of which they take much pride in.
    We can now stamp out the complaint that word "redskins" is "dehumanizing" to the Native Americans as very few are offended and some even enjoy the name.
    Quite frankly we are becoming careful about insulting others, at this rate why dont we just rename "The Saints" for descriminating against non-religious folk or "The Giants" because tall people might be offended by the word Giant.
    The Redskins should not change their name as too few are offended and it is just impractical to start making changes to things that can mean so little such as mere names.

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  13. i believe that Obama and the other commentators are over reacting, in my opinion. i believe that Obama is forced on the wrong things, since there are many more sports teams that have Native American names, such as, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cleveland Indians are to name a few, that Obama hadn't named.The Washington Redskins aren't there the be racial and make fun of the natives. they are there to get paid, and win. Now Obama i think has his head somewhere else, he should be more focused on stopping the government shut-down, and not worrying about sports

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