Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

19 June 2014

Pics of the Day: Will Dingy Reid Call Them 'RAAAAAAAAAAAACIST'? (Expanded)

Red Mesa High School is located in Teec Nos Pos, which is part of the Navajo Nation Reservation in Arizona.

Its student body is 99.3% Native American.

According to's Rick Chandler:

One school that still uses the nickname is Red Mesa High in Arizona, located on a Navajo reservation, and where 99.3 percent of its students are Native American. Tommie Yazzie, superintendent of the school district that oversees Red Mesa High School and a full-blooded Navajo, said he is more concerned with the use of Native American war chants and gestures during sporting events. Do we have your attention, Atlanta Braves and KC Chiefs?
'We don't use those gestures and traditions. As Navajos we have respect for warfare. Warfare means taking a life. And when a young warrior goes out to battle, [the gestures and war chants] belong there,” Yazzie said. “When you come back into civilian life, you don’t take that back with you. You don’t use the same type of gestures and hollering and bring that back into a sporting event.'

Likewise, what would Maria Cantwell, Chris Matthews, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, the crew at ESPN, Melissa Harris Perry, Jo Reid, Ed Schultz, Jon Stewart, Pajama Boy, Al Not-So-Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc, tell the students Ringgold High School, 59.29% of whom are African-Americans, that their mascot 'Redskins' is offencive and they are RRAAAAACCCCCCCCCCIIIISSSSSST?

Or, how about these men, legitimate heroes from WWII?  

The Washington Redskins honored Navajo Code Talkers for their service during Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers as part of Washington's annual military appreciation game.

After all, we quite know the position of Moonbats when it comes to American heroes, especially if they are minorities.  'Cuz, like, um, ya know, they didn't study hard so that they could follow John Kerry's trail at Yale; so, they got start in Iraq or some jungle.
Via Military Times (h/t FX Muldoon):

A leader of the Navajo Code Talkers who appeared at a Washington Redskins home football game said Wednesday the team name is a symbol of loyalty and courage — not a slur as asserted by critics who want it changed.

Roy Hawthorne, 87, of Lupton, Ariz., was one of four Code Talkers honored for their service in World War II during the Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Hawthorne, vice president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association, said the group’s trip was paid for by the Redskins. The four men met briefly with team owner Dan Snyder but did not discuss the name, Hawthorne said.

Still, he said he would endorse the name if asked, and the televised appearance in which three of the Indians wore Redskins jackets spoke for itself.

“We didn’t have that in mind but that is undoubtedly what we did do,” Hawthorne said when asked if he was intending to send a statement with the appearance. “My opinion is that’s a name that not only the team should keep, but that’s a name that’s American.”

The Other Redskins: Here’s A Map Of The 62 High Schools That Still Use That Nickname

The Redskins and The Wrong Side of History

Who decides when the people need to be re-educated?

As stated by William Voegeli perfectly in the 20 January 2014 edition of  The Federalist:

The National Football League, barely a decade old and barely solvent, saw three franchises disband before the start of the 1932 season. It added one more, for a total of eight, when the new Boston Braves took the same name as the major league baseball team with whom they shared a stadium, Braves Field. Because baseball was far more popular than professional football in the 1930s, NFL owners were not bashful about laying claim to a bit of the brand loyalty already enjoyed by baseball franchises. Other teams in the league that year included: the New York Giants, who played in the Polo Grounds, home of the baseball Giants; the Brooklyn Dodgers, who shared Ebbets Field with their baseball counterpart; and the Chicago Bears, who played in Wrigley Field, where the Cubs played baseball and, after a fashion, still do.

When, before the 1933 season, the football Braves relocated one mile east to Fenway Park, the owners changed the name to the Boston Redskins, encouraging Red Sox fans to make a connection to Fenway’s more famous occupant while obviating changes to the logo and uniforms. According to some accounts, the name was also an attempt to wring a marketing advantage from the fact that the coach, Lone Star Dietz, was part Sioux, or at least claimed to be.

The franchise remained the Redskins after relocating to Washington, D.C., in 1937, but the future use of that name is doubtful. Denunciations of it as an insult to American Indians reached a point during the 2013 football season that an interviewer asked President Obama for his position on the controversy. He replied, cautiously, that an owner should “think about changing” a team name if it “was offending a sizeable group of people.”

Of more importance to conservatives, columnist Charles Krauthammer also endorsed dropping “Redskins”—not as a matter of “high principle,” but in order to adapt to “a change in linguistic nuance.” “Simple decency,” he wrote, recommends discarding a term that has become an affront, even if it was used without a second thought or malicious intent 80 years ago. A few days before Krauthammer’s column appeared, on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” the highest-rated TV show throughout the football season, studio host Bob Costas called for Washington to pick a different team name. “‘Redskins’ can’t possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait,” he said, “nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term.” Rather, it’s “an insult” and “a slur.”


The New Republic and Slate are among several journals that no longer use the name in their articles. Few football fans rely heavily on either publication, of course, but many of them read Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column on By calling the team either the “Washington R*dsk*ns” or “Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons,” Easterbrook both observes and spoofs the growing de facto ban on “Redskins.”

Sadly, the republic faces challenges more dire than naming a sports team. This slight question, however, entails weightier ones about comity—how a diverse nation coheres; discourse—how Americans address one another; and power—not only how we make decisions, but how we decide what needs to be decided, and who will do the deciding.


The Right Side of History


Krauthammer, Costas, and many other “Redskins” critics contend that because sensibilities change, terminology must follow. That seems undeniable as an abstract proposition, but doesn’t settle the question of whether calling a professional team the Redskins in 2014 is intolerable, either to Americans in general or American Indians in particular. “Indian” was itself a suspect word for many years, and was giving way to “Native American” around the time “Negro” was supplanted by “black” or “Afro-American,” which was abandoned in favor of “African American.” The tide receded, however. Of the 14 “National Tribal Organizations” listed on the federal government’s website, only two use “Native American” in their names, while 10—including the most important, the National Congress of American Indians—use some form of “Indian.” Apparently, a word can grow more offensive with the passage of time, but also less offensive with the passage of additional time.

That “Redskins” is an intolerable relic from the hate-filled past, though asserted often and strenuously, is not easily demonstrated. For one thing, the term’s origins are neither inherently nor manifestly derogatory. Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Ives Goddard has traced its emergence to the 18th century, when French and English settlers and explorers, and later Americans, adapted it from Indians, who developed “red men” and “redskins” to differentiate themselves from the Europeans who had come to North America.


For another, it’s far from clear that a sizeable group of people is offended by the name. A 2004 Annenberg poll asked 768 self-identified American Indians, “As a Native American, do you find [“Washington Redskins”] offensive or doesn’t it bother you?” The results were 9% and 90%, respectively. More recently, an Associated Press poll in 2013 found that 11% of all Americans thought the team needed a different name, compared to 79% opposed to changing it. The demographic subsets of the polling sample yielded no data about American Indians’ views, but did record that only 18% of “nonwhite football fans” favored getting rid of “Redskins.”

Critics of the name who acknowledge the complexities about how it emerged in the past and is regarded in the present make a more cautious argument than those who declare the name tantamount to calling a team, say, the “Washington Darkies.” In announcing Slate’s policy of refusing to use the official name of the D.C. football team, editor David Plotz described it as an embarrassing anachronism in an age when “we no longer talk about groups based on their physical traits.” (Be that as it may, Slate still refers to Americans who trace their ancestry to Africa as “blacks,” and those descended from Europeans as “whites.”) Thus, “while the name Redskins is only a bit offensive, it’s extremely tacky and dated—like an old aunt who still talks about ‘colored people’ or limps her wrist to suggest someone’s gay.” (But, as Jonah Goldberg reminded us, this daft old woman could be a donor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.)

Such arguments, then, are based less on the location than the direction of the public’s opinions and sensibilities. The New Yorker’s Ian Crouch endorsed the views of one A.P. poll respondent: “Much farther down the road, we’re going to look back on this and say, ‘Are you serious? Did they really call them the Washington Redskins?’ It’s a no-brainer.” Stipulating the constant evolution of moral standards makes it possible to exonerate people who tolerated a problematic team name in the past. Bob Costas, for example, had given no indication that “Redskins” was an insult and a slur in his 39 years as a sports broadcaster up until 2013. Prior to former owner Jack Kent Cooke’s death in 1997, guests who watched home games with him in the owner’s box included Al Gore, George McGovern, Earl Warren, Tip O’Neill, and Eugene McCarthy, none of whom was criticized for endorsing a racist pageant by their attendance. (The fact that standards evolve does not, however, compel such exonerations. People or categories of people liberals don’t like, such as Christian fundamentalists or whites insufficiently committed to racial equality, are still condemned for failing to anticipate or embrace the emerging moral strictures.)

Those who now want the Washington Redskins to be called something newer and nicer are, it follows, “on the right side of history,” a polemic wielded with increasing frequency. Last year the National Journal offered a partial list of the many political positions President Obama has declared to be on the right side of history, including support for the Arab spring protestors, Obamacare, and immigration reform. Some of his admirers have urged Obama to stay on the right side of history by preventing construction of the Keystone oil pipeline. Others applauded him for finally getting on the right side of history when, in May 2012, he declared himself a supporter of gay marriage.

The “right side of history” is a recent addition to the lexicon, but the idea behind it is quite old. We, in the second decade of the 21st century, may say that the cause of the future has by now acquired a substantial legacy from a past stretching back to the late 19th century. Those who read the CRB and, in particular, the work of its editor Charles Kesler, are well aware that since Progressivism appeared on the American scene, its -ism has been that a better future beckons, but is not simply destined. To realize it we’ll need visionary leaders who advocate and facilitate progress. They see clearly what most see dimly: how the future will be better than the present, and what we must do to progress from where we are to where we need to go.

In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis identified the central contradiction of invoking tomorrow’s standards to settle today’s controversies. Screwtape, an upper-management devil sending advisory memoranda to an apprentice, counsels:

[God] wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking, “Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is it the way that History is going?” they will neglect the relevant questions. And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make.

As journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty recently contended, “the most bullying argument in politics” is to denounce people with whom you disagree for being on the wrong side of history. “If your cause is just and good, argue that it is just and good, not just inevitable.”

It’s particularly insufferable that American liberals, otherwise boastful about their membership in the “reality-based community,” are so facile about resorting to metaphysical mumbo-jumbo when appointing themselves oracles of the Zeitgeist. Upon inspection, “X is on the right side of history” turns out to be a lazy, hectoring way to declare, “X is a good idea,” by those evading any responsibility to prove it so. Similarly, many brandish another well-worn rhetorical club, as when a sportswriter charges that current Redskins owner Dan Snyder refuses to rename his team because he just doesn’t “get it.” That huffy formulation conveniently blames someone else’s refusal to see things your way on his cognitive or moral deficiencies, rather than on your forensic ones.

Bending Toward Justice

Things do change, of course. history, society,…life are all dynamic, not static. The quotidian work of politics, in particular, is more concerned with accommodating and channeling the transient than with realizing eternal Platonic forms. “A majority,” Abraham Lincoln said in his First Inaugural, “held in restraint by constitutional checks, and limitations, and always changing easily, with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.”

Notwithstanding the opinion polls showing a large majority untroubled by “Washington Redskins,” there clearly has been a deliberate change away from cartoonish, disrespectful references to Indians by sports teams. In 1986, the Atlanta Braves baseball team (formerly the Boston franchise, relocated by way of Milwaukee) got rid of “Chief Noc-a-Homa,” a mascot who would emerge from a teepee beyond the left field fence to perform a “war dance” after every Braves home run. Some major college athletic programs have renamed their teams: the Stanford Indians became the Cardinal; Marquette’s Warriors are now the Golden Eagles; and the St. John’s Redmen the Red Storm. The Redskins retain their team name and fight song, “Hail to the Redskins,” but have changed the words. Fans no longer sing, “Scalp ’em, swamp ’em—we will take ’em big score / Read ’em, weep ’em, touchdown!—we want heap more!”


It would be astonishing if anyone started a campaign to bring back Chief Noc-a-Homa, or to restore the Redskins fight song’s original lyrics, much less for such an effort to succeed. History may close no questions, but some are exceedingly unlikely to be reopened. It’s an unwarranted leap, however, from these developments to the judgment by Marc Tracy, a New Republic writer, that polls showing only a small portion of the population shares his outrage at “Washington Redskins” are irrelevant. He claims it doesn’t matter how few people oppose the name because it is “objectively offensive,” a judgment not obviously true or even coherent, since taking offense would seem to be highly subjective. The suspicion that Tracy thinks it sufficient to demand that sensibilities like his should prevail because that’s what he really, really wants is supported by his catalog of other athletic teams with Indian names or logos he finds objectionable. That the University of Utah has official permission of the Ute Nations to call its teams the Utes, for example, does not banish Tracy’s doubts about the seemliness of the athletic program’s logo, which shows two feathers attached to the letter U. He considers the arrowhead in the San Diego State Aztec’s logo even more shameful.

Being on the right side of history is about timing—but not just about timing. There’s more to it, that is, than getting where the crowd is headed a little before the crowd arrives, the key to making money in equities or real estate. The right side, for progressives, is the side they deem right, not just the thing that happens next. The causes that deserve to win are destined to prevail because, as Martin Luther King said in 1965, the “arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”


That famous declaration, like others made in sermons, neither lends itself to nor profits from scrutiny. For one thing, it’s unfalsifiable—an assertion that something will eventually come to pass can always be defended on the grounds that it hasn’t come true yet. For another, what justice means and requires is the subject of an old, profound debate, not a standard that settles political problems the way the definition of an isosceles triangle settles geometry problems. King’s heavy reliance on the concept of the “beloved community” argues that he relied on an understanding of justice for which the descriptor “expansive” is much too narrow. “For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal,” the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change states, before describing it in lofty utopian terms as “a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth.” In this vision, “poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated,” “all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood,” and “international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power.”

Identity Politics


That vision, suffice to say, doesn’t rule out very much, either in terms of grievances or the measures needed to rectify them. Since King’s death 46 years ago, it has ruled in more and more. According to the Hoover Institution’s Tod Lindberg, the historical tide demanding ever greater equality—the subject of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America—at first rendered political differences untenable, resulting in government by consent of the governed, expressed though universal suffrage. It then found economic disparities unacceptable, which led to efforts to reduce them with proletarian revolution, socialism, and welfare states. It now finds social differences among various groups intolerable. In order to “bring down the status of the privileged and elevate the status of the denigrated,” Lindberg writes, those described by various markers of social identity—race, sex, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.—must all be accorded full and equal regard.

The attainment of perfect political or economic equality is highly unlikely, but can be described intelligibly, even as it is possible for political and economic inequalities to be objectively assessed. By contrast, equal social status rests on subjective feelings of being included and affirmed, rendering it as nebulous in theory as it is elusive in practice. Although a perfectly homogenous society might achieve absolute equality of social status, the “Tocqueville effect” argues that increasing equality always renders remaining inequalities all the more noticeable and suspect. As long as humans are not identical there will be differences among them, which will give rise to real or perceived inequalities.

In any case, the point of social equality is not to eliminate differences but to celebrate them. The psychological strength that follows from this achievement is the embrace, not the denial, of one’s nature and heritage. Thus, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) demands abandoning “Washington Redskins” because, when exposed to “Indian-based names, mascots, and logos in sports,”

the self-esteem of Native youth is harmfully impacted, their self-confidence erodes, and their sense of identity is severely damaged. Specifically, these stereotypes affect how Native youth view the world and their place in society, while also affecting how society views Native peoples. This creates an inaccurate portrayal of Native peoples and their contributions to society. Creating positive images and role models is essential in helping Native youth more fully and fairly establish themselves in today’s society.

The NCAI position paper, whose weakest claims echo the notorious “doll experiment” argument of 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, moves directly from these premises to discuss how Indians are disproportionately likely to be victims of suicide and hate crimes. It does not even attempt to establish a causal relationship between these dire outcomes and the psychological changes it deplores. What’s more, its social scientific argument for a cause-and-effect relationship between Indian mascots and Native youth’s impaired self-esteem and confidence rests entirely on a single, ten-page conference paper by an assistant professor of psychology.

But whether the links in the empirical chain between team names and logos, on the one hand, and depression and suicide, on the other, are sturdy or flimsy is not really the point. Last December, Melissa Harris-Perry, a Tulane University political science professor, found herself attacked for a segment on the MSNBC television show she hosts. Two days after Harris-Perry and her panelists made derisive references to a Romney family photograph that included an adopted black grandchild sitting on the former governor’s lap, she posted to her Twitter account, “Without reservation or qualification…I want to immediately apologize to the Romney family for hurting them.” She explained the basis for this apology in the compressed locution of Twitter: “I work by guiding principle that those who offend do not have the right to tell those they hurt that they r wrong for hurting.”

Though explaining a great deal about life in 21st-century America, this guiding principle offers very little guidance for navigating the political and social terrain. Harris-Perry rules out the possibility of a false positive: if you r hurting, you were offended. By this illogic, claims to having been hurt and offended—or at least ones put forward by groups formerly or presently victimized by discrimination—are never dishonest, mistaken, or overwrought. There are no innocent explanations because the subjective experience of having been hurt necessarily means that the offenders are indeed guilty of inflicting a wound. For them to protest to the contrary only compounds the original offense, as it further denigrates the injured party by signaling that their hurt feelings are trivial, contrived, or spurious.

 Why American Indians don't mind 'Redskins'

FILE - In this 7 October 2013, file photo, Oneida Indian Nation leader Ray Halbritter speaks in Washington, calling for the Washington Redskins NFL football team to change its name. Oneida Indian officials who oppose the Redskins nickname as a slur will meet with NFL officials next week in New York, a tribe spokesman said Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) — AP

I couldn’t get past the number:

90 percent.

Everything about the Redskins’ mascot seemed oppressive, regressive and downright offensive, but that number — that number kept staring back.

A few years ago, in the most recent poll on the subject, the National Annenberg Election Survey asked 768 self-identified American Indians whether they were offended by the name of Washington’s NFL team. Ninety percent said no.

To me, this meant one of two things: 1) All the fuss, all the hoopla, all the fervor over changing the Redskins’ name was absurd if the group that was supposed to be insulted took no offense. 2) The poll was garbage.

So I did my own survey. I went up to Barona, talked to 25 American Indians, and asked whether they had any issue with “Redskins” being the name of the Chargers’ opponent today. Eighty-eight percent said no.

Case closed, right?

Not quite. After three days on an Indian reservation, I can say this with conviction: The push for this mascot change is absolutely necessary.

As you may know, members of the Oneida Indian Nation met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday as part of an effort to erase the Redskins’ 81-year-old name. They argue that the dictionary-defined slur perpetuates discrimination toward American Indians while caricaturing an entire race.

The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, announced Thursday that it would no longer use the word “Redskins” in print, and last month, President Obama said he would think about changing the mascot if he were in team owner Dan Snyder’s position.

Upon first glance, expunging a moniker highlighting an ethnic group’s skin color seems like a no-brainer. If the Yellowskins, Brownskins or Blackskins were ever pitched as a mascot, national outrage would immediately ensue.

American Indians, however, don’t seem to get too worked up on the matter. And if you take a moment, it’s easy to see why.

When I asked residents of the Barona reservation whether they have a problem with “Redskins,” the majority of them laughed and said no. But it wasn’t necessarily because they supported the mascot. It was more because, to them, changing a team name would be the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

“I believe a lot of people are picking at little things right now when there are a lot more important things to be looked at — like education,” said Tina Cruz in the parking lot of Barona Indian Charter School. “That’s way more important than picking out a mascot or how to describe a Native American. It’s ridiculous, to be honest.”

Added a 20-something male who did not want to be named: “There are more pressing issues. What about the youth on the reservation? What about the suicide rate? There are bigger and more important problems on the reservations with Indian people than to just worry about a football team.”

American Indians have the highest suicide, teen pregnancy, child mortality and school dropout rates in the country. On large reservations, the extreme poverty rate is more than six times the national average, which is part of the reason why Indians have the lowest life expectancy, too.

Neshaminy High School in Bucks County, PA, is one of 62 U.S. high schools with the nickname Redskins.  Despite student, parent, and teacher protests, the School Board recently changed the name to the Neshaminy Wolverines.  During games, when the cheerleaders ask the audience to participate and give it the 'ol collage high school try, 'Go, Wolverines!' becomes, once again: 

 'Go, Redskins!