In the past few weeks there has been a nationwide push by progressives to change the name of the Washington Redskins.
In the eyes of the NFL franchise and most Americans “Redskins” is a term of pride and honor which pays homage to noble Wyandot, Lenape and Shawnee warriors that walked the Border territory around Northern Virginia.
The Democrat logo, on the other hand, is a donkey which pays homage to President Andrew “Jackass” Jackson, the founder of the Democratic party. He is also the President who signed into law the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the Trail of Tears. If progressives really cared about honoring First Nations, they would consider prohibiting their own logo before trying to make others change non-offensive ones.
Jackson honored the Native Americans and they honored him as “Sharp Knife” and “The Great White Father”. Jackson sincerely believed Van Buren’s plan to relocate the tribes would result in peace and prosperity for everyone. But the plan was executed poorly and thousands died crossing rivers and from disease. It was a tragedy. But the U.S. government is in no way guilty of genocide. The book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House does a great job of explaining the circumstances and facts surrounding the Trail of Tears.
Sadly the Democratic party left the good ideals of Andrew Jackson (there were many) 150 years ago and became the party of General Nathan Bedford Forrest. For the past 80 years they have been slowly morphing from the party of Forrest into the party of Leon Trotsky.
The only tribe I’ve heard of speaking out against the Redskin’s names is two leaders of the Oneidas of Northern Yew York. They have never been historically active in the Border territories of Northern Virginia; the tribes represented there are the Huron (Wyandot), the Delaware (Lenape) and the Shawnee. The two Oneida leaders, in a political stunt, before their complaint was taken up by Harry Reid, had originally taken their complaint to the United Nations human rights watch. It would be like Wisconsin German Americans going to the United Nations to complain about the Notre Dame college team having the name “Fighting Irish”.
I personally am 1/16 Montana Blackfoot through the French Purdy fur traders. My wife is 1/32 Cherokee. I have also have English, French, Scottish, Norwegian and German blood flowing through my veins. But I am not any of these; I am an American.
In the U.S. everyone is equal under the Bill of Rights, in liberty and under the eventual income mobility that happens to all people in our society – regardless of physical traits – if they work hard and act responsibly.
Sadly those insisting on changing the name of the Washington Redskins are promoting racism. They are insisting that everyone must practice racism as they do- by assuming that first nation’s peoples must be hapless victims, by classifying all people of European descent as being racist oppressors by virtue of tending to have less melanin in their skins, and by trying to outlaw the celebration of culture, freedom of association and freedom of expression.
I started my career making $4 an hour at a Skipper’s seafood restaurant in the great Pacific Northwest. Most people start their careers with similar entry level jobs. With work and responsibility most people can prosper in our nation. And there is a robust safety net for those who can’t.
If someone believes that arbitrarily defined groups of people can’t prosper just because of their skin color, or they believe that some arbitrarily defined groups are oppressors based solely on skin color, then they are practicing the very definition of racism. “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities”
People pressing for a name change to the Washington Redskins need to step back, question what they’ve been taught in public schools and progressive universities, and take a cold, hard look at their own hearts. They need to stop seeing people as arbitrarily defined Marxist classes. We do not have classes in the U.S. We are not masses. We are all only freeman and income earners from the least to the greatest, however one defines greatness.
By the way, there are no such things as “races”. We are all humans, and individually members of families and tribes. For every variation of human feature – eye color, skin color, height, hair color – you will find some family, some tribe, some individual on another part of the globe who has similar features, and other’s who have features which are near identical, so that one can never draw a line and say, “This is the blue eyed race”, or, “This is the red haired race”, or, “This is the 5’7″ to 5’8″ race.”
It would be silly and arbitrary to try to define a “race” based on everyone who is 5’7″ to 5’8″. It is no less arbitrary and silly to try to define race on the basis of how much melanin an individual happens to have in their skin.
We are all Americans in the U.S.A. Not “hyphenated” Americans. Just Americans.
Keep the name Redskins. And keep the donkey logo.