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The Cost of Popular Culture

It's interesting to me that some of the people proclaiming "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter" still buy season tickets from sports clubs with blatantly racist names.

 A number of African-Americans and Whites 
defend & dismiss the Washington Redskins name:

"it's been called that for so long, everyone is just used to it..."

"well, I don't look at it that way..."

"it's just a name..."

"there are more important issues..."

I'm a Humanist, which I have firmly found to be the most distressing psychological state of mind for a human being, based off of my own experience. I am also educated, so I know that most people are largely ignorant of the true history of this country's native history.

To those African-Americans who say, "I'm part Cherokee and I'm not offended..." or my, "great-great-grandmother was Indian..." - I ask that if you have not studied Native American history, that you not speak on Native Americans. If I may take a quote from James Wilson's "The Earth Shall Weep" (which is an EXCELLENT read, by the way):
"Wherever possible, I avoid generic terms altogether and refer to people by 'tribal' names...[as]...the names by which most 'tribes' are generally known are usually not those which they use for themselves: often they are derived from the more-or-less disparaging terms their neighbours used to describe them to early European traders and explorers...such as Ani-Yunwiya for 'Cherokee' and Hotinonshonni for 'Iroquois'..."
You don't really care or revere your Native heritage. It's just a talking point that allows you feign a bit of cultural sophistication. Be honest- I am. 

Another common rebuttal to racist names for American sports teams is that, 

"most Native Americans support/aren't offended by the name..."

To all the ignorant (and I don't mean that in a disparaging tone), uneducated individuals referring to the largely dismissed now, 2004 Annenberg study, please refer to the following quote, from American University's Washington College of Law:
"The survey asked people if they were Native American, but did not follow up the answer with any additional questions to discern tribal membership or level of heritage.  If you walk up to a random person and ask about his or her ancestry, nearly everyone will give you an answer without hesitation, let’s say Irish.  Don’t get us wrong, most of those people would probably have some Irish ancestry, but it is likely that they don’t know what city or village their ancestors hailed from, their great-grandparents names or last names, etc.  Perhaps at some point in elementary school, they were tasked with figuring out their heritage, and their parents told them, “you’re Irish.”  From then on, they told people they’re Irish with little to no basis for that claim.  While this is common practice, it’s difficult to take those types of people and make them the definitive voice of a national or racial minority.
There are probably enough people in the United States that consider themselves part Native American that they could form their own heavily populated tribe.  How many times have you heard something like, “Well I’m 1/16th Cherokee, but it’s on my mother’s father’s side.”  Okay buddy, sure.  There may be some truth to it, just as with all those Irish people, but the thing is, tribes have specific membership requirements.  Most tribes either require proof that an ancestor was a tribal member, or that you are at least a 1/8th member of the tribe — meaning at least one grandparent was a full-blooded tribal member.  Don’t worry though, this hasn’t stopped people from self-identifying as Native Americans even when their purported lineage isn’t up to snuff with current membership standards.
In 1990, the United States Census reported 1.8 million people self-identifying as American Indian, while official tribal membership at the time numbered 1.14 million. Almost 40% of the people who self-identified were not members of any tribe.  That trend has only continued since then, and may even have grown as people look for an edge in diversity scholarships, hiring, or simply because they think it is “cool” to be part Native American.
To keep it simple, if you want the opinion of a racial or national minority, look to their representation.  In this case, a great source would be the National Congress of American Indians."
 There just isn't much to debate. We would never call a team the "Washington Niggers" or the "New York Jihadists" or the "Arizona Wetbacks". We just wouldn't. To suggest that this is okay on any level, for Natives and not your own respective 'race' is outright racist. It especially breaks my heart that so many African-Americans willingly and unconsciously play for the Redskins. You can't have it both ways. And I really don't want to hear an African-American player from that team proclaiming that 'black lives matter'.

I love perspective- let me educate you with another quote, again from Wilson:
"The impact of this disaster on Indian life is hard to imagine. The death rate far exceeded anything that modern Western nations have experienced: the First World War, for instance, which is often seen as the apotheosis of mass destruction, killed around 2 per cent of the British population over a four-year period. Many Native American communities lost 75 per cent or more of their member within just a few weeks, the kind of losses predicted for a nuclear holocaust, and certainly greater than those suffered at Hiroshima. The survivors, inevitably, were shocked, grief-stricken and bewildered."
And to further elaborate on the numerous diseases that afflicted them, an observation from Governor William Bradford of Plymouth (circa 1630):

"...they fall into a lamentable condition as they lie on their hard mats, the pox breaking and mattering and running one into another, their skin cleaving by reason thereof to the mats they lie on. When they turn them, a whole side will flay off at once as it were, and they will be all of a gore blood, most fearful to behold. And then being very sore, what with cold and other distempers, they die like rotten sheep..." 
That means their skin was falling off.

Hail to the Redskins.

P. Maestro


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