Some food for thought in this writing from Sachems Word of the Day:
Shock of shocks to anyone who reads this blog or who knows me, but I am a New Orleans Saints fan. It’s been that way for me entire life. Now I’m only old enough to have a vague recollection of Hank Stram as head coach, but I definitely recall Dick Nolan and Dick Stanfel before that “once in a lifetime” feeling that Coach Bum would create a winner. Fortunately the “once in a lifetime” actually happened with Jim Mora and Jim Haslett before winning it all with Coach Payton. WWL on 870 AM became a natural for me since for most of my childhood, the blackout rule prevented us from watching home games on TV.
Today I really don’t have an AFC team, but during my childhood I was a Miami Dolphins fan. Once more I wasn’t a bandwagon fan as the perfect season and actually all Super Bowl victories before my memory. The reason I became a fan was Don Shula. I learned of his Hungarian heritage, and my being reared in the Hungarian Settlement sparked an interest. My Dad then brought home a book for me, The Winning Edge, by Don Shula. His approach to things seemed like an extension of the ideas of the people in the area who I admired.
I never thought too much about the Washington Redskins, with the exception of nightmares of that John Riggins run in the Super Bowl, until we decided to move up here to Maryland near DC.
I admit that at first I really did not have much of an opinion on the mascot controversy. That changed, however, the more I thought about the issue simply from hearing it so much. When I did think about it, I asked myself did the term “Redskin” promote a positive or negative image. It’s negative. It’s derogatory. It’s disrespectful to many of Native American Indian ancestry. Different people will have different reasoning, but to me the mascot seems to be this stereotypical comic book style depiction.
Well some could argue that’s true with any mascot. In reality it is true that cowboys in the United States were not as glamorous in the cattle kingdom days of the 19th century as they are portrayed in this era. The modern imagery, however, is a positive depiction. In Minnesota, they have the ancestors and heritage from Northern Europe and Vikings I believe are presented positively as a remembrance of that lineage.
I’m not old enough to remember the team in Baltimore, but I do remember the Washington Bullets of the NBA. “Bullet” to me does not necessary imply something bad as in my opinion bullets are tools, but the name had a negative stereotype that obviously people did not like to have associated with the team. Today that team is the Washington Wizards.
Now my ancestry is not from Northern Europe or Viking culture. From my Dad there is some Native American Indian heritage, Cherokee, on his mother’s side, but I have never been able to trace the linkage as it dates many generations. Therefore I cannot speak as one offended personally.
Even so, I am offended when I hear someone refer to anyone of a different culture or heritage by a demeaning or derogatory name.
How would you like a mascot or emblem which diminished you? Showing respect and appreciation is one thing, but promoting stereotyping is another.
Washington ‘Redskins’ Team Name ‘Hurtful Reminder’ To Native Americans.
OK this fight has been going on for far too long and not enough people seem to care?
The only ones writing about change are Native Americans and all that they are doing is shaking the Red Necks out of their trees?
There is only one way to hit this enemy of the first people of this country, hit him where it hurts, by taking away some of the money!
You will never be able to change the mind of a races pig, if you do not believe me come take a ride with me around all of the southern states and even some northern states that never had slaves or slave owners!
Ask your fellow African-Americans if they would join together and not one single person with ancestors of the first people of the land or ancestors of past slaves…
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