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A Rare Medium Well Done: 12.27.12

Washington Redskins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)


The following article contains words and phrases that are very offensive, derogatory, demeaning and deplorable. In absolutely no way are they emblematic nor do they represent my feelings or that of CBS Radio. Please read and understand they are included to illustrate a desolate and anguished depiction of severe racism.

Well, it's down to this. After a season of extreme highs and lows, the Dallas Cowboys will travel to the District of Columbia and take on the Washington Redskins. The winner will qualify for the playoffs. The losers can load up the wagon and go home. It will closely reveal a Panglossian effort and a hunger of the marooned. A perilous tangent with the expression of muted despair. But the purpose of these forthcoming thoughts goes far beyond the game you will witness on the field. My mission is to take on furious emotion, deadly dark fears and an irreducible matter of principals and common sense. I've already gone farther than I intended. A blunt and ungracious celestial vision of a murder scene of the mind, as to provide a gas mask to the souls. Since 1933, this notion has been bought, bullied and bulldozed into uncenteredness with compensatory ferocity.

Redskins. Washington Redskins. Three-time Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins. Redskins. Redskins. REDSKINS!! And that does it for me. No more will you hear me utter the word that Spanish soldiers labeled 'piel rojas'. A word that is pejorative, derogatory, denigrating, offensive, scandalous, contemptuous, disrespectful, disreputable, and disparaging. A deeply racist designation for a Native-American person. A cruel and totally unnecessary term that was coined by the white man.

And through all these years, the NFL has allowed this cauldron of hatred and demented thinking to boil over. The time is now. RIGHT NOW! The so-called mascot must go. Do the right thing. In the same city where our government is entrusted to make laws and protect the rights of its citizens, truncation is needed. Use whatever method needed. Do it with frankness, simplicity and courage. Stand up and protect the most persecuted group of people in our official 236 years of government existence. But first, let's exhume the truth and genesis of this disconsolate confliction of shameful supine.

Almost from the very beginning, the natives (a term I will forever use when referring to this group) have loomed as a supreme complication for Europeans of the old world seeking archipelago intentions of colonialism. A few items to consider:

  • Christopher Columbus DID NOT discover America. Norseman Leif Ericson landed in North America about 100 years before Columbus.
  • The natives were labeled 'Indians' because Columbus and his three ships thought they had made the East Indies of Asia. (he only miscalculated and missed his mark by about 10,000 miles). Hence, if they were in the far East, these natives were obviously Indians. India = Indians? Right?
  • Columbus never set foot on what would become the contiguous 48. (he first landed in the present day Bahamas and over next three voyages to the east coast of South America).
  • Despite being of Italian decent, he sailed under the Spanish flag on behalf of King Ferdinand. (NOTE: it was Ferdinand's 15 year old son John who first questioned the 'discovery' of the new land. In the first recorded instance of accuracy he challenged with a beaming question: "how could this land be discovered when it was already inhabited by humans")?

And so began the trials and tribulations of the natives. It was a non-stop struggle from that fateful day in 1492 all the way to...well, all the way to right now. As stated earlier, the natives are the most persecuted group of people this country has ever known. A resilient tyranny torn between trust and cynicism. A country that allowed an arrogant indifference of human suffering. And still, after all these years, they continue to be enunciated. Enervative and inveighed. And despite more complex and complicated issues, they are forced to endure the embarrassment of a large, resourceful and all-powering cartel that supports the everyday use of a horrid and detestable stereotype. It's time for a change. Time for the NFL to navigate these murky waters of racism. End this hubris of destructive proportions. Eradicate this travesty. The deep, dark wounds echo a melancholic past. Those cannot be erased. But a boisterous élan of heated schism might prove to be exhilarating and edifying. Bottom line, the natives deserve better.

So please forgive me if I'm a little jaded on this subject. I have no ties to natives. To my knowledge there is no native blood in my family's genealogy. I seem to fall into the category most favored in the early days of our country's advancement. I'm a classic WASP. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. But I do see the vast gulf of racism that continues to permeate our country. And the natives are at the top of the list. Even more than blacks who were brought forcibly and sentenced to a life of slavery. I do not want to delineate degrees of savage treatment of these two groups of people. Both were beaten down and manipulated. Blacks have advanced somewhat, but the natives lag far behind. Understanding their plight and touchy demeanor when it comes to racial stereotyping is rapt. No misguided mission of heroic grandeur. Just a proud group of people easily invaded, yet impossible to conquer. All they want is respect. No more use of items and ideas that are offensive to these valiant people. If applied to any other ethnic or minority group, it would be protested and expunged. But since the natives lack power and voice, they are trounced again. Another forced march of the mind. More tears on the trail.

Imagine the backlash if their nickname was the Washington N-words. Or the four letter offensive J words to describe the Jewish faith or Asians? What about the four letter word to represent someone gay or lesbian? Why are the natives not afforded such outrage?

Why are they not heard? Why do their pleas fall on deaf ears? The Washington football team has had almost nine decades to right this wrong. They have failed/refused. It's time the NFL take over and implement the movement for a new nickname. A plebiscite is not necessary. One stroke of a pen can begin the long-awaited due process for the natives. Let us even consider the racist past of the Washington team. They were the last team in NFL to employ a black player. Their owner at the time, George Preston Marshall, would famously proclaim that he'd "sign a negro player as soon as the Harlem Globetrotters signed a white player". Stupid then, stupid now.

So as we eagerly await the winner take all aspect of Sundays game, let's evaluate and examine. From the native depicted on the helmets with feathers flowing to the native in a chiefs headdress leading the crowd, let us reflect on the insensitive nature. Washington has failed to stamp out division and discrimination on the government side. Maybe they can follow the lead of the football franchise. Find another nickname. Do the right thing. Stop degrading sublime, honored and self-respecting people. If not, then try this.........

The Washington Racialslurs.

Makes about as much sense as the other 'R' word.


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