Until he ruined the entire article with that head scratchingly ignorant final sentence, he had made some good points.
I hate Rick Reilly; he's a chum, who grandstands every damn sentence he writes. On the issue itself: is something still offensive if only some people feel it's offensive? Yes.
"A simple test for Rick Reilly: answer the challenge of Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation. Go to his house, look at his grandchildren and say, 'My goodness these are some cute little Redskins.' If it is really a name of honor, you will make the trip and say it to the Halbritters. If you won’t, then you are completely full of it. News flash: he won’t."
And that's opposite his point in 1991 on the same issue.
He makes the perfectly valid argument that offense can be taken to so many things. We have become such a thin-skinned culture because of the relatively new idea that that people should be able to go through life without being offended. And if you aren't offended, allow us to free you of your ignorance. How bizarre that those who fail to recognize and fight legitimate evil and injustice construct their own brand of it (aka political correctness).
Here's another test. Go into a white family's home and comment about the cute whites sitting on the couch. Context makes all the difference.
The issue here is thinking a race of people make for good cartoonish mascots. I despise political correctness, but that isn't even remotely the issue here. It's latent sentiments of racial superiority or indifference for cultural destruction manifesting as team nicknames.
This is just subtle racism at work and you're too busy looking to feel insulted by it that you don't see the deeply rooted message this sends. It doesn't even have to bother someone else for it to bother some of us thtwe are still stuck in demeaning a people that already had so much taken from them.
I missed two great ones! I bet all the PC complaining right wingers would line up to support, in principle, some group calling their team the Fiddling Fiars or Pedo Priests and similarly mocking and stereotyping a whole group of people for their own entertainment.
What you don't seem to understand is that these nicknames DO demean a groups culture and religion. We are mocking it, stereotyping it, and cartoonishly mimicking it. We're just so accustomed to demeaning them that we can't even recognize it when we do it.
I am frustrated how relatively insignificant issues draw so much focus when we have many weighty issues of far great importance to tackle. Battles like these show people are bored. Civil rights have been realized to such an extent that the movement is making up new rights and victim groups to remain relevant. Despite re-electing a black President, our country hasnít been more divided in my lifetime. Clearly something has gone terribly wrong.
As for the rest, I would argue the very notion we have to "battle" this, is an indictment in and of itself. One of our biggest problems is a disregard for how we mistreat others if even unconsciously. Small battles like this can go a long way, especially when they shouldn't be a battle at all.
You may have heard of a piece of “art” decades back called Piss Christ consisting of a crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist urine. Pretty offensive, mocking stuff you might say. However, I value liberty over my right to not be offended and have no desire to infringe upon the rights of the artist, although supporting him with tax dollars via the NEA is another story. I am a rare breed for sure, but that should help you understand my position more clearly.
We're talking about a professional sports team, based in our nation's capital, in a league that receives significant government support and protections, not some individual artist. The comparison is pretty ridiculous.
Are you suggesting that the natives should be offended, though they are not? I find that offensive, especially coming from a white man (I'm guessing that you are). Are they not bright enough to know when they should be offended? Is this not ethnocentric?:p
What class is is the capacity to anticipate offense in others, whether that actually exists or not. There's nothing classy about naming a football team the Redskins. And to extend your point (unfairly, but that's the kind of arguments that we're passing off as legitimate I guess), I suppose we should dispense with manners altogether, because well, not absolutely everyone is offended if I don't say thank you and please.
Handful? Did you read the article, no I guess. It's an overwhelming majority. You seem to be with the commissioner's absurd criteria that if we can find one person offended, we must halt everything and listen. That is a recipe for censorship and paralysis in public discourse.
"And even though an Annenberg Public Policy Center poll found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name, and even though linguists say the "redskins" word was first used by Native Americans themselves, and even though nobody on the Blackfeet side of my wife's family has ever had someone insult them with the word "redskin," it doesn't matter. There's no stopping a wave of PC-ness when it gets rolling."