In order for you to gain a better understanding as to why I'm crafting a reply to an OpEd Blog post, you might want to start off first by reading Dave Zirin's "ENOUGH - An open letter to Dan Snyder"
blog post on Grantland.com.
While I do agree that there needs to be a modicum of Political Correctness with regards to every day life and situations, I take exception to the fact that this is no longer about being Politically Correct. This is the absolute start of "Wussification of America" (Credit to Hogville's own Hogfaniam
I would have been content in just keeping my fat trap shut, rolling my eyes at yet another attempt at becoming an Orwellian Society, however, @Doc_Harper
brought up a very interesting point here:
Doc's Tweet got me thinking a bit about the other teams that have Native American (nee: Indian) origins.
Without any further ado, here is my reply to Mr. Zirin.
Good afternoon, Dave.
I hope this Thursday afternoon finds you well and staying safe with all of these crazy weather patterns we're all going through. Since you appear to like quotes, I have a few of my favorite quotes to share with you:
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.
That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Men do not learn much from the lessons of history and that is the most important of all the lessons of history.
You'll note that I cited four poignant quotes from three exceptionally gifted people, and each of these quotes are inexorably linked with direct ties to your thoughts.
While I do agree that there are times that mandate that we be politically correct in various day to day situations, I'd like to remind you that you have apparently become a Washington Redskins fan LONG before the ideas in your brain were caressed onto the Internet by your fingers.
After reading Doc Harper's response to your OpEd piece, it really got me thinking of just how far reaching of an impact this one "miniscule" change could have:
Chicago Blackhawks and their mascot/logo: OFFENSIVE!
Atlanta Braves (and The Chop): OFFENSIVE!
University of Central Michigan Chippewas: OFFENSIVE!
Florida State University Seminoles: OFFENSIVE!
Let's go even further!
West Virginia University Mountaineers: OFFENSIVE to non Appalachian Americans.
Seattle Seahawks: Offensive to Seagulls
Denver Broncos: Offensive to all jackasses.
Wisconsin Badgers: Offensive to all badgering spouses everywhere.
No? Okay, let's go on a different tangent then.
Don't call me "deaf", because that's offensive. Don't call me "hard of hearing"; I might take umbrage with that. Call me "Hearing Impaired". But wait... "impaired" means that I am limited somehow. Call me... uhh... "Accoustically Challenged".
Don't call me "blind", because that's offensive. Call me "Visually Impaired". But wait... (see the broken record here?).
See, this is where the era of Political Correctness ceases and the "Wussification of America" (nee: WORLD) begins. At what point do we cease in being offended at the silliest crap and get back to our roots as human beings?
I may be deaf and legally blind, but dollars to cents, I can still do just as much as you can, and maybe even look better doing it.
I do agree that there are certain words and phrases that should absolutely be off limits, but when we start trying to re-write things in order to mask our pat history, we no long are a free thinking society and moving into A Brave New World, an Orwellian Society.
If you haven't read either referenced book here, or you haven't read them recently, I suggest you go to your nearest library and check out A Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley or 1984
by George Orwell. The very ideas/thoughts you're attempting to convey would only continue us down the path to become either one (nor both) of these societies.
I am sensitive to the degradation of Native Americans. But I'm even more about ensuring that their history, their names and their legacy continues to live on well into my Great Great Grandchild's generation (FYI, I'm not even a Grandparent yet).
Let's put a different spin on this... I live in Atlanta. I may not be a fan of the Braves (I'm a BosSox and Mariners guy myself), but even I know about the legendary status of one Chipper Jones. But after his racist remark the other day, I question if he truly is worthy of that distinction. Did you miss his quote?
I'm sorry, but that is far more offensive than "The Washington Football Team" using "Redskins" as their nickname/mascot.
All of this being said, I would wholeheartedly endorse every sports team around to follow the shining examples and public service that both Florida State and Central Michigan does: They're not only bringing public awareness but also public education of the Seminole and Chippewa tribes. I would encourage and support the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves and any other Sports Entity to do the same.
If you truly are that
offended by your favorite Sports Team's nickname, then maybe you need to re-assess the priorities in your life. There are, after all, far more important things to be concerned about right now.
Have a great day!
Douglas "I'm deaf and blind, dammit!" Hazard
Lead Historian for GridironHistory.com and Hogville.net Webmaster...