Seldom has this country suffered through a more race-conscious era. This is not the first attempt to strip the Redskins of their trademark rights but the attack was repelled before. To be safe, some media types are starting to say “the R word” instead of Redskins. The “R word” probably won’t stick since there is no history to back up feeling against the word “redskin” as intense as that against the “n word”. The media twits are trying to stir up bad feeling, not report it, while proving how much more sensitive and virtuous they are than everyone else.
The diversity crowd, in fact, have appropriated the term in another form when they want to divide and conquer by separating the people of the world into racial categories: people of color (but don’t say colored people), and all the rest, who are white. You might say they see the world in black and white: in this case, good and bad.
For instance, The Flag of the Races (akin to the Rainbow flag) depicted the races with colored stripes: red, black, brown, yellow, and white, representing Indians (Native Americans, that is, Americans whose ancestors were born here earlier than some other Americans’ ancestors), Africans (black ones, not the Arabs, Egyptians, or Boers), various brownish people, Asian, and European, more or less. So “red” was OK at least once. But now more nuanced names for colors would be better. We need fashion designers to give us more delicate color terminology, like the array of color terms black people have, such as chocolate, high yellow, red, ashy. Someone should try to ban “The Yellow Rose of Texas” any day now.
The use of team names like Redskins is obviously intended as a compliment — like the Braves, Seminoles, Blackhawks, and so on — perhaps comparable to cannibals eating their conquered foes in order to ingest their good qualities, out of respect. But better not to see color at all (at least until someone beats you over the head to make you see it). In the Andy Griffith comedy, No Time for Sergeants, Andy learned that he was not supposed to see a woman officer as a woman. He learned to see only her rank. In the novel, that scene was originally about the country boy who was so surprised to see a black officer that he forgot to salute, till he learned to see only the rank. Some of us would like to return to that edenic state of perception but we’re not allowed to because of the constant attacks by race baiters, who often are attacking on behalf of someone else’s race.
The Human Being mascot of TV’s Greendale Community College could be substituted for the Redskins and other mascots that insult racial or ethnic groups by mentioning them. The obvious problem here is that the Human Being costume, though gray, is too close to white. Maybe he’s one of those aliens, the grays? Diversity if OK as long as you don’t notice that there are differences among people. But no one would be offended by words about race if they didn’t feel that “those” people were inferior and needed delicate handling.
Writer Sharyn McCrumb suggested on Facebook that the Redskins go to Rednecks, but she would find that offensive, being of redneck stock. (So am I and I wouldn’t mind.) It has been suggested that the Redskins could keep their name but change the mascot to a redskin peanut. But there’s probably someone out there who is extremely sensitive to botanical autonomy and dignity.
The anti-Redskin people are behind in their lockstep mouthing of memes, anyway. They should be screaming cultural appropriation, not racism and calling people cultural appropriationists.
Would we be happier and better people if we had no human mascots? Someone is bound to be offended by animal mascots. For instance, the Eagles could represent American exceptionalism, which will offend our enemies and the people who love them.