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Native American mascots: Pride or prejudice?
Many Native Americans consider the Washington football team's name racist.
April 4th, 2013
03:36 PM ET

Native American mascots: Pride or prejudice?

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Suzan Shown Harjo remembers when she walked into a store with her grandfather in El Reno, Oklahoma. She wanted to get something cool to drink on a summer day. It was the early 1950s and the storekeepers told the 6-year-old she had to leave.

“No black redskins in here,” they said.

At that moment, Harjo felt small, unsafe, afraid. Because she was a dark-skinned Native American - Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee - she was being identified by just her coloring. She wasn’t even a whole human being. Not even her grandpa, whom she saw as all-powerful, could do anything to protect her.

Later in her life, that incident made her angry. Angry enough for Harjo to launch a lifelong mission to protect her people.

Suzan Shown Harjo has been fighting for decades to remove Native American mascots from sports teams.

Part of her work took aim at sporting teams that use Native Americans as mascots. With the start of the baseball season this week, some of those teams have been front and center. The Cleveland Indians, for instance, feature a smiling Indian dubbed Chief Wahoo, criticized by Native Americans as a racist caricature.

The most offensive example of a mascot, says Harjo, is the one used by Washington’s football team. She has been fighting for years to get the Redskins to change their name.

The R-word - she can’t even bring herself to say it - is the same as the N-word, says Harjo, president of Morning Star Institute, a national Native American rights organization.

She finds it unbelievable that more than half a century after she was told to get out of that El Reno store, after decades of civil rights struggles and progress on race relations, Americans have no problem with rooting for a team called the Redskins.

Fans say the name is an honorific. But the Merriam-Webster dictionary says this: “The word redskin is very offensive and should be avoided.” And to many Native Americans, nothing could be more derogatory than the use of that word.

“The Washington team - it’s the king of the mountain,” Harjo says. “When this one goes, others will.”

The controversy over Native American names in sports is longstanding and surfaces in headlines now and then, as it did in December when the Atlanta Braves baseball team was reportedly considering bringing back a dated “screaming Indian” logo for batting practice caps.

Or when Amanda Blackhorse, a 31-year-old Navajo social worker, went to Washington last month to attend a hearing of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. She has petitioned to cancel the Redskins trademark on grounds that the name is racist. Harjo filed a similar petition in 1992 and won, but she later lost in the appeals process.

Harjo was defeated in the courts, but public opinion has been shifting steadily on the matter.

In March, several lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress that would amend the Trademark Act of 1946 to ban the term “redskin” in a mark because it is disparaging of native people. Among the sponsors of the bill is civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia.

Harjo says she hopes the legislation will accomplish what litigation has failed to do so far.

If passed, the bill would force the Washington football team to discard its trademarked name and ban the use of any offensive term in any future trademarks.

Proponents believe that Native American mascots pay homage to the people and help promote a better understanding of those who dominated America before Europeans landed.

The Cleveland Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, has been criticized as a racist caricature.

But opponents say the mascots perpetuate stereotypes that are void of context and history. They argue that even if the mascots themselves are not racially insensitive, they portray native people as one-dimensional.

“A good many Americans don’t know any Indians,” says Kevin Gover, who heads the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

“The Indian you see most often in Washington, D.C., is at a football game - at the expense of real Indians, real history, real culture. The petty stereotype has become expected.”

In February, the Smithsonian museum hosted a symposium on racist stereotypes and cultural appropriation in American sports. The idea was to make people think about how these stereotypes can be damaging to Indians.

“Kids grow up and think it’s OK,” Gover says. “It’s not OK.”

There used to be more than 3,000 teams with Native American names and mascots. That’s down to about 900 now - but that’s still 900 too many for Gover.

He grew up, also in Oklahoma, and recalled how the University of Oklahoma became the first collegiate team to drop its unofficial mascot, Little Red, a student who dressed as an Indian chief and danced on the sidelines during football games.

Protests on campus forced the demise of Little Red. In 2005, Oklahoma adopted two costumed horses, Boomer and Sooner, as mascots who represented the real horses that pulled the Sooner Schooner. But many students didn’t take to them.

One of them was Royce Young, who wrote about the university’s “mascot crisis” in an online forum in 2007:

“But why can’t OU bring back Little Red? Oklahoma prides itself on being ‘Native America.’ American Indian heritage is something that is more prevalent in this state than any other in the nation. Would it be so wrong to have Native American imagery representing ‘Native America?’ "

Young, 27, and a writer for CBS Sports, said he now believes he would have written a more educated post after having discussed the mascot issue with Native Americans.

"I wouldn’t say I regret writing it,” he said. “But I’d be much more sensitive of understanding why Little Red was insensitive to some instead of saying, ‘What’s the big deal?’ ”

Royce said he saw nothing wrong with Oklahoma honoring its native people, but not with a tasteless mascot.

Several college teams followed Oklahoma’s footsteps and dropped Native American mascots - Stanford and Syracuse among them.

The movement to do away with Indian mascots gained momentum after the American Psychological Association in 2005 called for the immediate retirement of the mascots based on studies that showed the harmful effects of inaccurate racial portrayals.

The following year, the NCAA, the governing body of collegiate sports, adopted a policy banning teams with “hostile or abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery” from competition. The ban affected high-powered football schools such as Florida State University with Chief Osceola and the University of Illinois, whose official symbol was Chief Illiniwek.

Some states have put the morality of the Indian mascots up for a vote.

Last year, voters dumped the University of North Dakota's Fighting Sioux mascot. And Oregon prohibited public schools from the use of Native American names, symbols or images. The names on the banned list include: Redskins, Savages, Indians, Indianettes, Chiefs and Braves.

At Florida State University, a white man dresses up as Chief Osceola, smears war paint on his face and rides an appaloosa called Renegade to the middle of Doak Campbell Stadium. He plants a burning spear on the field before every home game. The marching band plays Indian-themed music, and the crowd goes wild doing the “tomahawk chop,” a move picked up by the Atlanta Braves.

FSU student Lincoln Golike, who played Osceola in 2002, told the Florida State Times back then that it was tremendous honor to have so many admiring fans.

The Seminole tribe in Florida made an agreement with FSU to allow the use of its name that allows the university to continue competing in the NCAA. The university says its relationship with the Seminole tribe is one of mutual respect.

However, the Seminole nation in Oklahoma, comprised of the descendants of a majority of the Seminoles forced from their lands by the Indian Removal Act, has voiced its opposition to FSU’s mascot.

The real Chief Osceola fought U.S. soldiers in the Seminole Wars. He was captured in 1837 under a flag of truce and died in prison. Before his burial, the soldiers chopped off the head of the Indian warrior to keep as a trophy. That Osceola serves as a mascot at FSU doesn’t sit well with the Seminoles in Oklahoma and many other Native Americans.

“Native Americans feel offended, they feel hurt. They feel their identity is being trivialized,” says Carol Spindel, who wrote “Dancing at Halftime,” a book that explored native mascots.

“This is such an ingrained part of American culture that it’s very hard to get people to question it,” says Spindel, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where the official symbol used to be Chief Illiniwek. He was the subject of debate for decades and made his last appearance in 2007 under the threat of  NCAA sanctions.

But five years later, there are still some who want Illiniwek back. A nonbinding student referendum held just weeks ago strongly favored making him the official mascot again.

Spindel concluded in her book that mascots such as Chief Illiniwek were a reflection not of native people but of those who invented them.

“If we do a census of the population in our collective imagination, imaginary Indians are one of the largest demographic groups,” Spindel writes in her book.

“They dance, they drum, they go on the warpath; they are always young men who wear trailing feather bonnets. Symbolic servants, they serve as mascots and metaphors. We rely on these images to anchor us to the land and verify our account of our own past. But as these Indians exist only in our own imaginations, they provide a solipsistic connection and leave us, ultimately, untethered and rootless.”

At 67, Harjo believes she has made strides in her struggle to do away with racial stereotypes but says Native Americans have a long way to go.

“Because we as Indians, we don’t have the numbers,” she says, referring to the dwindling population. The latest census listed 2.9 million people as American Indian and Alaska Native.

“So we don’t pose a threat,” she says. “If we organized a march, the numbers would be so small. We’ve done it school by school. State by state.”

Harjo knows if the powerful Washington football team is forced to discard its name, then everyone else will follow. But for now, she takes pride in small victories.

Just a few weeks ago, a high school in Cooperstown, New York, decided to retire its R-word mascot.

C.J. Hebert, superintendent for the Cooperstown Central School District, said students approached him regarding their discomfort with the mascot that had been around for decades.

“I do think that times change and perspectives change, and certainly it’s historically a time for us to reconsider what the name is,” Hebert said.

That’s a statement that makes Harjo feel her campaign has been worthwhile.

Tell us what you think about Native American names and mascots below.

Posted by
Filed under: Discrimination • History • Native Americans • Sports • Who we are
soundoff (1,978 Responses)
  1. aj

    I find democrats that don't even play football offensive.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • O My Paper Man

      It's about being Progressive!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard-Missouri

    OMG! Those of you who think that mascots / team names like 'Redskins', 'Braves', 'Black Hawks', etc., are racist in nature, truly need to have your heads examined.

    These team names have been around FOREVER, and are not used as racial slurs. You canNOT even begin to equate these mascots / team names to the 'N' word. Susan Shown Harjo needs to get a life.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Robyn

    .

    The Miami University of Ohio logo and mascot from 1931 to 1997 was 'Redskins'. Despite being ready, able and more than willing to be offended by the use of such a term when attending the school in the 1980s, I never was.

    Miami University is located on land in Ohio that had belonged to the Miami Tribe from the mid 17th century until they were forced by the US Federal Government to relocate to Oklahoma under the Treaty of Mississinewa in 1826.

    The artwork depictions and logo usage of 'Redskin' were realistic, accurate and authentic; and approved each year by the leadership of the Miami Tribe. The persons who served as sports mascots dressed in authentic recreations of Miami Tribe traditional, historic clothing and were required to learn authentic Miami Celebration Dances that were used historically to celebrate victories.

    Every year, the University asked the Miami Tribe if the use of their likeness and styles were acceptable. Every year up until 1997, the tribal leadership gave their assent and when they no longer did; the University immediately changed the symbol to the current Miami University mascot 'Swoop the Redhawk'. Which has no meaning.

    It would have been nice if some compromise could have been worked out to find a less offensive term and yet continue to remind people of the history and culture of the place where they were attending school and the fact that a far more offensive action (forcing the Miami to abandon their homes under a very one sided treaty) had taken place.

    Memory of a very real historical culture and the very real bad actions done to it,
    is being obliterated by eliminating the usage of an admittedly bad word.

    This is not the best solution to the problem.

    .

    April 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jamessavik

    I have native American blood and I don't mind... as long as the team doesn't stink.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. half-breed

    Sticks and stones may break my bones BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME! MOVE ON!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeffy

    One day our kids and grandkids are going to look back and laugh in amazement that there was a team called the Washington Redskins. And in the most popular league in the nation, nonetheless.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. a slozomby

    well i'd be upset too if i were associated with a football team that cant ever win.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rj

    All you people who are saying that this lady should chill out are the same people who are afraid to say the work "black" around black people, preferring the term "African American". You probably can't even force yourself to say the "n-word" because society tells you its a bad word and yet Redskin rolls off your tongue no problem.

    But if a Native American asks for the same respect afforded black people, you're all tough on the message boards saying "get a life".

    The point is, you are all sensitive to black people because they have the numbers and political power and you fear the repercussions if a black person were to hear you say "nig$a". You don't fear Native Americans because they don't have the numbers and the clout in the media. I've met some big Native Americans. I'm sure you'd think twice about saying the "r-word" to their face.

    You all are a bunch of message board tough guys.

    SMH

    April 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sweetevil28

      Nice. Agreed

      April 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Yankees. Cowboys. Mavericks. Redskins. Braves. Indians. Chiefs. Patriots.

      Ban em all?

      Shall we name all our sports teams only neutral, politically correct names. We can change Redskins to rocks. Cowboys to trees. The yankees can be the New York pavement. Would you be happy then?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • amayetli

        R-word is a reference to the scalp of an Native American, government use to pay people for these scalps. Of course adult males would bring in the biggest price, unlike WOMEN and CHILDREN....

        April 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • flbikerchick

        We won't have to worry about it for long. Pretty soon, corporations will be naming the teams, just like they name their stadiums today. So get ready, Washington R-word fans, to cheer the Express.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • n2it

        Red scalps, now that has a ring to it.

        April 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      red would be same as white or black whats wrong with a proud black man saying hey im black . no?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Vanessa

    I think it would be better for then to encourage a more accurate portrayal of the native Americas as mascots. How much more is known about Osceola and Illiniwek because they live on as mascots. It could be a tremendous learning opportunity. Certainly they would be little more than a footnote in history now since it likely they wouldn't show up on the state's standardized testing.

    I understand that they want the most offensive "R" slur removed, but do we have to remove them completely from society? I feel sad that the word "Brave" which represented their their best as warriors is not considered appropriate as a team name according to Harjo.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. PR

    So fed up with all the political correctness crap. GET OVER IT! If you don't like it don't support the team, don't buy their products. But leave the rest of us alone to our PERSONAL VIEWS! This is all a bunch of bullcrap!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • pismire

      Agreed. Get f'ing over it. Seriously... You have light skin, therefore you're called white. You have dark skin, therefore, you're called black. You, over there, have reddish brown skin, therefore you're called a redskin. And way in the back, you, your skin is sorta olive/yellow, so... I mean since when is calling something that looks like what it looks like wrong? is FUN going to be outlawed soon? Because the depressed aren't having any of it? I want to slap you all.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tad

      I totally agree, you can't say this and you can't say that, someone out of our 300 plus million people might be offended...I really don't care..God knows I get called names too and I just don't care...everyone needs to grow a thicker skin. I admire American Indians and all the trials they have had to endure...but I love the Redskins too and any other name would not be a good fit...leave my team alone!

      April 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic n LA

      While I don't think the Washington Redskins demean American Indians in any way. If you look at their logo, you see the face of a proud, strong man. Cleveland's logo, while cartoonish, still shows the face of a happy person, portrayed as any person would be if you removed the feather. If her complaint is that they are portrayed with headdress, then maybe she should look at how many tribal leader appear before Congress and at other government events.
      As for this post- political correctness is not a bad thing. Sensitivity towards other people is how we are supposed to conduct ourselves. Ridicule is NEVER acceptable. So, if you think that someone pointing out that they are offended by a name they may be called, it is YOU who needs to get over it and learn some manners.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jas

    One take away from this article is that decedents of the indigenous tribes of America are not one dimensional. They are not all warriors or maze growers, who live in teepees. Many would not have a problem with sport teams using native American likeness as mascots. Suzan Shown Harjo, who is outraged by the Redskins moniker, cannot represent all of native American's opinion about sport team mascots.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    Ban Yankees; the term is offensive to all Americans. And no one likes them.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    equal? They didn't teach that kind of algebra in school.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bradgina

    Redskin and Indian aren't common derogatory terms, so it has taken longer for it to come into the collective consciousness that it's wrong.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      It's not wrong.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gadzod

    If you don't like the name, then pay Dan Snyder $1.56B plus whatever else he wants for it. Its his team, his business. He can call them whatever he wants to call them. If you don't like it, buy it and change the name, or don't support the team. It's that simple.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Frissell

    Making light of an offensive issue is a reflection or you; not the issue. The fact that we natives are subjected to this sort of active and aggressive bigotry in this day and age is not surprising. The fact that there are still segregated dances down south, that gays can be evicted or lose their job, and a professional sports team uses that slur does not reflect on me; it reflects on you.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. John

    As a DC native and a life long fan of the redskins, there is no way I want to give up our name. If native americans have a problem with it then we can be a reference to red-skinned potatoes...

    April 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldesalt

      Don't forget to put a potato graphic on the sides of the helmets.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • AHEM

      Sure and take the "redskinned" Native American off and put the Redskinned potatoe on instead.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Kirbydog

    Well then, it must not be offensive if you feel it is not.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Sammy

    Minorites want to control what white people say.
    Minorities don't want white people to enjoy the same rights and freedoms of expression and association that they enjoy.
    They want to control how they are depicted, just like a dictator wants to control how he is depicted.
    The American Revolution taught us what should be done to people who don't want us to be free.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brienna

      Did you seriously just compare minorities to dictators? Really?

      April 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Indian American

    If we want to get technical, then Native Americans should no longer use the term "Indian." They are not, nor ever were, from India. As an Indian American who was raised in the U.S., I am particularly sensitive to anyone calling Native Americans "Indians." As a 6-year old in the 1970s, I had to educate many kids and adults about geography and how different Native Americans are from Indians (from India). So, this needs to stop somewhere and rather than calling the terms "rascist" we should all take pride in the plights of Native Americans and honor them. But a word is a word, it is how we treat each other that matters. To end the problem, let anyone who uses the Native American mascots donate a substantial amout of proceeds to Native American funds to help support and keep tradition going. Otherwise, let's get super-technical and stop calling them Indians.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • O My Paper Man

      Well said fellow "American." The Native Americans are not Indian; those are people from India, 1 billion plus. Columbus started this whole mess when he saw brown skinned people and called them "Indian." Columbus did not discover America; the Native Americans did!

      April 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Matthew

    The problem with your argument is that it can be taken to silly extremes. We can't simply let anybody say that any old word XYZ is offensive and then demand that it be stricken from the English language. There is no fundamental right to not be offended by anything, and neither is there a right to demand that others sanitize the common environment so as to avoid offending one's own sensibilities. Who are we to say any differently? We are rational adults of reasonable adult intellect, and we recognize that encountering offensive words and action is simply a part of adult life in a social community and that these words and actions can never be eliminated merely by banishing them to a government-sponsored naughty list.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Alan Smithee

    'Is the R word equal to the N word?' . . . . no, it's not.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • cassius

      I am deeply offended by the name "redneck" this r-word is a blight against society.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Barry

    1/2 Kiowa.... and 1/2 Off it appears. if you as a self-proclaimed NA can't understand this

    April 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  24. sxuldv8

    While we're at it - I'm Irish and I DON'T fight. I want Notre Dame to drop that 'fighting' thing. I find it offensive!!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • amayetli

      Assuming you are being sarcastic but the flaw in your argument is this, can you tell me who started Notre Dame and operates it?

      And did Native Americans start up the Washington franchise?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Aaron Potier

    So I have read allot of the comments. Here is my deduction. I will say that probably 99% of those responding that this is not derogatory are White. You know who you are. And if you aren't, please identify your race so I can throw some epithets at you to see how you feel. I really hope blacks aren't rallying to that side because if they were to change the name to Black-skins, they would have a fit. Redskins was a derogatory term used against Native Americans. Athletes should stand up and refuse to play for any team with such a mascot.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  26. laserw

    I find Democrats offensive since they are not Democratic – they are intolerant of anyone who does not share their views, calls people who do not bend to their will as not being compromising, and play divisive, racial and gender hate wars.

    I don't think we can even begin to discuss sports mascots and names until we get serious about these racial issues. If everyone is truly equal, then there can be no programs in government that promote or elevate one race or gender over another even if it is to try to make up for some perceived ill in the past. Far too often Democrats play the race card to advance a political agenda while suggesting they believe in equality. Yet, they do not practice equality – having Congressional black and hispanic caucuses is highly offensive to me since if anyone dared to have a "white caucus" that would be immediately called racist by Democrats.

    You want to end racism? Start practicing what you PREACH, Democrats! But don't expect a sports team to lead. That is something the party in power must do and so far, you are the biggest racists in this country!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Im tiredofthis

      Only in this country, where one has a right to an attorney, and one will be provided if one cannot be payed for, but if you need a doctor you are just plain out of luck, would someone seek to pass laws to prevent free speech in the so called interest of pressing for further civil rights. There is no ill intent in the word, and I will use it as much as I can now that I know some seek to limit the fact that I can.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sweetevil28

      Wow. You need to see the world.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • davecu

      Well said.
      PC will lead to our demise because of the professionally offended.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  27. R. Anderson

    I agree totally,
    As a male whose great great grandfather fought with the Alabama Rifles in the War of Northern Aggression I'm offended that I have to watch a baseball team called the Yankees.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Ted Nolan

    The sooner liberalism is eradicated from our shores, the better.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • O My Paper Man

      Good, so we can have some right wing Fascist Nation run by...

      April 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Megan Ann Davis

    cute – yes, things could get that silly!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Megan Ann Davis

    totally and completely ridiculous argument. some folks in this country really carry things to an absurd extreme.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Here's where it starts to get hilarious. I live in Florida. When the NCAA dreamed up this nonsense, the CHIEF OF THE SEMINOLE TRIBE caught the earliest available flight to the NCAA headquarters about the Florida State Seminoles. "What the hell is wrong with you people? That's OUR TEAM !!!"

      April 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Paul

    And you point out the slippery slope such legislation or court orders would create...

    April 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Adam

    WRONG! If it was one person, there wouldn't be the huge outrage that has led to several demonstrations and the recent uproar that lead to the article.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Jeff

    NO! Somebody needs to stop!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Barry

    I would be ashamed calling that war a 'Victory".... when the main ikiller was the european's disease ridden bodies that killed off millions I wouldn't be proud of that

    April 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Jorge

    The writer of this story needs to do more research. North Dakota voters did not vote to dump "The Fighting Sioux" name and logo, they voted to keep it. It was the NCAA that didn't care about the vote and would have excluded them from events. It was also one tribe voting it down, and another voting for it to stay.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Nancyt

    I completely agree with all of those who think this entire argument is RIDICULOUS!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill McDavid

      Of course you do, Nancy. You are white, no?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • jdub

        Thats pretty racist of you. (I can play this game too...)

        April 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bill McD

        Go to a bar in Browning, Montana and yell out "Redskins!". Then come back and tell me whether the word was offensive to anyone.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fred

        Her race is irrelevant. This is just political correctness run amok and fueled by anal retentive liberals.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Steve

    When Jane Fonda was married to Ted Turner, she got all bent out of shape over the Atlanta Braves' "Tomahawk Chop," which apparently is also demeaning to Native Americans....Fonda insisted that fans have their palms facing down when doing the "chop" rather than the conventional "sideways" position. She was soundly booed wherever she went in these parts..

    April 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Chuck

    Whether you agree with the name or not, there comes a time when you start encroaching on first ammendment rights.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      No one is suggesting it is illegal... we are saying it's offensive, and the team ought to change it. No one is encroaching on anyone's first amendment right.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Luke

        actually, they are trying to make it illegal. hence the bill proposal.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Fred

        Wrong answer. They ARE trying to make it illegal.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  39. rob0rah

    Change their name to "Palefaces" Would anyone be offended?

    April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      Better to rename them the "Whining Babies", and the mascot can be baby wearing blinders and earplugs so as to not see or hear anything that might offend it.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Ituri

    Oh lord, save us from the overly sensitive ninnies trying to legislate our culture into the PC ground. Do you really think these powerful cultures would ONLY want to be remembered for how they died? Do you really think they'd care if a sports team was named after them? Nobody cares. They don't care, we don't care, because its entirely devoid of racist intent or cultural insult. The only people who care are those who have never seen real abuse, racism, or hate, and so feel they have to make a battle for them to fight to fill their time and help them feel useful to the world.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  41. JC Mo

    When will we all stop with the racism debate and just learn to accept each other for our inner soul. There is not harm in referring to someone as white or black or brown or red, if the intent is without malice or spite. I think the media tries to make more of this than necessary simply so they have something to write about. I do not deny that racism still exists in the United States, however so does religous persecution, as does gender discrimination against men and women. I believe for the most part, that we as Americans have moved past this, now we just need to get the few to join the rest. In short '"GET OVER IT!"

    April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  42. aegnat

    The author of this piece was barred from using a store when the owner of said store referred to her as a "redskin." And people are telling her to get a life? Regardless of what side of the issue one is on, he or she ought to understand why the author is against the use of this term. Show a little respect, people. Try thinking of someone other than yourself for once.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Bubba

    Oh my goodness. This country is just a bit too sensitive. Moral relativism will be the downfall of the greatest nation on Earth. Don't you have bigger things to worry about than the name of a football team?

    April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • wahoo1969

      Hey you, yes you! Take a look at Ed's comments below... Stop speaking for others when you know nothing.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Dan

    Since we are on the topic of fairness, perhaps the federal government should start taxing Native Americans. They want to be treated equally, after all.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Rick

    Does anybody even remember the last time they tried to change the Redskins name, it was the local Native American tribes who spoke up the loudest against changing it. They feel proud of it.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snyphilis

      They should! Take it as a sign of respect!

      April 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ricksta

      That's fiction. No local tribes came out to support it. It's like I heard in the South that slaves were better off in America because they didn't have to run to avoid being lunch for lions. Since there are more white people in Washington, may I suggest the "Washington White Boys." Now that has a ring to it.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Not Hypocrite

        Wait, so you are telling us that you are a hypocrite? If you are truly against offensive terms, you wouldn't be suggesting one.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • anginetta

        We can't name them the white boys because people would say that the white man has names after them then they will have to change the name again. Because white people get everything!!

        April 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • AHEM

      No they did not.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Barry

    Amazing, most Seminoles are blue-eyed 'native americans', no wonder they sanction it

    April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Rob Roe

    At some point, people have to rise to the top and figure out what they want to stand for. If we are going to disrupt the common discourse and pursue the detritus that slews the national agenda, then so be it... but be prepared for the consequences.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Ed

    I am a Redskin and proud of it. Born and raised Dine. The high school my children attend, Red Mesa High school's mascot is the Redskins, we are located in the heart of the Navajo Reservation . All of the students who attend are Natives. We are proud of our mascot. If you are offended with it, you have a problem, get over it. We are proud Redskins

    April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Right on, man. HTTR!

      April 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Ed, if you want to have that nickname then allthe power to you but I would hope that you have enough respect for yourself that if some white person were to come up to yourself and call you a redskin you would stand up for yourself. I know I would and I am Dine as well. On the rez you don't have to put up with white people driving in to Shiprock or any other place on the rez and call you a redskin. As you said everyone there is native so no one would take ofense to it. But if you were walking around DC and someone called you a redskin then I hope you would have some pride and call them out on it aand not just sit there, smile and let them call you that.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Dave

    OK...I want to start a basketball team called the New York Nig*ers or the Los Angeles Wetbacks or the Hawaii Chinks... would you be appalled? The term Redskins is a racist, awful term... how this can't be understood by people commenting here is beyond me.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • yougo1000

      I think people are more upset about how the names were not intended to be offensive and is taken the wrong way

      April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard Conn Henry

      Washington Canucks hockey team?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Django

      Hey, Los Angeles Wetbacks doesn't sound like a bad idea.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      Being a WASP I don't think any of these terms are meant to be malicious in any way. That being said, if it offends native Americans then what's the big deal about showing some respect and changing a name? I think the white man has disrespected them long enough.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • crop1981

      I'll bet you have no problem with "Fighting Irish", you silly SOB.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ozarkan

      Redskin WAS (past tense) a racist term. Words themselves have no intent, racist or otherwise. Only people who use such terms with racist intent make them racist. I haven't heard anyone use it thus in more than fifty years. The subject of debate here is a term that has, over time, evolved from a racial epithet into a harmless tradition. Indeed it now does more to honor Americans of Native American descent – including myself, than to demean them. I respect your opinion but I will not be forced to adhere to it.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • wahoo1969

      Dave,

      Take a deep breath, have a sip of your Starbucks, have a chomp on that granola bar and it will be OK, I promise.

      April 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  50. ericgoestoholland

    i agree and disagree. words in and of themselves are just words. they are meaningless without being connected to an idea/concept. but because a word is defined by the value of what it represents, words are like pathways to ideas, concepts, emotions. when someone is offended by the use of a word, it's not really the word that offends them. it's what the word means.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Kelley

    What a whiner, something tells me if she didn't have a political axe to grind about perceived name insults, she would be in front of the White House burning her bra and panties over something else (that's scary) Please move to Afghanistan or Pakistan so you can take up there causes for women's rights and bear your cross there. .

    April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Bill

    From one native american to another: Get over it lady.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  53. ollie

    fire water and wampum should mellow her out

    April 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  54. theblackwriter

    The only people qualified to say whether or not the name is offensive are Native Americans. Washington's NFL team has been my team for over 40 years. I'm cool if they change their name to Warriors of something like that. But if they change it to something like Pelicans or Wizards I'm looking for a new favorite team.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  55. yougo1000

    I really don't get the big deal over this. I'm not trying to sound insensitive. But I don't think the names were meant to be offensive. I think they are more trying to honor our predecessors here in the US

    April 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Bill

    I guess our paratroopers can't yell "Geronimo" any more as they go out the door.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Phil Muse

    Has it ever occurred to Ms. Harjo and others of her mind that teams name themselves after American Indians for reasons of pride because their namesakes had a long and glorious history as brave and resourceful warriors? For instance, the Seminole nation, using their knowledge of the Florida Everglades to good advantage, successfully fought a thirty year war against the United States. The Cleveland Indians took on their nickname to honor of a native American, a teammate who died young. (And incidentally, no baseball team was ever happier for a change: they had previously been called the "Spiders"!) You don't see Americans of Scandinavian descent getting outraged about the Minnesota Vikings, or Irish Americans taking Notre Dame to task.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Very well said.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Don Barker

    And from which tribe did you tribe take their land? Do you really believe that the practice of taking something from somebody else originated with the white men who came to America?

    April 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Shecky

    What does Elizabeth Warren think of this? Perhaps she could poll her ancesters.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snyphilis

      Poll finished. Satan says he cool with it.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Paul

    This is ridiculous to say the least. Political correctness is one of the many issues destroying this country.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  61. MarcNJ

    I want the Vikings to give up their name, it offends my Scandinavian ancestors.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Should be proud they chose the name Vikings to illustrate there toughness the same way the Red Skins choose a team name that to them exemplified the sprit of their team or the Braves or the Chiefs or the Indians etc etc etc.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • crop1981

        The name for the KC Chiefs comes from the nickname given to the Mayor at that time, H. Roe Barrtell, who was a big supporter of the Boy Scouts who use many "native" American names in their organization.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Shecky

    She ABSOLUTELY needs a life! Instead of focusing on changing the name of the Redskins, she should change herself. Going on a diet, getting her hair styled, and putting on a little makeup would be a good start.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Snyphilis

    As you grow up, you realize that the bad words that bothered you as a kid, stop bothering you. When you don't let them bother you, people stop using them. When you take those words on as your own, people use them as a sign of respect.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Alquimia

    @ Don Barker Above: "Our nation is becoming a nation of crybabies, whiners and perceived victims" . I agree.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Our ancestors took this country by force and on the blood of Native Americans.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        History has losers and winners. The NAs lost.

        Don't feel so bad. Whites are giving away their nations. Your grandkids will have the privilege of being a shat-upon minority someday, so cheer up.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Barry

        Truth be told, the US did not defeat the NA's – in the sense you believe. The biggest killer was the Diseases emanating from the European bodies that killed millions of NAs.. not physical combat/warfare. If not for the disease-ridden people giiving disease-ridden blankets as "GIFTS" – I hardly think they could have withstood the millions of NA's in a battle. It was germ warfare, not real warfare.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • crop1981

        SO!! To the Victors go the spoils. Get over it!

        April 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ifinallyseeafact

        And don't you forget it.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jeremy

        People always just sit nthe sidelines and let world get worse. We need to make this world a safe world one everyone is free and one where all colors of man are considers equal. We are the same race. We are all H omo Sapiens,,,and color does not matter.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • MBA Matt

        It appears to me that you think that you have transcended humanity and are now in the business of assigning blame for all previous abuses endured by one group of humanity against others.

        This is a very dangerous path for you to be on, my friend, for unless you are not human and are somehow immortal, you WILL in your lifetime have to assert yourself or become one of "the abused" – assuming that this has not already happened and "un-manned" you.

        Grow a set – own the fact that you are in at least some way connected to others in previous lives who killed to keep their (YOUR) genes in circulation. Stop trying to apologize for stuff you had nothing to do with, and also stop trying to dishonor your ancestors by being a weak, spineless little quivering animal.

        April 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agree

      What a bunch of crybabies. If some guy came up to me and called me a cr4ck3r over and over again in my face, I would never even flinch. These people are too sensitive. I can call anybody whatever I want.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Barry

        If you don't like it, no one is forcing you to read the article. Skip over it, save the rest of sane humanity from your slurs

        April 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agree

      if some guy came up to my wife and called her a "whor3" and followed us around a store and called us that... it is ALL GOOD! because i'm not INSENSITIVE like these foolish people. freedom of speech!

      April 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Jeff

    How about doing something creative and side stepping the entire issue? I'd ask the Redskin's owner to approach the Delaware Tribe for an official license to use the name for a price of course. Now we are honoring a real tribe with their blessing.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Pete

    I am far more offended at the US government giving Bin Laden the code name "Geronimo". A murderer like Bin Laden should've been reduced to a four letter word, not the name of a revered and proud warrior.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ol Dad

      Those who think what you stated are sickeningly stupid. Yeah, give a codename that shows we hold disdain and anger. You fools should be proud that a codename was used that the enemy would never tie into Bin-laden. It was a respected name of a honored warrior that we knew would give no inkling as to whom it was being used for, and as such had no worry in blowing the op. (and it wasn't a name for bin-laden like a nickname or anything close to that, it was simply a code!!)
      Do you ever think?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Flaming Liberal with an iPad

    So when Harjo wins (notice I said "when" not "if" since we cater to the lowest common denominator in America) legally and without haste the Dallas Cowboys will need to change their name. However, we must not stop there!

    The Red and White Sox teams will also have to follow suit because those names, as it stands, offends Indians and Caucasians.

    The Cleveland Browns too are in jeopardy because "brown" can offend a wide scope of people too.

    The New York Giants will have to alter their name because it's insensitive to "little people".

    The Miami Dolphins name is incredibly offensive to the plight of dolphins who get snared in fishing nets.

    And on and on and on and on ad nausea.

    If you are too sensitive, perhaps one should stay home, stay offline, and don't interact with the world at all. After all, it is a big, scary world and we would not want the most delicate of society to be harmed or get their feelings subjectively stomped and trampled on.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alquimia

      I hope the "Saints" don't offend anyone. LOL

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Flaming Liberal with an iPad

        Oh! The New Orleans Saints! Yes, it probably offends a host of people nationally! Also St. Louis Cardinals probably offends animal rights activists.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Woody Hilliard

    I had always thought of the term, Indian, used as a mascot name in a complimentary light. My high school team mascot was, and still is, Indians. It denoted courage , fearsome warrior, etc to me. Upon reflection though, if it truly offends Native Americans I would honor their feelings about it.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  69. d-rail

    amen to that!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Geronimo

    Go Redskins! Never ever give up that proud name just because a few liberals think they can get political power from being offended. Tell 'em all to get lost.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Snyphilis

    As a straight white male it is immoral for you to be offended over something directed at yourself. You must learn to self-loathe and feel guilt for what people with your skin color have done. I know it's nothing you've done. But your skin color says you should feel guilt...

    April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohbehave

      Ha.... if one must repent over what members of their race/tribe did in the past, there would be a LOT of self loathing to go around!
      I get ya though.... white folks compete with each other with how much they loathe themselves and yearn to love and understand non-whites...... and STILL get accused of racism.
      It's like a monty python skit.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snyphilis

      Yep. To say that I owe someone respect or money or favoritism because of something that was done by people who's only relation to myself is skin color.... THAT is racism

      April 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Blake

    I'm so tired of people trying to *force* others to do what they want done. So you don't like a name because you're thin-skinned. Deal with it. Drum up support among others. Don't busy the tax-payer courts with your petty grievances. And don't try to use the courts to force upon others your wacky over-sensitivity. Good grief!

    April 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      We forced Native Americans from the USA by killing so many of them. My great great great grandmother was a full blood Apache and she was killed.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • bu

        Sorry about what happened to your distant relative that you never met or knew, but don't blame me for anything that happened 100s of years ago.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        To be fair, most NAs died of "microbe shock."

        A lot of people, including whites, can dig up injustices committed against their own, if they search back far enough.

        Move on.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Don Barker

    At age 15 I left Appalachia in the exodus from the coal fields in the 50s, ending up in Gary, Indiana. Being called an "Ignorant Hillbilly" was hurtful but I soon came to realize that the problem was more within myself than from those calling ma the name. Those same high school kids elected me their class president. Life's pathway sometimes provides a few unpleasant bumps but, if we are overly sensitive, and looking to feel victimized and persecuted, those small bumps can become impassable mountains. This writer may need to re-evaluate her sense of persecution. She might find that she is her own worst enemy. Our nation is becoming a nation of crybabies, whiners and perceived victims. We need to stop looking for what might be bad and celebrate all that is good.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  74. lex

    Sure, we should all be politically correct and not use terms that objectionable to any politically correct group in society. But let's remember that its an illusion to believe that before Columbus, the inhabitants of north and south America lived idyllic, peaceful lives. There was lots of warfare, human sacrifice, and starvation.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Jeremy

    The United States started by the mass killing of Native Americans and slavery of African Americans. End all team names and mascots using Native American anything in there names

    April 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bu

      ...or we could care about important things!

      April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • barney

      You obviously never opened up a history book.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hobo

      Here's the real problem. Gov't shouldn't be involved in free speech. Daniel Snyder owns the Redskins. It is his team. Liberals have bullied the schools to change but only Daniel Snyder and ultimately the people paying for his product should make this call.

      April 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Jeremy

    The United States started by the mass killing of Native Americans and slavery of African Americans. End all team names and mascots using Native American anything in there names

    April 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Matthew

    I am sorry that this woman finds certain words offensive, and perhaps they are, I don't know, but no person, absolutely nobody, has the right to have the environment sanitized at all times of anything and everything he or she finds offensive. Firstly, it simply isn't possible, and secondly, the government has no business whatsoever acting as the Language & Thought Police by determining which words are ok and which words are banished. The slippery slope downward toward the overt manipulation of social thought and policy by a government tasked with keeping anybody anywhere from being offended at any time is very, very real, and we cannot allow it to happen. If some people have to live in a state of permanent offense because of the mere existence of certain words, then that's a price we must be willing to pay.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Barker

      Thank you, Matthew. Very well said.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Scheryl Grant

    If I were an Native American I would be honored a ball team called themselves Redskins. Strong & Brave
    There's the Notordam Irish no one complains? get a life and stop causing issues.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Allie

    So, this article was enlightening in one regard: it explained why, exactly, Syracuse and Stanford have such idiotic mascots.

    April 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  80. I AM

    Lighten up everybody !

    April 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Mike

    Or until a 6-year old girl is dehumanized by them.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Christine

    I'm sorry for the racism this woman experienced but I don't believe the franchises who have native american mascots are derogatory. On the contrary, I know a number of Washington fans who live and die by the teams successes and shortcomings as if the team is their own child. To change the name would be a major blow to them, they love their team look, colors and name proudly and loudly. That doesn't strike me as racist or negative.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      It bothers me and quite a few people.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alice Crowton

        It doesn't bother me at all, and I am part Cherokee.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jeremy

        I am part Apache

        April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Barker

        When a person is predisposed to be "bothered", they will always find something that bothers them. After all, waiting to be bothered is much easier that meeting the other challenges of life with hard work and effort.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Barker

        My paternal great-grandmother was Cherokee. So what?

        April 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Mike500

    Tell you what. give your house to a Native American and then you can lecture the rest of us.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Jeremy

    They need to change. We need to honor the Native Americans not treat them like second class citizens.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • bu

      That has nothing to do with sports teams, genius.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Mike500

    The N-word has ALWAYS been a negative intended to put down blacks. Redskins hasn't been. That's a key difference.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      WRONG.... Redskins started out as a Racist slur – and still is today

      April 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill McD

      Mike – Go into a bar in Browning, Montana and yell out "Redskins!". Then come back and tell us whether anyone was offended.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Phil Muse

    Has it ever occurred to Ms. Harjo

    April 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Jason

    I'm more offended by the way the Redskins have played the past two decades.

    April 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allie

      Accurate comment is accurate, haha.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob C

      Try being a Lions fan.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  88. F.L.M. SR

    After reading this article I am of the opinion that all people have become so very thin skinned. Being handicapped since the age of 3 I have been called many derogatory names. Some by close friends and others who just barely knew me. Did they hurt? Yes, but I just shrugged them off and let it go. It just seems that today some people are just so thinned skin that if you even look at them in a strange way they are offended. Let people say want and let it roll off your back. Sticks and stones may break my bones but, names will never hurt me.

    April 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas Z

      I agree. I'm 50% Native American (my father was 100% Blackfeet) and I find this whole argument pointless. My other 50% is German Jew, and when I hear Jews being joked about as far as money goes, I laugh at that too.

      People need to stop being so damn politically correct all the time. Pretty soon there will be nothing left that's not banned because its "offensive" to someone.

      For example, tampon commercials airing on TV offend me, especially during dinner. Who cares, I ignore it or change the channel. I don't make a stink and try to get people to legislate from the bench or bench from the legislate ( you know what I mean..)

      April 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  89. What?

    I never heard "redskin" used as a pejorative growing up. In fact, the only time I've ever even heard a joke about red skin was an Indian coworker who made one. People need to focus on the real problems Native Americans face and let silly stuff like this go.

    April 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Don Black

    This isn't about being politically correct it's about having respect for another people.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Don Black

    Try using "NA" as a short term for Native Americans.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Don Black

    No Mitch see if it is said and someone takes offense, then it's offensive. You don't get to decided if it is or isn't.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  93. lol'n time

    "EQUAL"? Really? They forgot the c-word and the w-word (other races, I'm not talking about rhyming with "bunt"), if this is the nutty newsworthy topic now.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Kansha

    Bravo Susan Harjo and Moni Basu and Washington Post!!! It's time that we wake up. Just because people are not conscious that their language offends others doesn NOT make it right or okay. I became aware of the issue thanks to a DC radio station and initially it took me aback, also thinking it was hypersensitive. Then I "walked a mile in the moccasins" striving to consider another perspective and it makes complete sense. If diversity training is considered "gratuitous" then it hasn't been very effective–it does take effort to change our ways. Let us strive to fulfill our potential as compassionate human beings and build more bridges towards a world of love and harmony.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  95. skeletrino

    so, Fighting Sioux is offensive and portrays an insensitive racial stereotype, but Fighting Irish doesn't? it would be interesting to find out exactly how dark one has to be to officially "offended"

    April 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don Black

      The difference between the "Fighting Sioux" and the "Fighting Irish" is that the Irish had a say in the choosing and depiction of the mascot.

      April 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • ProtoWhalePig

        I'm Irish and find it offensive. Now what?

        April 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don Black

        Then blame your fellow Irishman.

        April 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • cassius

        and since we have asian immigrants to north america that dont find it offensive the name is ok?(native americans didnt just pop up here out of nothing, the immigrated from asia.)

        April 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Rob

    This is stupid. I'm Mescalero Indian and I say it doesnt matter if a sports team has the name of a tribe as a logo. Do you hear the millions of Irish people in this country crying at Notre Dame over their logo? No, you do not. We need to get over the midset of being so easily offended. They are NOT mocking us or our culture. Its almost fashionable to be Native American now. I say they need an Apache team! So, I say do not change the name over something so miniscule. A major change in the last century is that most Americans respect the tribes and their history, and many claim native heritage themselves. So, this native says that he likes the logos/mascots and says to leave them alone!

    April 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  97. David

    Written like a true Klan member.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  98. David

    I fully support the elimination of the racist, stereotypical names and symbols of teams such as "Redskins', 'Braves', 'Indians'. It is absolutely astounding how such public racism is still displayed and accepted.

    April 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      I worked on an Indian Reservation in North Carolina for years. Know several Cherokee people that I still talk to to this day. They are not offended by "Braves." The actually like the fact and even root for these teams like the Redskins and Braves. The only thing that they believe is offensive is "Indians", tomahawk chop, and people misrepresenting NA in the American Thanksgiving tradition.

      People need to relax.

      April 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • OldJoe

      Are you offended?

      April 7, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  99. give it a rest

    So, she was kicked out ofa store by a racist white guy from Oklahoma in the 50's and now sports mascots must pay!!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • bu

      Absolutely–Classic example of neurosis.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Githm

      Yes. They must pay. Weird how life works out sometimes. The guy she grew angry about is long gone but has exerted a massive amount of influence in her life and now, evidently, many more lives. We, the people, must be more aware of the sensitivities of our fellow human beings. Or annihilate everyone except those that our just like us.

      April 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Bill W

    Go 'Skins!!!

    April 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
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