Originally Posted by thunderkyss
But I've heard Sambo used as a derogatory term. I've heard gay used in demeaning context. We've seen it in our movies, we've heard it in our music, in our books, we've seen it in the news.
I've never heard "Redskins" used as a derogatory term. Not in the movies, not in books, not in music, not in the news.
This is like saying the Cleveland Indians should change their mascot because Native Americans find it offensive. Their mascot isn't doing anything that should be considered offensive. He looks authentic, proud, fierce, honorable. But because he's a "mascot" it's offensive?? I'm not buying it.
A local highschool deals with the same thing. They are the Indians. Their mascot does a war dance before the game, after every score, at half-time... someone said it was offensive to Native Americans & suggested they change their name & mascot.
It makes no sense.
Like I said, if you're not THAT minority, then you don't know what it is they deal with and what it is they hear. You don't know how they're attacked and what they find demeaning.
Even different sections of that demographic living in different places will be offended by different words because they're attacked by different words where they live. Some Native American in Tennessee might get hit with the "redskin" word as derogatory but not feel that "brave" or "navajo" or whatever is derogatory but a Native American in Oklahoma or Alaska or California might and not be offended by "redskin".
Someone in the Majority telling someone in the Minority what they should and shouldn't be offended by is a dangerous position because it allows the Majority to minimize what the Minority is feeling. "Oh, you shouldn't be offended by that! I didn't mean anything by it." is a perfect defense for a racist to take.
And to be honest, I've defended myself with almost those exact same words when I offended a Jewish guy by making a JAP joke once. I'm not a racist [Again, exactly what a racist would say] and several of my Jewish friends came to my defense because they thought it was funny and non-offensive and they knew I didn't mean anything by it. But the bottom line is I said something and offended that guy... and I should have apologized. I didn't because I thought he was being overly sensitive and silly. That's the problem here: if someone gets offended, they're offended and telling them to chill out and grow up just compounds the problem.
Until the larger community started to feel that the n-word was offensive, people continued to use it in every day life. People had to realize that it was offensive to other people and feel bad about offending them before anything changed. (Unlike me not feeling bad about making that JAP joke.)
The same thing's probably going to happen here. Some American Indians feel offended; some don't. But until a lot more people (both Indian and non-Indian) start to realize and CARE that it's offensive to some people, it isn't going to change.
It's a complicated issue.