Originally Posted by Hookem Horns
I don't think people supporting the name "Redskins" are racists. Most (including Snyder) are sentimental to the name because they grew up Redskins fans and to them it's just the name of their team. The same way many of us had a connection to the Oilers name.
However that said, there is no denying the name is a slur. It is what many whites called Native Americans back in days of the Indian wars.
The "redskin" to most whites back then was the enemy. A threat. They weren't viewed as honorable people, but redskin savages.
I don't think the name was given to the team to honor Indians either. It was more than likely taking the villain mascot approach. "We're the nasty Redskins coming for your scalp!".
To me the name is comparable to "Japs". "Japs" and "Nips" are what Americans labeled the enemy Japanese during WWII. That generation continued using "Japs" and "Nips" to refer to Japanese people. However you couldn't name a team "Japs" nowadays as it's considered slur.
I would invite you to read this article and give your thoughts after reading it, as well as all of the others who voted yes, or assert that the term is actually a racial slur.
In 2005, the Indian language scholar Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institution published a remarkable and consequential study of redskin's early history. His findings shifted the dates for the word's first appearance in print by more than a century and shed an awkward light on the contemporary debate. Goddard found, in summary, that "the actual origin of the word is entirely benign."
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