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View Poll Results: Should the Washington Redskins change their name?
Yes 33 28.70%
No 82 71.30%
Voters: 115. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-15-2013   #81
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
I am being serious. Please let's not be condescending. "Redskins" was never before used any any way other than derogatory until it became associated with the NFL's team.
Kind of a bold assertion since the etymology of redskins isn't even known. Some historians say the earliest references are to body paints not skin color. I don't think the NFL existed in the 17th century. I'm having a hard time deciphering your last sentence. Are you trying to say Redskins was not derogatory until Washington chose it as their mascot?

In all honesty I grew up a Cowboys fan so I hate the Redskins. I just think this is stupid.
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Old 06-15-2013   #82
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Except for the fact redskin is more akin to black than n*gger.

Outside of this conversation look around this message board or in society generally and people routinely talk about black, white, yellow, brown and red skinned people. It is a factual demarcation.

To Dan B, I am sorry but back in that day you can't say against integration for one race means against for all. Jim Thorpe was the 1st AFPA president (which became NFL). There were a lot (relative to the population) of Indian players in the NFL. Integration for Indians was not the same as integration for blacks. Marshall was specifically anti-black. The 1933 NFL order was specifically anti-black. FYI-the Boston Braves Thorpe played for was the baseball team not Marshall's football team.
I can absolutely say that George Marshall was against racial integration of any type. Because he stipulated in his will that the Redskins trust not spend money on "any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form." If he only hated one race, he would have specified.

There may have been a lot of Native American players in the NFL. But there weren't a lot of Native American (Or Black, Asian, or Hispanic) players on the Redskins. They were all white. For 30 years.

If you've got a few minutes check out this 40 page preview of a 2001 book about the issue. The author doesn't take either side and presents an interesting look at the history of the term "Redskin," as well as a history of the fight to change the name of the team. I thought it was interesting that Snyder changed the name of the area the Redskins play in from Raljon, Maryland back to Landover -- because the residents were offended that Jack Kent Cooke named the spot for his sons. There's also some interesting quotes in the preview from newspaper editorials, etc. around the turn of the century using the term "Redskin." It's not in a flattering light.

Last edited by Dan B.; 06-15-2013 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 06-15-2013   #83
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

I grew up in the Northeast. My children are either 1/16 or 1/whatever Native American from some tribe up there. (not sure which - on my ex's side of the family)

I am 60+ years old and the only think I think of when I hear the word "Redskin" is the Washington Redskin's football team.

I don't care what color skin anyone has - white, black, red, blue, pink with purple polka-dots. Native means belonging to a particular place by birth. So that makes me a Native American along with my parents, and my children and my grandchildren, along with anyone else who was born in American - no matter what color skin anyone has.

People are people - no matter the color of one's skin. There are good and bad in all colors. There is also a lot of stupidity running rampant in this word.

One has to be taught to be a racist.

If we would spend the time on teaching our kids that people are just the same even if they are different colors, or different religions, or look different, or are handicapped, we all would benefit greatly and racism and bulling would stop.
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Old 06-15-2013   #84
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rey View Post
Another good post.

Seems that Marshall may have chosen the team name to create a carnival/side show type atmosphere around his team. Doesn't seem like it came from a place or respect at all.
The team originated as the Boston Braves, based in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1932. At the time the team played in Braves Field, the home field of the Boston Braves baseball team. The following year the club moved to Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, whereupon owners changed the team's name to the Boston Redskins. The Redskins relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937. In their early years in Washington, the Redskins shared Griffith Stadium with the Washington Senators baseball team.[7]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Braves_(NFL)
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Old 06-15-2013   #85
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Aren't sports team names & mascots generally chosen because they represent the city/people, or are majestic, respected, or fierce?

I have always felt that teams chose Native American type names and symbols out of respect to their fierceness in combat.

I would think the bigger issue would be the Cleveland Indians mascot. I could see a Native American seeing a caricature of an Indian and getting offended.

While were at it, shouldnt the Irish Americans be outraged by the "Fighting Irish" of Notre Dame?
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Old 06-15-2013   #86
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan B. View Post
I can absolutely say that George Marshall was against racial integration of any type. Because he stipulated in his will that the Redskins trust not spend money on "any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form." If he only hated one race, he would have specified.
No you can't. You can surmise at best. At the time the only integration at issue was blacks. If the NFL had wanted to ban everyone but whites their ban would have said no non-whites. It didn't. It said no blacks.

Indians have always been a part of the NFL. One of the original teams was all Indian. Coincidentally their colors were burgandy, gold and white - sound familiar?

Quote:
If you've got a few minutes check out this 40 page preview of a 2001 book about the issue.
Cool so you provided a source for the term not having a racist origin as Europeans thought the Indians were white and merely tanned or dyed by habitual painting.

We can hack this thing around but I just don't get it. Indian mascots were very popular in that time period. I just don't buy that anything derogatory was ever meant by it.
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Old 06-15-2013   #87
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Indians have always been a part of the NFL. One of the original teams was all Indian. Coincidentally their colors were burgandy, gold and white - sound familiar?
I never knew that before now.

Oorang Indians
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Old 06-15-2013   #88
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
No you can't. You can surmise at best. At the time the only integration at issue was blacks. If the NFL had wanted to ban everyone but whites their ban would have said no non-whites. It didn't. It said no blacks.
So if Marshall wanted other races to play on his team, they could have? Why didn't they?

Quote:
Indians have always been a part of the NFL. One of the original teams was all Indian. Coincidentally their colors were burgandy, gold and white - sound familiar?
That might explain why the team he bought already had a Native American mascot and already wore those colors. He didn't change the name or colors to honor Native Americans. If mascots honored their depiction then the name already honored Native Americans. Why change it?

That was also the era when the NFL had African Americans.

Then Marshall bought a team.


Quote:
Cool so you provided a source for the term not having a racist origin as Europeans thought the Indians were white and merely tanned or dyed by habitual painting.
I could also provide a source that says Jewish Americans originally used the word "kike" to differentiate themselves from Jewish immigrants or that "coolie" was just a descriptive term and not a perjorative in the 1850's. How does that mean the words aren't offensive today?

Quote:
We can hack this thing around but I just don't get it. Indian mascots were very popular in that time period. I just don't buy that anything derogatory was ever meant by it.
Amos and Andy style vaudeville skits were very popular in that time period. I don't buy that they meant anything derogatory with it. It was just entertainment. But it was still insensitive.
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Old 06-15-2013   #89
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Good posts from Yvette. It's exactly the reason why I believe the Redskins need to change their name.

It reminds me of a high school team in Illinois that was called the Pekin Chinks. It won't be long before we look back at the Redskins and look at that name with the same disgust.
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Old 06-15-2013   #90
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by Dan B. View Post
If mascots honored their depiction then the name already honored Native Americans. Why change it?
Dan, c'mon, that one takes no research at all and had no racism involved. You already made the mistake in this thread of confusing two teams named the Boston Braves.
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Old 06-15-2013   #91
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Dan, c'mon, that one takes no research at all and had no racism involved. You already made the mistake in this thread of confusing two teams named the Boston Braves.
I know why they changed it. I just wanted you to have to type out "he wanted to sell jerseys."

It wasn't to honor Native Americans. They were honored (such as it is) with the previous name. It was marketing. And whatever else Marshall may have been, he was a savvy marketer. Marketing isn't about honoring or respecting anyone with your product. It's about the $$$.

And which Braves team Thorpe played for has no bearing on my point. If Marshall wanted to honor Native Americans from the 20's that played NFL football he could have. There are a lot of ways to honor another culture or group, particularly when you run a professional team. We don't honor the troops by having people do vaudeville skits. We pay them respect. Can you point to any moves he made that were honoring Native tribes between roughly the Depression and the Korean War?
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Old 06-15-2013   #92
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by Dan B. View Post
I know why they changed it. I just wanted you to have to type out "he wanted to sell jerseys."
I'm sorry but that is just made up BS unless you have some support. The NFL was not big money at the time and it was the great depression.

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Originally Posted by Dan B. View Post
Can you point to any moves he made that were honoring Native tribes between roughly the Depression and the Korean War?
Well he had an Indian head coach and 4 or 5 Indian players. Neither you nor I know what may have been done at games to honor Indians similar to what the Texans do at games for veterans so neither of us should pretend we do.
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Old 06-15-2013   #93
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
I'm sorry but that is just made up BS unless you have some support. The NFL was not big money at the time and it was the great depression.
They were an expansion team called the Braves that played at Boston Braves field. Seems kind of obvious that would lead to confusion at the time (even 8 decades later in fact ). If you don't think he changed the name and home field to differentiate themselves as a brand, why do you think he did it?


Quote:
Well he had an Indian head coach and 4 or 5 Indian players. Neither you nor I know what may have been done at games to honor Indians similar to what the Texans do at games for veterans so neither of us should pretend we do.
Actually that may not be accurate. There's quite a bit of evidence that the coach he dressed in a feathered headdress on the sidelines was not actually Native American. (Parts 2-5 here) He spent a month in jail in 1919 for fraudulently taking a missing Indian war veteran's identity (James One Star) in order to avoid the draft, since Native Americans were non citizens and exempt. If he was of Indian heritage, why did he have to steal another Indian man's identity to appear Indian? He was also fired as head coach of Purdue in 1922 for illegal recruiting. That's the man Marshall wanted to honor Native American culture.

BTW those players had to practice war chants for the crowd before games, and all were gone by 1934, well before the team moved to DC. The Texans held on to Bennie Joppru for longer than that -- guess we just respected him more.
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Old 06-15-2013   #94
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Well you certainly supplied one I had never heard the other day - prairie n*gger. But that is derivative.

I honestly can't think of a similar for Indians, maybe you can supply some. Somebody will come up with one and I will go "duh" but off the top of my head, no.

Is this derogatory also?

What do you think would happen if someone came out with a product and called it "Black Man" with a cartoon picture of a black guy on the label? Do you really think that would fly??

I don't mean this in a harsh way, however you are pretty ignorant to this subject (as are most in this country, self included) because you don't live in a state with a high population of Native Americans.

Go live in the Dakotas for awhile and you will get more familiar with these words and redskin is right in there with prairie n*gger, buffalo jockey, etc.

Here is a list http://www.rsdb.org/race/native_americans

I have two friends that grew up around reservations, one lives in South Dakota and the other is from Montana. They both told me that "redskin" is often used as an insult when referring to Native Americans.

What's obvious in this country is, as a minority group you only get the "sensitive" treatment if you are vocal. Black leaders have been the most vocal and it's to the point where that if you are not black and are referring to their race you have to use "kid gloves", especially in the media or you will get fired.

In my opinion, if we are going to be extremely sensitive with one minority group why don't the rest get the same treatment? Why is the black race the only one that can be extremely sensitive and no one has an issue with that?

As for those saying "redskin" doesn't mean anything derogatory to me so it shouldn't matter what others think. OK, then can Southerners have their Confederate flags back?

To most Southern folks the Confederate flag was symbol of Southern culture, Southern pride (not white), a tribute to the soldiers that lost their lives defending their homeland, etc. Growing up I personally never saw it as a racist symbol. So should we not care what black people think and make it a popular symbol again in the South as it was in the 80's and back?
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Old 06-15-2013   #95
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by Hookem Horns View Post
I don't mean this in a harsh way, however you are pretty ignorant to this subject (as are most in this country, self included) because you don't live in a state with a high population of Native Americans.
Yeah, wrong. My step-father grew up on a reservation and his mom taught her whole life there. I certainly won't claim to know every regional custom though.

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What do you think would happen if someone came out with a product and called it "Black Man" with a cartoon picture of a black guy on the label? Do you really think that would fly??
What's your point? Was the tobacco company choosing some derogatory caricature of Indians for marketing? - no. Indians are associated with introducing us to tobacco. There is nothing negative about it. If you come up with something legitimately similar for Black Man then talk to me. Otherwise it is just a false argument. But to emphasize the point one more time, the stuffy possibly racist owners of the tobacco company did not choose their name to be derogatory.
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Old 06-15-2013   #96
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

Does anybody remember Little Black Sambo? I loved that book when I was a kid.

When the author originally wrote that book (back in the late 1800's) from what I understand, she wasn't trying to be derogatory. The story itself took place in Southern India and Sambo wasn't African-American, he was Tamil (which is a nationality/group of people in India). But that didn't stop the book from becoming perceived as racist over time in most places (except Japan, for some reason.)

There was a chain of restaurants from the 60's called Sambo's (based off the names of the owners Sam and Bo) and the racist perception of the name Sambo led to the chain closing down in the early 80's.

And then there's the evolution of the word "gay" from happy to homosexual.

So, for me, the original intent of the name, whether it was meant to be good or bad, doesn't really matter.

Unfortunately, with Racism, the majority can't tell how the minority feels and can't tell the minority how they should feel.

I'm an aging white male but I've had brushes with racism because my name is frequently perceived to be that of a black man. When I was a kid (back in the 60's), my mother tried to enroll me (over the phone) in a "swim club" that all my friends were joining. When the Swim Club denied me entrance over some obviously BS reason, my mom got pissed and we went over there so she could give them a piece of her mind. When they saw us, they actually said, "Oh. You're white. No problem, then. Sign here."

I've seen and experienced similar things since then. So I know it's out there and I know that for the most part, the majority doesn't see it and can't quite conceive that it's actually there.

The minority (whatever that minority is) can get overly touchy and start to perceive slights and insults where none were intended but they get that way not because they're paranoid and overly sensitive, but because they've had to endure this sort of BS.

BUT... like Sambo... something like "The Redskins" or "The Braves" isn't going to change until those words start to be perceived by large swathes of the community as an insult. And there are nowhere near enough people who perceive it that way at this time.

Personally, when I was growing up, I always wanted to be an American Indian. When we played Cowboys and Indians, I was the Indian. My dad swore up and down that we were about 1/8th Mingo Iroquois but I'm pretty sure he was saying that just to be cool.
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Old 06-15-2013   #97
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by infantrycak View Post
Kind of a bold assertion since the etymology of redskins isn't even known. Some historians say the earliest references are to body paints not skin color. I don't think the NFL existed in the 17th century. I'm having a hard time deciphering your last sentence. Are you trying to say Redskins was not derogatory until Washington chose it as their mascot?

In all honesty I grew up a Cowboys fan so I hate the Redskins. I just think this is stupid.
I am offended by that.
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Old 06-15-2013   #98
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by Hookem Horns View Post
What do you think would happen if someone came out with a product and called it "Black Man" with a cartoon picture of a black guy on the label? Do you really think that would fly??

I don't mean this in a harsh way, however you are pretty ignorant to this subject (as are most in this country, self included) because you don't live in a state with a high population of Native Americans.

Go live in the Dakotas for awhile and you will get more familiar with these words and redskin is right in there with prairie n*gger, buffalo jockey, etc.

Here is a list http://www.rsdb.org/race/native_americans

I have two friends that grew up around reservations, one lives in South Dakota and the other is from Montana. They both told me that "redskin" is often used as an insult when referring to Native Americans.

What's obvious in this country is, as a minority group you only get the "sensitive" treatment if you are vocal. Black leaders have been the most vocal and it's to the point where that if you are not black and are referring to their race you have to use "kid gloves", especially in the media or you will get fired.

In my opinion, if we are going to be extremely sensitive with one minority group why don't the rest get the same treatment? Why is the black race the only one that can be extremely sensitive and no one has an issue with that?

As for those saying "redskin" doesn't mean anything derogatory to me so it shouldn't matter what others think. OK, then can Southerners have their Confederate flags back?

To most Southern folks the Confederate flag was symbol of Southern culture, Southern pride (not white), a tribute to the soldiers that lost their lives defending their homeland, etc. Growing up I personally never saw it as a racist symbol. So should we not care what black people think and make it a popular symbol again in the South as it was in the 80's and back?
These, for whatever reasons, evidently have come and gone.

[20's-30's]

[50's-70's]

[40's-60's]

[30's-40's]

[70's]

[90's]
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Old 06-15-2013   #99
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by The Pencil Neck View Post
So, for me, the original intent of the name, whether it was meant to be good or bad, doesn't really matter.
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.
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Old 06-15-2013   #100
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Default Re: Should the Redskins change their name?

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Originally Posted by thunderkyss View Post
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.

BUT...

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.
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