The Washington Redskins have been under tremendous scrutiny over the last couple of months in regard to what some consider an “offensive” and “racist” name. While the group of complainants only make up 9% of the Native American population (according to the latest poll), many have wondered why the other 91% have been left unspoken.
It’s easy to assume the silence means indifference to the name, but you have to consider the repercussions of speaking out against the popular opinion of the Native American Media. Such punishments can range from the removal from the tribe, as well as professions ruined.
With the possible backlash from the powers that be it’s easy to understand why most Native American’s do not speak out, as they are in fear of their reputation, jobs, or even their life. On reservations it is their law, not the law the general public is used to.
Kevin, whose last name we cannot use wrote us a lengthy email on exactly this after seeing Ray’s appearance on “Outside the Lines” defending the Redskins name. He explains why those who support the Washington Redskins, as well as other teams with Native American connections are kept in silence.
“We quietly support you for the following main reasons, which are briefly included below -
The obsession with protesting mascots and names like Redskins is an obsession of white Indians. They protest mascots, children dressing up on Halloween and other silly things because it makes them feel Indian. It lets them scream racism. They know no other way of feeling Indian. They are totally disconnected from the real issues that affect mainstream Indians on reservations. They are fully Americanized. They have lost their language, culture, religion and even their skin color.
Unfortunately the white Indians have the loudest voices. If we go against them, they hurt us in our careers and lives because they [white Indians] control our media, academia, government jobs, medical clinics, finances, who gets denied federal recognition, even our tribes – everything. They have the money and the power. We have the Indian-ness.
Brown Indians on reservations have more important issues to worry about. Like diabetes, how we get our next meal, crime on reservations, lack of electricity, lack of toilets, lack of running water, no heat when there’s snow outside, getting a relative to a dialysis clinic when there is no transport, finding a job when there’s near 100% unemployment, near 100% consideration of suicide among our youth, alcoholism, drug abuse, elder abuse, spouse abuse, land loss, culture loss, language loss, etc. Mascots are a NON-ISSUE to us.
The media should be screaming about the real issues. Instead their main focus is on mascots. The focus on mascots and meaningless debates about redskins detract attention from the REAL issues facing brown Indians.
When these white Indians offend sports fans or insult a little child who loves Indians and puts on feathers, they alienate the rest of America against brown Indians. Note that the white Indians blend in beautifully into the white society. No one even realizes they are Indian. But when an angered sports fan who is upset about losing his mascot screams “**** you sand ******” or throws a beer can at us from a passing car screaming “MOTHER******, GO BACK TO YOUR ****ING RESERVATION!!” they scream such obscenities at my father, my cousin, my brother and my family members who look Indian."
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Edited by rd421, 01 March 2013 - 02:50 PM.