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The Official ES All Things Redskins Name Change Thread (Reboot Edition---Read New OP)


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Except there was no cultural infringement with the Fighting Irish. There was a cultural reclamation. (Granted, I sort of hate what "Irish" has come to mean in American Culture - a guy whose great grandfather came from Cork throwing up green beer on St. Patricks Day but that's another stoy).

Hey, which Irishman are they reclaiming with that logo. The term carries many derogatory innuendos. It's hardly a clear cut reclamation. Yes, they adopted the 'racist' uses by others.

If any name carries the title of most racist origin in sports, it's Fighting Irish. And by incorporating the blanket of all Irish, it's cultural infringement.

But I realize I'm quibbling and don't really care to.

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But we also think it's time to retire the name, as we have done ourselves within our community. Here's why..."

 

That would have been the wiser, and more effective, stance to take from the beginning.

I know I am using such a small piece out of your post, but this is my single biggest issue with the whole argument that the name is racist and just as bad as the N word. I am not saying that some of the American Indians cannot be offended, but it is hard to take the whole movement seriously when they still use the term.

If they abolished all use of the word on their reservations, a discussion of the name change would be warranted. However, that has not happened. Also, it would have been more effective if they discontinued the term years ago. Yet the word remains.

My second is of course, the media. I really hate the media in general. They lead the weak minded in the direction they want them to go. It is just as much a problem with the people that listen to them as it is the media themselves.

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The Annenberg Poll didn't have a slant nor lack of information. The only knock against it is that it relied on people self-identifying as NA. However, if you understand how random calling across the US works with the mathematics/probability in polling, then you understand just how ridiculously small the odds are of randomly calling across the US and getting enough people to falsely identify as NA and then also say they are not offended by the name, to where they out number real NAs who are offended, significantly enough to make the results 90% and diminish the offended to 10%. The number of NAs polled vs. entire people polled was a % close to the % total of NAs vs. rest of US. It's a valid polling method done by an esteemed company. The only ones who can't accept that are the ones who can suspend their beliefs that run counter to its results. That doesn't invalidate the results.

I'll ask you again, as I have in past responses, do you realize that your anecdotal evidence is not the norm?

I realize that anecdotal is not the norm, but I cannot change what I experienced. If you had experienced the same thing, you would most likely feel differently. I've never said my opinion counts more. I've just stated repeatedly that the word is used as a slur. I've seen it used that way on multiple occasions.

You know why a lot of NA's probably don't care? I'm guessing that they feel like what's the point. When I was in Montana, I was shocked that there were outbursts asking why we served redskins. No one else was. Here, in SE Va, if the same thing happened to a black person or Asian etc... I'm sure the victim would have reacted, possibly even aggressively. In the situations I saw, there was little reaction. It was as if it happened all the time and they were just going to ignore it. The other locals that I worked with were unsympathetic. They were great people that I liked hanging out with, but that was a nonissue to them. Just someone expressing their opinion. I can't imagine that happening to someone of another race or culture.

Btw, if you think I'm full of it. I posted these experiences years ago on this board. I'm sure you can search all my posts and find them. Nothing new.

I know I am using such a small piece out of your post, but this is my single biggest issue with the whole argument that the name is racist and just as bad as the N word. I am not saying that some of the American Indians cannot be offended, but it is hard to take the whole movement seriously when they still use the term.

If they abolished all use of the word on their reservations, a discussion of the name change would be warranted. However, that has not happened. Also, it would have been more effective if they discontinued the term years ago. Yet the word remains.

My second is of course, the media. I really hate the media in general. They lead the weak minded in the direction they want them to go. It is just as much a problem with the people that listen to them as it is the media themselves.

Just to say, isn't this clearly an issue with the N word today? Don't we see people calling for rappers and other to stop using the word?

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I think we shouldn't be hard on JS.  After all, it's one thing to get razzed for your jersey or accosted because some people think the name is bad, but it's another thing if they toss that language around your kids.  You do need to protect your kids from anger and hate.  They shouldn't be subjected to these questions or accusations thrown against their Dad... especially, when his Dad is doing nothing malevolent. 

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And this is why I believe that the name will probably change. The media got to them. And now nobody doesn't want to hear facts anymore. All they see is the word "skin" preceded by a color, and now they believe it to be offensive. End of story.

And that's not fair at all...

To be honest, it's scary how much control the media has in modern society.

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I realize that anecdotal is not the norm, but I cannot change what I experienced. If you had experienced the same thing, you would most likely feel differently. I've never said my opinion counts more. I've just stated repeatedly that the word is used as a slur. I've seen it used that way on multiple occasions.

You know why a lot of NA's probably don't care? I'm guessing that they feel like what's the point. When I was in Montana, I was shocked that there were outbursts asking why we served redskins. No one else was. Here, in SE Va, if the same thing happened to a black person or Asian etc... I'm sure the victim would have reacted, possibly even aggressively. In the situations I saw, there was little reaction. It was as if it happened all the time and they were just going to ignore it. The other locals that I worked with were unsympathetic. They were great people that I liked hanging out with, but that was a nonissue to them. Just someone expressing their opinion. I can't imagine that happening to someone of another race or culture.

Btw, if you think I'm full of it. I posted these experiences years ago on this board. I'm sure you can search all my posts and find them. Nothing new.

Just to say, isn't this clearly an issue with the N word today? Don't we see people calling for rappers and other to stop using the word?

 

Had I seen what you saw my opinion wouldn't change. I haven't denied that the word has been used as a slur. If I was like you and only saw it in that one area, some time ago, and then have seen schools using it and NAs cheering for the team and seen the Annenberg poll results, then I'd understand that my experience is more like what some see in the deep South and that it is an exception, not the norm. In such a case, I;d be even MORE in favor of keeping the name to take away the little remaining negative usage and help make it a string positive. Right now a lot of this protesting is giving power to the negativity of the word when previously it was very, very low.

 

I've seen similar treatment towards blacks in TN. It sucks. But that doesn't justify expanding the agenda to non-offenders that the vast majority has no issue with. The majority of NAs don't care because the word is not offensive to them. Doesn't matter what you are experiencing in life, if something is offensive you'll likely say so. It's just not the case with Redskins. 

 

And I've said before I don't doubt your experiences. All I doubt is that they are widespread and it seems you agree with me. Like I said, NAs that get disparaged can look at the team either as using the same word and not recognize the contextual and usage differences, or they can look at the team and fans as people that support them and are proud to have a team representing them. That not everyone out there is a racist jerk, that there are millions of us that are damn proud that the team has NA imagery and we don't want that to change.

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I think we shouldn't be hard on JS.  After all, it's one thing to get razzed for your jersey or accosted because some people think the name is bad, but it's another thing if they toss that language around your kids.  You do need to protect your kids from anger and hate.  They shouldn't be subjected to these questions or accusations thrown against their Dad... especially, when his Dad is doing nothing malevolent. 

 

 

I hope my response to him didn't come off that way. Mine was meant to give him reasons to fight back, with lots of evidence and support, so that he doesn't have to worry about being, essentially, guilt tripped into shame for being a fan of the team by ignorant loudmouths. I have a couple friends who think the team name is offensive and I've argued with them plenty to the point where we disagree, but because of the evidence and arguments I have made they at least respect my position. Most people I know think this is just PC-driven nonsense and that includes a friend I grew up with who is an active Native American tribal member and he and his family and tribe are life-long Redskins fans (my own bit of personal anecdotal evidence).

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I realize that anecdotal is not the norm, but I cannot change what I experienced. If you had experienced the same thing, you would most likely feel differently. I've never said my opinion counts more. I've just stated repeatedly that the word is used as a slur. I've seen it used that way on multiple occasions.

I realize anecdotal is not the norm, but I cannot change what I experienced. If you had experienced the same thing, you would most likely feel differenlty. I've never said my opinion counts more. I've just stated repeateldy that the word isn't always a slur and isn't meant as a slur as the teams name. I've seen it used in that way almost every occasion I've heard it.

You know why a lot of NA's probably don't care? I'm guessing that they feel like what's the point.

You know why a lot of NA's probably don't care? I'm guessing because they feel like there's a ton more pressing issues than a name they don't even find particularly offensive.

When I was in Montana, I was shocked that there were outbursts asking why we served redskins.[/quotet]

When I was in Vegas, I was whocked that there were outbursts from native americans that liked my Redskins hat.

The above three responses are why people don't really care when you're argument is essentially "I feel bad because of my person experience with a few racists and that means it needs to be changed". You, for whatever reason, seem to think that because, relatively speaking, a few people use it in a racist fashion and a few people are offended by it that the name needs to be changed contrary to people...including native americans...also expressing their offense to the notion of CHANGING it because of the false notion that it's either "Just a slur" or "it offends native americans" as some kind of entire group.

Btw, if you think I'm full of it. I posted these experiences years ago on this board. I'm sure you can search all my posts and find them. Nothing new.

If someone thought you were full of it currently I doubt the fact you simply typed the same unverifiable notion years ago on this board is going to change hteir mind.

Just to say, isn't this clearly an issue with the N word today?

No, "this" isn't clearly the issue with the N-Word today. The issue with the N-Word is a different one, dealing with a different word, in a different context, with a different history, and a different societal view and usage. This is just you continuing to make a false equivilency and not address people who accurately highlight why you were absolutely and factually wrong to suggest they were equivilent.

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Two points.

 

1)  There are plenty of die hard Redskins fans who wear the gear openly, yet think it is time to change the name.   I am one of them.

 

2)  The idea that Irish immigrants were oppressed in the USA is pretty much a myth.  The Brits absolutely oppressed the hell out of them on the other side of the Atlantic, but once they came to these shores, it was not the case.   They were not discriminated against in any fashion different from any other immigrants.  The myth of Irish oppression in America is very powerful among those of us with heavy Irish ancestry (including me) but it is not true.  We WANT to feel like we were oppressed and rose above it.  

 


Irish Catholics in America have a vibrant memory of humiliating job discrimination, which featured omnipresent signs proclaiming "Help Wanted--No Irish Need Apply!" No one has ever seen one of these NINA signs because they were extremely rare or nonexistent. The market for female household workers occasionally specified religion or nationality. Newspaper ads for women sometimes did include NINA, but Irish women nevertheless dominated the market for domestics because they provided a reliable supply of an essential service. Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. The slogan was commonplace in upper class London by 1820; in 1862 in London there was a song, "No Irish Need Apply," purportedly by a maid looking for work. The song reached America and was modified to depict a man recently arrived in America who sees a NINA ad and confronts and beats up the culprit. The song was an immediate hit, and is the source of the myth. Evidence from the job market shows no significant discrimination against the Irish--on the contrary, employers eagerly sought them out. Some Americans feared the Irish because of their religion, their use of violence, and their threat to democratic elections. By the Civil War these fears had subsided and there were no efforts to exclude Irish immigrants. The Irish worked in gangs in job sites they could control by force. The NINA slogan told them they had to stick together against the Protestant Enemy, in terms of jobs and politics. The NINA myth justified physical assaults, and persisted because it aided ethnic solidarity. After 1940 the solidarity faded away, yet NINA remained as a powerful memory.

 

 

The detailed paper is here:  http://tigger.uic.edu/~rjensen/no-irish.htm

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I'm not sure who stated Irish oppression in America, I dont think I did, but Irish racism was ubiquitous. The fact that the centuries of British oppression didn't translate here would be absurd.

You can state no blatant oppression with 'NINA' signs. However, upward mobility was not handed over. Their ease with English language and similar appearances probably made an easier rise to equality. But please, don't make it seem it was a warm welcome. And Irish, much like NA history is not in museums, it's oratorical.

But my comments reflected that the nickname was based in racist undertones, more than any in sports. That's how the Irish debate came about. Not to compare plights.

Edited by Bonez3
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I'm not sure who stated Irish oppression in America, I dont think I did, but Irish racism was ubiquitous. The fact that the centuries of British oppression didn't translate here would be absurd.

You can state no blatant oppression with 'NINA' signs. However, upward mobility was not handed over. Their ease with English language and similar appearances probably made an easier rise to equality. But please, don't make it seem it was a warm welcome. And Irish, much like NA history is not in museums, it's oratorical.

 

 

Ummm... my link to a researched paper by a history professor says otherwise, and specifically says that the "oratorical" history in the Irish American community is mythology, not reality.  Irish had just as warm, or warmer, of a welcome than any immigrant group to this country has ever had.   

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Well, I won't due a research assignment on this. I have personally studied in Ireland and have in a distant past researched quite a bit. but, off the top of my head 2 points I would raise(not necessarily from research). 1 contemporary, 1 historical

First, a well known T. Nast political cartoon classically depicts Irish in fighting, drunken nature on St Pats in NY. Their depiction is course and almost ape like. Certainly not a coincidence and was from very influential individual. Second, while in Philly about ten years ago a monument to the death ships (those Irish travelled over on) was designed. Their motivation for sculpture was the lack of stories and literature from the Irish during this period. Mostly because of the overwhelming despair home and abroad. And also because they , by ''myth' maybe, don't record history in written text.

Further, I hope you caught the part about some of the first slaves used in West Indies.

Really, we can discuss their 'oppression' in another thread. That surely wasn't my point. My point was there were racist connections to the nickname.

Lastly, I'm relagated to an iPhone, so hopefully we can wrap this up. These long posts are trying

Edited by Bonez3
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I'm not sure who stated Irish oppression in America, I dont think I did, but Irish racism was ubiquitous. The fact that the centuries of British oppression didn't translate here would be absurd.

 

 

Irish immigrants were the key component of the Tammany machine by the mid 1850s. By 1880, an Irish-born man could oppose the same machine and be mayor of New York.

 

There was widespread anti-Catholic bigotry in the US in the 19th Century and the Irish clearly caught their fair share of that. But more than any other immigrant group in US history, Irish immigrants arrived with a system dedicated to their assimilation waiting for them.

Well, I won't due a research assignment on this. I have personally studied in Ireland and have in a distant past researched quite a bit. but, off the top of my head 2 points I would raise(not necessarily from research). 1 contemporary, 1 historical

First, a well known T. Nast political cartoon classically depicts Irish in fighting, drunken nature on St Pats in NY. Their depiction is course and almost ape like. Certainly not a coincidence and was from very influential individual. Second, while in Philly about ten years ago a monument to the death ships (those Irish travelled over on) was designed. Their motivation for sculpture was the lack of stories and literature from the Irish during this period. Mostly because of the overwhelming despair home and abroad. And also because they , by ''myth' maybe, don't record history in written text.

Further, I hope you caught the part about some of the first slaves used in West Indies.

Really, we can discuss their 'oppression' in another thread. That surely wasn't my point. My point was there were racist connections to the nickname.

Lastly, I'm relagated to an iPhone, so hopefully we can wrap this up. These long posts are trying

 

 

Being an immigrant was difficult. The Irish gift for self-mythology has made that general struggle personal. Irish-born men were mayors of Boston and New York in the 19th and early 20th centuries. That was certainly not the experience of Italians, Poles, Hungarians, Jews, etc.

 

A lot of 19th century Irish propaganda was in response to how quickly the Irish seized control of major cities. In Boston, New York, and Chicago, certain areas of government were off limits to anyone who wasn't Irish for the most part - there is a reason the "Irish cop" is a cultural stereotype.

 

The fact that Irish priests and Irish students were actually in place at the pre-eminent Catholic university in the country in the early part of the 20th century to seize the name should say something. Howard University did not have a black president until 1926, nearly 60 years after its founding.

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I get it, the Irish did well. I for one never cited or compared their 'mythical oppression', just the racism that exists with the nickname. And I won't debate their plight here one way or the other after this.

It doesn't surprise me that a group with verse in English language, fair skinned, etc. assimilated quicker. But usually people with power don't like to share. I know you all know this.

Again, I never compared Irish 'plight' to black, or NA. The fact they had upward mobility may also speak to the fact they were one of the first mass immigrants, before Italian, Jews, Chinese

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My point was to show that polls can be bogus because of the slant and or lack of information. I also shared this with the kids. I explained how experiences shape your views. They trust me, my experience changed their opinion. I was truthful. They asked me if I thought the name should change. I said probably but I know there's no way the team was named after something derogatory purposefully. My overall take was that most of the kids really didn't care. They were interested because they have heard the debate, but none of them know any NA's and don't know much about them.

 

I hope you showed them the MSN poll I posted and subsequently dropped as the results were maybe not what they were hoping for. 

 

It is a lessen in modern day media and attack on free thinking that has been underway for quite a few years. I want to hear from NA's themselves, that is why I asked them myself. 

Like you're questions which were leading, polls can ask specific questions and get the desired answers. 

I get it, the Irish did well. I for one never cited or compared their 'mythical oppression', just the racism that exists with the nickname. And I won't debate their plight here one way or the other after this.

It doesn't surprise me that a group with verse in English language, fair skinned, etc. assimilated quicker. But usually people with power don't like to share. I know you all know this.

Again, I never compared Irish 'plight' to black, or NA. The fact they had upward mobility may also speak to the fact they were one of the first mass immigrants, before Italian, Jews, Chinese

 

It is much easier to fight to take something versus fighting to keep something. 

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I get it, the Irish did well. I for one never cited or compared their 'mythical oppression', just the racism that exists with the nickname. And I won't debate their plight here one way or the other after this.

It doesn't surprise me that a group with verse in English language, fair skinned, etc. assimilated quicker. But usually people with power don't like to share. I know you all know this.

Again, I never compared Irish 'plight' to black, or NA. The fact they had upward mobility may also speak to the fact they were one of the first mass immigrants, before Italian, Jews, Chinese

 

The thing was, there was no real dominant ethnic group (other than whites in general) that had "the power" and didn't want to share it with "the other."   By 1820, America did not view itself as British at all.  The Revolution and the War of 1812 killed that.  Moreover, I believe German was the most common ethnic background, not English.  There were pockets of cultural identity like Dutch in NYC or Germans in Pennsylvania or Scandinavians in the Upper Midwest., but no dominant ethnicity that would have seen the Irish as scary outsiders.  Basically, the only thing that mattered for a chance at cultural and financial mobility was being white, although being Protestant rather than Catholic sometimes was a nice boost. 

 

With that said, I'm not sure that the nickname "Fighting Irish" wasn't actually done as a point of pride with the Irish Catholics, the ones that chose to use that nickname.  That the Irish were physically tough, good with their fists, and didn't take crap from anyone was a large part of the Irish mythology/culture that developed at this time.  

 

I guess the Notre Dame Fighting Irish would be relevant to this discussion if the Washington Redskins were founded and owned by Native Americans.   But that isn't the case.  So the analogy fails (for me)

 

ps- not knocking you in this discussion.   This mythology is just an interest of mine, and I saw a chance to jump in.

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The thing was, there was no real dominant ethnic group (other than whites in general) that had "the power" and didn't want to share it with "the other."   By 1820, America did not view itself as British at all.  The Revolution and the War of 1812 killed that.  Moreover, I believe German was the most common ethnic background, not English.  There were pockets of cultural identity like Dutch in NYC or Germans in Pennsylvania or Scandinavians in the Upper Midwest., but no dominant ethnicity that would have seen the Irish as scary outsiders.  Basically, the only thing that mattered for a chance at cultural and financial mobility was being white, although being Protestant rather than Catholic sometimes was a nice boost. 

 

I think you are underplaying the anti-Catholicism at play here. The Know Nothings had some pretty significant electoral successes.

 

Like I said, I think the anti-Irish bigotry that the Irish-Americans like to mythologize was actually anti-Catholic bigotry. And I don't think it was as strong in a day to day sense as the stories depict.

 

It certainly is not anywhere close to the black experience in America.

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I'm glad to semi-debate it, but it has derailed the thread some.

And I agree it is not analogous, but that wasn't actually where this jumped off. It wasn't fighting Irish is Redskins...

And I completely agree Lombardi, it was anti-catholic sentiment. And the haves traditionally want to keep the have-nits without. And they will use whatever driver necessary... Skin color, religion, gender.

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I've posted several times that I can clearly see the difference between Redskins and Seminoles.  Because the Seminole tribe has given permission, then I think they are fine.  Previously, I was ok with Indians and Chiefs, but, another poster, I'm sorry, I forget who, made a comment in this thread that made me rethink that.  I do think that IF I went up to a NA and called them Indian or Chief, it would be in very poor taste. So, in a way, yes, I can see the issue.  Am I going to protest any of these names? Nope.  Not losing any sleep over it. But, I can see the issues.

 

The only thing offensive thing about your scenario is the context.  Going up to anyone and saying "Hello white guy" or "Hello chubby person" rather than introducing yourself or addressing them by name is naturally rude.  But then you have the Association of American Indian Affairs, and a bunch of actual chiefs out there.  Are those contexts offensive?

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What happens if you refer to them in the third person?

 

For example:

 

"I have a friend who is white."

 

"Look at that black guy."

 

"I have a friend who is a Redskin."

 

"Look at that Redskin."

 

Also fascinating was the one guy who posted earlier about calling his Asian friend "yellow" and his friend being OK with it.  I know that I personally would not be OK with it.  At the same time, I also know that plenty of Asians refer to themselves as "yellow", and I do not find that offensive.  Obviously "yellow" does not have the same stigma as the N word but it does make me think.

Edited by 8181
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This could take up to years and years. To resolve. But still, IMHO the name will stay as the team would not fit any other nickname. At least not yet.

If it were a pure legal matter. However, the almighty dollar prevails.

If FedEx, etc withdrew sponsorship... It ends that quick

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