Despite my two posts on the subject today, I’ve paid pretty little attention to the whole controversy. But what I have seen has mainly made me wonder if Redskins management could possibly have come up with a way to mishandle the controversy any worse than they have. In fact, it makes me wonder whether, for all the division and acrimony, the two sides couldn’t come together to agree to settle the matter by renaming the team the “DanSnyderDumbshitSkins”.
Snyder’s approach has ranged from cold calling prominent Native Americans and asking them to come forward and say “Redskins” is awesome to various other clumsy fooleries like trying to Twitter-bomb Harry Reid for his outspokenness on the issue.
But here’s something even better. And before I go forward let me say that I know that in technical legal cases lawyers will often make arguments that don’t look particularly good in the full light of day and outside a legal context. But, I think this goes beyond that.
Courtesy of The New Yorker, here’s a bit of expert testimony put forward by the Redskins organization on behalf of their trademarks and the non-offensiveness of the name …
The word red appears in a large number of terms in English. It should be noted that there is another meaning for redskin descriptive of a variety of potato. In the case of the potato it is because of its color. In the case of the people living in North America upon the arrival of Europeans it was likewise based upon appearance… . The naturalness of the construction of the word redskin is underscored by the presence in the language of other terms with reference to color in describing the appearance of a person’s skin. Blue skin is a 19th Century term used to describe blacks.
Blue skins. Maybe that should be the new name?
I genuinely feel sorry for Redskins fans who are saddled with this joker as an owner.