Rambler Goes Reggae: Leading Critics of the Redskins Is Under Fire After Posting Pictures Of Himself In Black Face

CTAgBQ9UAAA53bNThis picture has caused a considerable outcry not just because it shows someone in blackface but who the person is. This is San Carlos Apache chairman Terry Rambler who two years ago joined President Barack Obama to denounce the “racially offensive” name of the Washington Redskins. For the purposes of full disclosure, I have been critical of the legal moves to force the team to change its name (though I have no problem with protests and efforts at a boycott for those offended by the team name).

The choice of this Halloween costumes struck more than just a few as hypocritical. Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a civil rights campaigner and “Black Lives Matter” activist, told the BBC. “It’s hard for me to accept that he didn’t know what he was doing or the message he has conveying.”

Rambler’s campaign against “racially offensive” mascot names does not appear to influence his own costumes choices. He posted a picture of himself dressed in blackface, fake dreadlocks, a Rastafarian hat, a Bob Marley “One Love” t-shirt and an Arizona Cardinals necklace. He wrote “Trick or treat. Happy Halloween,” next to the phone and noted later “I had fun tonight at the Bylas Halloween Carnival.”

It took four days for Rambler to change his mind after a growing public outcry. He wrote:

“Recently, I posted on my Facebook page a picture of my Halloween costume dressed up in reggae style. I did this thinking I wanted to dress up as one of my favorite musicians, Bob Marley. But in hindsight, it was a poor choice I made. I am not a racist and I did not mean to offend anyone but I realize I did. There is no one to blame but me. I take full responsibility for my action.

So this morning, I asked my Creator to forgive me for the poor choice I made, as I did not mean to offend his children. I love my Creator’s children. With the humbling experience I have had in life, I appreciate and respect my surroundings more, especially the people. I will continue to ask my Creator for forgiveness as I am not perfect but I realize asking for forgiveness means not repeating the action.

I ask for forgiveness from the public and to anyone I may have offended.

“As a public official, as a leader and Chairman of the great San Carlos Apache Tribe, I ask my people for forgiveness, as I did not mean to shine a negative light on my people nor my family.”

There are certainly images and names that can offend different groups. Blackface is a good example. I accept Rambler’s insistence is not a racist and simply showed poor judgment. Ironically, Rambler has shown how public pressure can result in changes when there is a substantial number of critics. The concern over free speech arises when agencies are called in to coerce such changes. The view of the controversy over the Redskins name is far more divided than the reaction to those who would wear black face. Ultimately, however, both controversies can be addressed and resolved in the court of public opinion in my view. It certainly worked in forcing Rambler to conform his conduct.

20 thoughts on “Rambler Goes Reggae: Leading Critics of the Redskins Is Under Fire After Posting Pictures Of Himself In Black Face”

  1. I am certainly under the impression that the San Carlos Apaches are out to make trouble.

  2. If you are white, is it a violation to dress up as George Washington Carver for Halloween, and rub peanut butter on your skin instead of blackface? I think that could be a politically correct solution.

  3. Wait a minute. What about the straight guys who dress up as Carmen Miranda for Halloween? Or all the other goofy cross dressing costumes that straight guys do for giggles. Is that out now, too?

  4. And what about kids? Are only black kids allowed to dress up as black personas for Halloween?

    Actual blackface mocks a race. It should not be confused with costumes that do not.

  5. So, when is Dan Aykroyd going to be black listed for dressing up as an African foreign exchange student in “Coming to America?” What about the movie “White Chicks”? Is it non PC to dress up as Harriet Tubman, Jimi Hendrix, or any other African American icon for Halloween? What about those recent scandals where white people used spray tanners, hair dye, and perms to pass as black in order to take advantage of preferential hiring practices? Now THAT is objectionable.

    I think intent matters. Obviously, the “blackface” of the old black and white movies were racist stereotypes, that also denied actual African Americans a chance to act. They also used makeup to make white guys into American Indians, which was believable to exactly no one.

    But dressing up as Bob Marley for Halloween is not a racist. Unless he engaged in other behavior not yet disclosed, dressing up as an icon is not mocking an entire race.

  6. Halloween is the one day we are encouraged to dress up as something we are not the other 364 days of the year. I thought his costume was well done but apparently this guy’s choices should be limited to native American costumes lest he ‘offend’ anyone. We are becoming a nation of simpletons stuffed into their respective PC boxes.

  7. This could not happen to a nicer guy. The San Carlos Apaches are nortoriously litigious and have kept their competition, The Snow Bowl in Flagstaff, from using artificial snow for many years. While they had the only snow around on the Apache owned Sunrise.

    I would be careful just how much faith I put in his apology. He knows exactly what he is doing.

  8. It appears Change.org is about to get a white University President scalp @ Mizzou.

  9. KCF, i think the order as of 11/9/15 is black, transgender, gay, women, Hispanic, Indian, midgets.

  10. My reaction to this story is that it seems an appropriate take down of a hypocrite but then on second thought it’s disturbing that we can no longer dress up as some else on Halloween! Wow. PC, facism or just plain loosing our collective mind.

  11. Apparently, Native Americans are not as high up in the SJW Victim hierarchy as they thought.

    That, as the rules seem to change daily.

  12. Has anyone considered that Mr. Rambler was trying to make a point? His “apology” sounded a little tongue in cheek.

  13. I know Terry has lawyers. These guys like to litigate and run up bills on the reservation, then break limited tribal budget and go into debt. Other tribes use football team name as ‘Redskins” with no issue.

    There is a difference between federal Indians and sovereign Indians in U.S.

    Tribal Sovereignty

    Federally recognized tribes are considered domestic dependent nations. Tribal sovereignty refers to tribes’ right to govern themselves, define their own membership, manage tribal property,
    and regulate tribal business and domestic relations; it further recognizes the existence of a government-to-government relationship between such tribes and the federal government.

    Cornell University Law School position statement:

    States may recognize particular Indian groups, even if the federal government does not recognize the group. To determine whether a group will be recognized,
    courts and legislatures examine such factors as the extent of Indian governmental control over individual lives and activities, the extent to which the group exercises political control over specific territory,
    and the continuity of the group’s history.

    Federal law recognizes a special kind of Indian sovereign authority to govern themselves, subject to an overriding federal authority. Indian tribes are considered
    by federal law to be “domestic, dependent nations.” Congress enacted this sovereign authority to protect Indian groups from state authority. This sovereign authority extends to Indian tribal courts,
    which adjudicate matters relating to Indian affairs. The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case in 2008 concerning the extent of tribal courts’ jurisdiction.

  14. This is from the letter that Associate Master Erika Christakis of Yale’s Siliman residence college wrote that caused many Siliman students to demand her husband’s resignation:

    > As a former preschool teacher, for example, it is hard for me to give credence to a claim that there is something objectionably “appropriative” about a blonde-haired child’s wanting to be Mulan for a day. Pretend play is the foundation of most cognitive tasks, and it seems to me that we want to be in the business of encouraging the exercise of imagination, not constraining it. I suppose we could agree that there is a difference between fantasizing about an individual character vs. appropriating a culture, wholesale, the latter of which could be seen as (tacky)(offensive)(jejeune)(hurtful), take your pick. But, then, I wonder what is the statute of limitations on dreaming of dressing as Tiana the Frog Princess if you aren’t a black girl from New Orleans? Is it okay if you are eight, but not 18? I don’t know the answer to these questions; they seem unanswerable. Or at the least, they put us on slippery terrain that I, for one, prefer not to cross.

    Rest of the letter here:


  15. I suppose that this guy was set up by the same people at the FBI who framed Peltier and passed around smallpox-infected blankets to the natives!


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