Poll: Nine Of Ten Native Americans Do Not View Redskins Name As Offensive

350px-Washington_Redskins_logo.svgWe have previously discussed the controversy over the Redskins name.  I have previously written about my disagreement with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decision to rescind federal trademark protections for the Redskins as a racially disparaging name as well as the underlying law used to strip the team of its trademark protection. The law allows for a small administrative office to effectively dictate the outcome of a long simmering societal debate over the team name. More importantly, the standard for determining what names or words are disparaging remains dangerously undefined with striking contradictions as we have previously discussed in permitted and disallowed trademarks. One of the cases that I have discussed involves an Asian-American rock band called The Slants, which was also barred by the office. Now, an independent poll by the Washington Post has found that 9 out of 10 Native Americans say they are not offended by the Washington Redskins name. This is consistent with past polls going back years that have found that the vast majority of Native Americans do not object and are not offended by the name. In particular, a 2004 poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that same overwhelming result. Indeed, the numbers have not changed despite years of advocacy by a small fraction of Native Americans.

The survey involved 504 people across every state and the District. Notably, over 7 in 10 said they did not feel the word “Redskin” was even disrespectful to Indians. What is equally notable is that 8 in 10 said they would not be offended if a non-native called them that name.

Despite the results, the lead plaintiff in the challenge to the trademark, Suzan Harjo, 70, said that the results are meaningless and “I just reject the results.” Jarjo is a member of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee tribes.

Two other advocates took a different spin and commended Native Americans for being “resilient and [not allowing] the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image.” Yet, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata insist that the fact that 90 percent of Native Americans do not view the name as offensive does not mean that it is not offensive.

Yet, other Native Americans are quoted in the article below as saying that they are proud of the name.

Two years ago, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeal board rule against the team on trademark protection and a district court has upheld the order. However, the Redskins have petitioned the Supreme Court to review the decision.

Source:  Washington Post

34 thoughts on “Poll: Nine Of Ten Native Americans Do Not View Redskins Name As Offensive”

  1. If you give the liberal whites a couple glasses of vino they will say, “They’re too damn stupid to be offended, we need to protect them from themselves.”

  2. The only people offended are paid Indian spokespersons, and liberal whites who don’t know any Indians. This is why Trump is going to beat Hillary fairly handily. People are fed up!

  3. There are a lot of birds out there who are not on bats and are offended by the Cardinal name for the baseball cardinals. Birds of a feather flock together and are not like Indians. By the way, native Americans should be offended by the name “Indian”. They hail from America not India. Hail to the Chief.

  4. Ralph:

    “Obviously, the team name “Redskins” is not offensive. When I was a child and first heard of this football team, I thought that being a “Redskin” was cool. My childhood image of American Indians was that they were brave warriors, yet also noble and dignified; and I thought that that was the spirit that the football team was trying to capture with their moniker.”

    I always felt the same way. I love the Redskins logo, and have so many fond memories of listening to my Daddy cheer when the game was on TV.

    It’s up to the Native Americans if they like the name or not. I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t heard anyone called a “red skin” as a racial slur.

    Do you think they will take the owner of the team out of the pillory now that he was proven to be right in his research that Native Americans actually like the name, logo, and team? Or should we just leave him up there on principle?

    It appears that our culture now lives on manufactured crisis. While there are real problems in the world, with children starving in Africa, drought in CA, and our public schools lagging far behind Europe and Asia, there is a minority of people who manage to drag the entire country from one manufactured crisis to another. And when each one is debunked or found to be exaggerated, they just move on to the other. We are all living in a constant state of emergency.

    1. Transgender women have been using women’s restrooms for years. Unless you actually do a DNA test, how is anyone going to know if a surgically altered transgender person is male or female? And unless you look up her dress, how will you know if she’s had surgery? We’ve all been going about our day just fine. But suddenly, there is this Red Alert crisis unless any man, who dresses and behaves in any manner, MUST have access to ALL women’s areas, including changing rooms, showers, bathrooms, and women’s shelters. And if you think, hey wait a minute, doesn’t that give easy access to rapists who are just going to lie about being transgender, well, then YOU HATE TRANSGENDER PEOPLE YOU BIG MEANIE!!!!
    2. Black Lives Matter – instead of all of us coming together in unity that everyone matters and we need to weed out any bad applies in the police department, it’s RACIST IF YOU THINK EVERYONE MATTERS! ALL THE COPS ARE PIGS AND SHOULD DIE! AND THEN THESE PIGS WHO SHOULD DIE TAKE TOO DAMN LONG TO RESPOND TO 911 CALLS! ONLY I MATTER! IF ANYONE SAYS THAT EVERYONE MATTERS EQUALLY THEN I WILL BULLY AND INTIMIDATE THEM AND TRY TO GET THEM KICKED OFF OF UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES! BY GOD I WILL CHANGE THE ENTIRE WORLD SO THAT I FEEL COMFORTABLE AND I DON’T CARE IF EVERYONE ELSE FEELS UNCOMFORTABLE!
    3. Free Speech – it’s great, unless the ultra Left doesn’t agree with your opinion, and then I WILL ATTACK THEM AND THEN WE’LL HAVE RALLIES AND PROTESTS THAT THEIR MESSAGE UPSET ME AND I WILL GET SIGNATURES OF STUDENTS WHO AGREE WITH ME WHEN I ASSAULTED THEM!
    4. Presidentail Election – instead of watching this ridiculous circus like it’s some kind of black comedy, I WILL REPORT ANYONE WHO WRITES THE NAME TRUMP ON BRICK AS A THREAT TO MY DELICATE PEACE OF MINE, AND WANT THEM THROWN OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY!
    5. The Poop Swastika – Someone writes a swastika out of poop, which literally no real Neo Nazi would ever do because it would be like a Christian writing a cross with poop, AND THE ENTIRE UNIVERSITY GOES NUTS, AND THERE’S CRYING, RALLIES, PROTESTS… The stupid poop prank is never solved, but the entire school ground to a halt.

    There are many more examples, but I find all the shrieking in caps tiring. And aren’t all of us tired with the Sky is Falling hysteria? Every day, there is a new manufacturers crisis. Before I work up any more outrage, I think I’ll have to wait 90 days until we find out actual facts.

    Geez, we have too many oversensitive Warriors over Nonsense. These are the kind of people who scream and throw their food on the floor in a restaurant if their burger is cooked medium well instead of medium. Everyone just needs to calm down and go volunteer at a children’s hospital or a local school or plant a community garden. Anything that actually does help others and bring peace.

    1. Hard to disagree with anything in your exceptionally well-reasoned & lucidly written essay. One of the best things I’ve ever seen posted here by anyone.

      There is one thing. About those European schools being better than ours. Check back in a decade and a half.

    2. Karen – I can say that throwing a fit does help from time to time. Last night I went to Panera Bread, who is taking over all the Paradise Bakerys in the Phx area and they would not accept my Paradise points without my card, which I have not had for about ten years. I finally called over the manager and she comped the meal. 🙂 Panera is doing away with the Paradise Cards so use them up or get new cards with the points on them.

  5. I sort of like renaming them the “Jacksonians”. With the whole trail of tears referenced above, it would be their battle cry. They would embody Jackson.

    “WE WILL CRUSH YOU! IN OUR WAKE, WE LEAVE A TRAIL OF TEARS! DELICIOUS TEARS OF OUR DEFEATED ENEMIES. WE WILL CONQUER THE FOOTBALL NATION.

    RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.”

  6. Let’s be more inclusive and in line with the fine military traditions of DC: The Buffalo Soldiers.

    1. Long suffering fan – the Buffalo Soldiers got their name from the Redskins they were fighting in the West.

  7. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Does this mean all Irish people are a bunch of ill tempered drunks!

  8. If it’s anti-PC then it is everyone’s right to be offended. I’m offended by the title. I’m offended by the article. I’m offended because everyone isn’t offended. I’m offended just to be offended. End of story.

  9. So why not have teams called the whiteskins, blackskins, yellowskins, brownskins, or in Trump’s case the orangeskins? If you have skin in the game it is derogatory and offensive on some level. And a survey of 500 seems a bit small to say it is definitive proof that the vast majority of Native Americans are ‘comfortable’ with the name. I guess Chief Yahoo is probably fine with this white audience as well.

  10. Like almost any other name, it depends on how it is served. The ‘n’ words: ro and ga are now terms of fraternity used by Black men and women. Growing up in Canada the term Indians was often brought up as being appropriate or not. Now it’s ‘First Nations’. I know many ‘First Nations’ people and not one of them objects to being called an Indian. In fact, most of them are fed up with the paint job that is names and other meaningless stuff and more focused on the nuts and bolts of their societies, such as housing, education, health and welfare, etc. This nonsense of ‘Redskins’ being offensive is nothing more than political fodder used by hack politicians who don’t have the ability to make real changes, whether they are Indians, Redskins, Native Americans, Firsts Nations, Indigenous Peoples, Aborigines, whatever.

  11. Once again, we see the progressives exploiting a “problem” for their own power agenda. The tired template is to identity yet another “protected class” and to demand that the government punish other Americans for abusing the class members. The dead giveaway is that the members of the class are overwhelmingly indifferent to that “abuse”, but a tiny sliver of them play the role of showcase “victims” so they can get a share of the payoff.

  12. I think that they ought to rename the team: Andrew Jacksonians. Why? Because of the trail of tears. The name could be reduced on the jersey or signs to Jackasses. We need to rename some cities. Detroit is not French. Los Angelos is not full of angels. San Antonio is an affront to Sans. Saint Louis is an affront to catholics. Boston is an affront to weight watchers for the name ton. Missouri is an affront to Missoura. Louisiana is an affront to Thelma and Louise.

    If they are gonna play football then they should not kick people in the balls.

  13. Who are Native Americans to say by what they are offended? Just ignore the poll and continue this law suit. Who exactly is it for then? I offended by a lot of things but that’s life.

  14. “Obviously the term “redskin” is offensive. ”

    I don’t think that is obvious at all. The work may be forever offensive to some people. But language and the meaning of words change regardless of the efforts of any individual or group.

    We see an example of that change in the use of the nword in popular culture over the past 25 years. There are some, like me, who will never hear that word without a silent cringe. But language changes. Foolish is the man who thinks he can hold back the tide of language.

    It seems clear to me that by early in the last century most Americans understood and accepted a new meaning for Redskin, not at all related to its tragic past.

    It is ironic that some who claim to be against racism are trying to revive the racist past. These people claim they are progressive. But what could be more reactionary than trying to return us to a time when the meaning of Redskin had nothing to do with a sports team and everything to do with racism?

    When we hear someone criticize Redskin we should understand that person is not trying to remedy or move past racism. They are trying to revive racism in an obsolete meaning that most Americans moved past long ago.

    There is absolutely nothing progressive about reviving an offensive meaning and trying to take us back to the tragic past. Most of us have moved on. It is high time the critics accept that language and the world have changed in the past hundred years.

  15. @Ralph Adamo

    I agree that the only thing offensive in the name of the team is “Washington.” It should be especially offensive to Native Americans, as Washington D.C. is sitting on land that was confiscated (stolen) from Maryland.

  16. Obviously the term “redskin” is offensive. Just how offensive, i.e., where it fits on the scale of offensiveness, can be debated. It’s continuing use is an economic not political issue. The “Washington Redskins” with a logo has enormous commercial value. A “Washington Federals” with a concomitant logo would have a far lesser value.

    One does get a chuckle out of the ignorance on the part of some American advocates. When these people with a few local allies chose to ply their wares in Edmonton they inconveniently discovered “Eskimo” is not a pejorative term. Not too bright some of these self-appointed morality police.

  17. Obviously, the team name “Redskins” is not offensive. When I was a child and first heard of this football team, I thought that being a “Redskin” was cool. My childhood image of American Indians was that they were brave warriors, yet also noble and dignified; and I thought that that was the spirit that the football team was trying to capture with their moniker.

    However, I could see American Indians being deeply offended by the association with Washington in the name, given that Washington represents something of the opposite of the American Indians in that Washington is craven, duplicitous, and vile. To avoid offending the other one out of ten native Americans, the football team should drop the “Washington” from their name and just refer to the team as the “Redskins.” Everyone will know from what city they come from, but this will minimize the ignominious stain of Washington on the honorable and noble American Indians.

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