Sorry Redskins, The Name Has To Change

Elijah Perez, Opinion Editor

The Washington Redskins have been using an offensive and racist name for far too long, and let’s not forget about their fan culture.

“Redskins” is a highly racist term geared towards Native Americans, the indigenous people to this land, I might add. The slur was created by English men in the 17th century. As a Native American myself, I do not take too kindly to this and neither do many other Native Americans.

Daniel Snyder, majority owner of the Redskins, has commented, “The name of our team is the name of our team. It represents honor, it represents pride, it represents respect.”

Here’s the problem, who’s honor? Who’s pride? Who’s respect? The fact is, it’s not yours or anyone else’s who isn’t Native American. Yet again though, with the racist foundations of the name, there is no honor, pride, or respect to be given in the first place.

Some fans also seem to be oblivious to this as The Daily Show segment “The Redskins’ Name – Catching Racism”  featured a fan stating, “this is our culture, this is who we are.”

Our race is not your culture, it is not anyone’s culture but our own. You can not claim to adopt it just because you support a team.

If the racist name isn’t enough, some fans don headdresses to games. Headdresses symbolize high honor in our culture and not just anyone gets to wear them. They were typically worn by chiefs or brave warriors. Presently, they are most often worn during Pow Wows and other ceremonies.

So, wearing them casually is extremely disrespectful. It’s made even worse by that fact they are being worn in celebration of a name historically used to shame and oppress Native Americans.

To make matters even worse, there has also been fans in Native style war paint or straight up painting their face and body red. Last I checked, it’s not okay to mock another race by painting your skin in their likeness and, in this case, that likeness is very loose. So once again, just because it’s a sports team, this should not get a free pass. It’s simply unacceptable.

Many people have proposed that they return back to team named the “Braves.” This could be a satisfying change as it removes the usage of the current derogatory name. However, this would still leave the issue of the headdresses and other aspects like feathers and war paint. If the name has to go, so should the rest of it.

It’s truly baffling that we live in the age of “cancel culture” and typically acts of racism are axed down by the internet, yet the Redskins are so protected. It’s easy to understand being passionate about sports, but it’s also similarly easy to understand blatant discrimination after years of suffering.

Over a century ago, an entire race was being massacred and relocated involuntarily. These people over the years continued to face injustices by the American government only to never be given a proper apology or acknowledgement.

All they’ve received is small pieces of scattered about land and their blood quantums tracked to prove their own race to their own government.

Throughout all these wrongs they were called “savages” and, of course, “redskins.” So Redskins, the name has to change, it’s as simple as that.