indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Megan Red Shirt Shaw: What really matters are Indian children

Filed Under: Opinion | Sports
More on: mascots, megan red shirt shaw, native sun news, nfl, racism, redskins, youth
     

The following is the opinion of Megan Red Shirt Shaw. All content © Native Sun News.


Megan Red Shirt Shaw

White students are calling Indian students Redskins
By Megan Red Shirt Shaw

I’ve become a fan of watching NFL Sundays and like many, feel amped up when that Carrie Underwood voice comes out (but actually #BringBackFaith) and feel a sense of pride when my team wins (nondisclosure: this barely happened last season).

This morning as I was making breakfast, I turned on the television to see an interview with Roger Goodell in which he was asked about his favorite team growing up. After saying he had initially been a Baltimore Colts fan, he shared that he became a Washington Redskins fan. A few voices from the audience let out a whoop cry. I stood with my arms crossed watching the remainder of the interview.

In March, a story arose about Pit River tribe students in Northern California who came to school to find notes that read “Watch Your Redskinned Back” and “White Pride Bitch” sitting in their lockers. It was reported that students within that community started a “Redneck Club” as a response to those Native students holding elections for their Native Youth Council.

Parents from this community have started transferring their kids to other schools because of the nature of the hate crimes that have ensued. Families have stood up to the school system, challenging the racist environment and trying to talk to school officials about solutions to make it safer for their children.

I’m an adult. I am able to discern for myself that the term “Redskin” is not a reflection of me or of the other beautiful Native people who have been a part of my life. What we don’t talk about enough is how the “Washington Redskins” brand alongside other teams like “Atlanta Braves” or “Kansas City Chiefs” impact our children. I keep looking at the photograph of the Pit River students who feel unsafe to go to school because of students who have formed the idea that it is okay to call them “redskins.”

I think about their parents and siblings and how deservedly, they should be able to learn without the pressure of being called something that hurts. That name hurts our kids. Roger Goodell and RG3 and those fans who paint their faces and wear racist outfits to games don’t seem to understand this about why the name change is important.

Goodell loved the Redskins when he was a kid, but there are kids out there who are preventing other students from going to school, throwing out your beloved team name as a racial slur. Anyone ever put a note in your locker that made you feel small? This is a reality that’s happening now. Your polls for “Native American approval” don’t matter; what matters are our kids.

Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, started a foundation called the “Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation” to show his care for Indigenous people, in an attempt to settle the conversation about changing the team name.

Dan Snyder, those students don’t care about your foundation. They care about being able to go to school and learn so they can progress; they want to come home and take care of their families someday. The entire nation should be rooting for these students and for other students in Native communities to beat the odds laid out by going to school, graduating, and going on to college. This is not unique to the Pit River community. This is happening in communities across the nation and we, America, are not paying attention.

At the draft there were players accepting a Redskins hat. They hugged Roger Goodell, they smiled for the cameras, they hugged their mother – the mother who loved them and believed in them as a small child and who wanted a safe environment for them at school.

In Northern California, there’s also a Pit River mother hugging her child – the child who loves her and believes her when she says she wants a safe environment for him at school. Wake up, Redskins Nation. Change the name.

(Contact Megan Red Shirt Shaw at meganredshirtshaw@gmail.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge actors make a splash with new film (5/29)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: Let's change the image of 'Racist City' (5/29)
Miccosukee Tribe joins Native youth announcement at DOI in DC (5/29)
Kurt Luger: It's time to put an end to the Indian wars in America (5/29)
Summer Montileaux: Silence on sexual abuse in Indian Country (5/29)
John Guenther: Protecting Indian children and protecting ICWA (5/29)
Kerry Hawk Lessard: Urban Indians come together in Baltimore (5/29)
Lydia Millet: Selling off sacred Apache land to foreign interests (5/29)
Stuart Delery: Safeguarding voting rights of the first Americans (5/29)
Student from Navajo Nation competes in national spelling bee (5/29)
Navajo Nation to vote on fluency requirements for candidates (5/29)
Cherokee Nation signs hunting and fishing compact with state (5/29)
Onondaga Nation player earns top lacrosse award for 2nd year (5/29)
Wisconsin Supreme Court rules for Oneida Nation in permit case (5/29)
School district in Wisconsin bans clothing with 'Indian' mascots (5/29)
Republican former congressman Dennis Hastert hit with charges (5/29)
Court allows lawsuit against gaming officials of Pechanga Band (5/29)
Another lawsuit seeks to block Jamul Band from $360M casino (5/29)
Bill for one more tribal casino in Connecticut sent to governor (5/29)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe shares another $2.7M in gaming funds (5/29)
Native Sun News: Ex-Rapid City police chief admits erasing tape (5/28)
Omaha Tribe surprised by appeal in reservation boundary case (5/28)
Mary Annette Pember: Historical trauma might affect Native DNA (5/28)
Erik Stegman: Native youth subjected to racism and stereotypes (5/28)
Charges announced in big drug trafficking ring in Indian Country (5/28)
Osage Nation expects to see offers from land buy-back program (5/28)
Voters of Red Cliff Band show support for some uses of marijuana (5/28)
Maine tribes assert sovereignty and sever relationship with state (5/28)
Navajo Nation sees larger numbers of sand dunes on reservation (5/28)
Mille Lacs Band plans public hearing on proposed energy pipeline (5/28)
Michigan tribes warn of disaster from pipeline spill in Great Lakes (5/28)
Coquille Tribe completes acquisition of 3,200 acres of forestland (5/28)
Spiritual leader of Lipan Apache Tribe back in court over feathers (5/28)
Lumbee Tribe to appeal findings of misuse of federal HUD funds (5/28)
Nebraska ends death penalty in historic and close veto override (5/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation chooses new leader amid casino conflict (5/28)
Poarch Creeks file lawsuit over taxes imposed on gaming facility (5/28)
Connecticut tribes counting up votes on bill for one more casino (5/28)
Comanche Nation closed casino for one day to address flooding (5/28)
Native Sun News: EPA hears Native views about uranium mining (5/27)
Renae Yellowhorse: Navajo Nation can't cede power to outsiders (5/27)
Donna Loring: Politicians circle the wagons around Maine tribes (5/27)
David Treuer: Andrew Jackson turned on Cherokee Nation allies (5/27)
NCAI responds to criticism from Rep. Young on land-into-trust (5/27)
Lawsuit challenges constitutionality of Indian Child Welfare Act (5/27)
Hopi Tribe seeks to prevent auction of sacred property in France (5/27)
Indian students face harsh punishment at public schools in Utah (5/27)
Menominee Nation school sees dramatic rise in graduation rate (5/27)
Poarch Creeks planning family-friendly entertainment at project (5/27)
Coquille Tribe names executive at economic development entity (5/27)
Cherokee law students eager for summer work on Indian issues (5/27)
USDA sends $125K to Indian economic development corporation (5/27)
County by Pine Ridge Reservation receives justice service grant (5/27)
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick to challenge Sen. John McCain in 2016 race (5/27)
Law Article: Indian inmate wins religious rights suit in Wisconsin (5/27)
Alaska Native corporation holds election for five seats on board (5/27)
Blood Tribe combats rise in abuse of extremely dangerous drug (5/27)
First Nations housing program brings just 99 homes to reserves (5/27)
Supreme Court won't hear challenge to Graton Rancheria casino (5/27)
Kialegee Tribal Town given extension to respond in gaming case (5/27)
Quapaw Tribe looks to dispel concerns about casino in Arkansas (5/27)
Pokagon Band faces hurdles in plan to develop casino in Indiana (5/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.