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:
Mark Trahant: The story is far from over for Senator Bernie Sanders (7/28)
Native Sun News: Indian Health Service eyes new hospital in Rapid (7/28)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must start fitness revolution (7/28)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Show respect for sacred Lakota family unit (7/28)
Harlan McKosato: Violence against Native people swept under rug (7/28)
Indian Country shares spotlight at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Recap: Native American Council at Democratic National Convention (7/27)
Lakota Country Times: SuAnne Big Crow Center focuses on fitness (7/27)
Native Sun News: Tribal college showcases works of Lakota artists (7/27)
Vi Waln: Too many of our own people continue to smoke cigarettes (7/27)
Andre Cramblit: Growing wiser in my return to Dartmouth College (7/27)
Indian Country makes presence known at Democratic convention (7/26)
Tim Giago: Questioning the motto of GOP candidate Donald Trump (7/26)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala team lands Indian relay title again (7/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes honor author of Indian Child Welfare Act (7/26)
Delphine Red Shirt: Let's eat food that's always been good for us (7/26)
Peter d'Errico: Luci Tapahonso tackles legacy of boarding schools (7/26)
Donald Trump tried to partner with Agua Caliente Band on casino (7/26)
Native American Council meets at Democratic National Convention (7/25)
Police officer cleared over fatal shooting of Navajo Nation woman (7/25)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Donald Trump and his campaign of hatred (7/25)
Native Sun News: Tribal advocate focuses on Great Plains efforts (7/25)
Lakota Country Times: Descendants of Pine Ridge legend gather (7/25)
Johnny Rustywire: Navajo mother works hard at motel for family (7/25)
Alex Jacobs: Nation finally admits problem with policing and race (7/25)
Dwaine Perry: Ramapough Lunaape Nation marching for justice (7/25)
Charges filed for assault on disabled member of Nisqually Tribe (7/25)
Man arrested for American Indian Movement flag settles lawsuit (7/25)
Interior Department consults tribes about new trust reform law (7/22)
Training sessions planned for final Indian Child Welfare Act rule (7/22)
Yurok Tribe shares sad news about salmon festival -- no salmon (7/22)
Mark Charles: An entire nation's big problem with Donald Trump (7/22)
Mark Trahant: Donald Trump promises a world with no treaties (7/22)
Native Sun News: Appeal delays release of Keepseagle checks (7/22)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe hosts walk for cancer (7/22)
James Giago Davies: Police officers get away with 'kill option' (7/22)
Andre Cramblit: Police officer shootings seem far too common (7/22)
Donald Trump closes convention that left out Indian Country (7/22)
New law in Oklahoma goes against Indian Arts and Crafts Act (7/22)
NMAI seeks input from tribes about veterans memorial in DC (7/22)
Blackfeet Nation swears in leaders and looks to a new future (7/22)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe kicks off popular powwow after absence (7/22)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe declares emergency over opioids (7/22)
Review: Hard look at drugs in Indian Country in 'Seventh Fire' (7/22)
State takes blame for sharing Tohono O'odham Nation minutes (7/22)
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.