Suzan Shown Harjo: No honor found in racist 'Redksins' name

"All major Native American organizations have called for the Washington pro football franchise to end its team’s despicable name. Why? Because it’s a racial slur and—no matter how many millions it spends trying to sanitize it and silence Native Peoples—the epithet is not, was not and will not be an honorific.

Many Native people cannot bear to say or hear the R word, while some use it or “skins” in the same way that some African American people use the N word, but are not okay with those of other races using it. Lawyers for the team’s owners cite any use of the R word by Native persons to support their contention that we are fine with it; they’ve even spied around Facebook for use of the term by the Native young people who filed suit in 2006 in the ongoing Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football case.

Edward Bennett Williams was the franchise’s only owner to meet with Native people who oppose the name, and that was in 1972. Owners have maintained in court since 1992 that the name “honors Indians.” But in overlapping litigation of 21 years and counting no Native representatives have testified that they are honored, while Native friends of the court have stood up against the name and the “honoring” myth."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo: R*d*k*ns: Proof Of Indian Kill (Indian Country Today 1/15)

Related Stories:
Washington mayor supports elimination of 'Redskins' mascot (1/10)
Column: 'Redskins' name continues to bring bad karma to team (1/9)

Join the Conversation