January 18, 2013

I welcomed The Post publishing commentaries by Courtland  Milloy [“What’s in a name? For the Redskins, bad karma” Metro, Jan. 9] and Mike Wise [“Why won’t RGIII talk about his team’s name?” Outlook, Jan. 13] that resurrected the debate over the Washington football team’s racist nickname.

It is interesting that the columnists waited until after the team’s playoff demise; would these articles have been written or published if the team were still playing?

But I take exception to Wise dumping the responsibility for the continued use of this racial epithet on quarterback Robert Griffin III and team owner Dan Snyder. Of course, both could weigh in, but The Post bears at least as much responsibility for continuing to promote its use. And The Post, and the rest of the Washington media could, very easily, help stop its use by ceasing to use it. Call the team “the Washington football team” or simply “Washington” until it agrees to change its racist nickname.

Congress did not change the civil rights laws until popular opinion demanded it, and popular opinion did not demand it until the press and TV began to bring home the injustices with widespread coverage of the denial of African American rights throughout the South. Snyder won’t change his football team’s name until the public demands it, and The Post could lead the way.

Wise sensibly used the term the N-word in his article, rather than spelling it out.  I stopped using the R-word many years ago. You should, too.

Paul Carver, Arlington