This is a just another guess, and not scientific method on the level of Redskins.com, but I’m pretty sure that whoever wrote the Redskins.com post wouldn’t score any higher on a history test than your nephew who chews on his arm.
I’m willing to make another non-scientific guess: Snyder doesn’t care to do anything about the name because he doesn’t consider American Indians a significant part of his audience. Since they make up only 1.4 percent of the general population, they’re too unimportant to be insulted. So it’s perfectly okay to use a term about them that ranks right up there with Spics, Tar Babies, Wetbacks and Yids.
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At last week’s Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian symposium on “Racist Stereotypes” in sports, one American Indian in the audience stood up and said, “If Dan Snyder truly thinks the word ‘Redskins’ is an honorific, I challenge him to attended the next meeting of the National Congress of American Indians and try using that word to people’s faces.”
Plenty of important people have raised the issue of the team’s name, from Mayor Vincent Gray to several columnists at this paper to WRC anchor Jim Vance. But none of them have the power to make Snyder or the NFL uncomfortable, and he seems beyond embarrassment about using such an ugly term, though lord knows I’ve tried in the preceding paragraphs. What’s needed is an influential lobby. I think I have just the group. Snyder may be careless about insulting American Indians, but there is another population that he should take care not to insult. They make up a large part of the NFL audience, and have considerable sway with league commissioner Roger Goodell: the U.S. military.
I’m betting that the owner has no idea American Indians have the highest per capita military service commitment of any ethnic group in this country. Or that 47 percent of all tribal leaders are veterans.
As of 2010, there were 22,569 enlisted service men and women and 1,297 officers on active duty from the native population. It’s a tradition that dates back to World War I, when 12,000 American Indians served before they even had citizenship rights, and four won the Croix de Guerre. In World War II, 44,000 served.
So I have a suggestion for the commander in chief and the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, and their chiefs of staff and sergeant majors. Pick up the phone. Put in a call to Snyder, and tell him, “Stop demeaning our most loyal volunteer troops.”
Of course, he may be too busy setting off stinkbombs in the school bathroom to listen.