Stephen Colbert took on the new Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation Wednesday night. It went about how you’d expect.
Among his laugh lines:
* “Folks, the PC Police continue to hammer the Washington Redskins over their so-called ‘offensive’ name. Though, if you’ve seen them play recently, their name is the least offensive thing on the field.”
* “That’s right, the ‘Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.’ Because Redskins is not offensive if you only use it once in your name.”
* “The Foundation also assisted in the purchase of a new backhoe for the Omaha tribe. That’s right, assisted. Because you can’t expect a team worth $1.7 billion to pay for the entire backhoe. Those things cost thousands. To cover that price, they’d have to sell a beer and a soft pretzel.”
* “Folks, this move by Dan Snyder inspires me, because my show has frequently come under attack for having a so-called offensive mascot, my beloved character Ching Chong Ding Dong….Offensive or not — NOT — Ching Chong is part of the unique heritage of the Colbert Nation that cannot change. But I’m willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitive to Orientals or Whatever….I owe all this sensitivity to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. So Asians, send your thank-you letters to him, not me.”
[Technical difficulties won’t allow the embeded video to show up. To watch the full clip, click here.]
In also not surprising news, MSNBC devoted many minutes to coverage of this story, and The Post’s editorial board weighed in as well:
But no matter how much Mr. Snyder’s foundation accomplishes, it cannot make his team’s name any less offensive — or negate the need to change it.
We take Mr. Snyder at his word that he doesn’t see the name as a slur. It has a storied tradition, polls show it retains many supporters, it is not intended to wound. None of that changes this fact: You would not, by any means, call an Original American a “Redskin” to his or her face. Why not? Because it is a slur — a hurtful, demeaning label.