Conservatives freak out after Bob Costas says ‘Redskins’ is a slur
This weekend, NBC Sports Announcer Bob Costas took a moment during the halftime portion of the Redskins-Cowboys game to address the controversy currently surrounding the “Redskins” team name. Recently, many Native American groups have spoken out against the slur, and media outlets have responded by refusing to use the team’s name in print. I am doing so right now only so people know what I’m on about.
Via Huffington Post:
“Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed toward African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, ‘Redskins’ can’t possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait, nor could it possibly be considered a neutral term. It’s an insult, a slur no matter how benign the present-day intent. It’s fair to say that for a long time now, and certainly in 2013, no offense has been intended but if you take a step back, isn’t it clear to see how offense might legitimately be taken?”
Let’s just get this out of the way: OF COURSE IT IS A FUCKING SLUR. Of course it is! You cannot just pretend it’s not, just because you don’t think the team should have to change their name. You can say “Yes, it is a slur that obviously offends lots of people, but we still don’t think it should change,” but you cannot say it’s not a slur.
For those who think it’s just some kind of “politically correct” silliness, I say we make it personal. In your daily life, can you go around insulting people and having them think you’re awesome? Probably not. If I called you an asshole for no apparent reason, you would have every right to be offended or think I’m a jerk for doing that. You would probably think it was bizarre if I responded by saying “Ugh, why are you being so touchy?” We don’t just go around randomly insulting individual humans we don’t personally know for no apparent reason, so why is it OK to do it to a group of people, and then get mad when they’re offended? Not blatantly offending swaths of people for no apparent reason isn’t called being “overly PC,” it’s called “having manners.”
That’s how I feel on the subject. Unsurprisingly, however, Glenn Beck and the gang at Fox and Friends don’t agree.
Beck called Costas a “sanctimonious piece of crap” for his rant, but felt that the he biggest problem with his rant was that he did not mention white people. “What about whites? Can we stop for a second! What about whites!” he asked, “Could we at least be thrown in as a people?” he asked. Yes, because every discussion of racism must of course include the caveat “And probably one time a white guy met a person of a different ethnic group that did not care for him.”
He then goes on an absurd rant trying to turn the idea of progressive white people thinking the term “Redskins” is offensive is actually more offensive than not thinking it’s offensive, because it insinuates that they think that Native Americans can’t defend themselves or handle small slights like that. He then tried to insist that all of the Native Americans were totally cool with it.
This practice has not served many well, particularly ESPN announcer Rick Reilly, who last week tried to say that his father-in-law, a Blackfeet elder, definitely did not think the name was a big deal. Said father-in-law, Bob Burns, responded with a scathing op-ed claiming he’d never said any such thing, and was strongly opposed to the name.
Now, over at Fox and Friends, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy and Elizabeth Hasselbeck are wondering if this is all part of some grand conspiracy, perhaps connected to the Masons or the Bilderberg group. They would like to know why, all of a sudden, after 81 years, this is all of a sudden a thing people are offended by.
Via Raw Story:
Why now? Maybe because it’s 2013 already and it’s just a little embarrassing at this point? Maybe because people thought the country had maybe progressed enough to be able to deal with the loss of an offensive football team name?
Of course, this isn’t the first time in all of the “81 years” that this name and the names of similar team names has been considered controversial. It was actually a very big deal 21 years ago in 1992 when the team was playing the Superbowl. It was a huge deal. There were major protests. Native American groups have been protesting the use of defamatory mascots since the 1940s! The NCAA has had a ban on offensive imagery since 2005!
You don’t have to be a leftist to see that these sorts of mascots are outdated and offensive to people. You don’t need to have a bleeding heart to say to yourself “You know, as much as I love tradition, probably the name of my football team isn’t that sacred, and I can probably deal with a new one that doesn’t offend people for no apparent reason.” You just have to be someone who can think rationally and is capable of empathy.
*CAVEAT*– Probably at some point a white person has met someone of Native American ancestry who did not personally care for them. Happy?