Is It Time to Change the Washington Redskins Mascot?

By Elaine Magliaro

NOTE: I originally posted the following article at Res Ipsa Loquitor on February 9, 2014.

Here is one ad that never aired during this year’s Super Bowl:

The Proud to Be video was made by Change the Mascot, a national campaign that was launched by the Oneida Nation. The video was released by the National Congress of American Indians a couple of days before this year’s Super Bowl. Change the Mascot’s aim is to end the use of the term “redskins” as the mascot for Washington, D. C.’s NFL team. The campaign “calls upon the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the right thing and bring an end the use of the racial epithet.”

Not being a wealthy organization, the National Congress of American Indians couldn’t afford to “buy a television slot during the Super Bowl to run its ad.”

Writing for ThinkProgress on January 31, 2014, Alyssa Rosenberg said the following:

It’s a gorgeous ad, and it’s a strikingly effective illustration of why the word “Redskin” is so troublesome. It’s not just that the term has evolved from its origins as a basic explanation of physical difference, to a slur that was used to reduce Native Americans to the value of their skins, for which literal bounties were offered. In a less violent but no less significant sense, “Redskin” collapses the remarkable particularity of Native American experiences into a single identity and set of attributes.

The NCAI ad is a forceful and often beautiful reminder that Native Americans aren’t a monolithic community. That’s a term that subsumes hundreds of specific identities, a huge range of cultural and artistic practices–and yes, as the ad doesn’t neglect to leave out–specific sets of social and political issues.

“Native American” may be a blanket identity category, but it’s one that invites curiosity, asking hearers to consider what came before the political and territorial consolidation of the United States, and the fact that American identity is rich and multifaceted, rather than a single way of being. “Redskins” is both a slur, and a term that invites the listener to skip over the work of thinking about what it means. “Redskin” reduces Native Americans to simply the color of their skin, and to the attributes we associate with football (a practice that’s also a product of a very specific marketing history, as my colleague Travis Waldron reported in his epic look at the fight against the Washington football team’s name): physical strength, maybe speed, and not much else. Not only is that kind of thinking profoundly lazy and racially reductive, it’s a tragedy both for the people who are subjected to it, and the people who deny themselves the experience of more of the world by practicing it.

The NCAI ad is a reminder of precisely what they’re missing out on, making all of these points without having to spell them out the way I do here. That’s great advertising, in service of a critically important message.

Last May, Daniel Snyder, owner of Washington, D. C.’s NFL team was quoted as saying, “We will never change the name of the team.” He then repeated himself when a reporter followed-up on his comment, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Then last June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the Washington Redskins‘ nickname was a “unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”

Clem Ironwing (Sioux) doesn’t think the word “redskin” is a term of respect. In 1996, he spoke at a public hearing in Wichita, Kansas, on the subject of Wichita North High School’s sports mascot. He talked to those present at the hearing about having been removed from his family by the government when he was a young child and forced to live in a Catholic boarding school. Matthew Richter posted the comments that Ironwing made at the hearing. Here is an excerpt of what Clem Ironwing said:

“When my hair was cut short by the priests, I was called a “redskin” and a savage. When I spoke my native tongue, I was beaten and called “redskin”. When I tried to follow the spiritual path of my people, I was again beaten and called a “redskin”. I was told by them to turn my back on the ways of my people, or I would forever be nothing but a dirty “redskin”.

           “The only way “redskin” was ever used towards my people and myself was in a derogatory manner. It was never, ever, used in a show of respect or kindness. It was only used to let you know that you were dirty and no good, and to this day still is.

Is it time to change the mascot? What do you think?

SOURCES & FURTHER READING

Change the Mascot Website

Wichita North Redskins “Remarks by Clem Ironwing, Sioux, during a public Mascot/Identity Committee hearing.” (The People’s Path)

House Dem: ‘Redskins’ as offensive to Indians as ‘N’ word is to blacks (The Hill)

An open letter to Dan Snyder (Grantland)

The Harmful Psychological Effects of the Washington Football Mascot (Change the Mascot)

American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many (NPR)

Why ‘NEVER’ Abandoning ‘Redskins’ As His Team’s Name Might Soon Cost Dan Snyder A Lot Of Money (ThinkProgress)

Redskins, NFL Take Heat From Congress Over Team Name (Only a Game)

Members of Congress urge Redskins to change name (Big Story)

Read Roger Goodell’s Letter To Congress Defending The Redskins Name (DeadSpin)

NFL is ‘listening’ to those who oppose Redskins’ name, Roger Goodell says (Washington Post)

A slur or term of ‘honor’? Controversy heightens about Washington Redskins (CNN)

Native Americans Tackle Redskins at Press Conference: On the heels of an NFL conference, the Oneida Indian Nation confronts the organization for its use of what the deem a racial slur as a mascot (Time)

Bob Lutz: North High, it’s time to change the nickname (The Wichita Eagle)

The Other Redskins (Capital News Service)

Hundreds rally in Minn. against Redskins’ name (Yahoo/AP)

The Super Bowl Ad You Never Saw (Huffington Post)

ICTMN Exclusive: NCAI Releases R-word Video Ahead of Super Bowl (Indian Country Today Media Network)

Monk, Green: Mull name change (ESPN)

ENDING THE LEGACY OF RACISM IN SPORTS & THE ERA OF HARMFUL “INDIAN” SPORTS MASCOTS (National Congress of American Indians)

National Congress Of American Indians Releases Anti-Redskins Ad (Deadspin)

Here’s an ad about R–skins that its makers don’t have the money to show during Sunday’s Superbowl (Daily Kos)

The Best Ad You’ll See This Super Bowl Weekend (ThinkProgress)

The Epic Battle To Save The Most Offensive Team Name In Professional Sports (ThinkProgress)

Roger Goodell defends Washington Redskins’ nickname (NFL)

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46 Responses to Is It Time to Change the Washington Redskins Mascot?

  1. Oro Lee says:

    “It’s not just that the term has [devolved] from its origins . . . .” I fixed it for Alyssa.

    The most important thing about change the mascot is . . . it’s a start —

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/19/if-only-columbus-day-cancelled-9-other-long-overdue-headlines-153634

  2. Elaine M. says:

    Oro Lee,

    Thanks for the link!

  3. Elaine M. says:

    Oro Lee,

    You’ve been busy!

    *****
    From the National Congress of American Indians:

    ENDING THE LEGACY OF RACISM IN SPORTS & THE ERA OF HARMFUL “INDIAN” SPORTS MASCOTS (October 2013)

    Click to access PolicyPaper_mijApMoUWDbjqFtjAYzQWlqLdrwZvsYfakBwTHpMATcOroYolpN_NCAI_Harmful_Mascots_Report_Ending_the_Legacy_of_Racism_10_2013.pdf

    Excerpt from the Executive Summary:
    “Indian” sports brands used by professional teams were born in an era when racism and bigotry were accepted by the dominant culture. These brands which have grown to become multi-million dollar franchises were established at a time when the practice of using racial epithets and slurs as marketing slogans were a common practice among white owners seeking to capitalize on cultural superiority and racial tensions.

    Over the last fifty years a ground swell of support has mounted to bring an end to the era of racist and harmful “Indian” mascots in sports and popular culture. Today, that support is stronger than ever. Rooted in the civil rights movement, the quest for racial equality among American Indian and Alaska Native people began well before the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) established a campaign in 1968 to bring an end to negative and harmful stereotypes in the media and popular culture. While these advances have been positive, equality still remains elusive in everyday life for Native peoples.

  4. michael beaton says:

    This post reminded me of one of my favorite … songs is not quite good enough… chant? declaration? Whatever to call it… The power of this piece never fails to move me…. even now as I found it for this post I am thoughtful.
    Appreciate the thread…. We need to recover our humanity in all dimensions. This one… what our christian forebears did in the name of christ and country to Native Americans… needs attention.

  5. pdm says:

    Somewhat OT

    Just read that the Dolphins have fired a coach (not the head coach) and a trainer as a consequence of the bullying of Martin.

    Know hope.

  6. Oro Lee says:

    And its worse than you think — the idea of the savage, the barbaric outlier, has always served as justification of colonizing efforts, in the Western world starting with the Greeks and followed by the Romans. With the advent of Roman Catholic Church [{i.e., the Church Universal], a justification was necessary to excuse (1) invasion of the Holy Land, (2) nascent trade slave for early African colonizing, and (3) treatment of the natives in the New World.

    That those folks were savages was all that was necessary — accompanying the sword was the cross and the opportunity to convert, the refusal to convert was proof that while the individual was subject to natural law, he had no natural rights, and natural law required his perpetual tutelage, and the productive use of his lands, by his intellectually and moral superiors.

    These Christian doctrines of natural law and rights placing the Christian above all others as a divine right and obligation would be incorporated into the Law of Nations — at least those nations embarking on vast imperial colonizing efforts. And they yet remain today, although the language is a lot nicer.

    See Williams, Robert A., Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization (Palgrave Macmillan 2012)

    Williams, Robert A., Like a Loaded Weapon: The Rehnquist Court, Indian Rights, and the Legal History of Racism in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2005)

    Williams, Robert A., The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourse of Conquest (Oxford University Press 1990)

  7. michael beaton says:

    Along the sports line and the team it was a flurry of controversy when national figure/sports caster Bob Costas addressed the issue…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/bob-costas-redskins-name-insult-nbc-halftime_n_4095266.html

  8. Mike Spindell says:

    Washington’s continued use of its’ name and mascot is insensitive and stupid. Then again Cleveland and Atlanta aren’t any better, especially considering their cartoon mascots.

    Oro Lee,

    As I side not considering your occupation and avocation had you ever read “Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America” by Richard Slotkin. If you haven’t I suggest you do it is a magnificent work dealing with the whole frontier mythology that has driven this country even up until today.

  9. Oro Lee says:

    I hate being lied to, but — as I have discovered lately — I’m not smart enough to know most of the time when I’m being lied to, especially when I’m doing the lying. I try really hard to be a good and kind person. Being a good Christian lawyer was every bit as important to me as being a good Christian husband and father, and I worked hard on all of it and thought I was doing a pretty good job.

    And I was proud to work with Native American Tribes and their people. I studied not only Indian Law also the Tribes’ history and culture. I read Charles C. Mann’s, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Vintage Books 2005), discovering that modern research has revealed that there were a whole lot of native Americans in the New World a whole lot earlier and doing a whole lot of great things than most people ever suspected.

    Then I read Walter Echohawk’s, In the Courts of the Conqueror, The 10 Worst Indian law Cases Ever Decided, (Fulcrum 2010). With each chapter I felt as if someone was punching me in the gut. I then read the three books Prof. Jackson in the order I listed them above. With each page of American Indian in Western Legal Thought, I felt as if someone was beating my chest with a sledge hammer. I could only read a few pages at a time.

    I’m not nearly as proud of my heritage, beliefs, and actions as I was. The Bible and the law were my anchors. What is just? What is merciful? What is good and kind?

    What is good and kind when about most of which I believed and trusted quite literally formed the moral and legal structure of the American Holacaust? John Marshall might not have manned a Hotchkiss at Wounded Knee, but his spirit was there.

    Change the name. Change a whole lot more.

    • michael beaton says:

      @OroLee

      And its worse than you think …

      I wish to thank you for your posts here. I didn’t want to get into the particulars when I made my little statement, and I am glad I did not since you obviously have much more close in experience with this issue and speak with a powerful authority.

      I’m not nearly as proud of my heritage, beliefs, and actions as I was. The Bible and the law were my anchors. What is just? What is merciful? What is good and kind?

      I have a theology degree… which is apropos of nothing much except to say I am keenly aware of the christian mindset and belief systems from a variety of angles.
      What you say here I believe are some of the essential questions we have to revisit not only on these matters of how our nation treated the A.Indians in the name of christ, god and country, but also in the larger contexts of how christianity is being misused today in the tea and republican parties to support and authenticate some horrible policies. (And of course, by way of “balance” I am aware that it is not only these groups that misuse religion for power purposes… it is my opinion however that in these days it is these groups more than others who are particularly egregious.)

      I think your questions are salient to some of the issues being surfaced in another thread about the 84 yo Nun…

      Lots more to be said, and much more to be thought about in terms of the heritage of our country vis a vis its religion, how different factions of power have used religion to further their power and personal weal by using the bible to classify certain people as less than human… and etc….

      It is this nearly untouched substrate of our national subconscious that I was alluding to in my comment above “… We need to recover our humanity in all dimensions. This one… what our christian forebears did in the name of christ and country to Native Americans… needs attention.”
      And what you so eloquently, and succinctly reverberate in yours : Change the name. Change a whole lot more.

  10. Oro Lee says:

    Mike, since I’ve kinda gotten used to having the ignorance knocked out of me I am going to follow up on your recommendation. BTW, you mentioned a book that argued Jesus was a radical Pharisee and Rabbi — I would like to read that as well if you can recall the name and title.

  11. Oro Lee says:

    I’ve titled this excerpt from Alexis de Tocqueville’s, On Democracy in America, Book I, Chapter 18, Alexis de Tocqueville (1831), as American Exceptionalism. Bear in mind that Tocqueville visited America before the forced relocation of Indian tribes to the other side of the Mississippi was just beginning. The Indian Wars were decades in the future. He writes what I wanted to but so much better —

    ““The Spaniards pursued the Indians with bloodhounds, like wild beasts; they sacked the new world like a city taken by storm, with no discernment or compassion; but destruction must cease at last and frenzy has a limit: the remnant of the Indian population which had escaped the massacre mixed with its conquerors and adopted in the end their religion and their manners. The conduct of the Americans of the united states towards the aborigines is characterized, on the other hand, by a singular attachment to the formalities of law. Provided that the Indians retain their barbarous condition, the Americans take no part in their affairs; they treat them as independent nations and do not possess themselves of their hunting-grounds without a treaty of purchase; and if an Indian nation happens to be so encroached upon as to be unable to subsist upon their territory, they kindly take them by the hand and transport them to a grave far from the land of their fathers.

    “The Spaniards were unable to exterminate the Indian race by those unparalleled atrocities which brand them with indelible shame, nor did they succeed even in wholly depriving it of its rights; but the Americans of the United States have accomplished this twofold purpose with singular felicity, tranquilly, legally, philanthropically, without shedding blood, and without violating a single great principle of morality in the eyes of the world. It is impossible to destroy men with more respect for the laws of humanity.”

  12. Oro Lee says:

    I have bummed me out — I need to re-center. Sometimes I go here —

    http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

    Its the nest of a pair of bald eagles. She is probably going to lay within the next few days. She normally lays at night

  13. Oro Lee says:

    About dark-thirty you can usually hear owls and coyotes

  14. Little Bigshoe says:

    Oneida makes good silverware.

  15. Blouise says:

    Oro Lee,

    Thanks for the eagle link … I had lost mine

  16. pdm says:

    Oro Lee, I was hooked two years ago – before they moved their nest. Glad they are back. Is it the old nest or the new one?

  17. Elaine M. says:

    “I Know a Lot More About Being White Than You Know About Being Indian.”
    Bill Moyers
    Posted: 04/10/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-moyers/i-know-a-lot-more-about-b_b_3055065.html

    Excerpt:
    Writer Sherman Alexie, who was born on a Native American reservation, talks with me about feeling “lost and insignificant inside the larger culture,” and how his culture’s “lack of power” is very apparent in stereotypical sports mascots, like that of the Cleveland Indians.

    “At least half the country thinks the mascot issue is insignificant. But I think it’s indicative of the ways in which Indians have no cultural power. We’re still placed in the past. So we’re either in the past or we’re only viewed through casinos,” he says.

  18. Elaine M. says:

    DIVERSITY 101: NOT INJUN JOE
    Native American Stereotyping in Literature
    Contributed to CBC Diversity by Joseph Bruchac
    (Note: Joseph Bruchac is part Abenaki. He is a well-known Native American children’s and adult author.)
    http://www.cbcdiversity.com/post/58272426042/diversity-101-not-injun-joe

    Excerpt:
    No group in American culture has been more stereotyped than Native Americans. While other ethnic stereotypes now meet with disapproval, harmful images of native people are still accepted or defended within majority culture, even when Native Americans complain. There are images and characters in books and other media, expressions in current usage, the naming of places and sports teams, and negative expectations about the behavior of Native Americans. It is so pervasive that non-natives often don’t realize they’re saying or doing things hurtful to Native Americans. (And when it is pointed out, the response is often disbelief or denial.)

  19. Elaine M. says:

    Native American Group: Fight Against ‘Redskins’ About More Than Just The Name
    BY TRAVIS WALDRON
    OCTOBER 11, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/sports/2013/10/11/2772101/major-native-american-group-fight/

    Excerpt:
    One of the main criticisms of the opposition to the name of Washington’s professional football team, at least one propagated by name defenders like ESPN’s Rick Reilly, is that the efforts to change the name are driven largely by white apologists who aren’t in touch with the Native American community. That isn’t and hasn’t been true, but as controversy over the name has escalated to new heights this year and as the media has taken a new interest in amplifying complaints against the name, Native American groups are renewing their fight and shaping the argument in new ways.

  20. Mike Spindell says:

    Oro Lee,

    I promise you Slotkin’s book won’t disappoint you and besides being informative it is a wonderful read that taught me much about American History and mythology. As for the other book about Jesus there are two by the author Hyam Maccoby: “Revolution in Judea” and “The Mythmaker”. I’m giving you the wiki link, however, I wouldn’t vouch for the article’s fairness. Try the books and make your own decision Mike.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyam_Maccoby

  21. Elaine M. says:

    “Redskins”: A Native’s Guide To Debating An Inglorious Word
    Gyasi Ross
    10/16/13
    http://deadspin.com/redskins-a-natives-guide-to-debating-an-inglorious-1445909360

    Excerpt:
    Every other ethnic group gets the opportunity to self-identify in the way they choose. Native people do not.

    The NFL and fans of the NFL treat Native people qualitatively differently from how they treat members of any other ethnic group. Whether or not the term “Redskin” is inherently racist is the wrong question. The more appropriate question is, “Would it be acceptable to name a professional sports team according to the color of someone else’s skin?” Would it ever be cool to have a sports team called the Washington Blackskins? It seems appropriate; D.C. is Chocolate City. But, um, hell no. San Francisco Yellowskins? Naw, cousin. Won’t work.

    None of the above would be cool.

    OK, how about a high school team called the Paducah Negroes? “Negroes” is a term that is not necessarily racist, yet black folks choose not to identify themselves as such. People respect black folks’ choice not to call themselves Negro and so people don’t call them by that name. Yet, it’s different with Native people. Somehow non-racist black folks, white folks, and Latinos feel that it’s OK to identify Natives in a way that we simply do not—and do not want to—identify ourselves.

    If that is not racist, it is at the very least incredibly racially insensitive.

  22. Elaine M. says:

    AMERICAN INDIANS ARE PEOPLE, NOT MASCOTS
    Charlene Teters, Spokane
    http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm/

    Excerpt:
    On the verge of the millenium, Indian people are still involved in what Michael Haney has described as the longest undeclared war against the American Indian, here in our own homeland. This war, no longer on battlefields is now being fought in the courtrooms, corporation boardrooms, and classrooms over the appropriation of Native American names, spiritual and cultural symbols by professional sports, Hollywood, schools, and universities. The issue for us is the right to self identification and self determination this is the fight of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media.

    The American Indian community for 50 years has worked to banish images and names like Cleveland’s chief wahoo, Washington redskins, Kansas City chiefs, Atlanta braves. We work to remind people of consciousness of the use of the symbols resemblance to other historic, racist images of the past. Chief wahoo offends Indian people the same way that little black sambo offended African Americans and the frito bandito offended the Hispanic community and should have offended all of us. It assaults the principle of justice.

    Last year during the media hype that surrounded the baseball playoff games between New York and Cleveland, the New York Post caught up in the hype covered its front page with the headline, “Take the Tribe and Scalp ‘Em.” Little concern was shown for the Indian children, or community living in New York City, or around the country. The American public has been conditioned by sports industry, educational institutions, and the media to trivialize Indigenous culture as common and harmless entertainment. On high school and college campuses Native American students do not feel welcome if the school uses as its mascot (not a clown, a mythical creature, or an animal) a Chief, the highest political position you can attain in our society. Using our names, likeness and religious symbols to excite the crowd does not feel like honor or respect, it is hurtful and confusing to our young people. To reduce the victims of genocide to a mascot is unthinking, at least, and immoral at worst. An educational institution’s mission is to educate, not mis-educate, and to alleviate the ignorance behind racist stereotypes, not perpetuate them and to provide a nondiscriminatory environment for all its students, conducive to learning.

  23. Byron says:

    I want to call them the Washinton Whities, I am tired of being ignored.

    I can hear it now; taking the field is the Washington Mighty Whities. Andy Warhol could be the face of the Whities.

    I wonder if the skin heads will protest?

  24. swarthmoremom says:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/the-artistic-history-of-american-anti-asian-racism/283962/

    More than a century before Coca Cola’s controversial Super Bowl commercial celebrating America as a nation of nations, the melting pot overflowed with people of all races and ethnicities—each subject to its share of mass media abuse. Immigration made America what it is, but not without considerable racist barbing and comic hazing by cartoonists, illustrators, and artists. Blacks, Indians, Irish, Jews, and Asians were the main targets. The last was not just savagely portrayed in media as rat-tailed demons but legally restricted for decades from entering the United States. An insightful new anthology of writing on racist stereotyping, Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fears edited by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats (Verso), describes how demonizing Asian peoples in word and picture was acceptable in America for so long

  25. pete says:

    I don’t recall where I read it, but you can always tell who won the battle by what the history books call it. If the settlers or the army won it’s called “The Battle of…”, but if the Indians won it’s called “The Massacre of..”.

  26. Oro Lee says:

    Off Topic (sorta)

    Noon, EST today, Men’s Hockey, US v. Canada for the Gold

    “T.J. Oshie, Obijwe, a power forward on St. Louis Blues, became an instant hero after his shootout goal against Russia helped propel the U.S. to a spot in the quarterfinals. Carey Price, Ulkatcho First Nation, goalie for the Montreal Canadians, has started—and won—three games for Team Canada in Sochi thus far.”

    Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/02/20/oshie-vs-price-olympic-gold-153660

    In the 1904 Olympics, Canada fielded two teams:, the eventual gold medal winner Winnipeg Shamrocks,, and another comprised wholly of Mohawk Indians.

  27. swarthmoremom says:

    Thanks for that info. Oro Lee

  28. swarthmoremom says:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ole-miss-statue-james-meredith-three-freshmen-charges Off topic but pertains to racism,,, They are close to charging the people that put a noose on the statue of James Meredith at Ole Miss.

  29. michael beaton says:

    @Oro Lee

    I have bummed me out — I need to re-center. Sometimes I go here –

    Are you un-bummed yet? What happened?

  30. Blouise says:

    SwM,

    Re the Ole Miss matter … AP’s report
    http://news.yahoo.com/ole-miss-frat-suspended-noose-suspects-kicked-004854727.html;_ylt=A0LEViR89wdTnnQAr7kPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–

  31. OroLee says:

    “Writer Sherman Alexie, who was born on a Native American reservation, . . .” — quoted by Elaine

    Elaine, I don’t know how I missed this, but Sherman Alexie authored the multiple award winning, young teen book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

    So of course, . . .

    http://democratherald.com/news/local/sweet-home-parents-protest-part-time-indian/article_b572074e-8a0e-11e3-8033-0019bb2963f4.html

  32. OroLee says:

    Pete: I don’t recall where I read it, but you can always tell who won the battle by what the history books call it. If the settlers or the army won it’s called “The Battle of…”, but if the Indians won it’s called “The Massacre of..”

    Pete, it was Dan, a Lakota elder, in Kent Nerburn’s book, Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

  33. Elaine M. says:

    Oro Lee,

    Alexie’s award-winning young adult novel is an excellent book. I highly recommend it. It’s a book that is often challenged by narrow-minded people. Some of our greatest literary works have been challenged by people who don’t want other people’s children to read them.

  34. OroLee says:

    Elaine —

    The book is basically how a 14 year old boy who is facing a bleak future and having to deal with far more problems than a the average 14 year old relies on a public school education as a means of improving his future. That the setting is realistic — bad words and sexual references included — just makes it even more believable. The rather unique use of the cartoons other than as illustrations keeps the reader’s interest. A wonderfully packaged message about the importance of an education — what could be mor appropriate for a class room?

    Some folks just don’t get it.

    That it’s written autobiographically by a native American is pretty cool, too.

  35. Elaine M. says:

    Oro Lee,

    I loved the book!

    *****

    Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: A Reading from “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian”

  36. elainemag46 says:

    Sherman Alexie Speaks

  37. Oro Lee says:

    Elaine —

    Every so often I’ll look at a list of banned books, and read a couple that I might find interesting.

    Mike —

    Slotkin’s book, Gun Nation? 662 pages of text, 100 pages of footnotes. 60 pages of Bibliography. And its the third volume of a trilogy. Blew the heck out of my reading a different book every month.

    BTW, Mike, almost all the books I’ve ever read on religion seem to be somewhat less than fair.

  38. michaelbeaton says:

    I just encountered this site, and the fact that Marlin Brando refused the Best Actor award for Godfather because of the treatment of American Indians.

    Check this out … and watch the clip from the Oscars… v. interesting..
    http://www.businessinsider.in/The-Unbelievable-Story-Of-Why-Marlon-Brando-Rejected-His-1973-Oscar-For-The-Godfather/articleshow/31114957.cms

    http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/01/19/sacheen-littlefeather/

  39. michaelbeaton says:

    And then there is this … the text of the Brando Speech.

    This is such an indictment… and strange that the original intent of this thread was simply to change a name…perchance to slightly shift the pidgeon hole paradigm Indians have been forced to occupy. Like Redskins….
    I thought these paragraphs worth repeating here in this thread…

    If it is true, even as our christian heritage proclaims, that we reap what we sow… then this field of inhumanity that our Hell bent forebears inflicted upon the native american indian is yet to be corrected, and we have fully yet to reap the consequences of our sowing
    Part of that is likely part of the deep substrate of our American paradigm of global domination that we so desperately seek, and is the necessity of an superpower state. It may be part of the compulsion of the “Total Information Awareness” movement that is now manifest in the various NSA programs.

    And more recently the inhumanities we continue to inflict on others who are not like us….(thinking of Iraq wars and the various aspects of our culture that Chalmers Johnson speaks to in his series Blowback..)

    I think we are nearing a tipping point of sorts. And we will be perplexed how such a great nation lost its way. This issue about the Indians must be part of that story…

    By MARLON BRANDO

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — For 200 years we have said to the Indian people who are fighting for their land, their life, their families and their right to be free: ”Lay down your arms, my friends, and then we will remain together. Only if you lay down your arms, my friends, can we then talk of peace and come to an agreement which will be good for you.”

    When they laid down their arms, we murdered them. We lied to them. We cheated them out of their lands. We starved them into signing fraudulent agreements that we called treaties which we never kept. We turned them into beggars on a continent that gave life for as long as life can remember. And by any interpretation of history, however twisted, we did not do right. We were not lawful nor were we just in what we did. For them, we do not have to restore these people, we do not have to live up to some agreements, because it is given to us by virtue of our power to attack the rights of others, to take their property, to take their lives when they are trying to defend their land and liberty, and to make their virtues a crime and our own vices virtues.

    … rest here. http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/movies/bestpictures/godfather-ar3.html

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