Monday, October 21, 2013

Controversial: What's in a Name?

I've decided to venture on a topic that has absolutely nothing to do with publishing or writing in general. 

I originated from a village where the local high school football team has been called The Lancaster Redskins since their inception. However, now the high school is being pressured to change their name. Truly, I don't understand the reasoning. Am I lacking sophisticated knowledge of the fact concerning this title?

I was always proud to be called a Lancaster Redskin. For me, and for my nephew, who now is playing on the Lancaster Redskins Football Team, and the teenagers at the school are up in arms and disappointed with the looming pressure of a change. 

I've never thought of Redskins as derogatory. To me the name induces power, strength, valiance, strategy, determination and more.

What is your opinion of this controversial topic?


Also, today is the Writers for Writers Support. Check out Isis Rushdan and Alex J. Cavanaugh for tweets! 

23 comments:

  1. I never thought it was either. I know the Washington Redskins are being pressured to change their name as well. Ironically, last time I heard, most Native Americans are all right with the name. Not sure who is pushing the agenda.

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    1. I wonder also. It's strange. And I personally know a few Native American Indians. And I'll let you in on a little secret, my great, great, grandmother was a purebred Cree Indian!

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  2. I agree. Who exactly is making a big deal out of this? And why does it matter when there are so much more important issues going on in the world right now?

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  3. My High School mascot was the Eagles.
    Where are the animal activist Outrage!

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  4. I don't think that just because there are more important things in the world that another thing should be ignored. Maybe most people, even most Native Americans, don't care, but it's not like the Vikings. Words well known as slurs should not be team names.

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    1. Thank you JE, and you're right about another thing should not be ignored

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  5. We have similar problems in England. Some bureaucrat will decide something's politically incorrect even though the particular group aren't bothered!
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
    x

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  6. I think that I'm the liberal of the group, of the bleeding heart variety, LOL - except maybe for J.E. - but the dictionary says this:

    red·skin (rdskn)
    n. Offensive Slang
    Used as a disparaging term for a Native American.

    We have such a horrible history in this country of oppressing groups people from the time we set foot on the land that maybe there ought to be a viable discussion about it. I live on the east coast, have always known them as the Redskins, etc., and maybe they won't/shouldn't change it but it shouldn't be thrown to side either.

    Actually it's a great post, Cathy, one that causes discussion, which is always a good thing to me.

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    1. Hah, I never looked in the dictionary, Debbie.

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  7. It's sad that they would push to change the name. There is something to be said for keeping the tradition and staying true to it's origin, besides there are far more important issues they should be worried about in the world at the moment. Ah well :-/

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  8. I agree with Melissa. I'm curious to know if it's the Native Americans making a fuss over it, or if they care at all. My opinion may depend on where the push is coming from. If it is considered derogatory, then it should be changed.

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  9. Our world is so very politically correct nowadays. Everything, no matter how small, will somehow manage to stir up controversy, it seems...

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  10. I do understand both sides on this debate. That said, people sometimes put too much stock into being PC.

    I mean, at one stage I heard people wanted to take "Injun" out of Injun Joe's name in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

    To me, everything is a matter of context. So I think that if a word (regardless of what it is) is used as anything but a slur, in that context it isn't, and therefore shouldn't be treated as such.

    What I always wonder is this. Why spend so much effort on changing a name, rather than trying to improve the situation of the people the name's supposed to be insulting? This is especially valid in my country where we have an almost 50% unemployment rate among the indigenous nations in my country, but they spend millions every year to change city and street names to reflect the population.

    Honestly, it feels a lot like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.

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  11. Folks who take offense at names ought to really look deep into themselves and ask why it's offending them, especially if most Natives are okay with the name, as Alex said. It's not being used in a derogatory way, so I'm okay with it. :)

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  12. Yeah. The other commenters have it right. Unfortunately, the word is known and often defined as a slur. There's just no other way to frame it, even though many people (like you) have great, powerful, positive associations with it. Think about it this way: what if at some point in the past, someone decided to name a team with the N word (no I can't write it out. I just can't). And as a result lots of people had great associations with the word... but still, behind it is the full, awful, violent history of that word. It's the same here. It's not about being PC. To me, it's about recognizing and respecting the power of words.

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