Certain factions of the government (the “politically correct police” faction) is trying to force the American Football team, the Washington D. C. Redskins, to change their name. Why? Well, the term “Redskin” is apparently racist, or at the very least derogatory or offensive. Before we really even entertain such nonsense there’s one question we need to ask: Where’s proof of the word being used in a derogatory manner within the last 10-15 years?
Do a search with Bing or Google for the word redskin and exclude “Washington”, “football”, “sports”, and “team” and see what you get. Mostly definitions, some medical sites with pages on the skin condition, a movie, a used car lot website, and lot’s of sites saying that it’s offensive. But after 10 pages of search results in both, I couldn’t find a single example of intentional derogatory usage. If that’s not enough, feel free to go over to the News searches and see what’s there. Just more people telling you that the word is offensive, but no actual offensive use.
Because how the word is used can change the definition of the word, the question of recent usage is an important question. Take, for example the words “Gay” and “Queer”. Try to use the words “Gay” or “Queer” as their original definitions and see how many confused or concerned looks you produce. Most children will directly associate the word to the football team and will need to be educated as to what the word once was used as to show them that it could be used in an offensive way. That to me shows that we are moving beyond using “Redskin” as a derogatory word. As a simple, but effective test, I asked my High School aged daughter about the team Washington D. C. Redskins, and if she found that offensive or derogatory. She just said it’s the same as the Yankees and couldn’t figure out why it was offensive or derogatory. It goes to show, you have to be taught how to use it in an offensive or derogatory way in order to know it can be used that way. In other words, those who are so worried about you being offensive teach you how to use certain words in an offensive or derogatory way.
This brings me to something I discovered in High School. Being a typical adolescent who tries to be clever, my best friend and I began to use the word “friend” in a new way. We were pretty consistent in that use of the word, which meant the completely opposite of the word. Yes, we weren’t very nice at times. Pretty soon, you did not want to be called “friend” by a certain group of people. We realized just exactly what we had done, we took a good word and turned it into a bad one. It was easy. Does that mean that nobody should use the word “friend”? No.
I don’t really think that the use of the word as it generally is today is offensive or derogatory. I haven’t been able to find a recent example of it being used that way. I feel that using the word in a positive way In any case, someone will need to tell the Red Mesa High School that they will need to change their name as well. I’m sure that the Navajo High School would be happy to be renamed the Vikings or something less offensive.
Oh, and please, if you are referring to the “Washington” on the East Coast, please remember that it’s “Washington D. C.” so you don’t confuse that group of malcontents with the State of Washington and our group of malcontents. D. C. is slightly more corrupt.