In the News Today…

Carol A. Hand

This attempt at humor made it into Huffington Post’s major news stream this morning. I’m curious to know what others think about it.


If you’re interested in my views, here’s an old post that describes what I think:


I look forward to your comments!

28 thoughts on “In the News Today…

  1. Why has it taken so long? I’ve never wanted to be a billionaire, but I used to fantasize about winning the lottery just so I could buy the Washington team and change the name. (And then sell it and find other uses for the $!) Sadly, the high school I graduated from had and still has an Indian mascot. The picture most often used at least has some dignity, but at a class reunion decades after the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties (when presumably Americans learned something), I received a T-shirt with the most mocking caricature imaginable. I complained and threw the shirt away so I can’t show you now how offensive the image was. I guess non-Native Americans need to “love” less and respect and listen more. Maybe we’re beginning to see a little more listening?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny dream, Diane. I wish you had won the lottery 🙂

      At least for the Washington team, the pressure to change is mounting, but it’s hard to convince local school districts who view their team mascot as an important part of their tribal identity.


  2. Hi Carol – Well I wouldn’t like it if a team was named the Jersey Grease Balls. I never watched one episode of the Sopranos because I was among the 1/3 of Italian Americans that found the show offensive. Lots of folks thought I was “too sensitive” – I didn’t think so.

    Here in Florida we have the Florida State Seminoles – the Seminole Nation has supported the team and the name forever because (a) its the actual name of the people and (2) it is done with absolute respect. If the Seminole Nation has any objection to anything related to the team’s name, the Seminole nation gets it’s way. The Seminoles are not a mascot. The statue honoring Osceola sits on campus.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for offering thoughtful perspectives, Toritto. I never watched the Sopranos, either. I’m not a big fan of shows that play on stereotypes, ridicule called humor, or violence camouflaged as cartoons.

      The perspective of the Seminoles is interesting, and as a sovereign people, it is their right to decide how they wish to be portrayed and in what ways their name can be used. From another perspective, it can still be seen as tacit approval for non-Natives to exploit Native Americans as mascots.

      Regards to you, too, and again, thank you.


      1. Carol – I didn’t go to FSU and I personally would find the name and the antics at football games insulting if I were Native American – but everyone here hides behind the agreement with the Seminole tribal council. That’s not to say that there is no criticism. There’s plenty –

        I personally would have changed the name. Regards. You are absolutely right in your position. The more I think about it the more right you become.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you 🙂 . This is a great article critiquing the FSU mascot, and the use of Native Americans as mascots for teams overall! (The mascot for my daughter’s high school was a cartoon caricature to represent their team and school – the “Redmen.”)


  3. It would be more helpful if there had been more of an analysis or reflection by the journalist, I think. Ideally, not really fair to comment on a name, if you haven’t been subjected to racism behind it, and the journalist could have explored that a little, and looked at the multiple layers behind the story. Hopefully, someone reads your posts too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a complex issue, Nicci, and as your observe, it was handled on a very superficial level. Yet I thought it would be interesting to see how others responded to the video and the overall issue of Indian mascots.


  4. Though I’ve never thought about it until the “Red Skin” controversy arose, when I see the mockery of the fans, I’m disgusted. But let’s backup. Sports in itself is a representation of war. Then to align Native Americans with war, I begin to understand their concern. I know there’s more to it than this, but I’ll conclude with, I cannot argue for a name change when I’m opposed to the whole institution of sports to begin with.

    No, one more thing, suppose the team agreed to distribute generous royalties, or say set up an educational fund for Native Americans, for the use of the name and logo, how many minds then would change? It is of course, a hypothetical question. I think, I don’t know if it has been offered.

    Carol, your bravery is admirable and what I know Native Americans best for.


    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Peter. I don’t like contact sports, either, although historically some tribes used competitive games as a way to avoid war.

      Stereotypes appear unimportant on the surface, but they can do great harm. Demeaning groups of people and portraying them as less human makes them easy targets for genocide and holocaust. Media cartoon campaigns in Germany were an effective tool for depicting Jews as less than human.

      Many public schools throughout the U.S. have Native American mascots – teaching generation after generation in the U.S. that Native Americans are one dimensional “savages” at best. Offering scholarships to Native students in college wouldn’t change this. Some universities did give a scholarship to the Native student who served as their mascot (Marquette, perhaps Dartmouth and Illinois State). I don’t know if this still happens – I can’t imagine how they felt.


      1. Carol, your insight is enlightening. I now better understand the position, and I do sympathize. But then too I can argue the case of using animals as mascots, something I never before considered.

        I remembered something from Noam Chomsky I wanted to share, but forgot to put in my first comment. I believe you can appreciate, “We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache. And Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.”

        Liked by 1 person

  5. That Daily Show segment was really, really good. After those four fans came face to face with the Native Americans, they sure changed their tune. That’s the problem with racism. It generally evaporates on a human level where interpersonal contact is high. To perpetuate it, society must be segregated and stratified. That’s why true racists hate the concepts of equality, egalitarianism, and justice… it destroys their perverse vision of an ordered, hierarchical society.

    I’ve suggested many times that owner Dan Snyder should change the name of his team to the “Washington Foreskins” because everyone knows he’s a dick.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I’m facing a similar situation here in New Plymouth after making a deputation to our district council supporting the creation of a Maori seat. A comment I made about New Plymouth District Council (which has 2/15 women, no youth and no low income people) being a “white old boys club” made the front page of the paper.

    The kaumatua group I belong to is attempting to reduce the polarization by inviting the white Grey Power group for a cup of tea and earnest discussion (one of the things I learned in my How Communities Awaken master class).

    I have yet to understand where the term “redskin” came from, given I have never met a native American with red skin. If anything, Caucasians with their pink skin color and propensity to sunburn are much more likely to have red skin.


    1. It’s interesting how quickly those in power take offense when their hegemony is questioned, Stuart. I’m glad that the kaumatua group has the wisdom to use community polarization as a consciousness-raising opportunity. It’s heartening to hear that your course already has practical outcomes.

      I honestly don’t know where the name “redskins” came from – there seem to be competing theories. And honestly, I don’t think it matters. What is a concern is the fact that the term and it’s accompanying foolish insults have been used to denigrate and stereotype Indigenous peoples about whom this nation knows so little – people subjected to genocide and dispossession by their European ancestors so the current generation from European origins can live comfortably with the illusion that they’ve created a free, democratically-governed nation that has the right to impose their views on other peoples in the world through war, assassination, drones, and bribery.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess that about sums it up. The people you refer to live in a golden cage, but they can’t even see it. They know they’re unhappy but always look for someone else to blame – women, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, whoever the latest scapegoat is.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. A fitting name for the team that represents the nations’ capitol, Jerry! (I saw a cartoon that would also work, except for our current president – “Home of the land-stealing palefaces.”)


  7. Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    The Daily Show did a good job with this. But I think one should be careful with the one-sixteenth Native blood thing–making fun of it for not being “Indian enough” is as bad as making fun of Natives for being “too Indian”. I think it matters more whether one observes, honors, and follows the traditional ways rather than how much Native blood they have.
    And as I was reading this, I recalled my own schools’ mascots: One was Abe Lincoln (railsplitters), one was berries (there’s a reason for that, but risk of disclosing the town I grew up in forbids it); the bulldogs; and finally, one school was “warriors”…ironically, or not, it was named after Daniel Webster, and I can’t recall his history, but him fighting the Native Americans comes to mind.
    Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves, Thunderheart, Lost in the Barrens) once said (in Thunderheart) that when we were growing up, we played Cowboys and Indians…and he never wanted to be an Indian–he always wanted to be a cowboy.


    1. Dolphin, these are important reminders of the legacy of colonialism. In the context of forced assimilation and a federal campaign to sterilize full-blood Indian women that didn’t end until the late 1970s, it’s a divisive divide and conquer tactic to decide who’s “Indian enough.” Of course, this is complicated by federally-imposed policies that limit tribal sovereignty to determine who is “Indian” from their perspectives.

      Liked by 1 person

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