The Washington Redskins have done it. After years and years of pushing back on calls to call the Redskins anything but, they have given way. The name will change.
Democrats’ identity politics make skin color the basis for recruiting and pandering and race-baiting, but apparently it is not to be used merely to name or cheer a sports team. Save it for something big! There must be a lesson there. Perhaps it would be helpful for the Left to map it out for others so we don’t miss the distinctions, large or small.
Now Squaw Valley Ski Resort, the home of the 1960 Winter Olympics located next to Lake Tahoe, has announced it will also change its name. Is “Resort” too classist? Don’t be cute. It’s “Squaw.” It’s “derogatory and offensive”!
Is it? It’s debated by Native Americans. One, of Abenaki descent and a Ph.D. researching Indigenous history and language, has taught at several universities, including Harvard. Another, of Cheyenne and Muscogee descent is an activist campaigning for Native Americans since the 1960s—everything from sports team names to scolding you for riding in a Jeep Cherokee. Ignorant paleface! Use Land O’Lakes butter? You are contributing to Indigenous people’s sky-high suicide rates. The latter woman in 1992 appeared on Oprah’s eighth show in a yearlong focus on racism. Guess which one has won the debate? She went on to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama.
Along with correcting Oprah and telling her both the terms Native American and American Indian were unacceptable racist, Eurocentric appropriations, she related that no one should use the word “squaw” because it was the Algonkian word for vagina, and surely meant as defamatory.
But our professor, in 1999, took direct issue with that. She posits that squaw is the phonetic rendering of a, yes, Algonkian word, but that the word “means the totality of being female.” As support she offers that Algonkian speakers still use the words “nidobaskwa” for female friend, not vagina friend, “manigebeskwa” for woman of the woods, not vagina of the woods, “Squaw Sachem” for female chief, not vagina chief, and “nuncksquassis” for little woman baby, not little vagina baby. She considers the defamatory labeling of “squaw” as itself racist for overriding the real meaning to dictate to Indians how they should think. She believes to rename places is “to erase the lives, the stories, the voices of the women whose presence was acknowledged by the original naming.”
And then she received death threats for her scholarship and speech.
While we are at it, how about eliminating “chief”? Whites applied that term to Indian leaders, so it must be bad. Was Chief Joseph being mocked? Was he really being called A-hole Joseph, and he was just too ignorant to know it? And we can’t eliminate it just for him and the others wronged; it must be eliminated entirely to stop the disgrace. No more chief executive officer, chief of staff, or chief cook and bottle washer. How insulting!
“Brave” or “Braves”? OMGreat Spirit In The Sky, NO! So far the Atlanta Braves have rationalized that their name will stand, straight from the Chairman and—dare we say it—Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Now, their “tomahawk chop”—that’s a different story. After criticism, they decided not to promote it by withholding 40,000 foam tomahawks from fans for a playoff series game, and then lost the game 13-1.
Gone? It’s under review—for nearly a year. Can’t we just agree it was originally to kill whites, so it must be acceptable—maybe even affirming and celebratory?
What about the rest of us? Again, white men labeled Indian men “braves,” so it must be bad. Can we have no more brave heroes? Need to retitle Brave New World? Must Monty Python and the Holy Grail be rewritten or overdubbed to eliminate Sir Lancelot the Brave and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot?
And the home of the brave? Have we shot ourselves in the foot—with an arrow? Wait, is “arrow” Eurocentric and racist?
The Left wants you to get the point.