The name…..how offensive is it? That is the hot button issue in the public domain these days. I have searched and raided the internet as to the context within which this word is a slur and all I see are personal interpretations and “assumptions” by folks who are trying to tow the political correctness line.
The confusion is not really helped by the Indian nation. People tend to lump the Indian nation into one large group, but the reality of the issue is that there are hundreds of tribes – most of which are in constant (historical) squabbles with one another. With a fractured nation of tribes, there is no chance that the Native Indians can speak with one voice on this issue.
Another angle to this, is the congruence between how various Indian tribes view the term “Redskins”. For example, the Sac & Fox tribe of the Mississippi has acknowledged that in the 1800’s the term was used to identify themselves, which was a thing of pride. Once the word moved west, and the west got hold of it, (as usual) it became derogatory. Another member of the Swinomish tribe says the name dates back to America’s colonial period, when King George II of England offered a bounty for the bloody scalps – literally, the redskins of Native Americans.
Therein lies the problem. No one can really claim for a fact that the term is Derogatory. An attempt is being made to equate the word to the “N” word (rather stupidly). One thing is sure, the word pre-dates the British colonialists and it was a word that was coined by the Indians themselves.
Also, a fair context has been applied to the argument. Why name a team after the skin color of a group of people? Imagine Washington’s football team called the “Washington Blackskins????!!!” I shudder at the thought.
That being said (from my layman’s point of view), I always termed the word as a thing of pride and the fact that a team (worth over 1.55 billion USD) is named after an Indian cultural reference should be celebrated. But hey, what do I know about Indian culture