Contributor Post Created with Sketch. DOJ Was Right to End the Battle Against the Redskins

 

Great news for football fans, free speech warriors, and 90 percent of Native Americans: Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration has ended Obama’s silly attack on the Washington Redskins.

The Justice Department sent a letter to a federal appeals court Wednesday afternoon conceding that a Supreme Court decision last week in favor of an Asian-American band calling itself “The Slants” means that the NFL’s Redskins will prevail in the battle over efforts to cancel the team’s trademarks on the grounds that the name is disparaging to Native Americans.

“The Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam [the Slants’ case] controls the disposition of this case,” Justice Department Civil Division attorney Mark Freeman wrote in the letter to the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. “Consistent with Tam, the Court should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Pro-Football.”

The Supreme Court and the DOJ made the correct decision here. The Obama administration was using the courts to shut down free speech under the pretext of political correctness. While a few native groups opposed the team’s name, the vast majority were fine with it. The Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans in 2016 and nine in 10 declared that the name wasn’t offensive. When the Post first did the survey in 2004, the results were the same.

Last year, the very white Washington Post asked Chippewa and Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation resident Barbara Bruce to explain her thoughtcrime. “I’m proud of being Native American and of the Redskins,” she said. “I’m not ashamed of that at all. I like that name.”

Gabriel Nez, a 29-year-old Navajo who recently left the Navajo Nation for school in New Mexico, agreed. “I really don’t mind it. I like it,” he said. “We call other natives ‘skins,’ too.”

These opinions prevail in Indian communities across the country. For instance, the mascot for Red Mesa High School, located in the Four Corners area of the Navajo Nation, is, you guessed it, the Redskins. There’s also the Browning High School Indians, located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation; the Mescalero Apache High/Middle School Chiefs in New Mexico; and the Marty Indian High School Braves in South Dakota. There are many, many more where those mascots came from.

Even though a mere 9 percent of Native Americans want Washington’s NFL team to change its name, 28 percent of Washington-area residents do. These readers have decided to be offended on behalf of other people, even as the people they are “protecting” are saying to knock it off. The vast majority of Native Americans understand that the team’s logo stands for bravery, honor, and strength, so they laugh off the white elites’ calls for outrage.

The Washington Post wasted a decade trying to make “Redskins” a hate crime. Thankfully for the NFL team — and the proud high schoolers in Red Mesa, AZ — common sense and the First Amendment triumphed.

There are 44 comments.

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  1. Hoyacon Member

    The fact that this just decision is a win for Dan Snyder makes it just a little less joyful.

    • #1
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Judge Mental Member

    The idea that the name is offensive was always silly. Sure, if the other teams had names like the Milwaukee Rapists, the Cincinnati Serial Killers and the Pittsburgh Child Molesters, then yeah, the Washington Redskins would be offensive.

    But with a standard of names intended to sound tough and formidable, it’s not an insult, it’s a compliment.

    • #2
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:17 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. Pugshot Member
    Pugshot Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Kudos to the DOJ for having the integrity to concede the lawsuit – lawyers in general (and the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in particular) aren’t willing to do that very often, even though, from a legal standpoint, it is the correct and appropriate thing to do!

    • #3
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Lois Lane Coolidge

    My DC born grandmother would be happy per this action if she was alive today as she never missed a Redskins game. She also did not have a bone of racial animus in her body. She was just proud to root for her home team. Whenever they disappointed her and lost per silly mistakes on the field, she’d actually call “her” players the “dead-skins” until they redeemed themselves and earned her favor again. I guess you could say she was casting aspersions at zombies in that case? I suppose the undead could take any complaints to the ACLU if their feelings were hurt by her remarks, but it was just sport to her. It didn’t mean anything else at all.

    • #4
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    But if the Obama Feds had been successful, maybe the power could have been used for good… To go after the Dallas Cowboys.

    • #5
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:22 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Bob Thompson Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    The fact that this just decision is a win for Dan Snyder makes it just a little less joyful.

    Does personal dislike of someone also mean there should be a dimmer view of their success? I’m thinking this might explain some of what is going on with President Trump.

    • #6
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:23 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve always wondered why anyone would consider using their image, name, or tribe for the nickname of a sports team or franchise beloved by thousands, was somehow an insult. Only a virtue signaller of the highest level would want to rip apart an historic name from its fans and team. And that would be Obama’s injustice department.

    • #7
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Front Seat Cat Member

    Native Americans are a proud and unique culture to our country and I think naming teams after them honors that and was never meant to be offensive. Maybe they should have read the polls before they caused another unnecessary lawsuit. They would have served the Indian communities better by organizing fundraisers and calling attention to their needs, which are many.

    The same thing with the black community – are things better for these communities since Obama or worse? Now we have people pitting races against each other, instead of helping improve their lives. We have black only proms, black only work days, ‘white privilege’ language being hurled around – how is that helping anyone? It’s not. The Mayor of Baltimore will tell you that. Political correctness does not solve problems. It adds to them.

    This is a victory news story – thanks for posting.

    • #8
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:34 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans in 2016 and nine in 10 declared that the name wasn’t offensive. When the Post first did the survey in 2004, the results were the same.

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    • #9
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  10. Hoyacon Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    The fact that this just decision is a win for Dan Snyder makes it just a little less joyful.

    Does personal dislike of someone also mean there should be a dimmer view of their success? I’m thinking this might explain some of what is going on with President Trump.

    There is probably room for some philosophical musings on this, but ultimately I think it comes down to a “yes,” qualified by assessing the foundation or “validity” of the dislike. Unlike Trump, for example, there really isn’t a “derangement syndrome” associated with Snyder. He is a jerk, and dislike of him comes naturally to me even on the rare occasions when something to do with the Redskins amounts to a success.

    • #10
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Trink Coolidge
    Trink Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The vast majority of Native Americans understand that the team’s logo stands for bravery, honor, and strength, so they laugh off the white elites’ calls for outrage

    Amen!!

    • #11
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Judge Mental Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans in 2016 and nine in 10 declared that the name wasn’t offensive. When the Post first did the survey in 2004, the results were the same.

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    Same with Speedy Gonzalez. Activists called it offensive to Mexicans, whereas the character was beloved in Mexico. And what’s not to love? He was smart, handsome, funny, he always won, and invariably got the cute señorita.

    • #12
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:47 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Vy16kIOD-0

    • #13
    • June 29, 2017, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Cato Rand Coolidge

    I wholeheartedly agree that the Supreme Court and now the DOJ are doing the right thing, but I think it’s worth noting that it does no service to ramble on about how few native americans were offended by the name. It gives the impression (even if you don’t say it) that if the offense were more widespread that would somehow justify government suppression of the speech. It would not. It matters not a whit whether only one person is offended or nearly everyone is offended. The Slants and the Redskins have the First Amendment right to their names.

    • #14
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:06 AM PDT
    • 23 likes
  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I wholeheartedly agree that the Supreme Court and now the DOJ are doing the right thing, but I think it’s worth noting that it does no service to ramble on about how few native americans were offended by the name. It gives the impression (even if you don’t say it) that if the offense were more widespread that would somehow justify government suppression of the speech. It would not. It matters not a whit whether only one person is offended or nearly everyone is offended. The Slants and the Redskins have the First Amendment right to their names.

    That is a good point.

    • #15
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:09 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Bob Thompson Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    The fact that this just decision is a win for Dan Snyder makes it just a little less joyful.

    Does personal dislike of someone also mean there should be a dimmer view of their success? I’m thinking this might explain some of what is going on with President Trump.

    There is probably room for some philosophical musings on this, but ultimately I think it comes down to a “yes,” qualified by assessing the foundation or “validity” of the dislike. Unlike Trump, for example, there really isn’t a “derangement syndrome” associated with Snyder. He is a jerk, and dislike of him comes naturally to me even on the rare occasions when something to do with the Redskins amounts to a success.

    I agree, and to me he has had a sufficient number setbacks in his period of Redskins ownership to satisfy my dislike of him for being a jerk. And, who knows, if I knew him personally, I might like him.

    • #16
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:09 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Judge Mental (View Comment):
    Same with Speedy Gonzalez.

    He’s gone now???

    I have no young children at home, so my cartoon watching is at a minimum, but I loved him as a character. He was cheeky.

    He also taught me how to say “come on” and “quickly” in Spanish.

    • #17
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Hoyacon Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I wholeheartedly agree that the Supreme Court and now the DOJ are doing the right thing, but I think it’s worth noting that it does no service to ramble on about how few native americans were offended by the name. It gives the impression (even if you don’t say it) that if the offense were more widespread that would somehow justify government suppression of the speech. It would not. It matters not a whit whether only one person is offended or nearly everyone is offended. The Slants and the Redskins have the First Amendment right to their names.

    Another in a considerable line of Ricochet posts that deserve more than a “like.”

    • #18
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I wholeheartedly agree that the Supreme Court and now the DOJ are doing the right thing, but I think it’s worth noting that it does no service to ramble on about how few native americans were offended by the name. It gives the impression (even if you don’t say it) that if the offense were more widespread that would somehow justify government suppression of the speech. It would not. It matters not a whit whether only one person is offended or nearly everyone is offended. The Slants and the Redskins have the First Amendment right to their names.

    Every word above is correct and true. However, the polling data undercut the arguments made by the SJWs and expose them for the virtue-signaling hypocrites they are. It’s known as taking the fight to the enemy. Going on about the wonders of free speech is preaching to the choir. Everyone here already agrees with you.

    • #19
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  20. Judge Mental Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    He’s gone now???

    For decades.

    • #20
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • Like
  21. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    He’s gone now???

    For decades.

    God. I’m old.

    • #21
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “The Redskins” is a fine team name.

    The D.C. teams should have names commensurate with the nature of their character. “Bloodsucking Bureaucrats” would be apt.

    • #22
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  23. Bob Thompson Member

    Cato Rand (View Comment):
    I wholeheartedly agree that the Supreme Court and now the DOJ are doing the right thing, but I think it’s worth noting that it does no service to ramble on about how few native americans were offended by the name. It gives the impression (even if you don’t say it) that if the offense were more widespread that would somehow justify government suppression of the speech. It would not. It matters not a whit whether only one person is offended or nearly everyone is offended. The Slants and the Redskins have the First Amendment right to their names.

    Yes. Polling numbers do not change this fact. How about all the money and effort that has already been expended in capitulation to this political correctness.

    • #23
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:16 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. Umbra Fractus Coolidge
    Umbra Fractus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    Or a bunch of white progressives declaring that said ethnic group should be offended. (See also: Gonzales, Speedy.)

    • #24
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  25. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans in 2016 and nine in 10 declared that the name wasn’t offensive. When the Post first did the survey in 2004, the results were the same.

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    Same with Speedy Gonzalez. Activists called it offensive to Mexicans, whereas the character was beloved in Mexico. And what’s not to love? He was smart, handsome, funny, he always won, and invariably got the cute señorita.

    And this is exactly how it should be. All societies have emergent standards for what is appropriate speech and behavior. Those standards change with the times. I think our current standards go too far in their concern for protecting delicate sensibilities, but it doesn’t bother me at all that we’re more considerate of people’s feelings than we were in the 1940’s. As long as the government stays out of it, that is. This we can handle ourselves.

    • #25
    • June 29, 2017, at 10:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: The Washington Post conducted a poll of Native Americans in 2016 and nine in 10 declared that the name wasn’t offensive. When the Post first did the survey in 2004, the results were the same.

    When I was a kid Frito-Lay used to have a cartoon character in their TV commercials known as the “Frito Bandito.” Polls showed that the majority of Hispanic Americans liked the character but a minority of Hispanics didn’t, so public pressure demanded they drop it. Very often when you hear about some ethnic or other group being offended, it’s a small number of activists.

    Same with Speedy Gonzalez. Activists called it offensive to Mexicans, whereas the character was beloved in Mexico. And what’s not to love? He was smart, handsome, funny, he always won, and invariably got the cute señorita.

    And this is exactly how it should be. All societies have emergent standards for what is appropriate speech and behavior. Those standards change with the times. I think our current standards go too far in their concern for protecting delicate sensibilities, but it doesn’t bother me at all that we’re more considerate of people’s feelings than we were in the 1940’s. As long as the government stays out of it, that is. This we can handle ourselves.

    When tiny minorities bully companies in the name of hurt feelings and get their way, I’m not completely sure I agree. Of course, I think we should have a society in which we preach tolerance and manners. But I would rather someone call me a “mick” than start a campaign against… say… the Fighting Irish mascot in my name.

    You might think that’s a ridiculous analogy, but if you remember one of James O’Keefe’s earliest projects, he lobbied to get rid of Lucky Charms cereal from a university cafeteria because he said it demeaned the Irish. Totally hilarious, actually. But he was taken completely seriously.

    Also, if @judgemental is right, most Latinos liked Speedy Gonzales. There was no more negative intent tied to his use as the wearing of sombreros at taco parties, which have also been deemed unfashionable now and “racist.”

    • #26
    • June 29, 2017, at 11:00 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    You’ll get no argument from me, Lois, that we’ve taken things way too far. But it’s often been the case that changing societal norms overshoot the mark before returning to a more measured and acceptable standard. It’s possible I could get behind an alternative mechanism if you have one to recommend.

    • #27
    • June 29, 2017, at 11:11 AM PDT
    • Like
  28. Lois Lane Coolidge

    Chuck Enfield (View Comment):
    You’ll get no argument from me, Lois, that we’ve taken things way too far. But it’s often been the case that changing societal norms overshoot the mark before returning to a more measured and acceptable standard. It’s possible I could get behind an alternative mechanism if you have one to recommend.

    Sure. I get it. Look. I think having a president talking about “low IQ” individuals with “bleeding facelifts” demeans the culture and sets a horrendous example for how we talk about each other. For me, that’s an example of an over-correction that is egregious and ultimately destructive. (I support Trump’s DOJ on the Redskins decision, people! But I will always be critical of the president when I think he does things wrong!)

    I’m not sure how we inject common sense back into these sorts of questions, but I suppose majorities have to stand against really loud voices when they try to tar and feather companies/people they don’t like. You could see how that worked when Chick-fil-a was attacked so vociferously over the gay marriage thing. I have gay friends who told me I would never eat there again if I loved them.

    What???? My love is measured by waffle fries?

    My kid and I stood in line for over an hour at our neighborhood Chick-fil-a despite protestors, and no. None of my gay friends cut me out of their lives because of this. We just agree to disagree, and my lunch remains delicious.

    One other thing I’ll say about that Chick-fil-a thing…

    You remember the man who taped himself getting water in the drive-through? He yelled at some poor little girl who handled herself with extreme grace.

    The grace was SO impactful. The guy looked like an ass. The girl looked like a Christian (whether she was or not). Acting like she did went a long, long, longggg way in helping Chick-fil-a.

    We also need a little common sense injected into companies and administrations. When you reward stupid, unreasonable outcry all the time because you simply don’t want to deal with the screams, you feed a bad beast… like a crying baby in a store.

    Now, sometimes the baby is crying for good reason.

    Small adjustments that are reasonable should be easily handled by people who aren’t trained to over-react to every little thing.

    Also, instead of killing the mouse (Speedy Gonzales), you could introduce Dora the Explorer as well. I suspect kids/parents could then decide which they prefer to watch. That’s the magic of the market. That’s a much different sort of force than having the first removed by a small group screaming about offenses given.

    • #28
    • June 29, 2017, at 11:30 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. profdlp Inactive

    cdor (View Comment):
    I’ve always wondered why anyone would consider using their image, name, or tribe for the nickname of a sports team or franchise beloved by thousands, was somehow an insult.

    Seriously. As a proud Redskins fan, if the name were in any way derogatory I would be glad to see it changed. This is all just another case of a tiny minority, lifetime members of the perpetually aggrieved, whining about something. Those types are never happy, they just go find something else to be “outraged” over.

    Guess we need to change the name of Oklahoma as well.

    • #29
    • June 29, 2017, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Can We then bring back the name Washington Bullets?

    I hear the latest poll showed the vast majority of ammo do not find offense.

    • #30
    • June 29, 2017, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes

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