Reinventing the Redskins: What will be their future name?
Political correctness has taken the field with demands from Native American leaders that the Washington Redskins change its name and logo, which they call …
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The owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder, is in a real dilemma these days.
More than a dozen Native American organizations have sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asking him to force Snyder to change the name of his football team.
The letter also demanded, according to AP, that the team stop using the Native American image in its logo and on any merchandising, something that seems to be more than agreed upon not only by Goodell himself, but also by several of his sponsors. The latter has Snyder finally considering it. Above all, in the midst of a campaign to erase the country's racist symbols, which are as much a part of its shame as its history, refusal could lead the Redskins to a resounding fall from grace.
According to the letter, the leaders "hope that the NFL will engage in a strong and meaningful process of reconciliation with leaders of Native American movements, tribes and organizations to repair the decades of emotional violence and other serious damage that this racist team name has caused to Native Americans."
It hasn't helped much that President Trump, who is so keen on getting into gardens where he is not invited - and trampling on their plants - spoke out against any name change by claiming that both the Redskins and the Cleveland Indians - another team also under review - are known "for their strength, not their weakness."
Personalities such as former PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay, IllumiNative Crystal founder, Echo Hawk, and several authors and professors who signed the letter, appeal for the change "to ensure that the continuing damage is not perpetuated by anyone."
Now, the dilemma is not trivial, nor is the overthrow of the statues of conquistadors and slaveowners across the country.
On one hand, we must make amends for the past, introduce into textbooks and our streets that hidden or even ominous part of history, which we carry with us today in the form of prejudice, trauma and inequalities that come from far away. On the other hand, we run the risk that, by suppressing rather than re-contextualizing, we will forget what was and still is carved into our skins and the abysmal social and economic differences that exist for one and the other.
How should the Redskins be renamed, the Northwest cowboys? Or will they, like Prince, be known as the "former Redskins?" A team whose new name we can barely remember.
What if the Redskins, instead of avoiding all conflict and the fear of being singled out, rewrote their emblem and the racist and imperialist scourge of "redskin" and devoted part of their considerable resources and visibility to making the history and worth of Native Americans in this country that was theirs before anyone else's?
That would be a touchdown you wouldn't forget.