Native American Rights Fund Applauds Sponsors of Proposed Offensive 'Redskins' Trademark Legislation

ICTMN Staff
3/26/13

 

On March 21, H.R. 1278, was introduced in the House by Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) and nine co-sponsors in hopes to ban the trademarking of the term “redskins” and other racist language against Native Americans, a move the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) fully supports.

The Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, if passed, would strip the Washington football team of its trademarked name and put a stop to its exclusive profiteering from using the racist slur in its logo on sweatshirts, tee shirts, caps, coffee mugs, and dozens of other products flooding the market, Indian Country Today Media Network reported on March 21.

“NARF commends Rep. Faleomavaega and all the original sponsors of this important bill, which sends a clear signal that some members of Congress do not take anti-Native stereotyping and discrimination lightly. These Representatives now join Native American nations, organizations and people who have lost patience with the intransigence of the Washington pro football franchise in holding on to the indefensible – a racial epithet masquerading as a team name,” a statement from the nonprofit law firm said.

“NARF also commends all those individuals in the on-going Harjo and Blackhorse proceedings in federal agencies and courts for their tireless advocacy attempting in righting this wrong. While these cases have yet to succeed, they have provided the springboard for legislative efforts like the new bill,” the statement continued.

NARF has been representing the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) ), the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC)), and the Tulsa Indian Coalition Against Racism (TICAR) as amici curiae in Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc. The firm has been involved with the cases for more than 20 years including organizing amici briefs in support of the Native petition for Supreme Court review.

The fight over race-based stereotyping and behavior in sports has gone on for years and has included only one meeting between Natives and an owner of the Washington football team – that was in 1972 with then president Edward Bennett Williams.

“While there is enormous uplifting good in the human spirit, racism is the dark side of humanity that has caused much suffering among our diverse human family. [Lanham Act, 15 U.S.c. §] Section 1052(a) wisely recognizes that one basic manifestation of prejudice, discrimination, or racism is the use of racially derogatory names, caricatures, or stereotypes that disparage peoples and persons and hold them up to contempt and ridicule; and this statute safeguards citizens through the registration of such trademarks,” NARF said.

“Native nations and citizens have a treaty, trust and special relationship with the United States, and rely on the federal government more than any other segment of society to make certain that its actions do no harm. Because of the duty of care owed to Indian tribes and people by the Department of Commerce, it is incumbent upon them to strictly enforce the provisions of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), in order to safeguard Indian tribes and citizens from racially or culturally disparaging federal trademarks.”

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

michael johnson's picture
michael johnson
Submitted by michael johnson on
HAIL the redskins,everyday in every way'A i'am a redskin, can't change my colors,A' don' try to be a cowboy,you'l make me sick,i 'll donate you to hell like you never seen, back off my redskins or bite the bullet,A'Y THE TLINGETS WANT SOME tell your sons and daughters,thr TLINGETS ARE COMING.

Victoria Mudd's picture
Victoria Mudd
Submitted by Victoria Mudd on
Thank god! Thank you NARF and all those involved in helping to achieve this much needed change!

DIANE NEWBY's picture
DIANE NEWBY
Submitted by DIANE NEWBY on
I LIVE IN NORTHERN WI. WE ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH SPEARING THIS YEAR. WHEN THE TRITTY WAS SIGHED, IT WAS FOR 100% INDIANS NOT HALF BREADS,I THINK THERE RIGHT SHOULD BE FOR ONLY PURE INDIANS NOT HALF , THERE WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM IF THAT WAS THE WAY IT WAS NOW. BACK THEN A HALF WHITE HALF INDIAN WAS THE LOWEST THING AROUND. LETS GO BACK TO THAT.

DIANE NEWBY's picture
DIANE NEWBY
Submitted by DIANE NEWBY on
I LIVE IN NORTHERN WI. WE ARE HAVING A PROBLEM WITH SPEARING THIS YEAR. WHEN THE TRITTY WAS SIGHED, IT WAS FOR 100% INDIANS NOT HALF BREADS,I THINK THERE RIGHT SHOULD BE FOR ONLY PURE INDIANS NOT HALF , THERE WOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM IF THAT WAS THE WAY IT WAS NOW. BACK THEN A HALF WHITE HALF INDIAN WAS THE LOWEST THING AROUND. LETS GO BACK TO THAT.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
FINALLY! Our country is over 200 years old and we're finally making some strides in racism against Native Americans. Shame on those who insist that using a derogatory term is somehow "honoring" Native Americans.

Reynold Sonny Cawker's picture
Reynold Sonny Cawker
Submitted by Reynold Sonny Cawker on
"Sticks and stones my break my bones, but names (words) will never hurt me". Names and words only have power over you if you allow it to happen. Rise above the pettiness. Be better than those peoples who feign an affront and then turn around and use the same disrespect behind closed doors when we are with our own. Perhaps these stories and comments should be posted on ICTMN's "THIING ABOUT SKINS" section.
6