Natives Speaking for Themselves About the Redskins Controversy
It's a simple idea whose time has come: American Indians speaking up about the Washington Redskins team name and mascot. Artist Gregg Deal has watched the debate occur in the public square and, like many Natives (including Gyasi Ross -- great minds do think alike) has been frustrated that the discussions in the mainstream media are happening with little to no Indigenous input. Getting rid of the Redskin logo is easily written off as a "white liberal cause." In the bigger picture, non-Native talking heads presume to speak for Indians: The Redskins issue is framed as something "they" (Indians) care about or "they" don't. Shouldn't we let "them" say it for themselves? "It ultimately looks like a 'shut up Indian, the adults are talking' attitude," Deal says.
Here's Deal's response: A big shotgun-blast of real Natives saying how they really feel. No Bob Costas, no Rick Reilly, no Dan Snyder, no Barack Obama. This video is 100% Native:
"My video will show that not only are Indigenous peoples still here but also that we are united on the 'Indian' mascot issue," Deal tells ICTMN. "The issue that comes into play is how to get some of these Native people the chance to speak when they are spread out all across the country. That’s where this video will make the most impact." Here's Deal talking about his project:
Deal has launched a Tumblr site for the campaign -- changethename.tumblr.com -- and he's also putting updates on twitter @the_lame_sauce. Deal was last seen on this site tackling issues of Native visibility with his "Last American Indian on Earth" performance art.