67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘Redskins’ Is Offensive
Joe Feagin, the Ella C. McFadden and distinguished professor in the department of sociology at Texas A&M University, who has worked with Fenelon, agrees. “One key to the fallacious polls is that a great many whites claim Native ancestry, especially when anonymously called. In evaluating typical national random sample surveys, the key question about the survey is who are the ‘Native’ Americans they surveyed? A great many white Americans, for example, claim Native American ancestry (including my Scotch-Irish rural grandfather), with either no evidence or credibility or very tiny ancestry generations back.”
Fenelon and Feagin said that the only Natives who should be polled in a serious survey are those who are “active enrolled members of tribal groups.” In other words, there appears to be no evidence that the 768 persons polled were even enrolled members of a tribe. And it’s this fact that some polling might bleed with inaccuracies.
"This is the first such survey to know that the respondents were and are actually Native people," Fenelon said of his 'Redskins' survey which was conducted similarly to the one back in 1995.
“My poll numbers on whites and other groups are probably accurate,” Fenelon said. “[But] their polling with Natives is clearly off.”
But, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder says the results of the AP poll are “solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months” and “we respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making.”
But Feagin says that this is the point that Snyder needs clarification on. “One can say to Snyder, ‘If some number of Jews today do not find 'kike' offensive to them, would you still name your football team 'kike'?" And why do you ignore the views of most major Native American rights organizations on this matter? Don't they count in this discussion? And why have you not studied Native American history and contacted major scholars on these issues for their views of how the R-word has been used by whites for racist reasons, historically?”
Feagin, a leading scholar on Native racial and ethnic issues and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, questioned why no one had contacted him.
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