Redskins Trademark Decision Means Phips Bounty Hunt Is Almost Over

Ray Cook

Actor Chief Dan George said it best when describing the post-civil war, new model of Indian survival in the classic movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales, “We shall endeavor to persevere.” Yesterday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office decided that the term Redskins when applied to sport team names is disparaging to Natives. It is indeed a good day to live.

However, I am not about to start singing “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” just yet. We still have to survive the tsunami of backlash that is sure to come.

Most sports fans will blame Obama or the Democrats (Democan’ts) for their PC attitude—never mind that it’s an attitude that was shared by many Republicans, as demonstrated by the statements of support for the name change that continue to pour in. After more than half a century of Natives raising the subject of this offensive name before public officials in Washington, this issue finally became the latest writing on the wall of Congress. We have allies on both sides of the aisle in our coalition.

Pro-Football Inc. and Snyder are predicted to appeal the decision to a higher court or have the decision reviewed by a court. I believe it will be a waste of time. If only the courts always recognized our push to remain culturally and politically distinct from the rest of the country. Let me amend that: Some of us work to remain distinct. Others have joined, blessed, blew smoke and banged drums in solidarity with Snyder for the cost of a winter jacket, and 50-yard line tickets. But it is summer now and the sun does shine on those who wait. Who persevere.

Bravo to the 5 young ones who picked up the war staff in the Blackhorse petition and continued the charge when it seemed we were beaten.

Today, life is good, worth living and worth sending gratitude to all who helped and to those who helped but are now gone and to the Creator for teaching us patience, humility and the power of righteousness.

Back to the game. The fat lady did not sing yet and it is down to the last desperate quarter. The beast is cornered and thusly at its most dangerous and mean. As for the sporty Americans who take umbrage, the bar room and locker room arguments (we call it dialogue) and cat calls are just beginning. So, get used to that.

Our chore of winning hearts and minds is likewise just beginning. This is not about a name, it is about squashing a way of life, an attitude and belief system that rose its ugly head the day we witnessed our first massacre and subsequent man hunt to kill and scalp the redskins of this continents first peoples for bounty in English pounds.

Ray Cook is ICTMN's opinions editor.

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Mark Stuber's picture
How did the Phipps Proclamation ever get associated with the Red Skins controversy? You do realize that the term "red skin" isn't even mentioned. I don't even think the word "skin" or "red" is even in it. I will have to re-read to check. I read it again. My memory is correct. Those words are not in it either. http://abbemuseum.org/research/wabanaki/timeline/proclamation.html
Mark Stuber
DownDirtRoad's picture
Where the term is used. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/news/redskin-name-update
Lynne McCreary's picture
I am still working on the Native American charter School named "Little Redskins" and teaching it was a Honor for warriors. And that over 70% asked of the Native Americans said leave the name there is no insult. What about them? Have you won? or have you lost now that it is very clear that there may be every bit the end fighting between the Native people and the tribes and where they wish to stand in the world. Have we not been clearly told that those yelling do not speak for the most of the Nations. While the few yelling scream those against them are not Native Americans. i know the hurt was done by both side for money. And again 2 wrongs do not make a right. But who is alive from either side to be taken to trail for the evils? Of who living has this gone on that either should be pointed too? PC has gotten nowhere as there is always a new PC someone has to catch up with. And those who do not want the words used are the very ones screaming them for the world to hear. maybe PC is to take people for who they are and know as humans there are some people one to one won't like each other. And sometimes that one person should not be liked? Red Mesa High School in AZ. A Native American Reservation School has no problem with their foot ball team being Redskins. I am sure these young people are proud. As are all those before them. just as proud as those who earned at the Little Redskins school and camp are. And the choice of pride or offense is how each sees it. sometimes the pain you cause others are your own you hurt.
Lynne McCreary

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