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Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Not Enough of Us to Matter

As a Native American, sure I'd like for Washington D.C. to change the name of its mascot and all the announcers to stop using it. There's a surprisingly long list of things announcers cannot say on air--just add the "R" word (amongst other 'R' words that can't be said). That would be a good public relations move. Advance your career. Get your name on the growing list of announcers who'll "refrain from the name" and watch your paycheck increase from all the talk shows you'll be on explaining how you "finally decided it's not a good idea to offend anyone."
Won't happen.
The team from D.C. will change its mascot's name when too much money is lost. Of course. Everybody knows that. Red might be the topic but the bottom line is green. He knows and I know he can call the team anything he likes. The owner also has an Ace up his sleeve.  Bet he's thinking, "There's not many Native Americans anymore, right? There's not some 'National Association for the Advancement of Cherokee People' I don't know about is there? How many Native Americans are there? Not enough to matter? F 'em."
When I was a kid, the local TV station played "The 4 O'clock Film" every weekday. This was the late 60's, early '70's and civil rights were progressing. But every day at 4 p.m this station ran things from "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" to "Tarzan." Reportedly, everything  from 'black face' to 'collecting scalps' played. Grandma wouldn't let us see it. Pretty soon protests and pickets came. Eventually, the only films deemed acceptable were"Cowboy and Indian" ones. They didn't even call them 'westerns.' Who'd care?
As for 'celebrity support' for the name, who'd want to cross Mike  Ditka in his viral rant about the 'politically correct idiots' who dare think the name is offensive? You don't want Coach Ditka to think you're a 'pansy' do you?' The owner and his sports legend buddies make public statements on the 'stupidity of PC' and how we've gotten too soft in this country when it comes to offending people.' As a Native American, it's entertaining watching the white male broadcasters 'explain' why the name is some kind of honor.  It comes across as "not a rich, white man problem? Then not a problem!" At present, no African-American broadcaster has tried to convince me in TV Land  to 'get over'  the mascot's name.'
Truth? The mascot name reminds me of being in grammar school, 'escorted' to the lunchroom where a teacher sprinkled flour on my face in front of everyone  because she said I "just wasn't quite white." I think she got the idea from the movie "Billy Jack."

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