The Instigator
Buggie111
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
demimorin
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Should the Washington Redskins change their name to something less racist towards Native Americans?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Buggie111
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2014 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,173 times Debate No: 45763
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

Buggie111

Pro

Should the Washington Redskins change their team name to something less racist? Or should it stay the same?

FORMAT:
Round 1: Statement of Acceptance
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals
Round 5: Closing Arguments

And I guess that's it. Here I go, with my first debate! Best of luck to con!
demimorin

Con

I accept this debate. I do not think they should have to change their name.
Debate Round No. 1
Buggie111

Pro

(Before starting, apologies for the use of all of the racial epiphets in this argument. Given the subject, it is relevant. No harm meant.

The Washington Redskins should strongly consider changing their name from its current racist name to a more neutral one. My arguments will be made in numbered format as follows.
1. "Redskin" is usually intended as a racial epithet
Dating back to the colonial era, "redskin" meant Native American, just like the term "nigger" was disparaging towards African Americans. Continued use of this phrase is as offensive towards Native Americans as the aforementioned noun when directed towards African Americans. An applicable example would be something like what is stated in Courtland Milloy"s "Pride to One Is Prejudice To Another", a football game between the Whities and Darkies, or Honkeys and Niggers.
2. The name was assigned to the team based on a falsehood
Back in 1932, when the Redskins moved from Boston to Washington, their owner decided to name the team after their head coach, William Henry Dietz, who claimed that he was half Sioux. However, his trustworthiness should be questioned. He had previously claimed to be the head of an American propaganda company during World War One and had gotten out of the draft by filing as a Non-Citizen Indian, using the name of a man who had disappeared from and Oglala reservation 23 years earlier and twelve years older than Dietz (http://nmai.si.edu..., Waggoner, On Trial: The Washington Redskins Wily Mascot). The team name honors no one and simply promotes an unpatriotic and greedy action by a lying man.
3. Changing the name would be profitable for Dan Snyder and the Redskins
While teams with smaller fanbases have had difficulty amassing funds to change their team name, the Redskins are able financially to change their name. What"s more, a change could potentially increase revenue for Washington. While the costs of changing the name would be minimal, (including redesigning the font for the team name, rewording their website and other instances of their name), Washington"s dedicated fanbase would more than make up for the spending by purchasing copious amounts of merchandise with a slightly altered name. For a money-first guy like Snyder, this is perfect.
4. Changing the name isn't difficult.
It has been shown by other teams (after a 2005 NCAA ruling that racist names would be barred from bowl competition), like the University of Utah, Miami University of Ohio, and Southern Nazarene University, as well as large amounts of high schools and DIII schools, that a racist team mascot can be changed with very little issue. If Snyder decides to change the team name, a host of options are available that include names that would utilize the current mascot. Examples include the Washington Warriors, Scouts, Veterans, Soldiers, Dragoons, Braves. None of these are of a negative connotation, and all of them actually honor specific groups of people, like Indian scouts for the U.S Army, and veterans of various wars.
demimorin

Con

While i do respect, understand and agree on some instances of yo argument by stance remains the same,

The name yes, was falsely based, and changing it may be easy and somewhat profitable, whats truly the point? I think all Native Americans should know by now that they are in no way purposely the intent of some racist act. The name wasn't based on racism, they have had the name for the entirety of the teams years, and while it can be perceived as racist - it's not.

The original purpose of the name as you stated was to honor who they thought the team's coach was, not to offend any of the natives. Changing the name serves know real purpose.
Debate Round No. 2
Buggie111

Pro

Alas, since Dietz was not Native American, the name honors no one. And it offends a large amount of Native Americans. Although the majority of Native American polls on this subject result in large amount of "I favor the current name" results, ranging from 71% to 89%, the polls themselves are significantly flawed. Not only was the notable Annenberg Election Poll of 2004 saturated with many self-identifying Native Americans who are not actually of tribal heritage (no questions were asked during the survey to verify one's claims of NA heritage), the survey also only consisted of telephone owning, registered voters (http://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org...).

With NA turnout below 50% these past two general elections years (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...), the real Native Americans among the 768 contacted by Annenberg were probably relatively wealthy, conservative people who generally oppose these types of movements (A similar poll mishap can be found in the 1932 Presidential Election, where a small Gallup survey of 10,000 Census listings proved way more accurate than 2 million telephone calls by Readers' Digest). The true amount of Native Americans who oppose this movement is unknown, but much closer to 50% than the polls state,

If at least 1.5 million Americans feel offended by a name that comes up throughout the year on various TV channels, then a rename does serve a purpose. And if it costs so little, why not do it?

Con, time's yours.
demimorin

Con

Valid point - But think of it this way, the reason behind the name was never intended to discriminate against another race so wouldn't you say the way some are reacting is in some sense slightly too sensitive? (I say that with no intention of racially offending anyone).
Debate Round No. 3
Buggie111

Pro

While I accept that the name was not intended to harm or disparage anyone, I doubt that we can be "too sensitive", at least when it comes to a semi-national level of notability like a professional football team. Moves to rename potentially racist high school and college names like in North Dakota, Utah, and many other locations have not somehow lowered and debased the reputations of NA tribes supporting renaming, so I don't see the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians losing face over this controversy. In fact, even the dissenting comments on the YouTube page of an NCAI advertisement () don't attack what would purportedly, under your argument, be increased levels of sensitivity. I doubt there's any minus for American Indians in this campaign, except maybe advertisement costs...
demimorin

Con

demimorin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Buggie111

Pro

Con forfeited previous round, so I presume her arguments, as well as mine still stand. With that being said, vote Pro.
demimorin

Con

demimorin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
Buggie111demimorinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 3 years ago
Jifpop09
Buggie111demimorinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Buggie111demimorinTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit