Should the Washington Redskins change their name?
Debate Rounds (3)
*Please do not use racial slurs on this debate.
1) The origin of the word Redskins is that Native Americans were murdered and the colonists would take their "redskin" off their head
2) The most common mascots are Native Americans and animals. That's how much this name dehumanizes them
3) The reason it is offensive is the same reason lawn jockies are offensive. An oppressed people is not a novelty
4) It is a dictionary defined racial slur. You wouldn't call them the Washington Any Other Racial Slur
I think all these reasons trump the name being catchy.
KeithChan forfeited this round.
1) One reason why this name is okay is the usage. A lot of people think that just because you can link something to a racial slur does not make it racist. There are many racial slurs used to describe how people look (Black, White, Asian) and redskins is included in that list. It is not meant to be racist.
2) A BBC News Magazine online article by Tom Geoghegan (posted 9/13/2013) deals with the history of the term "redskins." It was used by natives in America to distinguish themselves from the Europeans. This tidbit comes from Ives Goddard, senior linguist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Goddard points out that a term used by the natives themselves is derogatory does not make any sense.
3) In rebuttal to your point about mascots, the point of a mascot is not to "dehumanize" things. Mascots are designed to represent power and superiority. The fiercer the mascot, the fiercer the team. This brings me to my final point.
4) The names of many sports teams are designed to be threatening (shown in previous point). The Native Americans, or "redskins" were quite scary, and opposed the colonists even if it risked their lives. It defines the spirit of the team (fierce and resilient), not a racist slur.
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