June 24, 2014

Don’t Say the R-Word!

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

The word is now rendered unspeakable –too crude and crass for Polite Society.  And not only is the NFL team name Redskins on its way out because the contemporary American culture seeks for things about which it can be offended, and subsequently comforted by the Mommy State, but they “are just getting started.”  So claims Suzan Shown Harjo, who is apparently one of six plaintiffs and the “Harjo” in the case Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., as she thunders in Politico Magazine that “Fighting the R-Word is Only the Beginning.”

Harjo is Cheyenne, which I also happen to be, and is Really Mad that the team name is (and I quote) “the worst word that is used about us in the English language.”  This is, as the story goes, because way back in the 19th century “some states issued bounty proclamations for exterminating Native American people and providing the bloody ‘red skins’ as proof of ‘Indian kill.'”

You forgot about that use of the term didn’t you? Racist. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

That is basically what is happening here, and in every other place where the Therapeutic State (hat tip to Paul Gottfried for the genius phrase), and its culture of witch hunts against all who hurt the feelings of designated victim groups, threatens to enforce Approvable Language Standards.

This truly is the age of guilt politics, of using the awful machine of the State to act as Jiminy Cricket with a sword.  It’s not almost over. We can’t just wait this thing out.  It is not simply a cheap trend that will make a peaceful exit if we “Just Elect a Republican!”™.  Oh, no, there is a tidal wave coming:

And we are just getting started. We will not give up, no matter what future rulings say. We intend to change not only the Washington team’s name, but the names of other sports franchises that treat us as mascots or relics —as if we had died out as a people long ago. If Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington football team, finally sees the light and agrees to drop his franchise’s despicable name, it will prove to be an important precedent in professional sports. We have already had tremendous success at the local and college level, where governing bodies are less concerned about dollars and more sensitive to their communities. Since 1970, when the University of Oklahoma retired its mascot “Little Red,” colleges and elementary, middle and high schools nationwide have dropped more than 2,000 such “Indian” stereotypes from their athletic programs. By our count that’s more than two-thirds of all such names, meaning we have a little more than 900 to go.

There are 3,000 unspeakable stereotypes –of Indians alone! — and you will not rest until you recognize each of them and feel sorry for your Hatred against those whom you didn’t know you hated.

As for me, also having Indian (Native American, whatever you want to call me) in my blood, I can tell you this is all absurd.  The claim is that, if you are not part of [insert Designated Victim Group here], then you can’t argue with the victims! Well that is a bunch of baloney. But since I do happen to have such a family background, I hereby release you of the guilt that you are supposed to be feeling for being non-Indian.

Can’t we get past this childish behavior of crying to anyone who will listen (and making them listen if they don’t want to) to our feelings of despair because someone said a word that we didn’t like? First world problem much? And how enlightened these Progressives look when they hark back to 19th century occurrences as the foundation for their war on language.  As if every time someone said “redskin” they are secretly implying that their greatest desire at the moment is to initiate racial genocide. Good grief.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com
  • Patrick T. McWilliams

    I wonder how long it’ll take them to outlaw the ridiculous stuff that’s hawked as decorations for St. Patrick’s Day? Talk about a stereotype…