Would You Call Someone a Redskin?

People have asked me whether or not the mascot “Redskins” is racist. I would, as a general rule, ask you to use the name of a mascot in its literal context. Would you ever call a black, white, and orange bird an Oriole? Would you ever call a bottle-nosed water mammal a Dolphin? Would you ever call an American from the Northeast a Yankee? Would you ever call a sea-faring band of pillaging Norwegians Vikings? Would you ever call a person from Ireland Irish?
Most people would say yes in all these circumstances. Now, would you ever call an indigenous person from North America a redskin? If you could, would you ever call them one to their face? If you can honestly answer yes to either of these two questions, than I would recommend washing your mouth with soap. In my adult life I have surrounded myself around many indigenous people from North America. I have married into an indigenous family. If I were to call my in-laws redskins, I would unquestionably be ostracized from that family and community. Redskin is unquestionably the most offensive name in sports, and it is finally time to retire the mascot.

 

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