Magazine article Insight on the News

Renaming Redskins Would Demean Indians. (the Last Word)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Renaming Redskins Would Demean Indians. (the Last Word)

Article excerpt

In a decision that reverberated from coast to coast, Iowa's Sweet Corn Technical Institute in Des Moines voted to change the name and logo of its athletic teams from the "Grasshoppers" to the "Indians," a course running counter to current fashion. "This tribute to the courage, dignity and historical tenacity of an often-derided minority is long overdue," said Athletic Director Giffer Goffer.

"We are proud to emphasize our cultural kinship with a group which in the face of overwhelming odds during this nation's founding maintained ethnic pride and whose accomplishments since should bring a blush, so to speak, of admiration to us all" he added after the unanimous vote of students and faculty.

News of the Sweet Corn decision caused the New York Times to reverse one of that paper's more foolish policies: A Times editorial thundered that "it is about time the silly campaigns by local governments and many schools to eliminate such team names as `Indians,' `Braves' and `Redskins' is recognized for the absurdity that it is. We regret our past endorsement of such demeaning efforts to deny America's indigenous people the emblematic prominence they deserve. It is inspiriting that this challenge comes from Des Moines, the heartland of the heartland, and we trust the bold decision will be emulated widely."

The Washington Post, noting the Times' policy retreat, several days later also published a lead editorial: "Bravo to the faculty and students of Sweet Corn Technical Institute for asserting that symbols can be eloquent. For our part, this newspaper will no longer use the term `Native Americans,' realizing that the very imprecise usage is insensitive to immigrants and their descendants. We salute Iowa's Democratic senator, Tom Harkin, for his quick appreciation of the decision in his state: `What's good enough for Sweet Corn is good enough for me,' the ultraliberal Harkin said at a press conference."

Whoa! Enough whimsical improbability.

The cult of "victimhood" first cousin to multicultural faddism, is too embedded at the moment for any actual transition to mother wit to occur. Indeed, there is a bow-wave of enthusiasm for promoting "group identities" and erasing supposed denigration of minorities. This daft confusion of perspective was exemplified by former vice president Al Gore, when at a campaign rally he slyly translated one of the nation's mottos, E pluribus unum (From Many, One) as "From One, Many." When questions arose, his handlers insisted the reversal was inadvertent.

The most recent nonsense comes from -- where else? -the nation's capital. An organization composed of representatives from the city and surrounding jurisdictions passed a resolution urging that the owner of the Washington Redskins professional football team change its name by next season. …

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