October 21, 2009

"Having a black man hobbling around on national TV in an Indian costume trivializes both of America's original sins — the enslavement of Africans and the genocide of indigenous peoples."

"At least get him out of the public eye. Those who want to keep the team's racist name are quick to say it's honorific, a term of endearment that shows respect for Native Americans. And yet, inadvertently though it may be, Chief Zee stands as pitiful proof to the contrary. How can supporters of the name claim to care about indigenous peoples when they care so little for the Indian caricature of their own making?"

87 comments:

Salamandyr said...

Oh wah.

Is he going to cry about the Viking helmets in Minneapolis, and the leprechauns at Notre Dame next?

traditionalguy said...

America's sins will never be forgiven until there is no more extortion money available.I suggest we give them double Sky Miles and a travel brochure for beautiful Zimbabwe so that they will feel better about being born here when they get back home.

David said...

Hobbling around? At least he didn't say shuffling.

Robin said...

I went to the article, and in addition to the tiresome rewrite of history, he seems to think it's absolutely critical to limit our speech based on his rewrite. And also to punish anyone who's ever used the speech he wants to forbid.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I wonder if when he dies, his replacement will come out in an Indian costume and wearing blackface.

Gordon Freece said...

Have some sympathy. The poor guy doesn't get paid if he doesn't write something, so there it is. Words in a row. I don't think he really cares all that much about the stupid mascot, if you get right down to it.

Word verification: "uncilaze", meaning "to convert into a corny-fake-Irishy leprechaun typeface". While we're on the subject of stupid ethnic mascots. As an American with an Irish name, do I have a right to bore people by complaining about Notre Dadme?

elHombre said...

@Chief Zee: "Are you now, Chief, or have you ever been ... offensive?"

Chase said...

Genocide of indigenous peoples?

Dictionary.com:–noun
the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.


Genocide?
The Holocaust? - Yes.
The Armenian Genocide? - Yes.
Rwanda? - Yes

Indigenous peoples of what is now the United States? - No.



Who are you - Ward Churchill?

ricpic said...

Courtland Milloy: protecting Chief Zee from...Chief Zee.

edutcher said...

First, the "indigenous" people came from Siberia; like everyone else, they're immigrants.

Second, I seem to recall Her Majesty's Navy went to considerable effort to stop the trafficking in human flesh from the eastern side of the Atlantic by the indigenous people.

Finally, this rant's been used for 50 years to blackmail ethnic performers to tow the Alinsky line.

This guy's doing what he does to support the team on his own.
No pay, no nothin'

Chief Zee should get on Beck or Cavuto and tell Malloy and the WaPo to stick it.

Cook, garage, and Montagne start fulminating in 3, 2, 1 ...

elHombre said...

Dammit, Chase! You are supposed to be using the "Dictionary of Convenient Leftist Usage."

"Genocide" is in there along with "fascist", "racist", "hate crime", "distraction", etc. You know. All those.

p.t. fogger said...

Heck, I miss Chief Knocka-Homa:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Noc-A-Homa

Fred4Pres said...

I am not surprised that the owners of the Washington Redskins are cheapos.

And I must agree, the humilation of ethnic mascots must stop. I hear they even toss them!

Fred4Pres said...

Is it okay to have your son at a Patriots game hold up a sign saying:

Tom Brady: Are you my daddy?

Now I ask, is that wrong?

rhhardin said...

Kinky Friedman (spiritual indian voice): You can't own land, you can't own a horse or a dog or a waterfall, you can only own a casino.

real audio.

Fred4Pres said...

Death of a Mascot (I warn you, it is brutal).

And what about this guy?

MnMark said...

Whatever other criticisms you want to make of white people - for slavery, etc - at least we did one really good thing: we brought diversity to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Think about it: before we came there were just indigenous people here! Living their sterile little unicultural lives without the soul-satisfying enrichments of multicultural and multiethnic diversity. What kind of meaning could there have been in their lives for all those centuries before us, when they were ignorant of the many foods, styles of music, languages, and cultural norms of the rest of the world? Pathetic! And then we came, by the millions, and brought others of many cultures with us by the millions, and introduced the indigenous people to so very many wonderful things.

And now the indigenous people on their reservations have so many things their ancestors never did: they can go to Taco Bell, they can listen to hip hop music, and get all sorts of liquor real cheap.

So blame us for the bad things, but give us credit for introducing multiculturalism into the Americas! As the situation of the Native Americans teaches us, good things happen when foreigners arrive by the millions!

rhhardin said...

claim to care about indigenous peoples

There's the misunderstading. We don't care about indigenous peoples.

Or cowbogenous peoples either.

All the caring is in the victim action.

Fred4Pres said...

Misogynistic Mascots

Fred4Pres said...

Sad Mascot

Titus said...

Jerry Brown is suing my beautiful Indain husband's bank for 200 mill.

I am furious.

chickenlittle said...

Whatever other criticisms you want to make of white people - for slavery, etc - at least we did one really good thing: we brought diversity to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Like different natural hair colors for example. Otherwise it would just be black.
Same with Asia.
Conformity.
Boring!

Fred4Pres said...

Sad reaction to mascot controversy.

Titus said...

Althouse knows what my Indian husband looks like and she said he is very cute. Hee Hee

Seneca the Younger said...

You know, it's funny. I'm a Choctaw; my cousin married an Eskimo woman, Inuit.

The only people I know who say anything but "Indian" and "Eskimo" are the Professional Native Americans who make their living being outraged.

Like my erstwhile colleague Ward Churchill, who turns out to be a Professional Native American, but not a real indian.

ddh said...

If Washington changed the mascot to a potato, then the Redskins could keep their name. Tuber-Americans would be proud. And these days, the team plays like a bunch of potatoes, anyway.

John Lynch said...

It must suck when people don't feel guilty.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Blacks can't be racist. THat's already been established.

chickenlittle said...

Jerry Brown is suing my beautiful Indain husband's bank for 200 mill.

I am furious.


@Titus: Meg Whitman will be running against Jerry Brown next year for Califonia Guv. Just FYI.

Joseph said...

I think there are far more important issues to be worried about but I do think its offensive to use a caricature of a Native American as a mascot for a football team. The team isn't deliberately ridiculing Native Americans but its not honorific in any way. And its nothing like the Vikings or the ND Irish. Those are honorific because they are mascots for an area settled by Scandanavians and a school that is mostly Irish Catholic. And worst of all, the team sucks.

traditionalguy said...

Joseph...See it the way you want to, but the tribes of native Americans were savage and courageous fighters...Braves. Until Adam Lambert's day that was considered a high complement among the men savagely playing sports games with other men in America. It was the equivalent of calling themselves Navy Seals or Special Forces. But by all means feel bad about it if it makes you feel a special vintage guilt. There was a terrible robbery of lands carried out against the the tribes Colombus called "Indians".

Fred4Pres said...

If you are going to represent a race or people, you have to be good. Otherwise it is an insult!

And ND Fighting Sioux is an honorific.

I agree Redskins not so much.

chickenlittle said...

I agree Redskins not so much.

They should change their name to the Washington Pigskins. The name has historical football significance, is inanimate, and everyone already associates DC with pork.

Chase said...

Think about it: before we came there were just indigenous people here! Living their sterile little unicultural lives without the soul-satisfying enrichments of multicultural and multiethnic diversity.

Harvard archaeologist Steven LeBlanc in Constant Battle Chapter "Was There Ever an Eden", page 56:

The prehistoric Southwest, long known as home to the "peaceful Pueblo Indians" was racked by (intertribal)war. . . going back to a 1,000 years BC. And much more in his book.

There were no peaceful tribes prior to or after the entrance of Europeans:
The various tribes never lived together in harmony and mutual respect, no more than the Neolithic cultures of Europe, Asia, or Africa coexisted without desperate and punishing conflict. Societies among the Indians and all other aboriginal peoples conducted devastating wars against one another that at times became struggles for domination, conquest, replacement, or even extermination. "The 10 Big Lies bout America", pages 34 - 35.

William said...

Times change. Their mascot is obsolete. It no longer seems right and proper to use ethnic names for teams. And this includes the Vikings and the Celtics. It's extremely rare for a Norwegian or Irish person to ever start for those teams. It just seems stupid. The Brooklyn Dagos, the Bronx Hymies, the Milwaukee Krauts. If we are going to honor some ethnicities, shouldn't we honor all.....I've never understood how Cleveland has been able to keep their blatantly steretypical mascot all these years......OK, there are more important issues, but Washington's inability to negotiate around this trivia does not signify competence in other areas.

Synova said...

"...that was considered a high complement among the men savagely playing sports games with other men in America. It was the equivalent of calling themselves Navy Seals or Special Forces."

Granted, it's still a caricature that ignores the broad reality of any people group that includes not only "braves" but also "whiners" and "doofuses" and "cowards."

Still... the thing is that there have been really horrible things done to Native Americans, and not that long ago. After the wars and mass killings were "Indian Schools" and later than that, sterilizations done by bleeding-heart do-gooders on teenage girls without consent or even informing them.

None-the-less... fussing until sports teams stop using Native American references and mascots will not IMPROVE public knowledge of these things.

If nothing else, "trivial" or not, it works to make Native Americans visible in our popular culture. The alternative really is invisibility if you live anywhere that Native Americans are not locally prominent.

Penny said...

Let's hope Chief Zee is spared from finding out about this article.

It sounds like he has gone through quite a bit, and still comes back, perhaps because this unofficial job gives his life purpose.

Synova said...

Heh... maybe the truth is closer to the Steve Erwin Effect.

There were Australians who really hated the fact that world-wide the answer to the question "Can you name someone from Australia?" was "Steve Erwin."

Maybe they'd really have preferred if the answer was, "Huh? No. Waitaminute... there are people in Australia?"

William said...

I'm thinking they could steal a page from the Packers and call themselves the Washington Spenders. Green uniforms with dollar signs on the helmets. The headlines practically write themselves: overcome early deficit; last quarter fumbles; flair plays. The sportswriters would bless their name every game they went to.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Can anyone shed some light on this line from the article?:

"The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear a lawsuit arguing that the "Redskins" trademark violates standards of decency."

There are standards of decency that are the business of SCOTUS, now? How does this work?

Also, told from a different perspective, I think that this would be a very sweet story. Nice, old man, a little quirky, doing what he loves, even though most would find it odd. How can you dislike that?

Chip Ahoy said...

Hey ya hoy ya, hoy ya hey ya.
Hey ya hoy ya, hoy ya hey ya.

How.

Come. Sit by the campfire.
Smok'em peace pipe.

On the shore of Ahagotcha
By the shining big-sea water.
Stood and indian feller
Named, ooooh,
A mighty warrior named Pokahotpot.

He who reads the leaves there floating
Floating on the big-sea water
Fallen from the trees above him
As the wind through them had spoken

Warrior Pokahotpot read them
Mighty Pokahotpot read them
Read the leaves that lay there floating
Blown from trees that clearly spoken
Spoken of the end-times coming.
Spoken of the mascot weary
An old mascot who retires.

Seasons change and so do sport fans
Change the sport fans and the mascot
Time to change the tired mascot
Time the fans retire mascot
Hall of Fame dream days are finished
Cede the tomahawk and headdress
Hang the costume on a peg.

Puff.

Pogo said...

Yeah, go ahead and update it.

How about the DC Crips?

Accounts for the bulk of the current team I'll bet.

rhhardin said...

What's worse is the scalpers selling tickets outside the arena

Meade said...

@Titus, you and your cute husband should consider Madison if you're planning to raise a family. I hear it's rated very high for child-raising.

Michael McNeil said...

You know, it's funny. I'm a Choctaw; my cousin married an Eskimo woman, Inuit.

The only people I know who say anything but “Indian” and “Eskimo” are the Professional Native Americans who make their living being outraged.


With regard to the “Native American” versus “American Indian” controversy, you're quite correct, not only for the individuals you know, but for Indians across the country generally.

As this Census Dept. document reveals (pdf), a poll conducted a bit over a decade ago of folks reporting themselves as American Indians (of whatever name) reveals that a strong plurality, nearly a majority (49.76%), prefer the term “American Indian” over “Native American” for themselves, while a smaller minority (37.35%) prefer the latter designation (see Table IV on page 18).

Thus, those who really believe that peoples should in general be called whatever they want to be called, will embrace American Indian in lieu of Native American.

As far as “Eskimo” vs. ”Inuit” is concerned, while all the Eskimos of Canada and Greenland are Inuit (and where “Eskimo” is often regarded as being pejorative), the same can't be said for the Eskimos of Alaska.

The term “Inuit” refers to the Inupiat people of the general Eskimo family, and in Alaska the Inupiat traditionally inhabit only the far north of the state (and points east from there), while the Eskimos of the west (including easternmost Siberia), central and southern Alaska are either Yupik or the related Aleuts. Nor is the use of “Eskimo” in Alaska (or the U.S. for that matter) considered pejorative.

(My sister-in-law, by the way, and thus my nieces and nephews and all the their descendants are Chippewa, aka Ojibwa, Indians, though the later generations possess too low a proportion to be official members of the tribe.)

ricpic said...

Does this mean Titus will pop out the first child? Surely not her husband.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The Native Americans were as cruel and land-hungry with each other as the Caucasians were with them. Think Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas. But when the Caucasians won, they didn't eradicate the losers, like often happened in the past. And now, in the day of PC, the most recent "winners" have to be apologetic, while groups who were previously "winners" can be the victims.

MadisonMan said...

ddh, that's hilarious! Redskin stadium should sell only potato products, too.

Lefse, Fries, Baked Potatoes, Tater tots, . . .

J Lee said...

I've watched the Washington Redskins' offense perform this season, but reading the quote on top of this thread, I didn't realize Jason Campbell had changed his name to Chief Zee.

Methadras said...

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear a lawsuit arguing that the "Redskins" trademark violates standards of decency.

I hope they reject this nonsense on it's face and with prejudice. But oh no, we can't defame that wondrous of peaceful peoples, The Noble Savage. Can we? Oh what will we do? Just to throw a bomb into the mix. Since homosexuals co-opted American Black Slavery as a cultural rallying point of equating their struggle during the homosexual marriage debacle with that of American Slavery, I wonder how long it will be before they bareback their way onto American Indian struggle too. I mean, after all they just want to be included and recognized as a repressed minority, no?

Ralph L said...

Indians should never be mentioned, except as victims and casino owners, and never been seen if they're not suffering from small pox or bullet wounds.

ironrailsironweights said...

It no longer seems right and proper to use ethnic names for teams. And this includes the Vikings and the Celtics. It's extremely rare for a Norwegian or Irish person to ever start for those teams.

No surprise, considering that the NFL and NBA are about 70% black.

Peter

former law student said...

First of all, "Courtland Milloy" should shed his slave names (two surnames?) and replace it with something authentically African, like Kwame Uhuru or something.

Second, why deny a sick old man his heart's desire? Here, Milloy is being both ageist and healthist by dwelling on Chief Z's age and infirmities.

Third, who is to say that Chief Z is not part Native American? A fair amount of intermarriage between blacks and Indians has been well-documented.

Finally, the name "Redskins," like the names Bears, Lions, Giants, Vikings, etc. alludes to the fearsome strength and fighting spirit of their namesakes. Nothing about the NFL suggests mockery or denigration of the original nameholders. Now, if a book club or knitting circle adopted the name, "Redskins," that would be different.

class-factotum said...

There were no peaceful tribes prior to or after the entrance of Europeans

I'm not sure about that. The Mapuche women I worked with in Chile told me that Mapuche men never beat their wives -- didn't even know how to make a fist -- until the white folks showed up.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, life generally went to hell pretty quickly once those damn Europeans showed up.

Chase said...

class -
Nice anecdote. Hope that it could be true.

But:

1) that doesn't negate the evidence regarding tribe vs tribe warring.

2) The warring described above has to do with aggression and war against another tribe, not within a tribe on it's own members.


Thanks!

lucid said...

You gotta love a columnist who can keep finding such ingenious ways to asert and emphasize his own speical status as a victim.

dcm said...

yes, as chris rock said in '95 the giants should be remaned the new york nig..rs. fitting. houston honkies.

ethan said...

It's weird.

I don't remember clicking on a Stormfront link.

I must have been redirected.

Angst said...

Two comments:

First: Please note the the Redskins lost to the CHIEFS. (What, no outrage over their mascot as well?)

Second, While I really enjoyed talking to (and looking at) the four (4) Redskins cheerleaders that visited our skybox twice (2 times) during the game, IMHO Chief Zee represents true team loyalty.

A hugh caveat: One of the cheerleaders I talked to is married to a Marine currently in Afghanistan - a lovely, articulate lady. She and her husband represent everything that is wonderful about this country!

Semper Fi !

dcm said...

waco wetbacks? sounds like a good name.

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

I don't understand how Chief Zee trivializes slavery - is it merely the fact that he's black, or is it because he is old and black, or some other combination of factors that invokes our tragic slave past? He just tosses that line out there but - unless I am missing something - says nothing to justify or support it.

Diamondhead said...

If given a choice between lending their fearsome image to a football team and having their pitiful victimhood discussed in doleful tones on All Things Considered, I wonder what those courageous warriors of times past would choose.

dcm said...

the long beach beaners? classy.

dcm said...

the castro cocksuckers?

Methadras said...

The Detroit Dildos.

David said...

America must never forget what the Harlem Globetrotters did to the Washington Generals, year after brutal year.

dcm said...

the chico chinks?

Kev said...

As I pointed out in the comments to Milloy's article, one of the possible theories as to how the Redskins got their name in the first place was that the team started out in Boston, as the Braves (the football counterpart to the baseball Braves, who would move to Milwaukee and now hail from Atlanta). The two Boston teams, according to this theory, took their names from the colonists who dressed up like Indians during the Boston Tea Party.

Kev said...

One more thing:

Thus, those who really believe that peoples should in general be called whatever they want to be called, will embrace American Indian in lieu of Native American.

I still have this radical idea: Let's shed racial/ethnic identity politics completely and call people by--brace yourselves--their names.

WV: proph. The occupation of both our bloghostess and myself.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oh nooooes! Instalanch on the Ralph Lauren stick figure down there ↓ . More comments to that on Flickr than any of my other thousand photos.

Michael McNeil said...

I still have this radical idea: Let's shed racial/ethnic identity politics completely and call people by — brace yourselves — their names.

So, American Indians, right?

By the way, shouldn't Asian Indians be called “Bharatese” or some such?

Grim said...

Generally team names are based either on fearsome fighters (so the team can emulate such warriors) or something else people take pride in (Packers = meat packing). I fail to understand how that's demeaning.

MnMark said...

There were no peaceful tribes prior to or after the entrance of Europeans

I'm not sure about that. The Mapuche women I worked with in Chile told me that Mapuche men never beat their wives -- didn't even know how to make a fist -- until the white folks showed up.


Is this a joke? There are men on earth who "didn't know how to make a fist" and somehow they weren't wiped out by other tribes some time in the last several millenia?

I guess it's just too perfectly in line with the left-wing narrative about white men NOT to be true - the innocent, sweet native peoples who couldn't even make a fist until the white man taught them to hate.

Barf.

kentuckyliz said...

The Packers is an incredibly offensive mascot name...it's gay-bashing.

kentuckyliz said...

Why is mingling African American and Native American offensive?

Free people of color have intermarried--including these ethnic groups. It's theorized to be part of the heritage of Melungeons.

Atlantic Creoles

OK now that y'all know, stop being offended. You're welcome.

Matthew said...

I'm Sicilian. My people come from the most-conquered island in the history of the world.

Sicily has been conquered by:

The Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Lombards, Knights of Malta, Turks, Mamlukes, Arabs, Spanish, French, Vikings, and Germans...and was liberated by Americans, naturally.

I'm almost certain that several of my ancestors in the last 4,000 years were probably enslaved against their will ... and probably more than once.

And no one ever named a Football Team after us!

And Where's MY reparations?

African-Americans and American Indians have no idea how fortunate they truly are: the White Man's Burden is still with us; only now instead of bringing civilization and God to you, the task has been to infantilize you, and move you onto the reservation/plantation of the mind, and the government cheese line. All so that you may be further exploited under the guise of benevolence, and in the name of 'diversity'.

Talk about forests and trees! Someone needs to step back and see the bigger picture here.

Joe said...

Sports teams should be named to honor the most vivid aspect of the place they represent. Thus the Utah Jazz should become the Utah Polygamists and the Washington Redskins should become the Washington Assholes.

Kev said...

A while back, I said:

I still have this radical idea: Let's shed racial/ethnic identity politics completely and call people by — brace yourselves — their names.

And Michael McNeil responded:

So, American Indians, right?

Nope, I meant their individual names, as in I'd call you "Michael" and you'd call me "Kev" and screw all the group identity thing.

(Granted, there are still a few ways that group identities can be used towards a positive end--i.e. as a McNeil, you're probably part irish; I am as well, and we could celebrate that by quaffing a green beer on St. Patrick's Day. But if either of us, say, tried to demand reparations for our Irish ancestors getting screwed over when they first got to this country, that's where the wheels fall off this whole group identity business.)

amba said...

I know!

Why don't they change the name of the team to "the Cleveland Indigenous Peoples"?

Michael McNeil said...

Nope, I meant their individual names, as in I'd call you "Michael" and you'd call me "Kev" and screw all the group identity thing.

I see your point, but this sounds like a good way to avoid seeing the forest for the trees.

I know! How about if we name the individual cells in people's bodies, and get rid of folks' “individual names”! Or name the individual atoms in each cell instead of the cells….

Old RPM Daddy said...

Joe said: "Thus the Utah Jazz should become the Utah Polygamists and the Washington Redskins should become the Washington Assholes."

Utah Jazz doesn't make any sense until you remember they started out in New Orleans. And while I appreciate your proposal for D.C., I was leaning more along the lines of "Unindicted Co-conspirators."

That's actually the worst part of this whole thing. I wouldn't be against changing the Redskins' name, really, but I live in fear that the new name would be something really, really awful.

raf said...

Given the way it's been going, I think the "Cleveland Little Leaguers" might be appropriate for the baseball team. Maybe the "Pop Warners" for the football team? Nah, "Browns" is descriptive enough.

Comrade X said...

RIP Crazy Ray

Methadras said...

The Illinois Inuits. Has a nice ring to it.

class-factotum said...

Chase, yeah, I just rolled my eyes when I heard that (re men didn't know how to make fists until we white people ruined everything). It was all part of the "Life would be perfect if you white people weren't here" narrative.

Yeah. They wouldn't be fighting the Incas. They would have conquered human nature (look! no fists!) and lived in perfect harmony with each other and their neighbors.

It's all the white folks' fault that the Mapuche men drink and beat their wives.

The Mapuche were so vicious that the Spanish never conquered them, even though the Spanish had superior technology. From Wikipedia: "aldivia offered as a ransom for his life that he would evacuate the Spanish settlements in their lands and give them large herds of animals, but this was rejected and the Mapuche cut off his forearms, roasted and ate them in front of him before killing him and the priest[5]. Pedro MariƱo de Lobera also wrote that Valdivia offered to evacuate the lands of the Mapuche but says he was shortly after killed by an vengeful warrior named Pilmaiquen with a large club, saying Valdivia could not be trusted to keep his word once freed[6]. Lobera also says that a common story in Chile at the time was that that Valdivia was killed by giving him the gold that the Spaniards so desired; however, the gold was molten and was poured down Valdivia's throat[6]. According to a later legend, Lautaro took Valdivia to the Mapuche camp and put him to death after three days of torture, extracting his beating heart and eating it with the Mapuche leaders."

Beth said...

Mardi Gras Indians blow this whole mascot dilemma off the map.