From "In their words: 12 Native Americans talk about the furor over the Redskins name" in The Washington Post, following a Washington Post poll that showed 9 out of 10 Native Americans don't have a problem with the football team name Washington Redskins.
The NYT also has an article following up on the WaPo poll results: "A Heated Linguistic Debate: What Makes ‘Redskins’ a Slur?" The title really gives away the elitism of the NYT viewpoint, doesn't it? Excerpt:
Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley, who served as an expert for Native Americans petitioning to have the federal government cancel the Washington Redskins organization’s trademark registration, said the term was a qualified form of a reclaimed epithet. Some scholastic teams in Indian country have nicknames that include Redskins and Braves, he said, sort of as a way to say, “If you want redskin savages, then we’ll give you redskin savages.”I like getting some scholarly analysis, but when you're examining American culture and find yourself going back to “F Troop” and “Davy Crockett" to exemplify the cultural stereotype, you should be questioning your data. "Davy Crockett" was on TV from 1954-1955.
“It’s used in those schools in that reclaimed way,” Mr. Nunberg said. “But that doesn’t license its use by third parties.”
The term has come to be associated with hostility, and savagery, and a mélange of popular culture stereotypes that include “F Troop” and “Davy Crockett,” removed in some way from the fact of sustained genocide and mistreatment.
That was long ago. I'm old enough to remember watching it, but don't remember how the Native American characters were portrayed. The white people seem like absurd stereotypes though, including Buddy Ebsen, a decade before he became America's #1 hillbilly. Okay, here. That's a scene with Native American characters.
"F Troop" is a more recent artifact of American cultural history. It was on the air from 1965 to 1967. That was half a century ago. The Native American were — as Brent Cox put it in "The Joys And Derangement Of 'F Troop'" — "New York Italian and Jewish comics... doing... standard Borscht Belt schtick":
I'd be embarrassed to write what I thought was a serious article about "What Makes 'Redskins' a Slur" and to use “F Troop” and “Davy Crockett" and only “F Troop” and “Davy Crockett" as my references for anything currently living in American popular culture. The NYT is choosing present its views in the pose of elite opinion, and then it does nothing to earn respect as a purveyor of scholarly analysis. That's embarrassing. And it's beyond embarrassing when it's part of a sustained attack on someone else's business, as it is here.