Opinion: More than just a name

Opinion: More than just a name

Brian Martin

The name Redskin has been a name that today’s society has become too accustomed to. Little do people know the history of the name Redskin and knowing what it means and what it represents. We have teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cleveland Indians, and the Chicago Blackhawks in professional sports that haven’t changed their names due to how long they’ve had the logo. This is absolutely no excuse, especially when others have already changed their names, like the Washington Redskins. 

These organizations planted the seeds in a country where more than 2000 schools represent Native American culture, including Neshaminy Highschool. The excuse of “We’ve had the logo and name forever” is way outdated. In addition to this, we don’t give a second thought about how someone of that culture feels about this. How would it feel to have your ancestors mocked and made fun of by having their name blasted around this country? 

How does it feel to have your heritage be made fun of by uneducated people who dress up like them, try to talk like them, and make props that Natives used in their everyday lives? We teach bullying, but not straight-up ridiculing someone’s history. We are forced to know Roman, European, and American history, but we are imperceptive when it comes to learning about the Native Americans. 

If people knew what this name represents and the history that it carries, would we really keep on using it? People deserve the right to know and understand the true problem behind the Redskin name and logo. For one, it’s downright offensive, racist, embarrassing, and a false representation of people. Let’s also not forget that if it weren’t for the Native Americans, we wouldn’t have been able to survive here because of the harsh conditions. They, out of the kindness of their souls, came to our aid, and we repaid them with mockery, jokes, and a complete lack of respect. 

According to fivethirtyeight.com, more and more schools are trying to remove the Redskin names along with others. Approximately 2000 secondary schools have Native American names; this is a huge drop off from the 4500 schools back in 1990. There has been significant progress in changing this. According to thegaurdian.com, there has literally been a countless number of petitions signed to remove Native American names. 

“Before using their names, we should make sure they’re ok with it. We don’t know enough about them for us to use their names, and it’s sad to see that people actually want to keep it.” – Anonymous.

People around the country also believe that the name is wrong and that it should be changed. According to fivethirtyeight.com, 61% of Americans believe that using Native American names shouldn’t be allowed at all. This statistic shows us that there is humanity, morality, and dignity within people to see that we are disrespecting the culture, the tribe, and even their way of life. Insulting human beings who have more than earned the right to allow us to use their names or not. 

¨I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.¨ -Jackie Robinson.