Slate Editor Proudly Proclaims Magazine Will No Longer Use ‘Redskins’ Name

Just in time for the start of the NFL's preseason, the leftist online publication Slate is fed up with the hateful nickname of that NFL team in Washington. On Thursday, editor David Plotz self-righteously penned an article announcing that Slate will no longer refer to that team as the “Redskins.”

Plotz explained in the second paragraph: “For decades, American Indian activists and others have been asking, urging, and haranguing the Washington Redskins to ditch their nickname, calling it a racist slur and an insult to Indians.” You would think that if Plotz were really so concerned about offensive language, he would use the term “Native Americans” rather than “Indians.” We have long since learned that they are not from India or the Indies, and yet the incorrect term “Indians” has stuck.

Plotz griped that the name “Redskins” has been opposed by Native American activists, a group in the House of Representatives, a handful of newspapers, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, and sportswriter Tony Kornheiser. But he failed to mention that the majority of Americans have no problem with the nickname. An AP-GfK poll conducted in May found that nearly four in five Americans did not think the team should change its name, while only 11 percent favored a name change.

Additionally, there's no credible data to show Native Americans are seething over the team's name, either. A survey done by the Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2003 and 2004 found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name.

The clamor for a name change appears to be coming from a relatively small number of politically liberal Native Americans, and from white liberals in the media. It could turn into a dangerous and slippery slope. For if the Redskins are pressured to change their name, shouldn’t the Cleveland Indians change theirs as well? What about the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, and the many high schools and colleges that use Native American-themed nicknames? While we’re at it, let’s coerce Notre Dame to change its nickname as well. “Fighting Irish” is demeaning to our Irish-American brothers and sisters.

Plotz admitted that the name “Redskins” was “only a bit offensive” because it has a “relatively innocent history.” Native Americans in the 1700s used the term “red skin” to describe themselves, and European settlers typically used it in a descriptive way, not an insulting one. But now, according to Plotz, the name is “extremely tacky and dated” and must be scrapped.

This seems to be another example of a liberal media outlet trying to jam political correctness down our throats, even if most of us don’t want it.

[Read the full Slate article here.]

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.