The Washington Post released a poll on Thursday, which showed that 90% of Native Americans do not take offense to the word, Redskins. The sports media responded to this poll by apologizing for decades of fear-mongering, race-baiting, and trying to make a national crisis out of something that is not even a crisis in the Indian community.
Just kidding. They freaked out.
On ESPN’s Around the Horn, host Tony Reali asked his panel whether or not the fact that the supposedly offended Native Americans, being not so offended, changed their views on the issue?
Spoiler alert: it didn’t:
Tony: Native Americans appear far less concerned about the team name than Washingtonians. Israel, Does this new poll change the way you view the debate over the name?
Israel: It doesn't for me. Let's just say you go 9%, 10% of native Americans find it offensive and 21% or more kind it disturbing. That's enough for me. Okay? It could just be that others don't know the history of it and therefore aren't offended. But this debate of tradition with the football team vs. Something that could possibly be offensive or is offensive to several people, I don't even understand why that's even a debate, why one should carry any weight over the over. And I've seen a lot of things online, whether it be from the nation tweeting out a picture of an old flyer basically saying $200 for every r-skin, that is found dead, or you can kill or what have you, so they're putting bounty on heads. There's no much history there. Maybe even native Americans don't know the history. But there are enough that do know the history of that word and find it offensive. The numbers are plenty to say, yes, it's worth changing the debate.
Pablo: It's illuminating and edifying. If there was a national survey, because now we're getting contrary polls and who knows what they would claim empirically ultimately. But if we were to have that big American idol-style vote, that would be edifying and illuminating, yes. My argument has never been it's 9% or 30%. It's a matter of principle. We will not turn dictionary defined slurs into mascots. That's a general broad principle as a policy that I continue to stand on, because number one, it's very sad when someone like the person who is quoted in that survey, one of the people who said this is our only form of representation, that's a sad substitute if that is the case. Second thing is, I think our conversation around race is worse when we reduce people to cartoon characters, as a policy. That opens the door to other things but absolutely still stands in this case.
Tony: J.A., how do you consider that this is, say, 9% not offended when polls with a greater population seem to have a different opinion?
J.A: Well, either way, Tony, you want to avoid the tyranny of the majority. That's something that the framers of the constitution instituted into our democracy. And I think that's something that should apply here, even if the majority is within the particular group that we're talking about. If they say they are not offended by the nickname of the team or by the terms. What about those who are? And that's the bottom line. No matter how large or small the group that is offended, why go through the bother, the expense of offending them when you don't have to? There's no need to name the team this way. And you should just take that into account. Would a reasonable person find a way to be offended by this team? If you say yes, get rid of the name.
Tony: So, you don't care if it's 9%, if it's 99%?
J.A.: Also, the percentages ignore the fact that it could still be a large number of people.
Amazing, how the take from Israel Gutierrez --not a Native American-- appears to be that the reason why the numbers of offended aren’t higher, is because the Native Americans in question don’t know their own history. In other words, that they happen to be too dumb to know they should be offended.
Also, interesting is J.A. Adande’s take that although the percentage of the offended is small, it could still constitute a large number of people. After all, only 10% of Native Americans may be offended, but 10% of roughly 5,000,000 is still 500,000 people. Which is a lot.
Well, 46% of Americans believe that transgender people should have to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender at birth. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 319 million people in America. 46% of 319 million is 146,740,000 people. Just a shade higher than 500,000.
Yet, what if I were to ask J.A. Adande and Israel Gutierrez if the transgender bathroom policy was worth offending so many people? I’d be willing to bet good money they’d answer in the affirmative.
Math is fun!
Moral of the story, the Washington Post poll is a shining testament to the fact that the sports media’s jihad against the Reskins has absolutely nothing to do with Native Americans, and everything to do with a social justice warrior vendetta against a Republican owner who donates to GOP candidates and has Fox News anchors in the owner’s box as guests.
Nothing more to see here.