The decision this week by the Washington Redskins to change its team name was long, long, LONG overdue.
The term “redskin” is — and always has been — a racist reference to Native Americans.
For anyone who doubts that notion, just think about all of the western movies that have permeated our culture for almost 100 years. When the hero would say something like, “Let’s kill all of those thievin’ redskins,” (or something similar), the use of the term “redskin” was meant to dehumanize Native Americans.
It certainly was not a complimentary term.
We should point out that the obnoxious and arrogant owner of the Washington football team for years has ridiculed any suggestion that he change the team’s name.
It finally was the force of economics, not a sudden surge of altruism, that prompted the team’s about-face. When various team sponsors — who themselves became motivated to do so only in light of recent events — threatened to remove their millions of dollars of revenue, that finally is what got the team ownership’s attention.
So we’re happy to see that yet another vestige of America’s racist past is falling. There still is a lot more to do, but changing the name of Washington’s football team is yet another step in the right direction as we acknowledge and renounce our racist and genocidal past.
To quote the Sam Cooke song:
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change’s gonna come, oh, yes, it will