The Redskins' Name - Catching Racism

September 25, 2014 - Steven Johnson 09/25/2014 Views: 1,189,535

Jason Jones speaks with Native American activists as well as devoted football fans about the Washington Redskins' controversial team name. (7:19)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK!

SO RECENTLY WE SENT OUR INTREPIDREPORTER JASON JONES

OUT TO THE FIELD TOEXPLORE THE PHENOMENON OF A

CERTAIN WASHINGTON D.C.'SFOOTBALL TEAM'S CONTROVERSIAL

NAME. WE LEARNEDLATER THAT SOME OF THE

INDIVIDUALS WHO PARTICIPATED INTHE PIECE, THEY DIDN'T

ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE. (LAUGHTER)

IT'S SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS ALOT LESS THAN YOU WOULD THINK.

BUT WE TAKE THE COMPLAINTSERIOUSLY.

WE GENERALLY DON'T WANT PEOPLEWHO PARTICIPATE IN THE SHOW TO

HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE.

WE WORK VERY HARD TO FIND REALPEOPLE WHO HAVE REAL BELIEFS AND

WANT TO EXPRESS THOSE BELIEFS ONTELEVISION AND WE WORK HARD TO

MAKE SURE THAT THE GIST OF THOSEBELIEFS ARE RESPECTED

ACCURATELY -- ALBEIT SOMETIMESCOMEDICALLY ON OUR PROGRAM.

(LAUGHTER)IF WE FIND OUT THAT SOMEONE IN A

PIECE WAS INTENTIONALLY MISLEDOR IF THEIR COMMENTS WERE

INTENTIONALLY MISREPRESENTED, WEDO NOT AIR THAT PIECE.

WE WOULD NOT AIR THAT PIECE.

SO THAT BEING SAID, I HOPE YOUENJOY THE FOLLOWING PIECE.

(LAUGHTER)>> FOOTBALL IS BACK, AND ONCE

AGAIN, THE WASHINGTON REDSKINSARE GETTING THEIR ASS KICKED.

BUT THIS TIME INSTEAD OF COWBOYSAND PATRIOTS, IT'S BY LIBERAL

ACTIVISTS.

>> A MOVE IS UNDERWAY TO CHANGETHE NAME.

CRITICS SAY IT'S OFFENSIVE TONATIVE AMERICANS.

>> BUT ACCORDING TO CHIEF DANIELSNYDER OF REDSKIN NATION, THE

ONLY CRIME HIS PEOPLE HAVECOMMITTED

IS BEING MISUNDERSTOOD.

>> THE NAME OF OUR TEAM IS THENAME OF OUR TEAM AND IT

REPRESENTS HONOR, IT REPRESENTSPRIDE, IT REPRESENTS RESPECT.

>> WELL, THAT DOESN'T SOUND THATBAD.

SO WHY WAS THIS GROUP OF NATIVEAMERICAN ACTIVISTS SO UPSET?

>> IT'S A NAME THAT IMPAIRS,DISABLES, DISENFRANCHISES OUR

POPULATION.

>> THE MOST POPULAR MASCOTS INTHE COUNTRY ARE INDIANS AND

ANIMALS.

>> RIGHT.

BECAUSE WE ALL LOVE ANIMALS ANDWE ALL LOVE INDIANS.

>> WE'RE NOT MASCOTS.>> WE'RE NOT MASCOTS.

>> WE'RE NOT MASCOTS.

>> THAT'S A DICTIONARYDEFINED RACIAL SLUR.

>> YEAH BUT THAT'S ACCORDING TOWHAT?

>> THE DICTIONARY.

>> OK BUT PLENTY OF WORDS IN THEDICTIONARY HAVE MULTIPLE

MEANINGS. IT JUST TURNS OUTTHIS ONE DOESN'T.

HELP ME OUT, WHITE MAN.

>> TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, YOU CANTAKE THINGS OUT OF CONTEXT ALL

OVER THE PLACE BUT IN THISPARTICULAR CASE IT IS WHAT

IT IS, IT'S VERY OBVIOUS.

THAT THE NAME REALLY MEANSHONOR.

>> HONORING WHAT?

>> YOUR STRONG, PROUD,COURAGEOUS, BRAVE HERITAGE.

>> REDSKINS IS A BOUNTY.

>> IT MEANT PROOF OF INDIANKILL.

>> WELL WHEN YOU PUT IT LIKETHAT, IT SOUNDS TERRIBLE.

PUT IT IN CONTEXT ON SUNDAYS -->> AND SATURDAYS AND FRIDAY

NIGHTS.

>> AND MONDAYS.>> AND LIVING IN D.C. EVERY DAY.

>> AND THURSDAY NIGHTS.

>> DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TOBE A NATIVE IN THIS TOWN?

>> I DON'T. I DON'T. TERRIBLE.

>> TO WALK DOWN THE STREET EVERYSINGLE DAY AND BE SURROUNDED BY

THAT IMAGERY AND BEING TOLDTO GET OVER IT?

>> NO BECAUSE...>> CAUSE, CAUSE, CAUSE...

>> YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO, JUSTBECAUSE I'M UNCOMFORTABLE

DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO MAKEFUN OF MY UNCOMFORTABLENESS.

YOU DON'T SEE ME DOING THAT TOPEOPLE.

>> SURE THESE NATIVE AMERICANACTIVISTS MAKE A COMPELLING

CASE. THAT IS UNTIL YOUHEAR WHAT IS AT STAKE

FOR THE TRUE VICTIMS. THE FANS.

>> IF THE REDSKINS NAME ISCHANGED AND I HAVE

CHILDREN ONE DAY, WHAT WOULD IPASS ON TO THEM?

>> IT'D BE TOUGH. IT WOULD BELIKE LOSING A FAMILY MEMBER.

>> AND THEY'VE ALREADY LOST SOMUCH, 58 STARTING

QUARTERBACKS, 28 HEAD COACHES,12 UNIFORMS WITH TEN LOGOS,

PLAYING IN FIVE STADIUMS AND TWOCITIES.

THEY EVEN CHANGED THEIR NAMEONCE BEFORE SO FORGIVE THEM FOR

CLINGING TO WHAT FEW TRADITIONSREMAIN.

(SINGING FIGHT SONG)>> SING IT.

>>(SINGING) FIGHT FOR OLD D.C.

>> I HAVE AN OLDER COMPUTER. IPULLED IT UP ON NETSCAPE.

BUT IT SEEMS LIKE YOU DIDN'T SAYTHE WORD "SCALP 'EM."

>> IT ALSO SAYS WHOMP THEM, TOO.

>> OH, SO THE SONG CHANGED.

>> OBVIOUSLY THAT WASCHANGED FOR SENSITIVITY REASONS.

>> AND THE TEAM SENSITIVITYHAS PAID OFF. I MEAN,

RIGHT HERE ON THE HOME PAGE OFTHE WEB SITE DANIEL SNYDER PAID

FOR, IT SAYS THAT, IN 2004, APOLL FOUND THAT 90% OF NATIVE

AMERICANS DID NOT FIND THE NAMEOFFENSIVE.

>> THE ANNENBERG REPORT, THEFUNNY THING ABOUT THE ANNENBERG

REPORT IS THAT IT WASCONDUCTED IN PENNSYLVANIA BY

SELF-IDENTIFYING INDIGENOUSPEOPLE WHICH MEANS IT COULD HAVE

BEEN ANYBODY OFF THE STREET THATSAYS OH YEAH, MY GREAT GREAT

GREAT GRANDMOTHER WAS A CHEROKEEPRINCESS.

>> COME ON. WHO WOULD DO THAT?

>> MY GREAT GREAT GREATGRANDFATHER WAS FULL BLOOD

CHEROKEE.>> SHOW OF HANDS, WHO HAS

HAS CHEROKEE HERE? ANY NATIVEAMERICAN.

BRIAN, WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOU?

>> CHEROKEE.

BUT I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH ORLITTLE.

>> RIGHT.

>> I'M ACTUALLY ONE-TWELFTH.

>> ONE-TWELFTH CHEROKEE.

>> AS ONE-TWELFTH CHEROKEE I AMNOT OFFENDED.

>> WHICH MEANT THAT THEREWAS ONLY ONE QUESTION FOR THE

OTHER 11/12. AREN'T YOUBEING A LITTLE SENSITIVE?

>> AFTER EVERY SINGLE THING THATAMERICAN INDIAN PEOPLE HAVE

BEEN THROUGH, HOW CAN YOUPOSSIBLY SAY THAT WE ARE

THIN-SKINNED AND OVERSENSITIVE?WE HAVE TO SAY THINGS LIKE,

CULTURAL SENSITIVITY BECAUSE ASWE SAY RACISM OR RACIST --

>> NO ONE SAID RACIST.>> THE WHOLE ARGUMENT SHUTS

DOWN.>> EXACTLY. NO ONE SAID RACISM.

>> THE TERM IS RACIST.

>> OK, I'M SHUTTING THISCONVERSATION DOWN.

>> OK, SO REDSKI -- ALL RIGHT,THE WASHINGTON TEAM NAME WAS

STARTING TO FEEL A LITTLEINSENSITIVE. WHAT WAS I MISSING?

>> WHAT I WOULD SAY IS, COME TOA FOOTBALL GAME, MEET SOME

FANS, COME SEE WHAT OURCONTEXT IS ABOUT AND I THINK,

YOU KNOW, THERE'S NO WAY YOUWOULD LEAVE THAT OFFENDED.

>> SO I WENT TO A GAME. AND YOUKNOW WHAT, IT WAS TRUE

I WAS IMMEDIATELY WELCOMED INTOTHIS RICH CULTURE,

AND I'M NOT SURE WHAT ITWAS, BUT THE MORE TIME I SPENT

WITH THESE PEOPLE, THE MORE IBEGAN TO FEEL WARM AND HAPPY AND

NUMB AND, THEY WERE RIGHT, THATLOGO IS COOL!

BUT THEN I MET WITH TRIBALELDERS.

>> THIS IS OUR CULTURE.

THIS IS WHO WE ARE.

>> WOULD YOU CALL A NATIVEAMERICAN A REDSKIN?

>> DO YOU KNOW ANY NATIVEAMERICANS?

>> YEAH, ABOUT EIGHT OF THEM.

>> AM I NOT NATIVE AMERICAN?

WAS I NOT BORN IN THIS COUNTRY?

>> I DON'T WANT TO AUTHORIZETHAT.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

THIS WAS A CULTURE SO PROUD THEYDIDN'T EVEN WANT THEIR FACE ON

TV EVEN AFTER THEY HAD SIGNEDOUR RELEASE FORMS.

>> I WENT TO A GAME.

LET ME ASK YOU, IF YOU BROUGHT ANATIVE AMERICAN,

WOULDN'T THEY BE A LITTLE UPSET?

>> I THINK THE CONVERSATIONTHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IS

THAT WE NEED TO BE SITTING DOWN,TALKING TO THE PEOPLE THAT

ACTUALLY ARE OFFENDED.

>> A LITTLE LATER, WE DID JUSTTHAT.

BUT IT TURNS OUT THESE FANSWEREN'T COMFORTABLE HAVING THAT

CONVERSATION.

IN FACT, AFTERWARD, THEY RELAYEDTO "THE WASHINGTON POST" THAT

THEY FELT AMBUSHED, IN DANGERAND DEFAMED AND, YES,

THE CONVERSATION WAS HEATED ATTIMES BUT THERE WERE ALSO

HANDSHAKES AND EVEN THECEREMONIAL HANDKERCHIEF.

IN THE END, THEY SAID THEY STILLWOULD HAVE GONE ON THE SHOW HAD

THEY KNOWN THERE WOULD BEA DEBATE BUT AT LEAST ONE OF

THEM WOULDN'T HAVE WORN HIS REDSKINS JACKET WHICH FORCES THE

QUESTION -->> IF THEY CHANGE THE TEAM NAME,

WOULD YOU STILL ROOT FOR THEM?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> UNEQUIVOCALLY.

>> I WOULDN'T HIDE MY REDSKINSMEMORABILIA.

IT WOULD STILL BE ON THE WALLS,THE BELT WOULD STILL BE ON THE

SHOULDER. THEY'LL ALWAYSBE REDSKINS TO ME.

>> THERE WE GO. PROBLEM SOLVED.

HEY, HE WHO STANDS ON THE WRONGSIDE OF HISTORY,

CHANGE THE (BLEEP) NAME. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Jon: JASON JONES. WE'LL BERIGHT BACK.