I am not a Redskin

( – promoted by navajo)

Last week the Washington Redskins scored a legal victory for themselves and another moral failure for American Judicial system.  Patent and Trademark law and the investment of millions of dollars into a racist name and a stereotyped image assured another few years of denigrating headlines, repeated televised use of an outdated slur, and the continued monolithic pace of American jurisprudence.  

Last week the Washington Redskins scored a legal victory for themselves and another moral failure for American Judicial system.  Patent and Trademark law and the investment of millions of dollars into a racist name and a stereotyped image assured another few years of denigrating headlines, repeated televised use of an outdated slur, and the continued monolithic pace of American jurisprudence.  

The Marshall Model or the Marshall Trilogy form the basis for “federal Indian law.”  http://academic.udayton.edu/…

(I use quotes as the debate within the Native American community over the use of the term Indians remains vigorous, is the use of the term Indian to describe North America’s indigenous people a slur, was Columbus’s folly a proper moniker for the thousands of commnuities of people here prior to the colonization and enslavement of “America”?)

The Marshall Model incorporates the “Doctrine of Discovery” which summarized finds that tribes are domestic dependent nations, pre-existing sovereigns, which are subject to domination because of their inherent inferiority as “savages” (if you ask me this kind of tortured legal logic is barbaric in itself).  Due to the inherent inferiority of the thousands of tribes, the handicap of their race requires the United States federal government to treat the tribes “as a guardian to his ward” (this creates the whole basis for the federal trust situation, where the federal government is supposed to manage the Native’s lands for their benefit [trust law requiring a trustee, trustor, and res or property to be managed by the trustee]).

This “language of racism” (see Robert Williams “Like a Loaded Weapon”) continues to dominate our jurisprudence and our culture.  http://www.arizonanativenet.co…

So how is this language of racism reflected?  Most recently, in U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly decision on the Redskin’s patent and trademark victory.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/…  Here, the Judge found that the litigants ahd waited too long to file a claim, that the term “Redskin’s” was so insulting and racially offensive that it should not be granted the protection’s of copyright laws.

While I need not run through the various races and hypothesize about the outrage that would exist if there existed various football, baseball, and hockey teams named after stereotypes of other races I will list a few of the ones that America feels are accceptable in terms of denigrating the “pre’existing sovereigns”:  The Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians, the Kansas City Cheifs, the University of North Dakota “Fighting Sioux”, the University of Illinois “Fighting Illini”…and their associated mascots and cheerleaders.

The UN has protected rights for indigenous people under international law and treaties, which the United States, the world’s leader in protecting human rights (until 2000), has so progressively refused to sign and make itself subject to (See US v. Dann and associated OAS rulings finding that the US failed to give due process and property rights to the Western Shoshone).  

I find it amazing that America, where all property holding slave owning white men who don’t want to pay taxes are created equal, continues both in an abherrent jurisprudence based on racial superiority and continues to justify the disparate treatment of the “pre-existing sovereign” in the role of our “guardian”.

Later this month a decision in the Cobell trial is expected, a trial which has lasted 12 years and found various Cabinet secretaries in contempt and the US continually and historically in violation of their duty as trustee.  Yet in spite of the mismanagement of billions of dollars over a period of 100+ years, the government will find (Judge Robertson) that he doesn’t understand how misappropriating billions of dollars may have benefited the US government (talk about circular reasoning and tortured logic).

It has been less than 100 years since the “First Americans” were granted the right to vote and equality of citizenship.  And today, America denies it has a problem with race.  http://en.wikipedia.org/…  “We are post-racial” it is proclaimed.  Yet yesterday Dan Snyder and the NFL were granted the right to continue insulting me every Sunday.  And tomorrow, the US will steal billions of dollars it owes my peoples.  And the next day we will still be living in poverty on our reservations, lack the funds to build needed jails and judicial systems, and have federal funding for the Indian Health Service cut for a war of choice in which many of us serve.

Canada New Zealand and Australia have all apologized for their treatment of indegenous peoples, ranging from attempts to assimilate to outright genocide.  America has yet to do so.  The Senate, continues to refuse to recognize indigenous Hawaiians as native peoples (mainly upon Republican objection and post racial arguments).  

The Longest Walk II was completed this weekend, where issues from the environment to Native Sovereignty and America’s failures to honestly discuss race were raised.  Patricipants walked over 8,000 miles to draw attention to these causes.   http://www.longestwalk.org/ What becomes most apparent when viewing these issues together is that America has very, very far to go.

I am not a Redskin.  I am a patriot, a critic, and Anishnabe.  I am not a stereotype.

2 thoughts on “I am not a Redskin

  1. I wrote some letters to that team about the importance and benefit of changing that name.I also said that if they did need a racist name use the washiniton negroes,chinks,kikes,greasers,rednecks,white devils.But bsince all the other groups would lay hell upon there doorsteps they will of course defned against the group they fear least,native peoples.What is a shame though are the amount of football fans who attend the washington games,the broadcasters,and advertisers who see nothing wrong with such a brutal nickname.Even after you tell the history of the moniker they say o,well.

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