4 comments on “I’d like to know what you think?

  1. Well, Captain…..you put in so many issues in one article, not sure which you want answered.

    What’s wrong with “red” or “black” or “yellow”? That’s the one I want to address. RU Serious? Words have no specific power – they are inert. The only way they have power is the way they are used. Might as well ask what is wrong with some other words…..well, WTF for instance….what’s wrong with that? It is just a couple of words in a question. What’s wrong with the word FAT? So I tell someone they are FAT…it’s just a perfectly good word. I don’t mean anything special, just a descriptor – but, if you are the one I am addressing and you have low self esteem about your weight and you are a female, that word could do a lot of harm. I grew up in Asia – when people were called “yellow” they didn’t like it much. Just a word? No- It is a slur. A punch in the gut. It is demeaning and minimizing. It is a form of verbal bullying. If I don’t like you calling me the “c” word (perfectly harmless word, right) do you have a right to do it just because it means nothing to you? You might want to take some sensitivity training (not politically correct training).

    • Thank you for your comment. You are entitled to your opinion, a right all free people should enjoy. It would appear you experienced some form of prejudice and that is horrible. Maybe that’s your reason for your outlook which is valid. I’ve seen that and it’s abhorrent. Back in the sixties I was a head football coach and helped break the color barrier for black athlete’s in a county in the south. I’m proud that these men honored me after fifty years. Things were different then – my tires were slit so many times, I considered buying stock in Firestone. It was a little tough on us and a lot tough on the youth in the program. We elected to teach equality, not sensitivity. It worked. We stressed they should be proud to be what they were – black. I look at the “s” word, sensitivity, as a synonym for another “s” word, separation. Today’s society seems to embrace monolithic thought – if you don’t agree with me you’re wrong. Hostility evidences itself. Character and capabilities are the measure of a human – not their affluence, their education, their religion, and most certainly not their race. I respect your opinion. Semantics are definitely important, but actions, not words, are the final arbitrator of humanity.

      PS -As I mentioned ASLTW – There are pics on my website of the event mentioned above.

  2. Great question, I like to see people asking a question instead of justifying what they believe to be true while building a knowledge base to understand why. So I applaud you for your question.

    In my opinion, and from what I have discovered while traveling the US. I have learned that what America identities as “Native American Indians” in the US and Canada, really should be identified as 1st Nations People. The phrase “Red Skins” is a derogatory term used initially by white settlers identifying all 1st Nations People as one group.

    Actually first Nations People had their own system of government with treaties and serving as agreements between the thousands of villages, tribes, councils and nations, covering all of what became North America.

    The force assimilation of the 1st Nations People into American culture is an unknown story in American history. Some of the nations capitulated an at that time not knowing the meaning of the derogatory word “Red Skin”.
    Very few 1st Nations People spoke out against the word and over time time most communities never fought to change the word while others did.

    We as American have evolved from many horrible atrocities of our past to realize and understand those wrongs. We as a country need to understand our history and how it follows up into our future. So changing the name from Red Skins to a more appropriate name will show how far we have evolved as a nation to understand our history to be inclusive of those our ancestors took advantage of during a horrible time of our country.

    For more information check the links below for more information. Check out the number of separate tribes, villages, and nations listed and identified. A large majority have died due to America taking their lands and forcing them to reservations. Also look at the Canadian links also for research. Great information and a lot that we don’t know.

    Take the tour of the Smithsonian’s Museum in Washington DC and you will cry for those who were killed and displaced. It is essential we as American learn from our past to avoid making the same horrible decisions in our future.

    http://www.bia.gov

    http://www.indians.org/articles/crow-indians.html

    http://www.nmai.si.edu

  3. I agree with the historical information you presented. It isn’t one that cloaked our fore-bearers in glory. If there were (or are) practical ways to reverse the despicable facts, I’m for it. Unfortunately, history is just that. We simply can’t change it by using a semantics exercise. It may make folks “feel” better, but materially it doesn’t accomplish a thing.

    I agree that referring to an individual as a “red skin” is deplorable because it could be interpreted as a slur. Some of my southern friends are offended by the terms “cracker” or “red neck” though this branding seems to be acceptable(?). Remember, we’re discussing a football team’s name.

    Where does that leave us? We can change the name of the Washington team, we can level Manhattan, declare all non-native Americans as illegal immigrants and deport them, have a “Wounded Knee” for 1st Nation’s People where they select those to be slaughtered, etc. I know this sounds “smart-ass,” but I don’t mean it to be. We can’t undo history. AND, I’m sorry, but I didn’t participate in any of the actions above NOR WOULD I. I’m not responsible for that.

    Then what can we do? This is where our opinions differ. You see forcing all those who disagree with a semantics approach to solving the problem as a means to an end. After that, what actual benefit accrues to those people SO DEEPLY aggrieved?

    I see the solution differently. To me the term “Red Skin” is a noble one. It signifies a proud and noble people, who suffered greatly. I know that the Seminole Nation likes, not objects to, the use of their proud name as the Florida State football team’s name. I choose to celebrate the 1st Nation’s People, and honestly, I don’t care what color they are.

    Would it make more sense to expend effort to strive to provide free-enterprise grants (not loans) to indigenous 1st Nation’s People so they can participate in prosperity that in a large part has been denied them? How about freeing them from regulations they don’t want or need that are imposed by others? There are no greater custodians of the land – why not give them a greater say in guiding ecological matters? My opinion is that the effort spent in linguistics would be better spent in lobbying in the halls of congress.

    We are Americans and we differ in our opinions. I don’t believe your opinion is wrong, just different. The thing I really object to is our nation’s increasing tolerance for monolithic positions and thinking. This is fascism, communism, and Nazism personified. Once we become a monolithic society, we’re doomed.

    Thank you for a differing, but well-reasoned opinion.

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