How About Them Redskins? No offense.

redskins helmet

A gladiator of the Washington DC cult whose name may not be spoken. We’re here to help. (Photo by Kieth Allison/Flickr)


[WARNING: The following essay contains irony. If you are allergic or immune to irony, do not read it. Your head could explode.]

The population of the civilized world, by which of course I mean most of the original 48 states (I won’t say which are not included, you know who I mean) is divided into 32 cults, each organized around a team of gladiators who compete regularly in giant arenas. The  gladiators’ ferocious combats are attended by tens of thousands of acolytes (they call themselves “fans”) and are watched on television by hundreds of thousands more. They involve the maneuvering of a small oval ball on a field, and frequently feature combatants being carried off with broken bones and scrambled brains.  The sect members wear the colors and symbols of their team, venerate its mascot, organize their lives around its combats, bet heavily on the outcomes, and devote their lives to adulation. The high priests of this culture become enormously rich.

But all is not well in this paradise. Of late, another cult has sprung up in the countryside whose values are toxic to those of fandom. Now, to be clear, there are many junior versions of the senior belief system, organized around milder combats around round balls, and even “pucks.” But these augment the 32, without in any way contradicting them. This new wave of political correctness, the PC Cult, is something else again.

The PC people just don’t like football. They think the gladiators should be so heavily padded that they can’t hurt each other. Really. They think the gladiators should be kept in cages under the bleachers between games to protect the general population. Their ideas never got any traction, even among the tiny minority of people who have no sect lives, until they zeroed in on the Washington Redskins.

The name, the PC people proclaimed, is an insult to Native Americans. For some reason, on this one the PCs are being taken seriously. One can ask: How comes it’s perfectly okay to refer to a person with black skin as “black,” but it’s a pejorative to refer to someone with red skin as “redskin?” Save your breath, the PCs already have the momentum.

It looks like the Redskin cult is going to have to do something. But what? Change its name to the universally accepted “Indians?” Perpetuate the stupid mistake of Christopher Columbus when he thought a Caribbean island was India, an obvious, glaring mistake that whiteskin Europeans have been too arrogant to admit for 500 years? That might get past the PC people, but it fails the “too dumb to live” test.

Maybe if we read a history book — wait, hear me out — we could find a suitable replacement name that couldn’t possibly offend anybody. You know, like Iroquois, a real Indian name, so to speak. They weren’t a tribe, you say, they were a confederation of tribes? Who cares? And the name is what? A name their enemies called them, meaning rattlesnake people? Worse than redskin? Oh, for crying out loud.

It’s the same with Mohawk, which means man-eaters, and Sioux, which means little rattlesnakes. It’s just as bad with the Delawares, who had to endure being known by the name of some British noble they never met, and who never met them (at least it wasn’t the Earl of Sandwich). The problem is that whiteskins learned the names of most redskin people by asking their neighbors, who lives over there? And rivalries being common, the answer was, oh, you mean those assholes? And that’s what those people over there came to be called.

So there’s no easy fix for a cult that wants to be identified as somehow Native American, but doesn’t have room on the helmet for all those letters. It doesn’t really make much sense anyway, Washington DC was built on a swamp, no Native Americans in their right minds would have lived there. Usually, NFL cults take their names from some traditional occupation of the area. Maybe they should take a hint from the town’s baseball team, which is called the Senators.

No, you’re right. That’s way too insulting. I guess we’ll just have to go with assholes.


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10 Responses to How About Them Redskins? No offense.

  1. Avery says:

    Some designer made a shirt at to support Native NGOs. It’s a great shirt, and I wear it with pride. But I’m not sure how wearing it is meant to protest the Redskins. Aren’t Whiteskins and Redskins both American skins? I thought that was the point of the country in the first place… eh, not like it matters anyway.

  2. Michael says:

    Spot on. I guess we could call them the ‘zeroes,’ but then it would probably offend some mathematician somewhere or perhaps an elderly Japanese pilot. Just more madness in a world where dogs are canine Americans and dead people are terminally inconvenienced and taxes are revenue enhancements, etc.

  3. Tom says:

    Good post Mr. Lewis (typo “There” should be “Their” in ‘There ideas never got any traction, ‘ not to be picky or all ‘English-teacher-ish’, which i’m not)

    Seems ever since the Roman Empire (hell, why not go back to Greece and the Olympics – a travesty for another post of yours i hope, lots of material) we’ve been enthralled of the whole idol worshiping, “ma tame’s better’n urine”, my town’s better, my country’s better, i’m better, nyah-nyah worldview. It’s all bullshit.

    No i mean it’s ALL bullshit – everything from the idea that we’re “wise apes” (they can’t even be bothered to be insulted with us for ruining their good name), that so-called ‘big brains’ were a good idea evolutionarily, agriculture, education, medicine, none of it means shit now that we’re on our way out and turnin’ out the lights behind us.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Rob says:

    The baseball team currently is the Nationals so actually the football team could take Senators. Though it seems to me both baseball and football St. Louis teams were Cardinals at one point – so they could also be named Nationals. Ahhhhhhh! You’ve got me talking sports – a complete waste in every way.

  5. Mike Kay says:

    Excellent, Mr. L.!

  6. SomeoneInAsia says:

    And that’s the sad story of America. A bunch of technologically advanced aliens came and took over the continent, and made life miserable for the natives. Later the aliens (well, some of them) felt bad about what they did and tried to get the (remaining) natives to live in peace with them. But the damage has already been done — and in many ways still continues to be done. (Many of the aliens are still hostile.) So the natives remain pissed and the dream of bringing about a happy state of harmonious coexistence remains elusive as ever.

    Well, once TSHTF, hopefully the natives will go back to their traditional ways of life — assuming they haven’t forgotten too much of it…

    I prefer wrestling to football, by the way.

  7. Rob Rhodes says:

    The Washington Troughers?

  8. Coop Janitor says:

    Let’s not go insulting the gladiators – by calling them Senators or Representatives. Just name them Gladiators and be truthful about it.