Don't be offended

Sep. 26, 2013 @ 05:06 AM

I have never shied away from controversy. In fact, I’m the type of person who will create some if I get bored. So, I have no qualms in saying that the push to change the Washington Redskins’ name is absolutely ridiculous.

It is nothing more than a product of our hyper-sensitive politically correct society.  ESPN’s Rick Reilly quotes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as saying if “only one person is offended, we need to listen.”

Well, I have a quote for Mr. Goodell, borrowed from John McEnroe ,“You cannot be serious.”

Everyone is offended by something. PETA members are offended by the consumption of meat, yet hamburgers are still on our grocery store shelves. Some groups are offended by rap music, others by country but both genres are still thriving on iTunes and other formats. The same can be said of movies and TV. Some see South Park as offensive. For others, it’s Duck Dynasty.

Do you see my point? Our nation is so diverse, you can’t please everyone. I can’t tell someone not to be offended by the Redskins’ name because I can’t dictate personal feelings. But if you are offended, no one is forcing you to go to a game or watch them on TV. Personally, I think Washington’s 0-3 start is far more offensive to most fans, but you never know what offends some folks.

Another issue is that the vast majority of the groups offended are not Native Americans.

According to Reilly, as many as 99.3 percent of Native Americans support the Redskins’ name and see it as an honor. If this is the case, then who is offended? People of other ethnic groups who have no real vested interest in the issue other than finding something to crusade against.

I’ve witnessed a similar phenomenon due to my disability. Before my freshman year at GWU, my Big Brother (mentor) had to go through sensitivity training to learn the latest politically correct terms to use so I would not be offended. They told him to not call me this or don’t do that.

Did I, as the disabled person, get a choice on how I wanted to be treated? Of course not.

Somebody else was far more qualified to make those decisions for me. They assumed that because I was in a wheelchair I would be offended by certain terms like handicapped or crippled. Take one look at my blog, talesfromdacrip.com, and you will see that this is not the case.

In fact, I’m more offended by the politically correct phrases of “differently- abled” or “handicapable” than I am the supposedly offensive terms. I embrace the “offensive” terms, as do many others in the disabled community. It’s part of who I am and I’m proud of that just as Native Americans are proud of the Redskins’ name.  

Yet people still continue the crusade of political correctness. Why can’t we simply let the Native Americans decide what’s best for themselves? Oh wait I forgot. This is the United States. We have always had a problem with that.