The name-change debate has brought a diverse group of activists to the forefront, whether it be through social media, or more traditional platforms. Here are a few Native voices that should be amplified.
1. “I’d ask (Washington team owner Dan Snyder), ‘Would you dare call me a redskin, right here, to my face?’ … “And I suspect that, no, he would not do that.” -Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, speaking to The Washington Post.
2. “In addition [to the Annenberg survey], Dan Snyder keeps talking about the ‘hundreds’ of letters he’s received from Natives in support of the team, when I know there are thousands against the name and mascot.” Dr. Adrienne Keene, Cherokee, speaking to ICTMN.
3. “This business of being Cherokee, ‘I am a Cherokee princess,’ and all that you hear is a very old story to us.” … “It’s kind of like the way we thought about the term, ‘redskins’ and all that for a long time as a team name; it’s just something people say and do because they’re kind of ignorant.” -Wes Studi, Cherokee, speaking to The Tribal Tribune.
4. “Native Americans cannot be bought.” … “While we appreciate billionaire Dan Snyder’s belated and sudden interest in the centuries-old plight of Native Americans, no amount of money makes it acceptable to promote a derogatory racial slur.” -Jacqueline Pata, Raven/Sockeye Clan of the Tlingit Tribe and executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, speaking to Great Falls Tribune.
5. “We are stereotyped, we are marginalized, and our issues become obscure.” … obscured by mascots. Everyone knows the mascots, they know the stereotypes, but they don’t know anything about us.” -Jacqueline Keeler, Navajo and Yankton Dakota, activist and writer, told MSNBC.
6. Lakota hip hop artist and conscientious objector Frank Waln takes a moment to express his frustration over a public display of ignorance, aggression and privilege.
7. A Tribe Called Red’s Deejay NDN pokes fun at the Washington team’s season-after-season backlog of horrific performances.