Lumbee Tribe member Kelvin Ray Oxendine spent four hours compiling articles from newspaper archives across the a nation to explain why the word Redskins is historically derogatory.
In a five-minute video that Oxendine posted to YouTube, he edited at least 12 news clippings together that indiscriminately use the R-word. Some of the articles were written more than a century ago, and taken from newspapers that are no longer in existence. For example, an article was pulled from the Edinburgh Evening Courant, now defunct, in 1867. There’s also an article from the New York Daily Times that ran in 1855.
Through his research, Oxendine said that he found more references to the racial slur than he thought he would.
“I took this opportunity to research some newspaper archives to show the "R" word [sic] being used in it's original historical context,” Oxendine told ICTMN in an email. “After I found these documents, I thought a video would be a great way to deliver the message along with an inspirational song that has the potential of pulling our people together.”
Oxendine also said that he wanted to create a video to help other Natives understand that the context of the word is racist.
“It saddens me that society is so accepting of racial injustice that this name represents,” said Oxendine, who is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. “I have advocated this name within my own tribe, and it's very frustrating trying to explain to individuals that are proud of the name that the term is blatantly racist. These same individuals get defensive when I explain all of the effects this name and mascot has on our community and why it is racist. Most of the time, well nearly all the time, it's the effects of simply not being educated on the matter. I also call it the effects of cultural genocide taking it toll. Any proud Native who is aware would be offended by the name.”
Take a look at the video here:
“I surely hope that it makes a difference, and we can end this psychological genocide against our people,” Oxendine said.