Last week there was a wave (albeit a small one) of renowned publications to declare they will henceforth no longer run the pejorative ‘Redskins’ whenever they cover anything related to the Washington team – though Mother Jones did state they reserve the right to resurrect the racist epithet if it’s in a quote. Indian Country Today Media Network will provide updates as other publications join the no-more-Redskins chorus.
Editor David Plotz wrote in an editorial August 8 that Slate will no longer run ‘Redskins’ in prose and decried the name as “dated.” Plotz wrote: “So while the name Redskins is only a bit offensive, it’s extremely tacky and dated—like an old aunt who still talks about ‘colored people’ or limps her wrist to suggest someone’s gay.”
One day after Slate’s announcement to henceforth purge the Redskins name from their magazine, Mother Jones followed suit and declared the name “an absolute embarrassment.” Though Mother Jones journalist Ian Gordon did state that should they cover Redskins owner Dan Snyder, they may have to resurrect the name again: “There is a chance, however, that the term will end up back on our pages,” he wrote. “We certainly won’t strike it from a quote. And if we end up writing a post or two about how Snyder still hasn’t changed the name, despite increasing scrutiny, we reserve the right to use it again—if only to highlight how incredibly out-of-touch and backward the Washington football team’s owner truly is.”
These days it’s not uncommon for announcements to come via tweet. Editor of The New Republic Franklin Foer, in admiration of Slate Editor David Plotz’s position against using the Redskins name, tweeted August 8 that The New Republic, likewise, will cease all uses of the name and that they will make it official by changing their publication’s stylebook.
In early October 2012, the Washington City Paper provided their readers an opportunity to rename the Washington Redskins so as to avoid using the “racist nickname.” Their readers finally voted on a new name: “the Washington Pigskins.”
In response to a reader who declared it a trivial policy for the Kansas City Star not to run ‘Redskins’ in their paper, Public Editor Derek Donovan reiterated the Star’s long-held policy with a blistering public response: “… I see no compelling reason for any publisher to reprint an egregiously offensive term as a casual matter of course.”