Slate magazine announced Thursday that this will be the final article where they will refer to the Washington football team as the ‘Redskins.’
Editor David Plotz wrote in an editorial that it’s high time Native Americans are recognized as human beings and not caricatures or relics of the past.
“Changing the way we talk is not political correctness run amok,” he wrote. “It reflects an admirable willingness to acknowledge others who once were barely visible to the dominant culture, and to recognize that something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others.”
Plotz added that if the American populace decidedly changes the way they speak, it will inevitably shift the way they think – especially with regard to racist Native American mascots in professional sports.
“Changing how you talk changes how you think,” he wrote. “The adoption of the term ‘African-American’—replacing ‘Negro’ and ‘colored’—in the aftermath of the civil rights movement brought a welcome symmetry with Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, groups defined by geographic origin rather than by race or color.”
In his article, Plotz refers to Redskins owner Dan Snyder as “a dismal failure as an owner, a megalomaniacal bully, and a frivolous litigant.”
Snyder has openly declared that he favors his team’s name, does not believe it is offensive and that he will “NEVER” change it.
Slate is one of a growing chorus of publications that have openly rejected the name and discontinued the use of it in their stories.
The Kansas City Star has had a long-established editorial policy against using ‘Redskins’ in its publication.
Public Editor Derek Donovan wrote in September 2012 that he is fervently against the name and that it is a disparaging pejorative.
“I remain unconvinced by every argument I’ve ever heard that the name is not a racial epithet, plain and simple,” he wrote.
According to Plotz, the Washington City Paper, Senior Editor of the New Republic Gregg Easterbrook and journalists at the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Daily News have also banned the use of the name.
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