News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 11, 2013: There is a battle raging in Washington, DC.
No, not that one! It’s more important; it’s about football. And Barack is in the center of it, sort of in his usual indecisive way that characterizes his Presidency or what there is of it.
In a recent interview with CNN, Obama was asked about the escalating controversy about the name of the DC NFL team, the Washington REDSKINS.
Here is Obama’s reply:
“Obama says he’d think about changing the name of the Washington Redskins football team if he were the owner.”
Obama would think about it. As usual NO leadership! He won’t take a firm position; he would simply THINK about changing the name. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing! What is the purpose of his answer? Not to offend anyone. Either side can live with his answer.
It may seem a trivial issue to some, especially compared to that other crisis in Washington, but it is not. Obama has no backbone. He only makes a choice when there is no other choice. His answer defines one of the basic problems of the Obama Presidency.
Also ironically, it is very reflective of his attitude toward African Americans who thought for sure they would have an advocate in The White House. WRONG! Whether it is African Americans, Native Americans or any other group of oppressed Americans, like let’s say 99% of us in gradients, none of us can count on President Obama.
We sure could have if he was the President he conned us into believing he would be. He ran on the message of change we can believe in. It turns out all we got is change Obama can believe in, which means the lack of change. See those with power do not like change. Why should they? The Status Quo works very well for them.
Barack and Michelle desperately identify with the rich and the powerful no matter how much they try to mask it. So the last thing Barack is going to be is some kind of “radical” change President who will shake up his real constituency, those who will welcome the Obamas’ into the world of the gilded elite come 2017.
Obama will do the least he must to placate the vast majority of us and no more.
Which brings us back to the Washington Redskins. And what an insidious example Obama’s comment about their name provides us. The problem for the Native American community is that they have no power to get Obama to take their side.
There is nothing to discuss here. Use of the word “redskins” is derogatory to Native Americans and to everyone who cares about dehumanizing any of us, it’s a sin – whether or not a few Native Americans don’t agree is ok to them.
If the name of the team were the .Washington Niggers,’ everyone would be outraged, even if a few African Americans were not. Or how about the Washington Whities? Which you could argue is not necessarily an offensive term since a small number of them have power and money and certainly White guys own ALL of the NFL teams.
The problem is you can’t any more use slang names for sports teams EXCEPT that you can still get away with belittling and degrading Native Americans as too many teams still do, not just the Washington Redskins. Those who want to keep the name like the Redskins owner, say the name addresses a rich tradition that has existed for generations and that it would be very expensive to change the name. It sounds like the arguments in favor of slavery before the Civil War.
For the President of the United States, correction for any President of the United States who is a Leader and who believes they represent ALL Americans as equals, that President would have no problem at all stating with passion that it is wrong and it is offensive for the NFL to allow or for the owner of the Washington team to use the name REDSKINS.
It should have been no problem at all for President Barack Obama to say in answer to the CNN question, in fact long before he was ever asked , he should have said long ago for all to hear ….
“It is absolutely wrong for the Washington team or any team to continue to use the name Redskins. They should change the name at once. If the owner will not then the NFL should force him to. If neither will, I think this is a civil rights matter that the Justice Department must investigate in the same way that if the team was named the ‘Washington Niggers,’ the Federal government would be compelled to take action against an organization that promotes bigotry, to strip them of any kind of benefits or tax advantages they may be allowed, or for companies to deduct the cost of seats as business expenses.”
That the Federal government will not be allowed to be a “partner” in any way to an organization that makes use in any way of government resources or the tax code here in the 21st century to demean any group of Americans or their ethnicity or culture.
Instead this is what Barack Obama said. “Obama says he’d think about changing the name of the Washington Redskins football team if he were the owner.”
How pathetic! To bad we don’t have a Leader for President.
No wonder Washington is such a mess.
About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.