This week, fifty U.S. senators signed a letter urging the Washington Redskins to change their name, because it is a "racial slur." Needless to say, conservatives are outraged. If you start doing away with racism, where does it end??
Daniel Henninger—who, as the deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, is the official representative of America's Upper Class Republican White Guy demographic—today takes on the outrageous act of these elected leaders who asked an incredibly wealthy private citizen to consider voluntarily withdrawing an incredibly offensive slur from atop his franchise. By asking a sports team to not name itself after a racial slur, Henninger writes, Sen. Harry Reid "has become a one-man, First Amendment wrecking crew." (As you know, the First Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits senators from writing letters.)
Should Commissioner Goodell buckle beneath Harry Reid's gang tackle, make no mistake: That same Senate letter would go straight to Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, ordering him, under the Sterling Precedent, to kill the Cleveland Indians' logo, Chief Wahoo. Were Mr. Selig to do so, there of course would be riots in the streets of Cleveland, whose single most beloved citizen is . . . Chief Wahoo.
That's right: the consequence of changing one racist sports team logo could be the changing of another racist sports team logo. One can imagine Daniel Henninger's smug, triumphal smile when he finished that paragraph. "Is that what you want, America: less racism? Checkmate."
Has Drew Carey lost his place as Cleveland's single most beloved citizen?
Daniel Henninger and his fellow Redskins supporters might be interested to read this story debunking the tale that the team's name originated as a respectful tribute to Native Americans. Redskins opponents dug up an interesting AP story from 1933:
The edition includes a short Associated Press dispatch quoting [then-owner George] Marshall saying: "The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins."
Instead, Marshall explains, he gave up "Braves" to avoid confusion with a Boston professional baseball team of the same name. He apparently picked the Redskins name so he could keep the existing Native American logo.
The Washington Redskins have a brave and noble tradition of honoring native Americans by... saving themselves from spending the money to design a new logo. That would have cost like, thousands of dollars.
Easier to use a racist slur as your name for the next 80 years.