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USA Native Words and Names

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#1 Kosh

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:27 PM

There is still a lot of native words used in the USA. From Tribal names to words used for names, as in the USA's Tomahawk missiles, and Apache choppers.

The Military uses of the names are problematic. Some natives saved our bacon in WWII, as translators and soldiers, even after the older version of the army had tried to wipe them out, and our growing civilization had tried to wipe away most traces of the older ones.

I think the Washington Redskins should change their name, and Florida State and Atlanta Brave Fans should honor request by Native groups to stop the chop, keep the names of tribes ands words from their culture in the whole, so that they are not forgotten, and all the things that they suffered are not forgotten.
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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:31 PM

I think that-- out of respect-- private organizations should change their names if they're offensive. I think the government definitely should.

Just recently here in my stomping grounds of Arizona:

For centuries, we've had "Squaw Peak".

Recently-- like, two weeks ago-- it was renamed after a young (Native American) woman who died in combat in Iraq. While not everything has to be named militaristically, I think that was a wonderfully good idea.

At the same time, the rivalry between the Redskins/Cowboys is a *lot* of fun... and it wouldn't really work without both names. Cowboys and Indians, donchya know.

Mixed feelings. TBH, I wonder how much it really bothers your average Native American. :).
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#3 QuiGon John

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:43 PM

Well, as far as team names go... the Redskins have long been one of my favorite teams, but let's be honest, their nick is a bit of a slur.  I wouldn't mind if they changed their handle, preferably to something related but non-offensive.

However, I don't think teams like the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks need to change; not unless I'm allowed to get offended by the Celtics and the Fighting Irish...

#4 Rhys

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:46 PM

Yes, I think it would probably be best for the Redskins to change their name, perhaps to the name of a tribe from the area?

I mean, Washington changed the name of their basketball team from the Bullets...

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#5 Godeskian

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:47 PM

I'm a cleveland Indians fan

and no, i have never understood the premise of 'our ancestors are being dishonored, stop what you are doing.'

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#6 Chipper

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 08:50 PM

A lot of the places in my area, on Long Island, have Native American roots.

The town next to mine is called Setauket, we've got Montauk, Hauppauge, Patchogue.
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#7 Rhys

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 09:30 PM

Godeskian, on Apr 27 2003, 02:37 PM, said:

i have never understood the premise of 'our ancestors are being dishonored, stop what you are doing.'
I can understand varying views on the importance of one's ancestors (although I think it's important to respect others' views, even if you don't agree), but often it's not just the ancestors.  If the name is a racial slur, or is being used in a disrespectful way, the people who currently identify with that tribe/race/group are boing disrespected.

If the name is being used in a respectful way, there shouldn't be a problem.

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#8 Kosh

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 09:37 PM

John Burke, on Apr 27 2003, 01:33 PM, said:

Well, as far as team names go... the Redskins have long been one of my favorite teams, but let's be honest, their nick is a bit of a slur.  I wouldn't mind if they changed their handle, preferably to something related but non-offensive.

However, I don't think teams like the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks need to change; not unless I'm allowed to get offended by the Celtics and the Fighting Irish...
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I wouldn't change Braves or Blackhawks or even Indians, though that was a mistake somebodies part, Columbus I believe. Indians serves as a reminder.

Gode, for me it's a matter of, we conqured them, we did not wipe them out, we are trying to be a little more enlightened these days, so maybe we can at least listen to some of their requests. Names like Redskins, be it Washinton, or Sissonsville High School, is like calling a team Blackskins, or Whities.
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#9 Godeskian

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 09:41 PM

Kosh, Rhys

i get what you are saying. Can you then explain to me how 'cleveland Indians' is a racial slur?

Despite being Dutch i've been a Cleveland Indians fan since i saw them play first time i was in the US, and i don't understand how the name is a slur

I can just about understand the iconography of the team being deemed offensive, but i don't understand how the name is

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#10 Christopher

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Posted 27 April 2003 - 09:53 PM

Kosh, on Apr 27 2003, 02:27 PM, said:

...Indians... was a mistake somebodies part, Columbus I believe.
That's the usual story, though there's so much mythology around Columbus that it's hard to be sure.  Actually I think Columbus believed he'd landed in Japan -- but back then, Europeans pretty much lumped all of Asia together as "India" or "the Indies" without really knowing its geography or cultures that well.

Anyway, even the people of India don't call themselves Indians -- they're actually the Bharati, and their country is Bharat.  "India" comes from "al-Hind," the Arabic name for the Indus River region.  So really "Indian" is no more wrong or right a name for Native Americans as it is for South Asians.

I once heard a claim that "Indian" actually comes from Spanish "In Dios," "in God."  I'm skeptical, though.

Anyway, it's true that there are tons of Native American words in American English, in addition to proper names.  Of course these include names of indigenous animals and plants, such as raccoon, skunk, caribou, coyote, squash, pecan and hickory; objects and creations like moccasin, toboggan, hominy and succotash; and other interesting terms.  "Mugwump" was originally mugquomp, an Algonquian word for a chief.  "Caucus" may also be from Algonquian.  (Source: The American Language by H.L. Mencken.)
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#11 Laoise

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:24 AM

Godeskian, on Apr 27 2003, 01:31 PM, said:

i get what you are saying. Can you then explain to me how 'cleveland Indians' is a racial slur?

Despite being Dutch i've been a Cleveland Indians fan since i saw them play first time i was in the US, and i don't understand how the name is a slur

I can just about understand the iconography of the team being deemed offensive, but i don't understand how the name is
I think that they're saying the Redskin's name is a racial slur, not the Cleveland Indians - although since this is sports related no one should be suprised if I'm completely wrong and confused about it ;).  Although I do know many First Nations people here in Canada who consider the word "Indian" offensive.
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#12 Kimmer

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 02:12 AM

Using this logic, the village I grew up in would have to change the name of almost every street. It seems silly to me to go "backwards" and try to fix things like this. The world will never be totally politically correct, and even then *someone* would be upset.

Rov asked:

Quote

I wonder how much it really bothers your average Native American.

This Native American is not upset by any of these things.

#13 Kosh

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 04:48 AM

kimmer, on Apr 28 2003, 07:02 PM, said:

Using this logic, the village I grew up in would have to change the name of almost every street. It seems silly to me to go "backwards" and try to fix things like this. The world will never be totally politically correct, and even then *someone* would be upset.

Rov asked:

Quote

I wonder how much it really bothers your average Native American.

This Native American is not upset by any of these things.
Not unless they are names like Redskin road, or something of that nature.  Names like Braves, or the county I live in, Kanawha, wouldn't have to change.  A group in Michigan asked a college to change it's name. "The Hurons" was dropped, they just go by Eastern Michigan. I really don't understand why that bothered anyone, but then, I'm not a Huron.
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#14 Kosh

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 04:49 AM

Laoise, on Apr 28 2003, 06:14 PM, said:

Godeskian, on Apr 27 2003, 01:31 PM, said:

i get what you are saying. Can you then explain to me how 'cleveland Indians' is a racial slur?

Despite being Dutch i've been a Cleveland Indians fan since i saw them play first time i was in the US, and i don't understand how the name is a slur

I can just about understand the iconography of the team being deemed offensive, but i don't understand how the name is
I think that they're saying the Redskin's name is a racial slur, not the Cleveland Indians - although since this is sports related no one should be suprised if I'm completely wrong and confused about it ;).  Although I do know many First Nations people here in Canada who consider the word "Indian" offensive.
You got it.
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#15 Christopher

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 01:51 PM

Calling a team the "Braves" is perfectly respectable -- bravery is a good thing, last I heard.  And certainly there's nothing offensive about using the thousands of place names that American English has adopted from indigenous languages, like Mississippi or Massachusetts.  But how anyone could not see that "Redskin" is a blatant racial slur is beyond me.  I mean, could anyone get away with calling a sports team the Darkies or the Slant-eyes?

Unless it's someone like Ken Griffey Jr.  He's a Red's kin. :D
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#16 G1223

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 05:15 PM

Because 50 yrs ago it was  taken to mean that the team would be as tough as a tribe of indians. The Washington Redskins have a long histroy of playing some of the toughest games in NFL histroy.

Basically that is why some folks are stubborn about taking their team's name away.  They remember days where they went to a game with friends or family spent a day cheering guys who played Hard Football.

Then to their perceptions a group of people who more than likely do not watch or care about the histroy this team made for itself want to change the name becasue somebody might be offened by the name.

Now you can change the names all you want becasue to me it's just overpriced players driving price to where I'd need to get a morgage on the house just to attend one game. But realize that a number of other folks have a lifetime of memories conected to those teams.
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#17 Kosh

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 06:13 PM

G1223, on Apr 29 2003, 10:05 AM, said:

Because 50 yrs ago it was  taken to mean that the team would be as tough as a tribe of indians. The Washington Redskins have a long histroy of playing some of the toughest games in NFL histroy.

Basically that is why some folks are stubborn about taking their team's name away.  They remember days where they went to a game with friends or family spent a day cheering guys who played Hard Football.

Then to their perceptions a group of people who more than likely do not watch or care about the histroy this team made for itself want to change the name becasue somebody might be offened by the name.

Now you can change the names all you want becasue to me it's just overpriced players driving price to where I'd need to get a morgage on the house just to attend one game. But realize that a number of other folks have a lifetime of memories conected to those teams.
If it is offending an entire race.I think it's got to change. Unless Washington wants to adopt and Peanut or a Potato as it's mascot.



Quote

Unless it's someone like Ken Griffey Jr. He's a Red's kin.

Booooo!  :D
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#18 G1223

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:17 PM

I seem remember a comment here in this very thread about someone not being bothered and claiming ancestory. Or do they not count?  

Basically you find it offensive and that is your right but I have good memories attached to the team and would feel it just as offensive that to appease a group that those not represent the entirty of group it claims to the name was changed.
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#19 Christopher

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:18 PM

G1223, on Apr 29 2003, 10:05 AM, said:

Because 50 yrs ago it was  taken to mean that the team would be as tough as a tribe of indians.
But the point is that using the term "Redskin" is about the most offensive possible way to convey that.  It's defining Native Americans, not by their personal or cultural qualities, but by the color of their flesh.  It's not the fact that the team is named for Native Americans, it's the fact that they're named using a racial epithet for Native Americans.  That's a huge, and to my mind glaringly obvious, difference.

If you want to invoke the power of Native American warriors, then call them a name that respects that tradition, not one that mocks it by reducing a whole culture to nothing more than a skin color.  Call them something like the Hiawathas, maybe.

Quote

Basically that is why some folks are stubborn about taking their team's name away.  They remember days where they went to a game with friends or family spent a day cheering guys who played Hard Football.

Well, there are also people who are stubborn about abandoning the Confederate battle flag.
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#20 G1223

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Posted 29 April 2003 - 07:21 PM

And they do not have the right to support a part of their unique history? I though this was fair play for everyone or is this animals farm 2 where we discover some animals are more equal than others?
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