Jewish World Review June 20, 2014 / 22 Sivan, 5774
The Redskins Brouhaha Has Nothing to Do With Native Americans
By David Limbaugh
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Do you think leftists are the slightest bit troubled by the public's overwhelming opposition to their crusade to force the Washington Redskins to change their name? That was rhetorical; I give you more credit.
Despite leftists' ongoing effort to convince Native Americans and the rest of us that Native Americans must be offended by the long-standing name, the polls don't seem to be moving in their direction. But that hardly deters them. They are the final arbiters of who may be (and who is being) offended.
In the end, this liberal crusade has little to do with protecting the sensitivities of Native Americans and everything to do with liberals setting themselves up as their guardians. Their practice of patronizing groups cannot yield to the facts. Their cause transcends reality. For the cause is not defending the oppressed or the downtrodden but about making themselves look wonderful with their latest piety.
Please do not think I am exaggerating. Isn't that the way liberals operate today? They imply, for example, that African-Americans are not self-sufficient or savvy enough to procure voter identification and so to require all people to produce such documentation is racist. Is their presupposition not a form of subtle bigotry?
Moreover, isn't it destructive to race relations for liberals to suggest that Republicans insisting on people having to prove they are who they say they are as a condition to voting — as a measure to ensure the integrity of the voting process — want to disenfranchise blacks? If liberals hadn't made such an issue of this, I honestly wouldn't have known that blacks are less likely to have identification than whites, assuming that's true. Where do these people get such dark ideas that they are so eager to project onto their political opponents?
While the nation is beset with myriad administration scandals, a woeful economy, the Middle East on fire, an imploding health care system, an upside-down budget, etc., many liberals, especially the Washington bigwigs, are focusing instead on coercing a football team to change its innocuous name. Harry Reid actually said this issue is the nation's top priority. But do you think it's just an accident that Harry Reid et al. are harassing the Washington team instead of, say, the Cleveland Indians? Fear not, however; if their bullying campaign succeeds here, they'll seek to expand its reach.
In this era of Obama, in which lawlessness is in vogue, it's hardly surprising that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has officiously intermeddled into this nonissue, which is none of its business. This small cabal of bureaucrats has pulled the team's trademark because of the team's "disparaging" name.
Who do these mini-tyrants think they are? What makes them feel empowered to divest an entity of its legally valid trademark simply because they deem, way after the fact and in their own unsolicited and unauthorized discretion, that the protected name is offensive? Even those who insist on being offended by the name should be alarmed by this abuse of power. But they won't be, because the mentality that leads them to impose their will on Native Americans in the first place is the same mentality that leads to such abuses.
You should understand that it's not just the people at large who are not exercised about this issue; polls consistently indicate that Native Americans themselves reject the phony narrative that "Redskins" is offensive. My nonconfidential sources tell me that there has never been a poll indicating that the majority of Native Americans support a name change.
Even though the board's ruling will have little immediate practical effect because it doesn't affect the team's ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo, don't underestimate the left's persistence in such matters. Leftists will march on until they get their way; their ideological zeal and political energy are greater than millions of Energizer Bunnies. Their concern for the people's collective will is nonexistent. They'll either intimidate people into supporting their position — or pretending to support it — or ignore them. For them, "compromise" is merely an Orwellian term used to bludgeon their opponents into submission.
So many of today's liberals are not content with a healthy political and cultural debate and letting democracy run its course. More and more, they seek to censor opposing views, as when they fined, suspended and sent to sensitivity training Miami Dolphins player Don Jones for posting tweets registering disapproval of Michael Sam, the first openly gay person to be drafted to the NFL. It's one thing to say you disagree with Jones, but to punish him for expressing his views? In America?
The current brouhaha has nothing to do with Native Americans. They are merely props the left is exploiting in its latest self-serving exercise. It's about the growing intolerance and tyranny of today's left and what that means for the future of liberty — thought, speech, religion and beyond. We'd better wake up and fight back.
David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney practicing in Cape
Girardeau, Mo. Comment by clicking here.
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