I was reading an article in the paper the other day about a local high school. The school's name is Winnacunnet. Yes, that's pronounced "win-a-cun-net". I got to thinking that despite the thorough screwing that Native Americans got at the hands of white settlers, they did manage to leave us with a more than a few municipalities, rivers and high schools whose names make us blush or chuckle.
(The most chucklerific high school name in America, though, is Schenck High School In Millinocket, Maine. "Schenck" is pronounced "skank").
(I'm not making this up).
Anyhow, then I got to thinking about the current controversy over having sports mascots named for Native Americans. (yes, that's two thoughts in one day. I'm still tired from it).
The NCAA, in its typical "we're gonna punish the whole class" mentality, recently went after ALL the teams with names smacking of Native Americana. The Seminoles (the nation) say they're ok with the Seminoles (the team), and the Utes (the nation) say that they're ok with the Utes (the team), and in a rare flash of smarts, the NCAA recognized that those names can therefore stay. Good, it sounds like the world of college sports mascots is under control.
But what about professsional teams?
Normally I side with whichever side stands for political incorrectness. I do this not because I'm a racist or a bigot, but rather because I think that there are too many people in the world who spend their day looking for a reason to be offended by something and that the whole PC movement has justified that sort of behavior. Also, as an idiot, I am quite adept at putting my foot in my mouth without having to worry about whether words like Freshman, Nostril, Spigot or Toejam have become sexually, racially, economically or spiritually offensive.
This time, however, I have to say that the Native Americans have a point.
The Cleveland Indians, for example. The way I understand it, their name was actually chosen because they had a popular player, Louis Sockalexis, who was a Native American. That's fine, it's a nice way to honor him. How much he looked like the Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo, is a matter of interpretation:
I don't get it why there's a discussion. Native Americans have complained that they're offended. The names should be changed. What if a team had used the Cleveland Indian method of chosing a team name and had named itself the Negras (or worse) after a great black player? Would we be having this discussion? I don't think so.
How about the Kansas City Yellow Peril?
How about The Atlanta Sambos?
Exactly. So how on earth can a team get away with being called The Redskins? I won't even mention the fact that this is the team IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL! I'm an idiot, and a largely insensitive one at that, and even I see that that's quite offensive.
So, I think that the Redskins should rename, and I think that they should call themselves the Washington Whitebreads. I've even designed a logo for them.
"Whitebread" is certainly not as offensive as "redskin", but no white person was ever genuinely offended by "honky" and "Rich White Dickheads" seemed a little to edgy to put on a helmet.
So there you have it, another great solution from the Village Idiot.