“What I think the political correctness debate is really about is the power to be able to define. The definers want the power to name. And the defined are now taking that power away from them”
The above quote from Ms. Morrison floats around in my head every time I hear the; “If you don’t want it said, then maybe you guys should stop saying it,” whenever the conversation about why White people shouldn’t say the N word restarts. And it recently popped into my head once again after watching a reporter on a sports show defend the controversial name of the professional football team in Washington, the Redskins. The reporter sided with the organization as he pulled out research that he had done, which stated that centuries ago Natives refereed to themselves as Redskins. Oh yeah, the reporter was a Black man. That’s right, someone from a minority group pulled out the old textbook way of explaining away some of the offensive things that the majority gets away with daily. Bruh. Also, check this; a favorite of the football club’s fans is an elderly Black man who has been donning “traditional” Native gear at Washington games since 1978. Bruuh.
Here’s the thing about the reporter’s findings. While it is noted from the Smithsonian Institution that the term had more of a positive tone once upon a time, we all know how history here has a way of twisting itself. At one point, Negro was the term used for Blacks but we see how that changed. Washington’s team owner Daniel Snyder has been unyielding about the name change just as previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. Cooke once stated that he felt the name represented bravery and courage. Really!? You couldn’t find anything less offensive to represent those traits? I guess it’s not important when it doesn’t directly affect you. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made a statement after the heat picked up again but it’s more of the ‘I need to say something and this is something’ type of statement. He recognizes why its offensive but I don’t think he gets it or really cares. Well, that’s unless it starts to mess with his money then I bet he’ll feign true understanding. How does that privilege taste bro? With that being said, here’s what’s really good.
The first Indian American Miss America was recently crowned. After the crowning, social media sites were filled with ignorant comments that proved that Ms. Morrison’s quote above is proving truer every day. The frustrations of having to listen to people complain about their rights being violated because they cannot openly offend other people is becoming physically unbearable. It is not for anybody else to decide how an oppressed person defines themselves and its certainly not all right to tell them what they can and cannot be offended by. And that is exactly what the Washington organization and its defenders continues to do when they brush off the very real complaints of the group that is offended, and pocket the words of the people who don’t have to battle an offensive perpetuation of their very being.