Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has finally found common ground with his longtime rival, Jeb Bush. They both agree that the Washington Redskins’ name is okay and non-offensive.

“Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name, unless the owner wanted to,” said Trump. “I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name. They think it’s a positive,” Trump said. Obviously, Trump is consulting with very few people for his information, as seems to be a common practice with him.

A poll conducted earlier this year by the Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies found that 67% of Native Americans feel the Redskins nickname is a racist word and symbol. In January, the Oneida Indian Nation and the National Congress of American Indians called for NFL fans to petition the league to change the nickname.

As stated in WikiPedia:

Native American individuals, tribes and organizations have been questioning the use of the name and image for decades. Over 115 professional organizations representing civil rights, educational, athletic, and scientific experts have published resolutions or policies that state that the use of Native American names and/or symbols by non-native sports teams is a harmful form of ethnic stereotyping that promote misunderstanding and prejudice which contributes to other problems faced by Native Americans. . . . Those officially censuring and/or demanding the name be changed include 23 Native American tribes and more than 50 organizations that represent various groups of Native Americans.

What is even more offensive about the Washington Redskins name is the team’s claim that it was in honor of its coach William Henry “Lone Star” Dietz. There is a major problem here. Dietz was a complete fraud. He claimed to be part Indian to avoid World War I. Again, the following appears in WikiPedia:

Dietz’s Indian heritage was first contested in 1916 after former neighbors who settled on the Pacific Coast heard he was posing as an Indian. In December 1918 the Federal Bureau of Investigation looked into his heritage after he fraudulently registered for the draft as a “Non-Citizen Indian” with an allotment. The Bureau found he had taken on the identity of James One Star, an Oglala man of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation 12 years his senior who had disappeared in 1894. Dietz also falsely claimed he was the head of an American film company that produced propaganda films for the war.

 

 

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced