May 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm EDT | by Mark Lee
Redskins protest demise is caution to gay activists

Washington Redskins, gay news, Washington BladeA decades-long protest of the Washington Redskins team name quickly imploded last week. It also died quietly, with most among the hipster thought-class of local writers and bloggers allowing the moment to pass unremarked.

Longtime mascot critic and Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney was an exception to the relative silence. The associate editor penned as opening line in a published announcement he was dropping his editorial protest of the moniker, “It’s humbling to admit it, but [Redskins team owner] Dan Snyder wins.”

Observers speculate that the public demise of this once-trendy controversy paves the way for the NFL franchise to return to D.C. from a remote stadium in suburban Maryland to its namesake city free of local politicians fretting over it. All without further maligning the team owner or otherwise manufacturing opposition to the team name by making its revision a condition for relocating to the District.

The source of this game-changing development was the release of a Washington Post poll indicating that only nine percent of Native Americans consider the name offensive. This result mirrored a similar 2004 national survey, revealing that more than a decade of outsized complaint by dozens of Native American organizations and group leaders had no effect on opinion.

Barely a quarter of D.C.-area residents thought the team name should change in a most recent Post poll, even fewer among all Americans in an ESPN national poll. As one wag quipped, “I think ‘Washington’ is the pejorative term, not ‘Redskins.’”

This clarity of reaction will likely also doom the federal administration’s legal challenge to the team trademark, given the inability to demonstrate that it is considered a slur by a preponderance of either Native Americans or the American public.

Previously no diligent, thorough and comprehensive survey of Native American opinion on the matter had been conducted, something that protesting groups had been quick to point out. The stark divergence between the attitudes of advocates and those they claim to represent, however, is now clearly and readily apparent.

All this, however, won’t stop the clucking of tongues by those demanding that political correctness necessitates the purging of all things for which even a few take exception. Credit the dual effects of an all-too-prevalent “person the barricades” modern-day political dichotomy toxically combined with a growing tendency to waste a lot of time staring at computer screens while railing against the latest petty outrage of the moment.

This brave new world groupthink advocacy is further evidenced by all the “safe space,” “triggering” and “micro-aggression” drivel prevalent at, and tolerated on, too many college campuses and elsewhere. Cocoon construction is creeping into the culture.

If this brouhaha seems familiar, it should.

Gays and lesbians are having a difficult time transitioning from a unifying history of estrangement to a diversified culture of integration. LGBT activists have a vested interest in keeping our collective hand on a perceived panic button. A continuous high-alert code-red stance keeps even diminished financial contributions flowing.

At some point, though, professional LGBT organization leaders and rebel far-left fringe renegades run the risk of falling prey to the same trick and trap experienced by Native American group leadership over the Redskins imbroglio. There won’t be many marching behind the band, rainbow flag unfurled or not.

This is most obvious in the public pleadings by some suggesting that being gay, lesbian or transgender requires adherence to a strictly defined code of so-called “progressive” dogma and political party fealty. We hear it in the “intersectional struggle” refrain bandied around like a rod to be used to keep us in line and inflict cultural uniformity of opinion on all matters.

Many may lament the loss of the camaraderie of a past outlaw status that easily bred cohesive views commonly shared. But being unable to accept that equality allows for a broader range of political perspectives and personal concerns is doomed to disappoint.

It’s also a rejection of equality itself.

Mark Lee is a long-time entrepreneur and community business advocate. Follow him on Twitter @MarkLeeDC. Reach him at [email protected].

9 Comments
  • Parsing through all the words, it would seem that Mr. Lee’s fundamental premise is that when the percentage of members of a minority group which defines a term as offensive drops below 10%, the term is then deemed non-offensive and acceptable for reentry to the general lexicon.

    I guess if 2.6 million of the 2.9 million people that the census bureau classifies as Native Americans are good with it, the rest of us should butt out. However, that’s not what happened. The Washington Post queried 504 self-described Native Americans deeming it a representative sample. As Mr. Lee knows, this survey is being pilloried as highly skewed and flawed. So before LGBT activists tuck tail and heed Mr. Lee’s warnings of people-less marches, let’s not forget that even today despite polling that would suggest greater acceptance, when left to the “will of the people,” equality generally comes up the loser.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/on-the-shameful-and-skewed-redskins-poll/

  • well hmm judging from the sales of african american rap artists who use the n word Im going to assume blacks are good with that term and start using it. Yeah, that kind of logic

  • If we all wish to be considered equal amongst our peers in the community, we have to be willing to accept the inclusion of all opinions across the board. This is the problem with the “Change the Mascot” Movement. They desire equality as all of us should, yet only want their opinion to matter when it comes to a polling of an opinion.

    If we desire equal rights, then that means we are part of a diverse GROUP. Not an exclusion for the sake of personal agenda.

  • Slaughtering a people, destroying their culture, and running the survivors onto reservations, then turning them into mascots, is nothing resembling respect. It is racist. Unlike Mark Lee, I do not look to polls for my opinions.

  • Every time we hear Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump or any other leading conservative speak on GLBT issues, we are reminded why voting GOP is equal to political suicide.

    Whenever Governor’s in the South like in Mississippi or NC favor religious freedom laws that deprive us of our equality and freedom and Presidential Candidates speak of appointing activist right-wing judges to reverse the marriage equality ruling and push for religious freedom laws to trump our rights we are reminded why voting for the GOP is self-hatred!

    You can’t dupe us into ignoring the blatant reality with talk of alternative views within our community. Your views care nothing about the community, it’s efforts for freedom and justice or our attempts to keep those that would do us harm from office! You care nothing for the fact that your party pushes an agenda that would make it legal to prevent us from enacting laws that would protect us from discrimination.

    You tell us that because we’ve won marriage equality we should move on and stop being activists. As if marriage equality is the only issue our community faces and as if that right isn’t currently under threat. You need to move on and stop whining!

  • Hi Mark Lee!

    Once again your brilliance is extolled and shines through all the crap.

    Jack Jackson Jr, is a dear friend and on the Obama Administration for Native American rights and representation. He is 100 % Navajo Native American. I by no means speak for him here. I know where my heart, soul and spirit lie. I know JJ personally and his, heart soul and spirits run deeper and soar boundlessly to heights than I will never know from an Irish Italian perspective.

    My suggestion. Delete the word Washington and change the logo to personify and encapsulate the spirit of all Native Americans.

    One Native American on on a football helmut is so six minutes ago and not intimidating at all. Perhaps that might be why the team was not even close to the Superbowl.

    Just saying. REBRAND!

    Go Native American Indians!

    Watch out all other teams or new arrivals.

  • Anyone can be offended. As a person of Northern US heritage, I resent the team name “Yankees”, as a Roman Catholic, I have issue with the team called the “Cardinals”. As I am heavily in debt due to credit card overuse, I have a problem with the team named the “Chargers”. As I am well over six feet tall, I am hurt by the team name “Giants”. As an avid birder, I detest the teams called the “Orioles” and “Blue Jays”. Need I go on?

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