Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hail To The Washington Football Team! Hail Victory!

When I grew up, if someone pointed at a person and said "There goes a redskin," you would turn around and look for a football player. Of course I grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC, so there was a greater chance you'd turn and see Sonny Jurgensen or John Riggins than if you were in St. Louis.

But still, I'm not a linguistics expert or anything, but I've never heard the term "redskin" used as a derogatory term for an American Indian. And I went to college in South Dakota. Don't get me wrong, I heard plenty of examples of racism, I just never heard anyone say "redskin."

Is American Indian even the correct term?  I know Indian American is an American that originated from India. I dislike the term "Native American" because goddamnit, I'M a native American. I was born here too. Mexicans and Canadians are "Native Americans." So are Brazillian people and people from Uruguay. Maybe the proper term is "Native American Indian," but that's so cumbersome. I've asked, and the people I talked to prefer to be called "Sioux." Tough to argue with that. I guess if you described yourself as "American" and in everyone's mind that included people from Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua and Peru, you would probably want a more specific term.

Let's say "American" did mean anyone from North or South America. What nationality would you want to be called? Am I a Tennessean? That's where I live. But I was born in New York. Am I a native New Yorker? When I was four my folks moved to the DC suburbs. So when I say my hometown, I'm thinking of Virginia. Does that make my identity Virginian? I don't even like Virginia very much. That would be a shame.

I'm definitely biased. I am a Washington Redskins fan. I understand that there are a lot of people upset with the use of that word. I heard Chris Rock say it's like having a team called "The New York Niggers." But is it really? I have definitely heard the word "nigger" used in another context than a sports franchise. I've never really heard the term "redskin" used that way.

There's a brilliant scene in the movie Clerks 2 where one of the characters is upset because someone told him the term "Porch Monkey" is racist. He denies it, saying he understood the term to mean a lazy person. He thinks the phrase can be saved and used to describe lazy people of all races, so he tries to start a movement to "take it back."

Well I think the word "redskin" has been taken back. I may be way off base, and if there are internet hate sites using the word pejoratively or there are rednecks somewhere yelling "redskin" at strangers of a different race, then I will admit I'm wrong. A quick google search shows mostly football info, with a few dictionaries defining the term as racist, and a few stories about the controversy over the name. But I didn't see any results where someone actually called another person that name (at least someone who doesn't wear shoulder pads for a living.)

The word "redskin" isn't used with hatred anymore. It's used by Washington football fans to describe something they love. Maybe it's used with hatred in Dallas, but that's not racial hatred. That's good old American (Texan?) sportsmanship.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Turns the stomach

One of the gross things about living in Tennessee is how stupid the politicians are.

For example the "pro-life" congressman that pressured one of his six mistresses to have an abortion. And his wife to have two abortions. He also happens to be an MD. Some of these women were his patients! I'm not a doctor, but I know how to not get women pregnant. This doc did it THREE TIMES, that we know of! But the "values voters" of Tennessee saw fit to send this semi-retarded douche bag to Washington! By a landslide!

Then there's the stupid assholes who voted to default on the country's debt, represented by the red and white striped areas on this map.

Only Wyoming and South Dakota were dumber than Tennesseans on this issue, but they have fewer congressmen. Not even Texas was this universally stupid. TEXAS!

At least both Senators from Tennessee voted against such stupidity. Only one state in the country had both Senators vote to default. Congratulations Alabama! Richard Shelby (who was once elected as a democrat but switched parties in the middle of his term) and Jeff Sessions. I'm pretty sure Sessions has down's syndrome.

When did Arkansas get their shit together? Missouri and Utah look pretty silly here too. I hope this map is popular in the next few elections. If you need evidence of sheer stupidity on the part of your opponent here's definitive proof.