Alas, an enforcement arm of the United States government now refuses to continue to protect the $1.7 billion property of team owner Dan Snyder because of a couple of public opinion polls and a capricious administration. Has the collective right of a slice of our citizenry not to be offended trumped trademark protection for Snyder’s property - especially when the government protected that property in the first place?
Not protecting the Washington Redskin trademark because it offends people is nothing more than a form of eminent domain; emotional eminent domain. Collectively, the government wants to strip Snyder of trademark protections for his property under the guise of “the public good.” And, in this case, the government today believes the “public good” is to avoid offense, but this action only deprives Snyder of due process. Adding insult to injury, the government wishes to take this trademark protection without any form of compensation. As for whether Snyder may decide to change anything about the name of his football team to maintain his property rights protections, one wonders if the PTO would reverse itself should Snyder keep the name but change the mascot from an American Indian to a redskin potato. The notion is no less absurd than the PTO ruling.
I and other black Americans understand thoroughly that words can leave deep wounds. But I am an American first and black second. As citizens in a nation of laws, it is not only 100 percent American to protect private property, speech and ideas that we find abhorrent; it is almost anti-American not to do so. Protecting the repugnant and the offensive, whether they are rich or poor, is not only our duty. It is what makes us uniquely American.
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