The online magazine Slate announced last week that it will never again refer to the Washington's National Football League team, the Redskins, by its name.
The name, according to Slate, offends American Indians, and therefore should be dropped. And until such time, Slate will never mention it. It will become, in effect, the R-word.
The article, to its credit, acknowledged that the term "redskins" was not coined as a racist epithet:
"The word redskin has a relatively innocent history. As Smithsonian linguist Ives Goddard has shown, European settlers in the 18th century seem to have adopted the term from Native Americans, who used 'red skin' to describe themselves, and it was generally a descriptor, not an insult."
So, then, what's so bad about the name Redskins?
Slate Argument One: "Here's a quick thought experiment: Would any team, naming itself today, choose "Redskins" or adopt the team's Indian-head logo? Of course it wouldn't."
Response: There are many teams with names that wouldn't be adopted today. Who would name a team the "Red Sox," "White Sox," "Packers," "Dodgers," "Forty-Niners," "Steelers," or, for that matter, "Yankees?"
Slate Argument Two: "While the name Redskins is only a bit offensive, it's extremely tacky and dated -- like an old aunt who still talks about 'colored people.' ... "
Response: Since Slate dismisses the term "colored people" as "tacky and dated," why doesn't it call on the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP), to change its name?
Slate Argument Three: "Changing how you talk changes how you think. ... Replacing 'same-sex marriage' with 'marriage equality' helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading."
Response: It's nice to have at least one left-wing source acknowledge how the left changes language to promote its causes. When more and more people began to suspect that global warming was not about to bring an apocalypse, and that, at the very least, it is in a pause mode, the left changed the term to "climate change."
The "marriage equality" substitution for "same-sex marriage" is just one more example of dishonest manipulation of English.
Orwellian manipulation of language by the left would be reason enough to oppose dropping "Redskins," a nearly 80-year-old tradition venerated by millions.
Argument Four is the key argument, offered by the Atlantic, in its support of Slate:
Response: "Whether people 'should' be offended by it or not doesn't matter; the fact that some people (SET ITAL) are (END ITAL) offended by it does."
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”