This is classic modern liberalism. It is why I have dubbed our age "The Age of Feelings."
In classic progressive fashion, the Atlantic writer commits two important errors.
First, it does matter "whether people 'should' feel offended." If we ceased using all arguments or descriptions because some people feel offended, we would cease using any arguments or descriptions. We should use the "reasonable person" test to determine what is offensive, not the "some people are offended" criterion.
On a recent broadcast of my radio show, I played excerpts of winning songs from the recent Eurovision Contest. One of them was from Hungary, and after I announced the Hungarian title, I jokingly translated it as "Let's invade Romania."
A man called up, and in unaccented English said he was of Hungarian stock and that I should apologize for offending him and Hungarians generally. I told him that his taking offense at a harmless joke was his problem, not what I said.
Teaching people to take offense is one of the left's black arts. Outside of sex and drugs, the left is pretty much joyless and it kills joy constantly. The war on the "Redskins" name is just the latest example.
Second, it is the left that specializes in offending: labeling the Tea Party racist, public cursing, displaying crucifixes in urine, and regularly calling Republicans evil (Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column last month, wrote that the Republican mindset "takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable." For such people to find the name "Redskins" offensive is a hoot.
The New Republic announced on Thursday that it would follow Slate's lead. And Mother Jones said on Friday it, too, will avoid using this R-word. They join The Washington City Paper, Washington online site DCist.com, the Kansas City Star and football writers at the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Daily News. If the Redskins have any pride, they should not allow reporters from any of these publications into the Redskins locker room or give them free seats to any Redskins games.
The logo of the National Hockey League team, the Ottawa Senators, features a helmeted male senator of the Roman Empire. In the name of not offending the transgendered and of gender equality, the left will one day find that offensive, too; and demand that the logo feature a helmeted female as well.
That is one of many reasons to fight the left on changing Redskins name. The left never stops.