Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

The Washington R-Words

The LA Times' Bill Plaschke makes a strong case today that the NFL's Washington Redskins need to change their name because Redskin is in a league with the n-word for offensiveness.

In my experience, the people who truly believe words like "Redskin" (and "squaw") are not offensive didn't grow up among Native Americans, like I did. Back home, in the Upper Peninsula, you wouldn't say either word in an Indian bar, which leads me to propose this compromise: Let Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell go to any bar on any reservation and bandy the word "Redskin" about loud enough for the patrons to hear. If they escape without a beating, they can keep using it. We can have somebody tape the event.

Think they'll go for it?

PS: My high school's teams were the Soo High Blue Devils, with a cool mascot and logo. The hockey team was great, and the football team was awful. The mascot didn't seem to make any difference.

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