Anti-Redskins Ad During NFL Finals' Halftime Is A Long Time Coming
When you tune in to watch the Spurs beat the Heat (is my Texan showing?) in game three of the NBA finals, keep an eye on the commercials. An anti-Redskins ad will run during NBA finals' halftime in seven major cities, and it'll give you chills. The two-minute "Proud to Be" initially made its rounds on the Internet just in time for the Super Bowl, but this will be the first time that it runs with such far-reaching national scope. The spot is financed by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, which is based an hour northeast of San Francisco.
The commercial is part of the Change The Mascot campaign, which has launched radio, social media, and soon-to-be televised critique aimed at the NFL's refusal to change the name of the Washington team. Several media outlets, including Slate, Mother Jones, and The Kansas City Star, have already spoken out against the name. The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation did not comment on how much they paid for the spot, but told The Washington Post that they saw it as a "significant investment" in ending the wholly and unabashedly racist team name.
Not that they should even have to make that investment in the first place.
Imagine any other context in which you would call a Native American a "redskin." Can you? Yeah, we didn't think so. Listen, I already mentioned I'm a Texas girl. God knows that we have some really awful high school football names that we still cling to. It's not pretty. I have a hard time swallowing that racism should be continued for the sake of tradition.
The Washington team's owner Dan Snyder told USA Today last May that they would "NEVER" (yes, he even gave them permission to use all caps) change the name of the team. That's a shame, Dan, because I feel that you're already adopting the ideals of the super old: This is how it has been, so that is how it will stay. It's the same reason that we're disgusted when an old person still uses words like "negro," and why one day it will be laughable that gay people weren't allowed to get married: We progress. As a nation. Together.
What if we had never found it unacceptable to stop using any racial slurs at all? What if were so eager to continue tradition that we refused to admit that sometimes traditions are awful? I suppose then we would still have separate water fountains and women wouldn't be allowed to vote.