Here in North Dakota a years-long battle over the University of North Dakota’s Fighting Sioux nickname ended with a whimper when the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe lost a federal appeal in their lawsuit against the NCAA.
Yes, that’s right, at the end of that fight the people fighting hardest to keep the Sioux nickname at the university where the Sioux Indians themselves.
I was thinking of my friends at Spirit Lake – I got to know some of them quite well during the nickname fight – as I read about CBS columnist Mike Freeman describing Native Americans who support the Washington Redskins nickname as “Uncle Toms.”
CBSSports.com writer Mike Freeman wants the Washington Redskins to change their team name, and thinks any American Indian who doesn’t feel the same way is a new “Uncle Tom.”
“Sure, there will be some Uncle Tom American Indians who will say Redskins honors them, just like there were some Uncle Tom blacks who once didn’t mind being called colored,” Freeman wrote.
In his column, titled “Redskins not offensive to you? How about the Washington N-Words?,” Freeman argued that supporters of the “Redskins” name might as well not oppose the idea of a team going by the “Washington N-Words.” “If we’re going to be bigots, why not go big?” he wrote.
There’s a special sort of arrogance that goes into attacking a group of people for refusing to feel victimized by something as trivial as a sports team nickname. Attacking them by resorting to racial slurs, no less.
Mr. Freeman – who is black – presumes to know Americans Indians should feel about the Redskins nickname, but attacks actual Indians who disagree with him.
To be sure, there are plenty of Indians who are offended by the Redskins nickname, but it seems there are quite a few who are ambivalent toward it or even, as Freeman admits, downright appreciative.
Does that mean these people are being obsequious in the face of some supposed white racist oligarchy? Or do they maybe just have an honest opinion that runs contrary to the left-wing victim narrative?
Therein lays an ugly truth about the left’s victim politics. If you challenge their narratives, you’re a racist. Or, if you’re a part of the victim group they’re championing at the moment and you challenge the narrative, then you’re a race traitor who doesn’t know what’s good for you.
Because people of a certain skin color are supposed to think a certain way, I guess? Far more racist than any sports team nickname or mascot is the idea that having a certain skin color means you have to think a certain way.
There’s nothing in that which has anything to do with tolerance.