Target: Eni Faleomavaega, United States Representative
Goal: Make sure Faleomavaega’s challenge of the “Redskins” football team name makes it to court
The Washington Redskins, Washington D.C.’s National Football League (NFL) team, are having their right to use what is widely considered a racial slur for a team name challenged. Democratic US Representative Eni Faleomavaega has introduced legislation that would cancel the NFL team’s trademark of the term “redskin.” After years of similar challenges, it is clear that the name is offensive to Native Americans, but all previous attempts have failed. Support this latest and best organized effort to remove the offensive term from the NFL.
The heart of the problem lies within the meaning behind the Redskins’ team name. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, indigenous Americans were referred to dubiously as redskins. The word represents a bloody era in American history during which Native Americans were hunted, killed, and forced out of their homelands. For this reason, the current consensus is that “redskin” is an offensive racial slur. The team means no harm by using this trademark, but it is simply too offensive to Native Americans for such prominent and visible use.
Due to its controversial nature, the Washington Redskins’ trademark has been challenged again and again. Past petitions and appeals have amounted to nothing, but none of them ever made it to congress as an official bill. Co-sponsored by nine other lawmakers, Faleomavaega’s bill stands a much better chance of holding up in court. Even so, it could be years before a court hearing is ordained, and the bill needs all the support it can get. Sign this petition and urge Faleomavaega to press the issue, ridding our country of a highlighted racial slur.
Dear Eni Faleomavaega,
Since gaining independence in 1776, the United States of America has proceeded through many a bloody and controversial period on its way to the present. As such, some of the terms and prejudices left over from previous eras remain offensive to many Americans. It is the duty of our citizens and our government to snuff out prejudice wherever it exists, and for this reason you have nobly challenged the Washington Redskins’ trademarked and offensive team name.
Clearly perceived as derogatory to Native Americans, the Redskins’ trademark has been challenged again and again. I believe these challenges were right-minded, but lacked the organization and political backing to succeed. The bill you so recently introduced stands a good chance of removing the racial slur from our National Football League, and I applaud you for its conception. You have my full support in bringing the issue to Congress, and I encourage you to make sure it sees a court date.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: rope88 via Flickr