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Letter: Nickname is not offensive to most people in Lancaster

Nickname is not offensive to most people in Lancaster

I would like you to understand that it would be impossible to make everyone happy. My mother taught me, however, that we should attempt to keep the majority content. That said, I’d like to know how many Lancaster residents are offended by the name Redskin.

As a native Lancasterian, who has chosen to raise my family here, my husband Class of ’75, daughter ’06 and son ’12, were very proud to have been Redskins, but then again once a Redskin always a Redskin. I have never heard anyone use our mascot in a derogatory way. Point of fact, I have only heard it when they say they’re “proud to be a Redskin.” In my experience the term has never been used to mock or mistreat anyone.

I feel the naysayers that are coming forward now are the individuals using it negatively, and where were these offended people 40, 50 or 60 years ago? Also, how would this name change affect them, as it will definitely affect us? In 2005 David Skinner discussed the Indian language scholar Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Institute, research that the opinion of the term redskin was a self-identifier. Skinner quotes Goddard, “the actual origin of the word is entirely benign. It was part of a racial vocabulary that Indians often used to designate themselves in opposition to others whom they (like the Europeans) called black, white or so on.”

What I don’t understand is why people are so worried about offending a few people when there are so many other things we should be focusing on that are more important to our children and their futures.

Jane O’Brien and family

Lancaster