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Letter: Fight over name illustrates problems with our culture

Fight over name illustrates problems with our culture

The coverage of the Lancaster Redskins team name is an illustration of two things wrong with American culture. The first is that when discussing this topic, be it locally or nationally (as it relates to the Washington Redskins of the NFL) ordinary citizens, politicians, pundits et al., trip all over themselves to use the term Native American instead of American Indian. I find this curious and insulting as I, too, am a native American, but I am not an American Indian. I am descended from those evil Europeans.

I refer you to no less an authority than the Oxford English Language Dictionary, which defines “native” thusly: “A person born in a specified place or associated with a place by birth.” Hence anyone born in America is a native American. Oxford goes on to say this about American Indians: “The term is still widespread in general use, however, because it is not normally regarded as offensive by American Indians themselves.” Once again the PC crowd has taken it upon itself to be offended for someone else and adopted the term Native American in an attempt to confer some special standing on American Indians. They deserve to be treated the way all Americans are treated, not better and certainly not worse.

The second problem is what my daughter-in-law would call a “first world problem,” meaning that the time and emotion being devoted to a team name could only occur in a culture where people are not worried about, say, having their heads cut off. Due to the greatness of this country, people actually have the time for this stuff. The “Greatest Generation” used to say “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Needless to say, the focus on emotions first has caused subsequent generations to be anything but great.

Joseph P. Brignone

Buffalo