Regarding Racism and Redskins

That's a picture of one of the biggest stars in American history, Bing Crosby, in the 1942 film Holiday Inn. In case you think otherwise, Crosby was a white man wearing blackface in this scene, a celebration of Lincoln's birthday where Crosby and others, some in blackface, some black (and still in blackface), sing the praises of "Abraham." Holiday Inn was a hit, and it was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one for "White Christmas" (yes, it is ironic). It is a beloved classic, something that plays around Christmas and, often, the "Abraham" scene is cut out.

The funny thing about this is that in 1942, very, very few white people would have thought twice about Crosby acting like a black man. In fact, it was still seen as a mighty fine form of entertainment. It was acceptable. It was the way things were. Casual, quotidian racism was everywhere; it was a part of the American cultural landscape as much as it was part of the American sociopolitical landscape.

Advertising was filled with unsubtle racist caricatures. Tom and Jerry cartoons, into the 1950s, featured a Mammy who was constantly reacting to Tom's behavior. Aunt Jemima? Uncle Ben? Rastus, the Cream of Wheat chef? This shit was America, inescapable, insidious, and ubiquitous.

Times change, good people of the USA. Aunt Jemima got a makeover. Tom and Jerry was redubbed. We warn people when something awful from the past is going to be shown. And General Electric doesn't advertise its products like this:

You don't hear much from anyone about how much they miss having smiling, chicken-eating boy in their advertisements. Very few people are wistful for do-rag wearing Aunt Jemima (except in a kitschy way). Oh, sure, sure, when the change first happened, you heard idiots talk about "tradition" and "oversensitivity" and some such shit. But now who cares? Gone and good riddance.

So it must be with the Washington Redskins. We are long, long past the time when the name and logo should have been changed. To believe otherwise is to stand with the blackface performers and the Aunt Jemima originalists. "Redskin" is an insult, purely and simply. That this is even a debate is ludicrous, and, frankly, it speaks to the fact that Native Americans lack even minimal power in the nation.

This is one of those "controversies" that the Rude Pundit simply doesn't understand. You're a business. Your name pisses people off. You fucking change it, especially when representatives of the group you're offending say things like, "We have to be careful about making another human being a mascot of anything...We’re no one’s mascot.” You change it because, if you don't, your business will suffer. Or, fuck it, you can go down with the ship.

And after you've changed your name, Washington football team front office, which you know you're going to do and are just fucking around with people to sell more of your shitty merch before it's all history, maybe you could get around to getting rid of this Robert Griffin III mask:

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