Okay, so maybe because I’m a professional racism chaser, the featured video in this post makes me a little biased. If my longtime friend and colleague here at The Intersection Of Madness & Reality, Dana Lone Hill hadn’t kept me up to date with “life on the rez,” as she calls it, chances are I’d be apathetic.
You know, like some of you reading this.
Let’s be real, if we’re to depend on mainstream media, we’d think that Native Americans have gone the way of the dinosaur. But thanks to people Dana and the resilience and perseverance of Native American people who refuse to lay down and die, someone like me can appreciate what I believe to be the best Super Bowl ad to date. The featured ad above is just the latest shot fired the American psyche in the ongoing fight against the Washington Redskins over the name “Redskins,” which is a racial slur. And if you didn’t know, the original owner of the Redskins, George Allen, was openly racist white man, as pointed out with great detail by Mike Tomasky at The Daily Beast.
When George Preston Marshall died in 1969, he left some money to his children but directed that the bulk of his estate be used to set up a foundation in his name. He attached, however, one firm condition: that the foundation, operating out of Washington, D.C., should not direct a single dollar toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” Think about that. This was not 1929 or 1949. Even in 1960 such a diktat might have been, well, “understandable” in a Southern city such as Washington then was. But 1969; “in any form.”
This is the man who gave the Washington Redskins their name. He was one of the most despicable racists in the American sporting arena of the entire 20th century. He thought Redskins was funny, just as he thought the war paint and feather headdress he made the head coach wear were funny. And this is the legacy that current Redskins owner Dan Snyder wants to uphold?
Oh, and Marshall also voted against integrating the league back in the day as well.
As image conscious as is the NFL (National Football League), the fact that this ad funded by NCAI (National Congress of American Indians) being played during the world’s largest sporting event and unofficial national holiday, is ironic. With the Super Bowl, as an event, celebrating cultural diversity and is arguably more American than baseball, the hope is that this ad will have a lasting impact on the conscience of viewers. Having said this, do check out the ad above and tell me what you think.