Clearly, we can count Bill O'Reilly in the "Native Americans are being too sensitive about the 'Redskins' name" club at Fox News. Last night, he seemed to think he'd find a kindred spirit in guest Charles Krauthammer. But no. In an extended - and very enjoyable - smackdown, Krauthammer nailed it repeatedly. Best line: "If I were to ask you how many Indian Americans or Native Americans are in the Congress, you would not say, 'There are two redskins.'"
O'Reilly began by suggesting that people who think the name of the Redskins team should be changed don't understand the "genesis of the name," i.e. "Indian fighters." O'Reilly continued, "So now we have a politically correct society - and I'm not saying that with any derision, although I don't think it's a healthy thing to be overly politically correct. But I'm not saying that in this case with any derision, that is going after 'Redskins' because it sounds like it's a pigmentation discussion when it really isn't."
Krauthammer took some swipes at sportscaster Bob Costas, President Obama and a tribal chief for lecturing and "playing the race card" about the name. And Krauthammer insisted that the name is used with only good intentions. But the rest of what he said was right on point in all respects.
First, Krauthammer pointed out that "words change over time. They evolve. You're talking about what the word meant 200, 300 years ago." He cited as an example, the word "Negro" which was the polite and respectful way to refer to an African American 50 years ago but now implies a "patronizing attitude." Krauthammer added, "If I asked you how many African Americans are in the Congress, you wouldn't say, '45 Negroes,' because you understand - regardless of your intent - the word has acquired a connotation, again for reasons having nothing to do with you, that is a negative. So you don't use it."
But O'Reilly was determined to gin up ethnic/social animosity by suggesting that those who dislike the name "Redskins" are putting white people who like it at an unfair disadvantage. O'Reilly said, "But you don't hear an outcry from Native Americans across the board. ...So I'm just wondering whether this is a - it's hard to defend 'Redskins' in this politically correct time that we live." O'Reilly said he has "some sympathy" for the owner because "there's a lot of legacy built into it" and the name "connotes strength."
But Krauthammer's comeback was priceless. Again insisting that he has sympathy for those who want to keep the name, he added, "If I were to ask you how many Indian Americans or Native Americans are in the Congress, you would not say, 'There are two redskins.' And the reason is, regardless of your intent, you wouldn't use the word."
Krauthammer also said that when he was younger, he used the word "gyp" as a synonym for "cheat." When he later learned that "gyp" is short for "gypsy," he said, "I didn't take a poll of Roma or gypsies. I didn't ask the leader of Roma in Hungary which way he goes. I don't care which way they go. I simply stopped using the word because I thought it's the decent thing to do. ...You don't want to deliberately associate somebody or a group with something negative like 'cheating' and if you can use another word, why not?"
O'Reilly even tried to grouse that changing the word would mean changing the team fight song and that, supposedly, he has heard Krauthammer sing it.
"I hum," Krauthammer quipped.
I think we have a winner.
The only way I can see the team changing its nickname would be for the NFL to lose money because of the name since the way the NFL system works is all teams get equal share of television, cable, radio and advertising revenue. It’s why the Green Bay Packers can financially compete with the New York Giants equally. If the league owners were to see profits drop because of the team’s name, then we would see a change. Until that or a change of heart from Daniel Snider the current owner, it’s unlikely.
Billy would call it offensive, and intimidate the owner of the “Black Irish” and demand he change the name. He would send Intern Jesse to chase that owner down and demand an explanation of that name.
These frauds’ grandparents and great-grandparents were murdered and/or discriminated against because they were Irish.
We need to remind Billy of his Irish ancestors.