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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Undercutting Democrats and Native American history

Dana had a couple pretty bad statements pertaining to the Redskins trademark ruling.

"Democrats want to hide their continual heinous treatment of American Indians, and they think that changing a team name that honors them will do the trick."

Yeah, I'm sure the Democrats are the only party that mistreated Native Americans.  While Andrew Jackson did initiate the trail of tears, and he was the founder of the Democrat Party, he is far from a progressive, as a matter of fact, his ideas were downright conservative.

But I digress, I find it disturbing that someone could state that Democrats came up with the idea of changing the name of a Football team to cover up their previous abuses.  Is that what Dana really thinks?  There is really no evidence Democrats are behind this, and how can such a symbolic gesture actually do anything?  Wouldn't being the first American president to hold a conference of Indian tribes at the White House or expand the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and make it permanent be a better way of "covering up previous abuses"?

"That name was a tribute to the first coach of the Washington Redskins who were formerly known as the Braves."

Well, he was never a Washington Redskins coach, because he never coached the team when it was in Washington.  It was originally the Boston Braves for one season in 1932, then in 1933 when William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz coached the team to two seasons of equal wins and losses before being fired, they changed it to Redskins.

But first, the team not only had an "Indian" coach, they also had several members of the team who were Native Americans.  But the owner at the time of the name change, George Preston Marshall, paints a very different picture on why he changed the name:

On July 2, 1933, the day the Braves officially announced they henceforth would be known as the Redskins, Marshall told the Associated Press that the name change was made in conjunction with the team’s relocation from Braves Field in Boston to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.
"So much confusion has been caused by our team wearing the same name as the Boston National League Baseball Club that a change appeared to be absolutely necessary,” Marshall said. “The fact that we have in our head coach, Lone Star Dietz, an Indian, together with several Indian players, has not, as may be suspected, inspired me to select the name Redskins."
A shrewd businessman and something of a visionary about the fledgling league’s potential to appeal to a national audience, Marshall made a simple marketing decision: Two Boston teams calling themselves the Braves was one too many, and Redskins suggested a Fenway Park tie with the Red Sox while enabling them to keep their Native American motif.
So the name wasn't changed to honor anyone.  It was done to tie in with the "Red" Sox, and distance themselves from the team that would eventually move to Atlanta, called the Braves.

There is something else here, however.   Did you know that William Henry "Lone Star" Dietz wasn't a Native American at all?  He plead no contest and served 30 days in jail for stealing the identity of a Native American so he could dodge the draft.  He actually was born of German parents in Rice Lake Wisconsin.

How could Dana, someone who hammers Elizabeth Warren all the time on this, get it so wrong here?  I guess she'll have to "read up a little bit about it" before she remarks on it again.
Howcould here:

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