Letter to the Editor: Hail to the Redskins


When Bob Costas began his commentary on NBC Sunday night regarding the name Redskins, I thought, “finally, someone is talking sensibly about this issue.”

In the beginning, Costas conceded that that the Redskins name was not intended to be an insult. He concluded, however, with a strong argument against the team name because some consider it derogatory. Those who agree with Costas do not understand that redskins is not a disparaging label. Rather, it was chosen to depict a proud and strong people.

Few people know that Oklahoma means red people, a name the American natives used before any Europeans even set foot on the continent. Yes, some have demeaned the name, but are you going to let them steal it too? It’s not their word. Give it back to the people it belongs to. It’s not the word that demeans, it’s the heart, the mind, the soul.

Why did African-Americans adopt the label “black” in the 1960s to replace the common word Negro? It is because they are proud of the color of their skin. Black is beautiful was the slogan then. Red skin is beautiful, too.

The politically correct attitude against the use of redskins denies humanity’s ability to rise above ignorance and empowers the ideologies of racists from the past by giving credence to the slur rather than letting it die and transforming it into something positive. The racists don’t own the dictionary. Don’t give them that power.

No nation should hide the truth of their past injustices. Yes, we used the “R” word. Get over it! I’ve got news for you, we did a lot worse than that! Focus on reconciliation. Redskins is a testament to the fact that ingrained ignorance and hate can change, forgiveness and reconciliation can triumph. A word that was shameful is now honorable.

To have the name Redskins prominently displayed to the world in the heart of our national capital is not only honorable, it is awesome and never should change. Redskins means more than a football team. It represents the original Americans. Hail to the Redskins!

Robert Capellaro, Strasburg