Jeb Bush apparently thinks its funny to make a joke on the campaign trail that the name of the football team is not offensive but the name of the town, Washington, is offensive. He berates activists and other stakeholders who have engaged in the time honored tradition of protest and petitioning courts to redress wrongs. Previous blog posts have addressed why it is not an infringement of free speech for a judge to say that the federal government cannot provide copyright protection to an organization's logo that uses a racist name. Mr. Bush also displays an astonishing insensitvity to the core issue: this name is an insult to an ethnic group that also happened to be the first people in North America. The name is an affront to Native Americans and should be offensive to every human being. An insult to one is an insult to all. It is not funny, Mr. Bush, cut it out. See http://wpo.st/VuSh0 for more information about this offensive banter.
Governor Jerry Brown signed into law today a prohibition against public schools using the R-skins name as a mascot and logo. California becomes the first state to enact a law of this type and hopefully other states will follow soon. When the government creates schools or copyrights, it has the right to declare what the schools or copyrights sanction. Some defenders of the name cry that this is an infringement of free speech. But this is separate from free speech rights. In these cases, the government has created something and the government has the right to say what can and cannot be affixed as a name to its creation. It is just like a private corporation saying what its logo and mascot will be. We hope other governments at all levels follow as well as several private sector organizations. The more pressure, the more this stays in the news, the more heat Mr. Snyder will feel to step into the 21st century. As we chant when we gather petitions, "No honor in racism, stop celebrating manifest destiny and genocide. It is time to evolve. Change the name and logo!" See http://time.com/4070615/california-redskins-ban/ for more.
Josh Silver is one of the founders of RWF and is a life time fan that wants the name changed!