Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

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LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

(Red) Skins Trademark Battle
Goes To Supreme Court
An NFL Franchise Holds Onto Racist Tradition

Skins Trademark Battle Goes to Supreme Court,
Group Claims "Redskins" is Derogatory

By Jim Iovino

NBC New York News
First Published: Sep 15, 2009 6:58 AM EDT
Updated 11:18 AM EDT, Tue, Sep 15, 2009

The battle of the Washington Redskins' team name has reached the U.S. Supreme Court, but don't worry, you probably won't have to tape over the Redskins' logo on your favorite jersey anytime soon.

Lawyers for a group of Native Americans filed a petition for certiorari in the case that has bounced around courtrooms for years, according to Legal Times. The Native American group claims that the name "Redskins" is a derogatory term for Indians. They want the Redskins trademark, which was issued in 1967, canceled.

The latest ruling on the case by the U.S. Court of Appeals said the claims weren't allowed because the group didn't file in a timely manner, not because any court agrees or disagrees that the trademark is offensive or racist. So now the group's lawyers are asking the Supreme Court to review that decision.

But (the group's lawyers) asserted that the doctrine does not apply, because the law explicitly allows cancellations of trademarks "at any time." He cites a 2001 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Marshak v. Treadwell, in which now-Justice Samuel Alito Jr. said trademark cancellation claims are not time-barred. "We hope that ruling will be of some help," said Mause.

What does the trademark battle mean for the Redskins? The Washington Post summed it up after the latest court ruling in May:

Attorneys for the National Football League franchise say the name is a sign of honor but are also fighting to protect millions of dollars' worth of sales of Redskins merchandise. If the team had lost in court, it could have continued to use the name on Redskins paraphernalia but would have faced a tougher time preventing merchants from infringing on its trademarks.

What does this all mean for Redskins fans? Not much at the moment. The group's lawyers said the Supreme Court probably won't take up the petition before the end of the year.
So, Chief Zee is free to scalp as many Cowboys as he wants -- for now.

ROD's Personal Remarks
From Boyhood To Manhood On This Matter

As a Black man living in America I totally understand why the name "redskins" is a racial slur which post owner Jack Kent Cooke and present owner Daniel M Synder dismiss as "nonsense".

I remember as a little kid playing with my Cowboys (green colored) and Indians (brown colored) 3-inch figure toys. I even remember seeing the ads for them during my early childhood when I was collecting comic books. The price of the collector series was something like $1.00 for the set or something like that; certainly not more than $5 duckets.

Anyway, through an obvious (to me years later) indoctrination or acculturation process as a young kid, I always had the cowboys beat up on the Indians because that was what you were supposed to do. And so whenever I was bored or had extra time inbetween my homework assignments, or watching tv, or playing with my friends, I'd break out the Cowboys vs. Indians and the Cowboys would win yet again.

I don't know how it happened, but one day I was old enough to realize, "wait a minute, why are the Cowboys (supposedly good guys) beating up on the Indians (supposedly bad guys)? What did the Indians do wrong that they deserved this treatment (that I'm participating in)? And the ultimate question I asked myself which hit home was "Why am I beating up (well, let's be real here, killing) the Indians whose skin of brown looks just like mine???

From that introspective and enlightening moment forward (I may have been 10 or 14 years old, I can't quite remember) you can best believe I had the Indians kicking the COwboys' asses from that day forward. I even remember throwing away the Cowboy toys slowly and keeping the Indians where again, whose brown skin looked like mine.

Around 1982 I started to take a big interest in pro football, the NFL. Like any other kid under the influence of sports, I liked a team because they were either popular, they were winning, or they had qool colors! In my case I became a Redskins fan because of all the above reason along with starting quarterback Joe Theismann throwing the ball through the air and down the field; running back John Riggins who in true NFC East fashion pounding the ball inbetween the gaps the guards ans tackles provided for him or running outside the tackle box.; and Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs running the team with the ultimate passion , charcter and humility. But honestly, what really took me over the top and making the Redskins my favorite team as a young kid was seeing a close-up of the helmet emblem which had this dark-skinned Indian on it. I was like, "WOW! Now that's fucking qool!!" And so ROD became a Redskins fan.

As much as I like the Redskins and have been a fan for over 25+ years now, I have struggled (as a fan) over the last 15 years of wearing my Redskins gear (jerseys, jackets, etc.) proudly out in public. I LOVE my team, but I also realize the name "redskins" is derogatory and that's what I'm torn about. Everytime I wear m gear I feel like I'm supporting the "redskins" insult (from a African-American perspective). I realized many, many years ago that the name has to change!!!!! The act of the matter is that if the team was called the "Blackskins" you can best believe that name would have been stricken down and banished eons ago. Because the Native American population in the United States is so small and their political power is not very strong and formidable, it has been heard for Native Americans to fight the Redskins NFL franchise and get the name changed. Though I'll tell you what, I have been following the case over the years, and my Native American bruthaz and sistahs have been fighting the good fight tooth and nail for many, many years now.

I sincerely hope my Native American bruthaz and sistahs get their wish. The Redskins organization need to stop with their white male privilege bullshit and their rhetoric around "we honor Native Americans" and just change the name of the organization. I came up with the name the Washington Shamans. If Native Americans tell you the name "redskins" is derogatory and disrespectful then why are you being stubborn like a bitch and holding onto the name??? DAMN!!

I was just reminded by my friend Bernard (Bejata) of how the Redskins NFL franchise has always been steeped in racist behavior going back to he franchise's found
er George Preston Marshall

Consider this excerpt partly from the
George Preston Marshall entry on Wikipedia.com:

Marshall was a very hands-on owner. For most of his tenure as the team's owner, he frequently micromanaged the team. The notable exception was during the Flaherty era—coincidentally, the franchise's first successful era.

However, he is best known for his intractable opposition to having African-Americans on his roster. According to professor Charles Ross, "For 24 years Marshall was identified as the leading racist in the NFL".[2] Though the league had previously had a sprinkling of black players, blacks were excluded from all NFL teams just one year after Marshall entered the league.

Ross asserts that Marshall propelled the NFL to institute a "color barrier" akin to that of its baseball brethren. As a result of Marshall's prodding, owners like the Pittsburgh Steelers' Art Rooney (who had hired a Black player on his first team and strongly professed his belief that black and white were equal to him) and the Chicago Bears' George Halas (who also believed that Blacks should be able to play), fell into line. Of course, no one openly admitted that a racial line existed, but it was apparent that it did. Indeed, years later, Halas remained defensive of the thinly veiled policy. "The game," claimed the legendary league founder and coach, "didn't have the appeal to Black players at the time." Hence, from 1934 through the 1945 season, Blacks, excluded from the NFL, were forced to settle for less than financially-rewarding exhibitions or semi-pro leagues.

While the rest of the league began signing individual blacks in 1946 and actually drafting blacks in 1949, Marshall held out until 1962 before signing a Black player. Moreover, the signing only came when Interior Secretary Stewart Udall issued an ultimatum – unless Marshall signed a Black player, the government would revoke the Redskins' 30-year lease on the year-old D.C. Stadium (now Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium), which had been paid for by government money and was owned by the Washington city government (which, then and now, is formally an arm of t he federal government). Marshall's chief response was to make Ernie Davis, Syracuse's all-American running back, his number-one draft choice for 1962. Davis, however, demanded a trade, saying, "I won't play for that S.O.B." He got his wish, as the team sent him to Cleveland for All-Pro Bobby Mitchell. Mitchell was the first African American football player to play a game for the Redskins, and he played with the team for several years, initially at running back, but he made his biggest impact at wide receiver.

The Redskins became the final pro football franchise to integrate in 1962.