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BL: redskin, redman
Posted: 30 June 2014 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Apparently the Apache helicopter is the next target. Redskin I can understand, but Apache as a racist term? That’s just plain silliness. I’ve always taken it as a tribute to a great American Indian nation.

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Posted: 30 June 2014 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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It’s an op-ed opinion by a very left wing writer. I doubt it’s going anywhere. But great fodder for the Washington Times and Fox News.

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Posted: 30 June 2014 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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First off, the rhyme is entirely independent of the discussion about ‘complexion’ (which, of course, he and Dryden were using in Galen’s sense of ‘mixture of the four humours’, not skin colour) that that terrible old faker Scott chose to drag it into.

What evidence do you have for asserting that it is a reference to hair color? Of course you are correct that complexion as used by Dryden is a reference to the humors, not skin color as I stupidly assumed. But I see nothing that indicates the poem refers to hair color rather than humeric disposition or skin color. Hair color is not out of the question, but I see no evidence for favoring that explanation over another.

And do we even have evidence of the poem’s existence before it’s appearance in Scott’s 1808 edition of Dryden’s works? Scott says it’s in an “old MS in the British museum.” But what manuscript? How old? Of what provenance? I don’t doubt that it indeed exists, but without knowing the context in which it appears, judgment on its meaning is not possible.

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Posted: 01 July 2014 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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OP Tipping - 28 June 2014 01:02 PM

How very odd.

Do these haters of race-blind opera insist that Japanese singers be used for the Japanese characters in Madama Butterfly? That Otello must be played by a black man?


Or does it only cut one way?

No, they insist that Puccini’s operas be sung exclusively by Italians. That goes for Verdi too.

Joking aside, I would rather listen to an Italian tenor sing Nessun dorma or Tosca’s E lucevan le stelle, or any Italian opera for that matter, and preferably by Pavarotti whose enunciation is exquisite.

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Posted: 01 July 2014 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Apparently the Apache helicopter is the next target. Redskin I can understand, but Apache as a racist term? That’s just plain silliness. I’ve always taken it as a tribute to a great American Indian nation.

The US Army practice is to name its helicopters after Native American tribes. Apache isn’t the only one, although it’s probably the most famous. There’s also the Blackhawk, Kiowa, Chinook, and others. The objections to these names are nothing new. Yes, the naming convention is meant as a tribute and not at all intended as disparaging, but the objection is that it is dehumanizing, reducing an entire culture to a stereotype that was invented in Hollywood in the 1930s. The fact that these are weapons of war doesn’t help matters either. I doubt the Army will change the name of the existing helicopters, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it quietly shelved the naming convention and started naming its helicopters for birds or something else.

(In a similar, but yet still distinctly different situation, in 1983 the US Navy was involved in a furor over the commissioning the USS Corpus Christi. It is a Los Angeles-class attack sub, which are all named after cities. This particular one was to be named after the city in Texas, and there had been two earlier Navy ships with that name, but the Navy got slammed from both sides. The very religious didn’t want a warship named the “body of Christ,” and the atheists objected to it as a violation of the separation of church and state. Meanwhile the city wanted the sub named for it, and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time was John Tower of Texas, so there were big political guns on the other side. The compromise was to name the boat the USS City of Corpus Christi.)

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Posted: 01 July 2014 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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It is a Los Angeles-class attack sub…

Funny. USS Los Angeles, USS San Francisco, USS San Diego, USS Saint Paul, et al, are (or were) okay, apparently.

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Posted: 01 July 2014 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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aldiboronti - 30 June 2014 09:00 AM

Apparently the Apache helicopter is the next target. Redskin I can understand, but Apache as a racist term? That’s just plain silliness. I’ve always taken it as a tribute to a great American Indian nation.

Not trying to be harsh, but Apache cultural values are based on a spiritual connection to the land and deep family connections and have nothing to do with warfare. Being good at killing people isn’t something they consider worthy of pride. Having a killing machine named after them isn’t a tribute, it’s ignorance of who they are and what they care about.

The Apaches of the old west were fierce warriors is because they were protecting their families. Being willing to fight to the death to protect your children isn’t unusual.

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Posted: 02 July 2014 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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happydog - 01 July 2014 01:53 PM

aldiboronti - 30 June 2014 09:00 AM
Apparently the Apache helicopter is the next target. Redskin I can understand, but Apache as a racist term? That’s just plain silliness. I’ve always taken it as a tribute to a great American Indian nation.

Not trying to be harsh, but Apache cultural values are based on a spiritual connection to the land and deep family connections and have nothing to do with warfare. Being good at killing people isn’t something they consider worthy of pride. Having a killing machine named after them isn’t a tribute, it’s ignorance of who they are and what they care about.

The Apaches of the old west were fierce warriors is because they were protecting their families. Being willing to fight to the death to protect your children isn’t unusual.

Well, it could be argued that the American military is at its core a defensive machine for the ultimate protection of American families from threats domestic or foreign but I take your point. As oeco pointed out, I was misled, not for the first time, by Drudge anyway and it seems there are no vociferous Apache complaints about the name, nor indeed about the other tribal names used by the military.

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Posted: 02 July 2014 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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there are no vociferous Apache complaints about the name, nor indeed about the other tribal names used by the military

I guess it depends on what you mean by vociferous. I have heard complaints, albeit nothing like those leveled against the Washington NFL or the Cleveland MLB teams.

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Posted: 02 July 2014 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Oecolampadius - 24 June 2014 07:39 AM

Regarding use of the name Redskins by the Washington, DC National Football League team, the name was never intended to be disparaging, and is part of a long tradition of using Native Americans as mascots of sports teams.

Still, as Nunberg points out, it is freighted with the same patronizing sense as “nigger” which also “might” have been innocent but ugly in ways that whites would filter out. The “never intended to be disparaging” is clouded in a history that is not pretty. The key point is the question, “would you use that name to a Native American’s face?”

This question is, to me, the most dispositive of the issue with or without a court case. I’ve heard it reported that the Washington Redskins trademark case had plaintiffs but that in fact no one had ever lodged a formal complaint. I’ve heard that there are many tribe members across the country (actually citizens of tribes) who are not offended. I’ve queried what percentage of Native Americans would have to be offended for it to be a substantial number. All of that is rendered meaningless by the fact that I would never use the term either in front of or out of the presence of a Native American because strikes me as offensive.

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Posted: 02 July 2014 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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happydog - 01 July 2014 01:53 PM

aldiboronti - 30 June 2014 09:00 AM
Apparently the Apache helicopter is the next target. Redskin I can understand, but Apache as a racist term? That’s just plain silliness. I’ve always taken it as a tribute to a great American Indian nation.

Not trying to be harsh, but Apache cultural values are based on a spiritual connection to the land and deep family connections and have nothing to do with warfare. Being good at killing people isn’t something they consider worthy of pride. Having a killing machine named after them isn’t a tribute, it’s ignorance of who they are and what they care about.

The Apaches of the old west were fierce warriors is because they were protecting their families. Being willing to fight to the death to protect your children isn’t unusual.

Somewhere there’s a “famous” letter written by a council of Native American leaders which outlines the abuses they have suffered and the reasons why warfare was forced upon them. It’s from the late 19th century, I believe, after the cessation of the Indian Wars. Ah memory, how fleeting.

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Posted: 03 July 2014 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I think all of us would agree that the meaning, significance, and import of words change over time.  Perhaps I’m over-simplifying here, but there was a time when “negro” was a perfectly acceptable word.  So there might have been a sports team named “The Springfield Negroes”, and that would have been okay at one time.  But today, even if it is not intended to be used as a perjorative term, a lot of people don’t like it.  It is an anachronism.  In 2014, it would make sense for “The Springfield Negroes” to get a new mascot.

At a time where people don’t even want to use the word “Indian”, opting instead for “Native American”, it is perplexing that there are some who would go to the battlements with a broken beer bottle to defend “Redskins”.  Apart from referring to a particular team, is this term actually used by anyone to describe Indians today?  It is an anachronism.  The word has fallen out of use, and there is a different significance attached to it.  This happens with words, and it is not always fun getting used to the new arrangement.  Among my daughter’s generation, for example, you can quickly find yourself stepping into a minefield by using the term “black”.  I predict, within 20 years, “black” will be considered an anachronism, and my grandchildren will be shushing me any time I use it.

The team should be renamed the Siroccos, seeing as Washington’s main industry is the production of hot air.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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This happens with words, and it is not always fun getting used to the new arrangement.

I don’t know about Leftpondia, but on this side of the pond ‘coloured’ is seen as a vile racist word these days, which is a problem for elderly folk who were taught in their youth that it was a polite word to use. My 86-year-old mother-in-law, for example, describes the new student barman at our local pub as ‘the coloured chappie who does Monday evenings’. What would you? Even if she could absorb and remember that ‘coloured’ is now a complete no-no, I doubt she could ever manage to force out ‘black’, which when she grew up was considered a brutally crude and offensive term. My husband and I just have to hope that Nat-the-barman and other people who hear her talk are grown-up enough to realise this and generous enough to cut some slack to the old and baffled. Not everybody is: late last year there was a bit of a dust-up about a pensioner who was banned by Sainsbury’s for describing one of their delivery drivers as ‘a lovely coloured gentleman”. Of course there was more to the story than that (in that kind of news item there always is), but recently a BBC sports commentator and a Tory MP have each (separately) got into hot water for using that word.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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I don’t know about Leftpondia, but on this side of the pond ‘coloured’ is seen as a vile racist word these days,

It’s the same here, except USAns and some Canadians spell it colored. The very elderly may be cut a break, but anyone born after 1940 (i.e., came of age in the 60s or later) should know better and would do best to avoid the word.

Color, however, can be used to denote non-whites in general, as in people of color. It’s only when restricted to African-Americans that it’s problematic.

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Posted: 05 July 2014 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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donkeyhotay - 03 July 2014 06:48 AM

I think all of us would agree that the meaning, significance, and import of words change over time.  Perhaps I’m over-simplifying here, but there was a time when “negro” was a perfectly acceptable word.  So there might have been a sports team named “The Springfield Negroes”, and that would have been okay at one time.  But today, even if it is not intended to be used as a perjorative term, a lot of people don’t like it.  It is an anachronism.  In 2014, it would make sense for “The Springfield Negroes” to get a new mascot.

Isn’t Negro still used today? I’m thinking of the United Negro College Fund and I seem to recall seeing a couple of other organizations with Negro in the title. Clearly there are some areas where it is inoffensive, although the same could not be said for redskin.

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