Slate to Strike ‘Redskins’ From its Vocabulary

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By Betsy Rothstein Comment

Slate announced today that it will no longer refer to Washington’s NFL team as the “Redskins.” Instead they will refer to it as “Washington’s NFL team.” It joins Washington City Paper, the Philadelphia Daily News and Buffalo News in the cause. Editor David Plotz says of the team name, “It’s extremely tacky and dated—like an old aunt who still talks about ‘colored people’ or limps her wrist to suggest someone’s gay.”

In a story published today, Plotz reasons, “Time passes, the world changes, and all of a sudden a well-intentioned symbol is an embarrassment. Here’s a quick thought experiment: Would any team, naming itself today, choose ‘Redskins’ or adopt the team’s Indian-head logo? Of course it wouldn’t.”

An excerpt:

“Changing the way we talk is not political correctness run amok. It reflects an admirable willingness to acknowledge others who once were barely visible to the dominant culture, and to recognize that something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others. In public discourse, we no longer talk about groups based on their physical traits: No one would ever refer to Asians as yellow-skinned. This is why the majority of teams with Indian nicknames have dropped them over the past 40 years.

Slate is owned by the Washington Post Company, which just sold WaPo to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. Plotz writes, “Speaking as a Post subscriber, I wish they would change.”