WaPo has informed us via a poll that a majority of Washingtonians
are racist don’t mind that D.C.’s football team is named after an offensive term for Native Americans (or, as the AP Stylebook once insisted we say, American Indians).
Washington City Paper’s editor Mike Madden had this thought, in reference to the poll and the controversy that’s preceded it:
Maybe this season I’ll refer to the team as “the Washington Kikes” on Twitter to see if that upsets anyone. (Note: I am a kike myself.)
— Mike Madden (@mikemadden) June 25, 2013
So many places to go with this.
First, for the second day in a row we had to consult the Urban Dictionary just to figure out what you all are talking about. Yesterday was “shart,” but that’s hopefully all behind us now. The term is, predictably, offensive to Jewish people. Like all good slurs, it started out with particular meaning for those it denigrates.
WaPo’s Clinton Yates, agreeing with Madden’s sentiment, suggested Madden write an explanatory column for those who might drop in and be confused as to why he seemed to have suddenly turned into the Nazi version of Paula Deen. From there, other suggestions on what to call the team poured in. Garance Franke-Ruta, senior editor at The Atlantic:
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) June 25, 2013
Bonus points for the clever tie into another DC story that had us all hyperventilating just yesterday, but back to Madden.
In the midst of it all—and we’re talking a Twitter conversation that spanned almost 4 dozen tweets—Madden comes up with a pretty interesting idea, one we can squarely get behind if not just for the entertainment value: “We should organize a bunch of columnists to write pieces and refer to the team by slurs against their own ethnicity.”
What’s the phrase Joe Muto, the Fox Mole, said in his new book that Fox News producers used? Whipping up the crazies? Yes, please. The list of what we could call the Redskins just amongst FishbowlDC’s writers is probably more than enough to get us started (we hear many in the anonymous tips box we get from some of you each day and won’t take the time to list them all here).
But alas, Madden sees a flaw in his plan. “Though unfortunately (and unsurprisingly), Post poll indicates white fans have least problem with name, so… might not do much.”
Come on, Mike. Like people caring has ever stopped a journalist from writing before.