September 27, 2014

FedEx boycott?

So now it appears there's some actual offended native Indians, who want to see the Washington Redskins name changed. I hadn't seen any instances of it prior to this, so I was skeptical about the need for the name change. The question I kept asking myself was "Why now?"  In fact I'd read somewhere that there were native Indians who claimed they had no problem with the name. I'm sure for many native Indians, this isn't high on their priority list, compared to issues like education, standard of living issues etc. But it's always been possible that some view the name as insulting and certainly if that is the case, there's a case to be made that the underlying issue with respect to everything else that affects native Indians (like education and living standards) has been impacted by negative societal attitudes.

Fair enough. But let's see how the free market reacts to the notion that FedEx be boycotted unless the team name gets changed. Will it spread across all tribal employees as the chief had requested? Will it spread beyond that? If so, the Washington Redskins might react, since FedEx is a major sponsor of the organization (the Redskins play at FedEx Field).

This is how real pressure gets applied - not by media complaining. This is an attempt at creating a real economic impact. If it works, the Redskins will have to change their name. Even if enough native Indians react as suggested, a strong statement can be made. On the other hand, perhaps this is just a squeaky wheel making some noise. Time will tell whether this is the free market in action or just more rules for radicals in action, or perhaps just more political correctness in hyper-drive.


  1. Thank you for your use of the sensible and non-racist term native Indian in the article. It has chapped my glutemus maximus a bunch since the PC crowd decided in the '80s that the term which describes me and my family should be used in the future to describe that group. Actually, I do not think native Indians are even American since they claim their reservations are "nations".
    A Native American

  2. Thank you for your insights on this issue. When I was in grade school in the 70's we were taught that the reason native Indians were called that was because the European explorers who found them thought they had landed in India. We were also taught that because they had the same name, in order to differentiate between the two groups, it was important to use the term native Indian or Indian when speaking or writing.

    It made sense to me so I have always used it that way. I've heard people use the term natives which I assume is a shortened form of the term native Indians.

    I guess technically it would make sense to differentiate by tribe (e.g. Mohawk, Cree). But that can be confusing. I'm not sure how native Indians might feel about being grouped together like that. I imagine it depends on context - Europeans might not mind in some circumstances being called Europeans. But I'm sure there are times when Italians probably don't want to be lumped in with say the Irish. Similarly, Indians probably bristle when people here lump in Pakistanis and Indians without much thought.

    All that aside, identifying as a group or ethnicity is fine, but I find when dealing with someone, it is important to treat them as an individual and not as part of an ethnic, religious, racial, gender or national group. That's where the PC crowd goes off the rails with their "you've offended x group". Really? Every last one of them? How do you know that?


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