WASHINGTON REDSKINS CAN LEARN A LOT ABOUT THE WAY FORWARD FROM HORSERACING

30 Oct

It gets to a point when people point fingers, call names, ask for names to be uncalled and bully persons in the name of  whatever that you just want to tell everyone to stop, stand and listen.

A Redskin team cap was on the desk of an office I stopped in at this morning. The conversation of name change came up. The man immediately brought in the N word and the B word and then asked how I would feel if the team was called the Whiteskins. I told him quite frankly I wouldn’t care. I am not a football fan. I don’t get it over the “words.” Use allowance is imbalanced. Last time I was at Howard University the word Negro was on the knee wall dedication outside the Auditorium, the United Negro College Fund had not changed its name to the United N Word Fund, or ALL the movies using this and that word in the name of art? ‘Scuse me? and when I photographed MO’nique in concert I was HORRIFIED at how many times she used the N WORD and her audience couldn’t stop laughing so hard. They thought it was funny. I was mortified. Usually I don’t want to leave venues I would photograph. I could not wait to leave I was uncomfortable.

When will the rabi rhetoric end? Will AG Bills call for an eradication of the term REDSKIN POTATOES? Will Bills in Congress adressing Peanut Allergies no longer be able to refer to a certain kind of peanut as REDSKIN Peanut? Will the USPTO, the United States Patent and Trademark Office have to scrub historical filings using the word “Nigger” in their filings as shown in the filings located on line? Will industry have to remove the N word stated clearly in Government documents? The official count of the word “Nigger” in the movie DJANGO is 113? The DJANGO stat came from a GOOGLE search pulling up in .28 seconds over 163,000 hits for the search “DJANGO Nigger” (https://www.google.com/search?q=django+nigger&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a)

The isolating of the football team for bullying is distasteful moreso when politicians weigh in but not with Learning Curves forward. USPTO redskins

USPTO Nigger 3

USPTO Nigger 2

USPTO NHere is a place to begin.

I told the man Football Can Learn A lot from Horse racing.

I had covered as a racing photographer, the Southern California Racing circuit years back, Congresswoman Judy Chu’s neighborhood. It was glorious driving over the hills before the sun rose, arriving at the track as the sun crested the Seven Dragons. That is the nickname of the mountain embracing SA, as we called it, known in horseracing as the Jewel Of Racing. I would arrive at Clockers, the corner where owners and trainers would clock their ponies practice time. I would watch the ponies breezing in the cool of the early morning.

One morning I left the workout a different way. I stumbled upon a Japanese man holding an umbrella leading a line of Japanese to a smallish brown podium stand hidden in the bushes, so it seemed. Now, I had archived the historic track but not seen this marble stand until now. When the people left I walked over. And there I read about history most of you know nothing about. I do. I actually started to write a project about it. Sad thing was, publishers didn’t care. I did. I do. One day I hope to tell that story.

My perspective is from Racing’s Point of View. These days of self publishing everything is possible. I have a copy of the book the government published on how to lock up Japanese at a racetrack during war time. It took me a few years until I figured out HOW the government knew to sweep up the Japanese within a few days. I got clarity on what became called a land grab.

At some point I met a lady who told me she knew she was ok when she looked up and saw the statue of Seabiscuit there. She also told me, a horse lover, that horse tastes sweet. TMI.

I learned something else. Racing may be a dying sport but having photographed it globally it is a sport where cultures come together even if they cant take back the bad that someone else did. Racing didn’t lock up the Japanese. The government did. Football didn’t malign Native Americans- people did.

Now, you are talking with a girl who has a passion for the Native American culture, who understands the Four Directions, a culture that honors the gifts of the creator and is filled with glory most people almost never see anything of anymore unless it is a Hollywood-i-fied version of something or other they researched on Wikipedia. Somewhere in the world, I have an Indian Sister For Life, a shaman for whom I carted home a suitcase filled with coquille nuts for him to make artistry from. He gifted me a horse mirror. I was passed forward in one of my too many moves. I learned about the Trail of Tears while I was at the Native American museum- remember when Al Gore almost risked the museum losing funding from Congress having used the grounds for something political. I didn’t see Gore in the screening nor did I see him at anyone of the amazing pow wows I covered at the Convention Center or around DC during my years of covering news.

The conversation with the man with the Redskins cap on his desk was getting testy on his head. I told him where I am coming from in the conversation of Red, White. I am Jew. He asked me if I hated Germans. I asked him why. In fact I told him I don’t hate but there are a boatload more of Germans I like than Jews I have met around the world who don’t stand for Israel or tradition. Hating I told him is not going to bring 6 million back. I stand in a world one generation away from Europe. I don’t know who I am because I have no one to look back at to see if they are like me. Am I the only feisty female in my clan. I will never know going back.

Going forward? I told him I do that daily with tears in my heart. I know the price of hate. I am the family member who was sent photos of my brother’s body on a commuter bus in the Middle East after it was blown up. I was tasked with seeking to remove those photos off the internet. The man looked at me.

I said I cant hate. Nor can I understand the people screaming each side of the Redskin divide because I remember racing finding a way to make Beauty out of Sin.

To this day I recall the Japanese warriors dressed in armor charging their horses down the track warrior banners held so tall they tickled the sky. And then I remember the pageantry that followed. I was over the moon by the time the drummer hit their stride and drums on the track. Santa Anita brought Japan to live in a place where shame was brought.

To me? I said to the man who testosterone calmed enough to let us be bezzies again, why cant this be the way forward? He said, I never would have thought of that. I know. An editor at the Daily Caller said another thought of mine was unconventional. I own it. I am.

I know the price of being conventional.

What is getting lost in the vitriol is a Learning Moment. Imagine a day where Native American culture dominates. Imagine a scholarship invested toward bringing America’s original athletes into potential in the world of sports. Imagine rather than the traditional halftime show, traditional dances, traditional foods in the food court. I think it can be glorious. But then who am I to offer a way forward for everyone ONCE we get the politicians and the so called media out of the mix turning up the rhetoric rather than researching ways forward.

I clearly think the Pelosi family will want to get on board leading this initiative having named their waste management company after Squanto and another after his nickname Tisquantum. If we don’t move forward in grace then what have we left? Are we going to remove the Indian head off the nickel? Are we going  to airbrush out two members of the Y-M-C-A song?

Timing? I always ask that question of a mentor of mine as to the timeline I should consider. Why, Thanksgiving, of course. If it wasn’t for Squanto, there would not have been an original Thanksgiving. He saved the Pilgrims. Totally, bring out the Peace Pipe. Trust me- Peace Pipe, silk ties, prayer circle…. One has never been At One with there creator… until then.

Ok Dan. This is how it goes down. I get to pick the guest list because it is going to exclude politicians looking to plump up war chests for political battles. NO N-G-Os. NO way Smithsonian. If you could not have figured out offering a Culture Way forward having used Native Americans as props during the Folklife Festival over the years… ummm NO. I have a list of NOs that are clearly out there for this to become a peace way forward. Start collecting a scholarship fund. Offer a learning corner, a museum of sorts of Native American culture.

My son’s Native American brother Ben will come in full dress. I will do the Shawl Dance on the edge of the drum area. I already learned not to get too close tribal dancers. One chew out by a drum circle guy was good enough for me. Since I am brokering the path forward, Dan will bring my sons in for the game. He, my boys, Ben, and every day people can sit and talk together, tribe to tribe. Oh geez, didn’t anyone tell anyone the connection, possibly, between Jews and Native Americans? Why are holy days are similar in ways? Some theorize Native Americans are the Lost Tribe of Israel….

As for the knee wall at Howard and the College Fund and Mo? Let everyone take a page from the playbook of the Sport of Kings- horseracing, when you come from a culture of class and heritage, learn people the way forward…….. just like horseracing did. Racing tried to ignore the blemish that is carved in stone on SA’s fountains. Years are missing, the years that racing stopped because someone had a book written ready to go on how to deal with perceived anybody, not wanting to listen to the attache who said ‘These are people that would do anything for their country, dont lock them up.’

That I found the government’s handbook remains amazing. That I thought to copy it, was insightful. One day I want to write the rest of that story. Until then, trust me when I write we cant change the past but we can remind people of beauty in danger of being swallowed by bully pulpits, otherwise, no one wins and history gets lost in a world of edits…Nothing would give me greater pleasure than having my brother back lost through vitriol incited by leaders. Are you going to try to erase memory? Oh, yeah. Google is already working on that.

In lieu of that I offer, make this a learning curve. Changing the name wont make the discourse go away. It will breed further resentments.

Dan…. as for your marketing team? Grin…… there is a train leaving Union Station at midnight….

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