Should Oklahoma change its name in light of Redskins controversy?

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. — After losing their trademark registration by the federal government, the Washington Redskin’s mascot controversy is hitting close to home for Oklahomans.

Richard Whitman, a member of the Yuchi tribe, remembers being teased as a child, repeatedly being called a “redskin.”

“You live with it, you know?” Whitman said of the teasing. “It was part of our little survival technique, if you will.”

He told KFOR-TV he is glad to see pressure put on the Washington Redskins to change their name.

He says it represents the scalps that were collected by bounty hunters who made a living killing Native Americans, though that has been greatly debated.

Some research documents Native American chiefs using the terms “red skins” and “white skins” in the 1700′s.

“Medical health shows the impact of this kind of imaging for young native people,” Whitman said.

But if the Redskins name is changed, should Oklahoma change its name too?

The state’s name is from the Choctaw words “okla” and “humma,” meaning “red people.”

The Choctaw Nation website says following the trail of tears, it was a Choctaw Chief who suggested the Oklahoma name during treaty negotiations, and he was referring to the people’s skin color.

Whitman says the color carries a different meaning.

“It’s a symbolic color of life, the color red, in my tribe.”

But for several Oklahoma high schools, Capitol Hill, Tulsa Union, Rush Springs, Kingston and McLoud, their Redskins mascot name is a source of pride.

“I’m very proud to be a Redskin,” Joseph Wood, a member of the Kickapoo tribe, said Thursday.

Wood recently graduated from McLoud High School, proudly played quarterback for the McLoud Redskins, and says he wouldn’t want the state’s name changed either.

“It’s very ridiculous because then you’d have to change other states,” he said. “Indiana, land of the Indians.”

He says his tribal leaders, and many others, very much appreciate being represented by the NFL.

“If you ask them, it is an honor to have a mascot portraying them,” he said, “to represent them.”

The Washington Redskins remain adamant about keeping the name.


  • The Real Nonya

    They should remove all references to Indians, this way we could remove them from out collective memory. They will become a forgotten race.

  • TheTruth

    Black people call each other the N word all the time now and they don’t get offended. So what’s the big deal with a traditional sports franchise being called the Redskins? People need to get a freaking life.

    • Denny

      I honestly don’t know if the name is “offensive” enough that it should be changed or not. But that is an absurd analogy. Would you call a black man on the street the N-word? If you met a Native American, would you feel comfortable using the term redskin to refer to them in therir presence?

  • hghgjhgj

    Yes let the USA become more like the euroPEEONS let’s ban guns,free speech, and change our nations name to england….

    • Ban the Word Police

      I am sure those of the Jewish persuasion would find that term offensive. Idiots are too stupid to realize that when they try to keep one group from being offended they are offending a different group. I just read an article where they told someone he couldn’t fly the American flag because it offended the Muslims in the apartment complex. So to appease the Muslims they offended every American in that community. Another story of a young man who had joined the Marines before his high school graduation was told he couldn’t wear his military uniform because it would offend those against the military but they sure didn’t mind offending everyone who supported that young man. By the way that young man was killed in Afghanistan a few days ago.
      This nation is sick.

      • canadianwhiskeygirl

        yep, thIs natIon Is very sIck and screwed up!!! and just to thInk!!! Its not gonna get better!!! worse!!!

      • Denny

        While I agree that this country as many problems, hypersensitivity being one of them, I can’t stand when people believe and spread every sensationalist headline they are fed. The man in Texas who was asked to remove his flag was blatantly breaking a rule of the complex that states no flags can be flown immediately outside of any unit. An OBJECTIVE report shows that there is an American flag flown on the property, and plenty of tenants adorn their exteriors with patriotic decor. Geez, some sheep will believe anything.

      • Denny

        And the high school was not worried about offending anyone that is “against the military”. They were just rigid in their rules that all students must wear cap and gown. I’ve actually heard several marines agree with the school’s decision, since it could set a precedent for any student to provide a reason they want to wear something different. Don’t believe everything you come across on the interwebs.

  • Don

    The Redskins name is changed, That is Washington, They decided to changed the name.
    Should Oklahoma change its name too? I would think that is decision Oklahoma should make.
    It’s none of anybody business, but thanks for asking.

  • sigmondseamonster

    While all the leaders and “experts” publicly state their “outrage” at the Redskins name as derogatory. Not one religious or political leader during the public statements has addressed the real issues of poverty, (lack of heating, plumbing, hunger, education, drug and alcohol abuse, suicides) on Indian Reservations. Indian Reservations that are in complete control and run by the United States Federal Government.

    • magilagorilla

      No sigmund you are wrong. Indian tribes are autonomous nations and state laws have no effect on Tribal lands, and the federal govenment has less authority on Indian land than anywhere else in the country. Indian Tribes have their own govenments, their own police force, their own social services system, and in some cases their own justice system. If you knew anything at all about Native Americans you would know this. Buy an encyclopedia, visit a reservation, go to a Pow Wow, Google it for gods sake.

  • magilagorilla

    “I have a dream….that one day a man wil be judged not by the COLOR OF HIS SKIN, but by the content of his character”
    Danny Snyder is not the first bigot to say “Over my dead body”.

  • HTTR Phil

    The PC thought police hard at work. The scalp thing that a few keep perpetuating is an awesome piece of misinformation. Strange times we live in. Sad world our kids will inherit

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