Any rational human realizes that the Washington Redskins’ nickname is racist. Even Redskins great Art Monk said it shouldn’t be used. However, Daniel Syder, the Redskins’ terrible owner and renowned idiot, has said he won’t get rid of the offensive word. Faced with this, Slate has decided to do it for him. Today will be the last day “Redskins” is published on the site.
Changing how you talk changes how you think. The adoption of the term ‘African-American’—replacing ‘Negro’ and ‘colored’ —in the aftermath of the civil rights movement brought a welcome symmetry with Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, groups defined by geographic origin rather than by race or color. Replacing ‘same-sex marriage’ with ‘marriage equality’ helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading. If Slate can do a small part to change the way people talk about the team, that will be enough.
While some will undoubtedly call this Slate being Slate (being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian) we applaud the move. Maybe one day Snyder will do the same, but we won’t be holding our breath.