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L. Brent Bozell
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Here Come the Indian Mascot Killers

Comment

Anyone who thinks the cultural left is going to stop its political correctness with the Washington Redskins isn't reading USA Today. On the top of their Sports front page on July 22, the paper reported on activists taking a stand against "redface," championing a group called Eradicating Offensive Indian Mascotry.

The thought police have turned on the sirens.

The group's creator, Jacqueline Keeler, now equates "redface" with "blackface," and wants all headdresses and other "culturally insensitive" costumes and makeup banned, followed by banning all Indian team names, since they allow fans to "play Indian" with war paint and headdresses and so on. And on.

USA Today reporter Erik Brady reported how the San Francisco Giants have instituted a policy "against fans wearing culturally insensitive attire, apparently a first-of-a-kind rule in major American sports." Fans who see such a thing are supposed to text message stadium security with the world "FOUL."

How will the Giants brass judge what is intolerably insensitive and what is not? Giants Senior Vice President of Communications Staci Slaughter wants to make sure "everyone feels welcome at AT&T Park." That is, unless you're judged "culturally insensitive."

No word yet on what dwarfs think of the height-insensitive "Giants."

One Indian activist who was detained by security for harassing non-Indian fans with headdresses promised he would text security if a Cleveland Indians fan wears any apparel with the traditional Chief Wahoo cartoon art. Atlanta Braves fans doing the "Tomahawk chop" would surely be disciplined. Florida State fans, you're next.

Brady wasn't just reporting on this San Francisco political correctness. He used the opportunity to push it.

"USA Today Sports asked the Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Kansas City Chiefs and Washington's NFL club whether they would consider a similar policy and if they are comfortable with some fans of their teams coming to games dressed as pretend Indians."

And: "USA Today Sports asked the NFL if it is comfortable with fans of the Washington and Kansas City teams attending games in feathers and war paint and if the league favors rules against fans wearing culturally insensitive attire in stadiums where those two teams play."

And: "USA Today Sports asked MLB if it would encourage other teams to adopt policies like the Giants' and asked as well what happens if Native Americans find official MLB merchandise, such as Cleveland's or Atlanta's, offensive." For now, these leagues tried to defer back to local teams and insist they're only against "disruptive" behavior.

The pressure will mount.

Brady tweeted out an argument from psychologist Dr. Mike Friedman that "social science shows direct connection between Indian team names and depression and other factors that lead to suicide." Friedman "says high suicide rate among Native youth makes Indian mascots an issue of public health, not political correctness."

Brady ended his crusade of a story with Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, who recalled crying and feeling violated when the Washington Redskins Band marched by in a Fourth of July parade in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2000. "There was the band leader in this fake yellow headdress and I just couldn't believe how I felt, like this terrible violation," Pata said. "I actually physically had to turn my back. Tears streamed down my face and I left."

Call us insensitive, but we don't believe a word of it.

Brady and his gaggle of media-elite censors in sports and news sections aren't interested in the fact that a majority of native Americans are not offended. They prefer to pretend that everyone is represented by the Indian radicals who see racism in every fan who loves their Indian mascot, just as every short person in San Francisco sees hate in their Giants.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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