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#1 Jun-18-2014 01:24:pm

tree hugger
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U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Full Article, video and photos:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/us- … story.html

U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration, says name is disparaging



The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.

“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”

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#2 Jun-18-2014 02:07:pm

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

mèxkeòhkësichik  =  "Indians"  (literally, "red-skinned-ones")  A Lenape word.

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#3 Jun-18-2014 02:41:pm

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

sschkaak wrote:

mèxkeòhkësichik  =  "Indians"  (literally, "red-skinned-ones")  A Lenape word.

I knew I could count on you. I have to say though that I am absolutely stunned by some of the racist comments I am seeing as this goes to local news media. neutral

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#4 Jun-18-2014 04:09:pm

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Oh, yeah!  Racists make up at least 20% of our population; and, probably 75% of the idiots who post on online news articles.

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#5 Jun-18-2014 06:13:pm

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Okay there mister I need some back up on those statistics! lol

I have a serious question though (imagine that) even though the term is not exactly what is meant, what about the images and derogatory messages sent out.

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#6 Jun-18-2014 08:01:pm

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

The statistics are "impressionistic." lol   So far as the "images" and "derogatory messages" are concerned, I have to agree with the late Russell Means on this issue.  He said that Indian names for sports teams should be banned--not because the teams who use them mean anything derogatory or racist by them, but because these names engender racist and derogatory images and remarks from the fans of their opponents.  The problem is that other proponents of the ban have invented a "history" for this particular name, which is, quite bluntly, a lie.  And, I have seen no statistics to show that even a majority of American Indians favor this ban.  Is there a poll which shows this?

(edited for spelling error)

Last edited by sschkaak (Jun-28-2014 10:12:pm)

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#7 Jun-19-2014 06:09:am

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Is there a poll which shows this?

I thought I saw a poll on this a few years ago actually.  I'll take a look.

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#8 Jun-19-2014 10:49:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

This, from a Wikipedia article, is the only poll of American Indians, on this subject, that I can find:

"In a study performed in 2004 by the National Annenberg Election Survey, Native Americans from the 48 continental U.S. states were asked "The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive or doesn't it bother you?" In response, ninety percent replied that the name did not bother them, while nine percent said that it was offensive, and one percent would not answer."

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#9 Jun-19-2014 10:55:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

If someone could cite one instance (at least!) where the name, "Redskin," was used, historically, as a deragatory or pejorative term, I'd very much like to see that.  People keep saying this without showing a single example of it!

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#10 Jun-19-2014 11:04:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

This Wikipedia article on the name is really very informative:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redskin_(slang)

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#11 Jun-19-2014 03:36:pm

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

I found a reference where in 2001 Indian County Today did a poll, but I am not finding the original poll. I've seen several versions of what it said too.

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#12 Jun-20-2014 05:32:am

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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Archived, including graphs (at link): 2001 Indian County Today poll.

http://www.aistm.org/fr.2002.of.polls.htm


AMERICAN INDIAN OPINION LEADERS: American Indian Mascots
Respectful gesture or negative stereotype?

Posted: August 07, 2001 - 12:00am EST

In a survey by Indian Country Today, 81 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots are predominantly offensive and deeply disparaging to Native Americans.

"Indian mascots, by today’s standards, would be offensive to any other race if portrayed in a similar manner," wrote Fred Blue Fox, Sicangu Lakota. "Indian peoples are no different in regarding the depiction of eagle feathers, face paints and war objects such as tomahawks. These are all sacred to the people and therefore have no place in any sort of public display, let alone mascots."

Only 10 percent of respondents indicated use of American Indian mascots is a respectful gesture and predominantly honors Natives. Nine percent of respondents did not know if American Indian mascots either honored or offended Natives.

Mark Thornton, Cherokee, taking a position within the minority viewpoint, wrote, "It is my opinion that mascot and other uses of Native American tribe names, terms, etc … causes the world to acknowledge and respect us. The use of these Native American names for our weapons systems, mascots, and products brings honor and recognition to Native Americans."

Seventy-five percent of respondents also believe use of American Indian names, symbols and mascots at non-Indian schools, colleges and universities should be in violation of anti-discrimination laws.

"It should be recognized there was a time when Black Americans were put through the same treatment as we face today," wrote Dan Townsend, Ojibway and Odawa. "However, their revolts toward society led to laws that forbid discrimination towards them, and opened a door to shine a light on Amerindians and Hispanics."

Twenty percent of respondents indicated that the use of American Indian mascots at non-Indian schools is not in violation of anti-discrimination laws while 5 percent did not know.

Seventy-three percent of respondents also indicated that American Indian mascots create a "hostile educational environment" for Native American students. Seventeen percent indicated that it did not create a "hostile educational environment" while 10 percent did not know.

Dan Webster, Seneca, commented, "I believe that as long as Native names, symbols, etc … are used, the school should avoid using them in a non-stereotypical manner and should also get permission and/or advice in the use of the symbols of the tribes involved. As long as the school follows these basic guidelines, I don’t think it would create a hostile educational environment for Native students."

Respondents also were asked if federal and state education funds should be withheld from schools that continue to use American Indian names, symbols and mascots. Sixty-nine percent indicated yes, 22 percent said no, and 9 percent did not know.

"Under no circumstances should a nation, race or culture be used for entertainment of others," wrote Jerry Gaspard, Choctaw and Tsalagi. "If we cut off funds to these institutions, we hurt only the students that need it the most and that includes Indian students. The program that needs to be instituted should be education for those that walk the fence line between racism and those that just want to belong."

Kara Hawkins, Nez Perce commented, "All teams have named themselves to aspire to the name. The Warriors. The Tigers. The Chiefs. The names themselves are honorable. It’s what the fans have done with them. It’s what the media has done with them. It’s what advertising has done with them. To change the public’s attitude is to do as our ancestors do it, by our own example. Our sights and energies should be set on more important concerns, the environment and continued connection to Spirit."

To become an American Indian Opinion Leader send name, tribal affiliation and email address to: aio@clarityconnect.

Survey comments

"I don’t know why so many people have such a problem with treating Native Americans the same as any other minority group in regards to stereotypical portrayals. … If you refer to me in a manner I find offensive, then you are being offensive ... Telling me you are honoring me by referring to me in that offensive manner does not make it OK, and it does not make it an honor."

-- Carey Purnell, Tsimshian

"Its hard to say what’s right or wrong when it comes to the mascots, but I don’t think our people should be used for "mascots" ... We were already hurt by "Hollywood’s impressions of Indians" which we’re still trying hard to change ...."

-- Brenda, Siksika

"I firmly believe most white Americans believe American Indians possess a kind of magic charm that could enhance their victory at sports events. They do not look at the basis that it offends American Indians … (Black Americans’) revolts toward society led to laws that forbid discrimination … and opened a door to shine a light on Amerindians and Hispanics. …"

-- Dan Townshend,

Ojibway-Odawa Nations, Sagamok First Nation

"Indian mascots, by today’s social standards, would be offensive to any other race if portrayed in a similar manner. What most white people do not understand is that the regalia depicted in mascot art is sacred to Indian people. Catholics would be offended if a caricature of the Pope or of the Chalice or Eucharist was used as part of the art for a mascot for a sports team, Jews would be offended if the Torah was depicted as part of mascot art, etc. … ."

-- Fred Blue Fox, Sicangu Lakota

"I feel that teams and mascots were named after our people simply because we are who we are. … They appear to be names that were common at the time with whites, (braves, Indians, redskins, chiefs, etc... .) … it is up to the individual to be proud of or offended … ."

-- Jason Solomon, Cherokee

"With all the hardships and shortcomings facing Indians in today’s world, I think this is the silliest ‘cause’ to argue, and there is little to be gained even if the battle is won. I sincerely believe time is better spent developing local economies, promoting higher education and assuring Indian communities of adequate health care, along with a myriad of lesser concerns …"

-- E. Wilson, Oglala Lakota

"This issue is not as simplistic as this survey indicates. The intent is what is important to the question. Under no circumstances should a nation, race or culture be used for entertainment of others, such as the Cleveland Indians logo, or the phony Florida Seminole cheerleader. … The program … should be education for those that walk the fence line between racism and those that just want to belong. … ."

-- Jerry Gaspard, Choctaw-Tsalagi

"I leave the bandwagon on this issue. All teams have named themselves to aspire to the name. The Warriors, The Tigers, The Chiefs. The names of themselves are honorable. It’s what the fans … the media… advertising has done with them. To change the public’s attitude is to do it as our ancestors do it; by our own example. … Our sights and energies should be set on more important concerns, the environment and continued connection to Spirit."

-- Kara Hawkins, Nez Perce

"It is an abomination that Indians are still perceived by many as heathens and scalp hunters, which is still being helped to be a perpetuated thought due to these symbols and mascots, etc. Other groups of peoples would not wish their names desecrated in such a fashion. To use the Indian names in such a fashion is irreverent and hinders the cause of freedom that we still seek to attain."

-- Lone Eagle Eye, Blackfoot

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#13 Jun-20-2014 07:32:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Two polls.  Two diametrically opposed results.    It would be interesting to know just how these two polls were conducted.  What tribe believes tomahawk's are "sacred"?  That's a new one, to me.

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#14 Jun-20-2014 07:39:am

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

I'll see if I can find that out... later.

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#15 Jun-20-2014 08:07:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Well...  For one thing, the polls were on two related, but different, subjects.  One was on Indian mascots for sports teams, in general, while the other was specifically on the Redskins name.  No matter who was polled, both polls are over a decade old.  I'd like to see if attitudes have changed in the past ten years; and, whether or not that change, if any, was influenced by lies (from people on either side of the issue).

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#16 Jun-26-2014 04:51:pm

chiefptm
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

He Ray how are you? I was reading your post about the red skin name,and I noticed that the Goverment does not like the name 83 years after its use,but the goverment, the one that does not like the name red skin,has named a state with the choctaw name or word(okla, meaning "people" and Humma meaning red)

so says wikipedia,  so my question is does the patent office demand they change the name of the state

















?

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#17 Jun-26-2014 05:57:pm

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Good point, Peter.  What's more, the name "Oklahoma" ['Red People'] was coined by the Chief of the Choctaw, Allen Wright (pictured below)--not by non-Indians.

/pb.php?url=http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o128/RayWhritenour/Allen_wright_zpsfd8c7564.jpg

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#18 Jun-27-2014 05:57:am

tree hugger
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

I forgot to get back to the poll discussion...oops.

I've read a few articles (I can find the link if needed) that state a new, unbiased poll would cost in the six figure range. It would probably take a long time to complete too. I don't see that happening.

Good point about Oklahoma.

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#19 Jun-29-2014 10:51:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Apparently, this issue is being driven by a small but very vocal minority. I continue to see anomalies in the argument logic (such as one of the most vocal individuals hails from a reservation that has a high school team called---wait for it---the Redskins (Amanda Blackhorse, and the Red Mesa High School Redskins))! I guess, just like the N-word, the acceptability of the term depends on your ethnicity.

Nonetheless, it is now a normal political occurrence for a loud minority to make the big changes. A minority that constitutes less than 5% of the population has redefined marriage for us. A minority that composes about 10% of the population is removing any mention of religious conviction from the public forum.

I suspect that the polls I continue to see cited don't account for indifference. Apparently most Natives are indifferent toward the mascot issue because it doesn't affect their daily existence. A majority of people are indifferent to redefining marriage because it doesn't affect their marital status. A majority of people are indifferent to the distortion of "separation of church and state" because they aren't very religious anyhow and it hasn't affected them (yet).

And somehow, along the way, tolerance got redefined as well. Tolerance now requires that you not criticize anyone else's beliefs or practices for any reason because to do so might threaten their sense of self-worth. The most obvious place where the paradox of this can be seen is the demand that Christians tolerate the free expression of every other spiritual viewpoint except their own. Ironically, society in general makes exception to their own rule: child marriage, jihadism, and such are so objectionable to the Western mentality that we condemn the practices but demand tolerance of the religions that practice them.

There is a definite disconnect here...


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#20 Jul-06-2014 08:29:pm

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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Full article and more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/one … story.html

One Native American family with Redskins ties disagrees on whether name is offensive

Donald Wetzel Sr. knew what the Washington Redskins meant to his father. But it wasn’t until he stepped onto the team’s Virginia training grounds a few weeks ago that he learned what his father meant to the Redskins.

During a visit arranged by the franchise, he was shown a bronze statue of the team’s Indian head logo that he was told normally sits in owner Daniel Snyder’s office. On it were these words: “Walter S. Wetzel will forever be a part of the Redskins family because of his work in getting this logo put on the helmets.”

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#21 Jul-08-2014 06:44:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

In the following story, by Pawnee artist and author, Brummett Echohawk, note the use of "Redskin," "Red man," White eye" and "Paleface," etc.--NOT as pejoratives, but simply as synonyms for Indian and Whiteman, etc.  Echohawk passed away in 2006, and published this in the 1970's (This reprint is from Oklahoma Today, 1973-74 issue.).  If the word, "Redskin," had had any pejorative connotation by that time in history, he certainly never would have used it.  In other stories by him, he uses the word frequently; meaning nothing by it but "Indian."  (Good story, too!)

CON MAN IN FEATHERS

by Brummett Echohawk


This is a story of a con man. No City Slicker. No fast-talking carney.  But a Pawnee Indian.

He, like some other Indians, traveled with the Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in the early years of this century. The combined shows toured big cities with cowboys, Indians, cowgirls, Mexican vaqueros, covered wagons and stagecoaches. In the arena the Indians spectators to their feet by chasing buffalo from horseback. They sparkled with colorful war dances. From New York to Denver, from tanbark to tanbark, thundering hooves, gunfire and war- whooping Indians thrilled thousands.

This story takes place in New York City while the show played at Madison Square Garden. Indian performers were looking after the paint ponies at the chutes while waiting to go on. Many people had seen them that day on parade and on a tour at Coney Island. The Paleface cliff dwellers had their curiosity up.

In full regalia, the Indians groomed the horses and combed out cockle burs. They painted the cockle burs white for ornaments and saved strands of horse hair for weaving hat bands. During breaks the Pawnee Indians smoked pipes of roasted sumac leaves mixed with Bull Durham. Always, they saved the Durham sacks with cigarette papers.

Now City Slickers from a fancy speak-easy came to the chutes to entice an Indian over for a few drinks and to make sport of him. A full blood Pawnee wearing war paint, eagle feathers, beaded leggings, breechcloth, dance-bells and a colorful shirt went along. Remembering instructions from Pawnee Bill about not speaking English while on tour, the Pawnee made sign-talk only.

At the bar he was inundated with drinks. There was heckling. The leader of the White-eyes was a redheaded bartender in a silk vest with garters on his sleeves. He wore a mustache. His red hair, parted in the middle, swooped like the wings of a Redtail hawk. He eyed the Indian and twisted his mustache to the thoughts of Lo, the poor Redman.

"Down the hatch, Chief!" "Skoal, Chief!" "Bottoms up, Chief!"

"Lo, the poor Redman!"

But the Chief wasn't born yesterday, nor was he a reservation Red-man. He had gone to school at Carlisle in Pennsylvania. Palled with Jim Thorpe. Knew the King's English. And he knew his way around.

He went along with the party. But he made sure all drank when he did. When a heckler hesitated, the Redskin in war paint and feathers glared at him, making the Paleface feel like Gen. George A. Custer himself. When the party had a glow on, the Pawnee opened a beaded pipe bag. In broken English he asked for a saucer of water. Curious, the bartender obliged. The Indian took strands of horse hair from the bag and dropped one into the saucer of water. Folding his arms across his chest, like he had seen Indians do in William S. Hart pictures, he told the house that he was a medicine man with heap magic. "Hair turn to snake!" he bellowed.

All eyes focused on the thick strand of hair in the saucer of water. Soon it moved. Then the hair wiggled, twitched and appeared to swim. Jaws dropped. The bartender snapped the garters on his sleeves. Men crowded forward. It swam. They all saw it. Then another hair and another serpent.

The city slickers had never seen Indians before. Oh, they had read James Fenimore Cooper, and about Pocahontas saving What's-his-name, but this Indian was something else. They beheld him as Pharoah did Moses.

Then the Pawnee removed from the bag white cockle burs, freshly painted. He held them delicately in the palms of his hands and said they were porcupine eggs, then invented a legend about them. He added a sales pitch: a sales pitch that could have brought about the sale of Manhattan Island again. The Pawnee sold the cockle burs for a dollar apiece.

They went like Osage oil leases.

The befeathered Indian then took the sumac leaves and sold sparing handfuls for two dollars. His sales pitch: genuine Indian health tobacco guaranteed to keep you young. As a giant savings, he filled the Bull Durham sacks for a higher price. The house buzzed with excitement. The bartender fingered his mustache.

Now the full blood Indian deftly wrapped strands of horse hair in Bull Durham cigaret papers. With the drama of John Barrymore on open-ing night, he presented the packets as do-it-yourself-snake-making kits. They sold like hot cakes.

As a finale, the crafty Redskin took an eagle feather from his headdress and placed it on a table. He borrowed a pocket knife, dramatically ther lifted his eyes and spoke, "Aw-kuh, Chatickstakah!", which means loosely "good grief, White Man!" For all the captivated audience knew the words could have meant Open Sesame or Open Red Sea. He bent down, putting his face close to the feather. He pointed the knife blade at the tip of the feather. The Indian kept talking and slowly moved the blade. The feather jerked then crept to the blade. Wherever the bronze hand moved the blade the eagle feather danced and followed as though magnetized. The White-eye audience oh'ed and ah'ed. The redhaired bartender stroked the wings of his hair with amazement.

The Indian erected himself, filled the beaded bag with greenbacks and silver dollars, then cut out, leaving a spellbound audience.

The hour was late. While the Oklahoma Indian had been busy doing his thing, the show had left for Pittsburgh. He moccasined to Brooklyn and got in touch with the Mohawk Indians, some of whom had been his Carlisle schoolmates. They put him on a crack passenger train to Pittsburgh in time for the next show.

Back in Pawnee, Okla., the Indians chuckled over this for years. So did Pawnee Bill and his cowboys when they got wind of it. It was one time the Indians and cowboys were on the same side; for both knew that a strand of horse hair will wiggle when soaked. When soaked in water the segments form air pockets which collapse erratically, animating the hair with a twitching motion like a wiggling snake. And it takes no heap magic to make an eagle feather become "magnetized" to a knife blade. One merely diverts attention while he blows an undetected breath through half closed lips. All feathers are designed to trap air; so it moves. Big deal.

So it was when the Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill Wild West Show came to New York. Thousands thrilled and remembered. And so will a few City Slickers and a redheaded bartender, who paid a price for "porcupine eggs," Indian health tobacco and a do-it-yourself-snake-making kit.

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#22 Jul-13-2014 11:29:am

sschkaak
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Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Another Brummett Echohawk story, from Oklahoma Today, Spring, 1979.

COWBOY MOVIES

As a Pawnee Indian youngster growing up in the early '30s at Pawnee, Saturday was a big day-the day we saw a Cowboy-and-Indian matinee. Saturday, also, was the day when many Indians came to the Pawnee Indian Agency to transact business. Pawnees, Otos, Poncas, Kaws, Kickapoos, Sac and Foxes, Shawnees, Iowas. They came in colorful blankets, shawls, long hair braided in bright colored yarn, eagle-winged hats tipped with a feather and beadwork. Some of the oldtimers wore a dash of paint on their faces; not war paint but family colors.

On Saturday the Pawnee Indian Boarding School permitted its students to come to town, visit their parents and take in the matinee. This worked well as youngsters acted as interpreters for their grandparents who were curious about motion pictures but could not understand English.

Pawnee Indian School, two miles east of Pawnee, was operated in a military fashion. Ages ran from 5 to 15.

I started when I was 5. Many tribes were represented there. We wore wool uniforms. A grey tunic that choked you at the neck. The buttons were Army copper like something left over from the days of Custer. The pants had a stripe down the leg like the old-time Cavalry. The cap was military too. We flattened our arches in heavy government shoes. Called them "bullhides" but kept them shiny. As we march to town in battalion formation, the cadence of the "bullhides" resound like the long grey lines of West Point.

We greet our parents in the court yard of Pawnee. We are proud of our uniforms and stand erect for our folks to see. Grandpa fingers his braids and eyeballs the "cavalry" stripe with the icy concern of Sitting Bull.

After the greeting, we head gleefully for the Buffalo Theater. Youngsters lead Grandpa by the hand for they are to be interpreters during the movie.

The matinee is a stock western. First, in a scene of a western town.

The Indians in the theater watch in silence. A cowboy in a white hat, neckerchief, gloves, packing a pearl handled gun, and mounted on a white horse, gallops into town.  His chest ' out.  A closeup reveals a clean-shaven face.

The old-time Pawnees with braids turn to the interpreters. The youngsters reply without taking their eyes off the screen, "Chaticks-takah tudah-hah" (good whiteman).

The good whiteman dismounts,flashing fancy boots and silver spurs. "Chaticks-takah tudah-heh?" "Au-hu (yes), Grandpa. Good Guy." The Good Guy swaggers into a saloon with spurs jingling. Men greet "Kik-ketta leshah?' His name is Tim McCoy," answers boy. "Tiwako, Noah (they said hello) Tim McCoy!" At the bar Tim McCoy orders a glass of milk. Ruffians at a poker
table take note and look at each other with devilment in mind. The Indians in the theater take note too but look at each other in bewilderment,

"Kirah-katah? (whisky?)"

"Kaw-kih" (no), Grandpa.

"Milk."

The Buffalo Theater buzzes with many tribal dialects and accented with sign talk.

Ruffians heckle the Good Guy for drinking milk. They wear ordinary hats, ordinary neckerchiefs, ordinary boots and ordinary guns and wear no gloves. All need shaves. A ruffian in a black hat and mustache bulls forward. He causes Tim McCoy to spill milk. All ruffians laugh.

"Chaticks-takah kaw-coo-hareh", growls Grandpa. "Yes, Grandpa. Bad whiteman-bad guy."

We unbutton our tunics when Tim McCoy narrows his eyes at the bad guy. Pop corn sacks rustle. Then Tim McCoy belts the bad guy, sending him crashing over a poker table. We kids spring to our feet and cheer in Pawnee, Oto, Ponca, Kaw,Shaw-nee, Kickapoo and Iowa. Pop corn flies as we help Tim McCoy slug it out with a dozen bad guys without losing his hat.

The golden afternoon flickers by with cattle stampedes, a chase, gun-fire, cliff-hanging rescues, flying hooves, dust and a pretty girl in a covered wagon.

Now covered wagons race through Indian country. Wheels churn dust.

"He ta ku too ra wi ou ah ri. Kit-re keru? (Why are the wheels turning backward?)," ask the old Indians.

"Ka kah ti-ra-ce (I don't know).  Wheels always turn backward in a picture show," reply the pop corn eaters.

Redskin drums are heard. Indians in the theater perk up. The drumbeat is so un-Indian that it causes a titter. Now a Redskin lurks on the screen with drumming fanfare.

"Uhoom, uhoom (look, look)"

Moccasined feet fidget.

A close-up shows a Redskin in a low-foreheaded wig held in place by a headband. He needs a shave. The "Indian" has grey eyes, which appear all white like Orphan Annie. He scowls at the covered wagons, then mounts his "Indian" pony from the wrong side and rides clumsily away.

This brings belly laughs.

"Aw-kuh, Chaticks-takah," chides an old Pawnee. ("Aw-kuh" is an expression of disgust, something like "good grief." "Chaticks-takah" is whiteman).

"Yes, Grandpa. Good grief"!

Most Indians don't shave, much less show a need to. The Poncas object to the Redskin's hairy chest and "white eyes." The Otos, who are expert horsemen, ridicule the horsemanship. "Buh!" they exclaim. It is an expression of levity.

An "Indian chief' appears on the screen. The theater thunders with laughter. The chief is feathered and fringed from head
to foot. He wears Navajo silver, a Sioux war bonnet, Cheyenne leggings, Apache moccasins, Comanche beadwork, woman's braids and a ghost dance shirt. His war paint is something else. And he, too, has "white eyes" and a 5 o'clock shadow.

The Redskin in the seedy wig approaches the chief and points a sporting goods bow in the direction of the wagon train. The Indian chief folds his arms over his chest and replies with grunts. Pawnees, Otos, Poncas, Kaws, Kickapoos, Sac and Foxes, Shawnees and Iowas explode with laughter. The chief's pony prances and rumples its blanket, exposing stirrups of a western stock saddle. The Indian audience groans. Then the chief war whoops and charges. Humped, and hanging on to the saddle horn, he bounces away.

"Aw-kuh! (Good grief!)"

"Buh!" snorts an Oto.

The Redskins attack, yelping and firing in the air. Paleface men and women pick off the circling savages, often dropping the same horse and rider over and over again. More Redskins bite the dust than there are on the Pawnee Indian Agency roll.

After much horse-hoofing and gunpowder, Tim McCoy corrals the head crook, who happens to own the saloon and run the town, and who is in cahoots with the Indian chief with the 5 o'clock shadow. Tim McCoy calls him a low down coyote then doubles a fancy gloved fist.

The Long-braids in the theater ask for an explanation.

There are no harsh words in Indian languages. Animals are creatures of the Great Spirit and their names are used with honor in name giving. To call one low down in Pawnee is to say that that person is merely to be looked down upon and shown pity. So the young interpreter coughs hurriedly in Pawnee that the Good Guy calls the man a coyote and is to be looked down upon and pitied. The Long braids shake their heads when the Good Guy calls the other whiteman a name of honor then beats the day lights out of him when he should be looking down on him and showing pity.

"Chaticks-takah, (whiternan)," scoff.

In the meanwhile back at the wagon train the battle rages. The toll of skins now exceeds the roll of the Civilized Tribes.

A bugle sounds. Redskins scatter. The Good Guy leads the U.S. Cavalry to the rescue.

The theater is silent.

Indians squirm in theater seats.

We kids squirm too--squirm because the Good Guy kisses the girl.

"Aw-kuh! (good grief)"

"Yes, Grandpa. Good grief!"

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#23 Jul-13-2014 04:57:pm

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

These are good stories, and I see your point. Buh!


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#24 Jan-11-2015 02:31:am

Suckachsinheet
Member
Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 968

Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

It occurred to me, as I was reading one of the stories to my wife, the use of "redskin" here may have had some literary value, given the time period and audience these stories were targeted at. In those times, Natives would have been accustomed to be being referred to by a pejorative in mainstream media (not unlike the use of "darkies", "coloreds", etc.) and white readers would have expected the same. Consequently, the use of "redskin" and "skin" in these stories may have had more to do with wider marketability of the story than the embrace of those words as "acceptable" among the Native population.

Last edited by Suckachsinheet (Jan-11-2015 02:33:am)


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#25 Jan-11-2015 08:12:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4299
Website

Re: U.S. patent office cancels Redskins trademark registration

Suckachsinheet wrote:

It occurred to me, as I was reading one of the stories to my wife, the use of "redskin" here may have had some literary value, given the time period and audience these stories were targeted at. In those times, Natives would have been accustomed to be being referred to by a pejorative in mainstream media (not unlike the use of "darkies", "coloreds", etc.) and white readers would have expected the same. Consequently, the use of "redskin" and "skin" in these stories may have had more to do with wider marketability of the story than the embrace of those words as "acceptable" among the Native population.

First of all, "redskin," like "paleface," is a term coined by Indians--not Whites.  (Read Goddard's article.)  Secondly, there are no instances of the term being used as a pejorative by non-Indians; but only as a synonym for Indian.  (Read Goddard's article.)  The nonsense about it referring to "bloody skin"--due to scalping and skinning of American Indians--is an invention of politically motivated individuals in the late twentieth-century.  If you can show the evidence that the term was customarily used as a pejorative, by the mainstream media, please do.  And, the publication, "Oklahoma Today," was widely read in American Indian homes, as well as in White homes.  These issues came to me from an Indian family.

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