It's possible that with the discussions of the last week that my irony meter is a little over charged. A commenter at Don's thoughtful and exceptional website, while railing against the symbols of the racist American "losers" of the most formative conflict the country has ever faced, had this to say:
Our state does have the sin of racism, whether it be our black history, or our redmans history( whites tried to erase it). What went wrong years ago in a less civilized world, can be made right today. and should be as an olive branch to the future of all mankind.
A religious pronouncement, for certain. Fundamentally exceptionalist, what with us being all more civilized and all, absolutely. But no, what flipped the laughter switch was the term "redmans (sic) history". When I was growing up, Redman was a loose leaf chewing tobacco, grown in them there loser Souther states, whose name has come under fire for many years from the Indigenous people of America for it's racist nature. It's brand recognition has shrunk considerably due to advertising restrictions and the decrease of tobacco use, so much so in fact that it is hardly recognizable outside of that 'loser' South. Disney, the megacorp, has restricted the distribution of the movie Peter Pan, in no small part because of it's portrayal of the 'red man'. "What makes the red man red?' Still, those of us who have worked and striven to get the Washington NFL team to change it's name sense something dirty when we see reference to the "red man".
What makes this comment so ironic is that screeching about how "loser" symbols matter to racism completely ignores the obvious. The symbols most precious to human kind are words. They inform us and shape our reason. We should know, since we are all so civilized now, that black people don't like being called African Americans. They aren't African. They are simply black Americans. This is a message conveyed even by our President, a black American, who strangely the racists still wish to be African. Anecdotally, I haven't met one single Native American, or Indigenous person or member of the First Nations who liked being called "red". (That is with one exception. I knew a young Crow man in college who had red hair and freckles because his daddy was white. He loved to refer to himself as the only 'redman' in America.)
I am certain, and I mean that sincerely, that the person whose comment I am harshing on here has little understanding of the Faux Paux I refer to. 'Redman' was just an innocent little bit of racism, ignorant but not malicious. I completely accept that. I would however point out that this person while attempting to shut down another she accused of racism in the past blatently stated that Lewis and Clark encountered 'brown people', Hispanics, when traipsing through Montana. Well it's named Montana, right? Certainly the Spanish explorers came here, right? No, they never did. The ultimate irony is demanding correct opinion from others when engaging in the "sins" they commit. I won't call that hypocrisy, due to the ignorance of the offense, but I will certainly laugh my ass off at the irony.