Let me start by telling a little information about me. I have a good amount of Native American blood. My mother's first cousin took the time to actually become a registered as one of Native American Heritage. You have to have proof to be able to do it. That is how much Native American we have in our blood. I must admit that I don't know the details of that heritage as well as I should, but that doesn't change the facts. So I have a more personal viewpoint than some others.
I am not giving you that information to make you feel like my opinion counts more than some of yours. I give you that so that it can be taken into account where I am coming from.
So many people look at this issue and feel as though we are losing something as a society whenever an issue of "offense" comes up.
"People are so easily offended."
"Everything offends someone."
"We won't have anything if we get rid of everything that offends someone."
I must say that I don't completely disagree with these statements, but they don't answer the question:
Should the Chiefs have to change their name?
But before I jump into that, let me give my opinion on the Red Skins name change since right now it is a real issue ad the Chiefs name change is just a hypothetical. Then I will tie them together.
I absolutely believe the Redskins should change their name. Based on the information about the naming owner being a blatant racist and the negative connotation associated with the title "Redskins" to some Native Americans due to the title being used as a derogatory term by people who tried to wipe us out , I definitely believe that the name should be changed.
Not all offense is created equal.
As far as whether I believe that the Chiefs should change their name? Well I don't think they should.........unless
it is determined to be something deeply offensive.
Now some of you do, but most of you don't know which nationality I go by. That said, I pay close attention when Caucasians give their opinion on things linking to racism. Because that is what this is really about. Racism is why the term "Redskins" is offensive. The issue is that many Caucasians are really insensitive to the issue of racism because it is something that they have never experienced. Now before many people say "I am white and I have experienced racism". "I know Asian's, Blacks, or Hispanics who don't like me."
That is not racism. Until some form of unfair action has been taken against you simply based on your perceived race, then you haven't experienced what I am talking about. Everyone has experienced prejudiced people. But historically speaking, Caucasians have never had another race attempt to wipe them out or enslave them. Therefore, there aren't any situations to which you can relate the issue.
So when someone White (it takes a while to keep typing Caucasian) says something that is insensitive to the issue, then it offends many people. It is like when men make comments about child birth pain. That can make women mad and rightfully so.
Now let's get into offenses. For someone whose only interest in a title is "that is the name of my sports team", what they say doesn't carry too much weight against someone who had that title used against their people an an attempted genocide. This is pretty irrefutable since a person resembling what we know to be a Native American is the symbol for the Redskins.
So to answer the initial question, I don't think the Chiefs should change their name, but I would change that stance if I found out that Chiefs was a racist term that was used to degrade a group of people. The Redskins, whether offensive in title or not is a term based on a specific group of people. It is insulting to me to make an ethnic group a mascot, and twice as insulting to make the name a term used by a group of oppressors to insult that ethnic group.
A Chief is a title. It is not a particular people. But we do use alot of Native American props. But if those props don't offend anyone, then I am cool with it.
Now I want to ask some questions.
Why is it that many of us act as though we are fighting for our rights whenever we stand up against someone who is offended? We act as though our change is more important than offending another human being. I mean really offending someone.
What if someone said "I want to get the name of the Bears changed because my dad was killed by a bear".
Should we change the team name? (This is an open ended question just to make us think)
I will end with this. There is a difference in being offended because we simply don't like something and being offended because of an implied meaning or connotation that negatively affects someone. If we all do what we can to not offend others, the world would be a much different place. Are we going to offend people along the way? Sure we are. The question is once we have learned that we have offended someone, how are we going to handle it? Are we going to try to convince people that they shouldn't be offended or are we going to get rid of what offends, even if it is only when the one it offends comes around? We all have a part to play and we are entitled to our opinions, but we should at least try to be considerate of others and what they may be going through.
Oh, and if this post offends you, I apologize.