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CSotD: In honor of the day(s)

Tank McNamara (AMS) dips a toe into troubled waters this morning, with the joking suggestion that an NFL team that has finally abandoned its offensive name might consider a politically correct but absurdly clumsy one instead.

By which I mean that I can’t imagine sportscasters saying “The Indigenous People” in place of the still awkward but shorter “Washington.”

The real joke, of course, being that Washington’s football team could readily call itself the Senators or the Capitals, the secondary, argumentative joke being that maybe they should be playing in the District of Indigeny.

Of “Indigenous Peoples,” “Aborigines” and “First Nations,” I much prefer the last, which is used in Canada and feels less anthropological and more simply logical: They were here first, they were nations and, whatever their technological status, they had just as much dignity as the people with iron and stuff.

But that’s a losing battle: There are people in Canada who object to First Nations.

And I’ve met very few enrolled tribal members who really objected to “Indians,” mostly because they think the naming thing is silly in light of far more serious issues yet unresolved.

 

The gag in Tank was purely for laughs, but Lalo Alcaraz makes a more serious joke in La Cucaracha (AMS), because that is, indeed, where Columbus belongs: Forgotten, or, at least, ignored.

The Spanish explorers and Conquistadors were not a whole lot more racist and rotten to the people they found here than their countrymen were being to Jews and heretics at the same time back home, which doesn’t excuse it but spreads out the victimhood.

However, Columbus — who wasn’t Spanish but sailed under their flag — was a genuine, Grade A, unmitigated evil person, to the degree that his horrific behavior was, at the time, called out and condemned. It took some doing, to get called out back then.

It’s a shame that Washington Irving decided to make such a big deal out of Columbus, at a time when biography was less of an academic pursuit than a creative one. His heroic fable was handed down as history, which it isn’t.

And it’s particularly too bad Hudson didn’t get here earlier, because the Dutch, for whom he sailed, established good relations with the Iroquois and Mahican, particularly the former, to the point that, when the English took over New Amsterdam and called it New York, they largely left the Dutch settlers in charge of trade with the natives.

A very stark contrast with how they conducted things East of the Hudson, which I suppose we’ll get to in a month when we deconstruct the Thanksgiving myth.

But even the benevolent presence of the Dutch touched off a ruinous process that neither natives nor newcomers anticipated.

There were many bad things that happened from malice, but a lot more of the tragedies were simply inevitable, and anybody who thinks the Europeans should have — could have — behaved as if they’d opened the wrong door at a motel only to find it occupied needs to give this whole encounter a little more thought.

Reform is a lot more valuable than regret and recrimination. Stash the statues away, sort through the one-sided histories and then let’s move forward.

 

Speaking of which

Paul Berge has a nice round-up of his cartoons over the years for Coming Out Day.

Can’t blame the malice over this issue on Washington Irving, but Berge has a nice way of blending a demand for dignity with a sense of humor and his retrospective is worth a look.

 

For instance, this one cracked me up.

And, BTW, I thought the NFL did a nice job with this PSA that ran through yesterday’s games — which they won’t allow to be seen off their own YouTube channel, for reasons that puzzle but no longer surprise me.

And just as there are old men in the front office “protecting the shield,” there are throwbacks in the stands, complaining that they don’t want to see politics in sports.

I get it. They want to see grinnin’ and banjo-playing from the players, while they sit in the stands shouting Woo-Woo and making tomahawk chops along with the mascots.

Baby steps, sure.

But the train is leaving the station and people need to either get on board or get left behind.

 

And, on the topic of stepping up or falling behind, Clay Bennett (AMS) has it right: The polls more than strongly suggest that this story is drawing to a close, and none too soon, though God knows we’re in the land of ever-lasting sequels and remakes.

 

Steve Breen (Creators) decries the idea of letting people flounder pending the results of the election …

 

… while Steve Artley (Ind) doubts that people, faced with the reality in their own lives, are really buying Dear Leader’s braggadocio any longer.

 

And Adam Zyglis (Cagle) is particularly suspicious of claims that people who have been cooped up in their apartments since March have a lot of sympathy left over for Trump’s inability to do things virtually.

Particularly since he seemed somehow able to speak remotely at length with Maria Bartiromo, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Well, better safe than sorry: You just never know when those heel spurs are gonna act up on you, right?

 

Meanwhile, Matt Davies (Newsday) offers a cure for Pernicious Presidential Logorrhea, if you don’t mind walking past the Proud Boy Poll Watchers and evading the GOP’s concerted efforts to avoid counting ballots.

 

Which brings to mind that thing that has been popping up on social media for a couple of years now, that says that, if you’ve ever wondered what you would do then, you’re doing it now.

Be like Ruby. Walk tall and be brave.

 

Be like my friend Bob.

 

And have the courage to speak up, as Rupert Trimmingham did. You never know how many people may be listening.

 

But show up. Show up. Show up.

Virtually if you must, in person if you can.

 

Ira Hayes showed up when it counted, despite all that had come before, despite all that came after.

 

Community Comments

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#1 WVFran Allen
October/12/2020
@ 3:16 pm

Love the neighbors’ name in Paul Berge’s cartoon!

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