Well, they went and did it.


The Red Mesa High School on the Navajo Reservation in Red Mesa, Arizona, a public school with a student body nearly 100 percent Navajo Indian was forced to change their team’s name.


Their name is “The Redskins.”



Nah, just kidding.


What really happened was the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, acting on orders from On High cancelled six trademarks owned by the Washington Redskins after deeming them offensive.


Note this likely doesn’t affect the football team in any meaningful way. It’s their trademark registration that got cancelled. Trademark registration makes life easier in some ways but there is still a recognized association in common law with the team and their name and logo. The owner can still sue anyone who infringes them with every expectation of winning.


The issue of Indian sports team names has been building for some time now. The only problem is, nobody really took it very seriously before.


I think most people, like myself, just said, “OK, I don’t think it was meant to be offensive but if I’m wrong and you find it so, then let’s change it. It’s just a football team.”


And how do we know if most Indian people find it offensive?


Well that could be a problem. You see, saying “Indian” is like saying “European.” It covers a lot of languages and cultures as different from each other as Scotsmen are from Albanians.


We could ask the various tribal governments to conduct opinion polls. In my youth in Oklahoma that was done over the issue of “Little Red” the traditional Indian dancer who performed at Oklahoma University football games way back when.


The polls appeared to show the majority of Indian people in the state were rather proud of the association, but enough people made a fuss about it that it was deemed not worth the trouble and the institution was abolished.


Incidentally it broke the heart of the young man chosen to be Little Red that year who’d dreamed of it all his life, but he was doubtless suffering from “false consciousness.”


I don’t know what polling Indian people would show these days, if opinions have changed or if they differ from tribe to tribe.


My attitude has been it’s not worth the trouble. Change the names if it bothers you, and if other Indian people disagree, sort it out amongst yourselves.


Maybe it’s one of those things like the N-word, OK for the in-group, not OK for the out-group.


Then the government had to get involved. And make no mistake, it won’t stop at the Patent and Trademark Office. What certain opportunistic white folks on the hard left are after is to cripple the First Amendment protections of free speech.


What this decision does is force free speech advocates to defend something that looks either silly or offensive. And yes it must be defended, assaults on liberty almost always start with issues most people find trivial, or downright distasteful.


I’m old enough to remember when assaults on free speech came mostly from the right, and usually concerned pornography.


So defend this we must, but we’d better realize we’ve been backed into a corner on this particular free speech issue.


Well played lefties, well played.

Well, they went and did it.

The Red Mesa High School on the Navajo Reservation in Red Mesa, Arizona, a public school with a student body nearly 100 percent Navajo Indian was forced to change their team’s name.

Their name is “The Redskins.”

Nah, just kidding.

What really happened was the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, acting on orders from On High cancelled six trademarks owned by the Washington Redskins after deeming them offensive.

Note this likely doesn’t affect the football team in any meaningful way. It’s their trademark registration that got cancelled. Trademark registration makes life easier in some ways but there is still a recognized association in common law with the team and their name and logo. The owner can still sue anyone who infringes them with every expectation of winning.

The issue of Indian sports team names has been building for some time now. The only problem is, nobody really took it very seriously before.

I think most people, like myself, just said, “OK, I don’t think it was meant to be offensive but if I’m wrong and you find it so, then let’s change it. It’s just a football team.”

And how do we know if most Indian people find it offensive?

Well that could be a problem. You see, saying “Indian” is like saying “European.” It covers a lot of languages and cultures as different from each other as Scotsmen are from Albanians.

We could ask the various tribal governments to conduct opinion polls. In my youth in Oklahoma that was done over the issue of “Little Red” the traditional Indian dancer who performed at Oklahoma University football games way back when.

The polls appeared to show the majority of Indian people in the state were rather proud of the association, but enough people made a fuss about it that it was deemed not worth the trouble and the institution was abolished.

Incidentally it broke the heart of the young man chosen to be Little Red that year who’d dreamed of it all his life, but he was doubtless suffering from “false consciousness.”

I don’t know what polling Indian people would show these days, if opinions have changed or if they differ from tribe to tribe.

My attitude has been it’s not worth the trouble. Change the names if it bothers you, and if other Indian people disagree, sort it out amongst yourselves.

Maybe it’s one of those things like the N-word, OK for the in-group, not OK for the out-group.

Then the government had to get involved. And make no mistake, it won’t stop at the Patent and Trademark Office. What certain opportunistic white folks on the hard left are after is to cripple the First Amendment protections of free speech.

What this decision does is force free speech advocates to defend something that looks either silly or offensive. And yes it must be defended, assaults on liberty almost always start with issues most people find trivial, or downright distasteful.

I’m old enough to remember when assaults on free speech came mostly from the right, and usually concerned pornography.

So defend this we must, but we’d better realize we’ve been backed into a corner on this particular free speech issue.

Well played lefties, well played.