Specter of 'Big Brother' hovers over Redskins name protest [Letter]

I am not a Washington Redskins fan; quite the contrary — I worked there in 1999-2000 and had a very negative experience.

Yet what is happening with the protests over the team's name is a disturbing example of what can happen when certain members of the media make a determination and government oversteps its bounds ("Redskins name controversy heats up with federal cancellation of trademark," June 18).

The one issue that nobody wants to raise is that the vast majority of those who are offended by the name are not Native American — the one group that is supposed to be offended. We hae yet to see a large and concerted protest by Native Americans to make this change.

Some say this is because they lack the political firepower that other minority groups possess. But that is no longer the case since 50 members of the U.S. Senate signed a letter supporting changing the team's name. From what I have seen Native Americans are either offended, indifferent or in some cases even proud of the name — demonstrated by the fact that Redskins are the high school mascots on several reservations.

Another mantra gaining momentum is that Redskins is the same at the N-word. That just isn't true. The vast majority of Americans, when hearing the "R-word" simply think of the football team and place no deeper meaning to it. That certainly cannot be said of the N-word.

For the U.S. Patent Office to take and Congress to get involved is downright scary. What an enormous infringement of our freedom this is. What a slippery slope. Any time someone is offended (which is just about every day) we'll run the risk of the government deciding it has to intervene. Big Brother at its finest.

Yes, we live in the world and not a glass bubble, and there are things that offend us each and every day. If this gets to the point where it offends those who should be offended across the board, then action needs to be examined. Right now it looks like it offends people with a bully pulpit and no true ties to the argument.

John Maroon, Columbia

The writer is president of Maroon PR.

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