Fred Hartman

The political correctness battles continued this week as the Washington Redskins succumbed to public pressure and announced the iconic NFL team would be changing its name.

One might think it was cause for left-wing progressives to celebrate, but instead, nobody seemed too happy about it. That’s because it will never be enough.

It’s understandable how the Redskins name might offend some, but why has this become an issue during the last decade? Why not before then?

The question now is what’s the next target? Will it be Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves?

What about the state of Indiana, which means the land of Indians? Or the state of Oklahoma, which means “red people” in the Choctaw tribe language.

The cauldron of political correctness seems to have run amok since the terrible death of George Floyd in May at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, but it seems like the politically correct crowd is taking its eye off the ball of police brutality, which shouldn’t be conflated with political correctness.

One of the best summaries I’ve seen of this was in a YouTube video a friend sent me that’s narrated by syndicated columnist George F. Will, who asks, “How indignant can progressives make themselves?”

“There’s a real competition going on, and it’s sweeping the nation,” he says. “Progressive vs. progressive to see who can most flamboyantly claim to be offended.

“To proclaim that their feelings have been hurt or their sensitivities have been rubbed raw.”

With his tongue firmly in his cheek, Will says progressives could be more imaginative and indignant about more things. He says one could be his hometown of Washington, D.C.

After all, our nation’s capital is named after a former slave owner and tobacco farmer. Will suggests the city should be renamed from Washington to Eleanor Roosevelt City.

Obviously, he says, it couldn’t be named after her husband, President Franklin Roosevelt, because he ordered the internment of 117,000 people of Japanese descent during World War II, two-thirds of whom were native born Americans.

He then points out that there are hundreds of other towns, counties, parks and schools named after George Washington. There’s also Washington and Lee University, which, God forbid, is also named after Robert E. Lee, the general who commanded the Confederate army.

Will cites the name as an example of “double hate speech.”

Will says we could also put a “trigger warning” on the Jefferson Memorial since Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and change the names of Jackson, Miss., and Jacksonville, Fla., because they’re named after Andrew Jackson, who defeated Native Americans in battle before being elected president.

Of course, New Orleans wouldn’t exist had Jackson not defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. After all, who cares about history?

Ironically, Will also points out that Minnesota and Massachusetts, two of the most progressive in the country, also feature Native Americans in unflattering stereotypes on their state flags. Will says the flags “conveys multiple racial slurs,” and portrays Native Americans as violent.

“Who knew that Minnesotans who have voted Democratic in 10 consecutive elections since 1972 embrace white supremacy?” Will asks.

Will does an excellent job in pointing out how silly this contest of being offended has become.

“Those who constantly find reason to take offense are rarely happy people,” he says. “The problem, however, is that such people make almost everyone else miserable, too.

You can watch Will’s video at https://www.youtube.com/embed/hiU20QjKPCo.

Reach Fred Hartman at fbh@hartmannews.com.

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