Chap Petersen and Ben Tribbett, the proverbial Batman and Robin of Fairfax Democrats, have gone all in on the Redskins Pride Caucus, and Democrats don't seem thrilled about it. I must admit, I take particular glee in seeing Northern Virginia libs tie themselves into knots over this, it is a delicisou taste of irony. The Democrats up to now are Petersen, Louise Lucas, Lionel Spruill, and Michael Futrell. Here are some brief snippets:
So, who's going to jump on the bandwagon and form a few more "pride" caucuses here in Virginia? I mean, it's not like there's other work to do or anything, plus these poor, beleaguered (actually wealthy and powerful) corporations need SOMEBODY to stick up for them, right? (end extreme snark)
P.S. How about the Persecuted White Straight Christian Males Pride Caucus next?
From commnetor The Richmonder:
From Chap's Facebook page (I'm not publishing the names):
I can't decide which is worse: did you know or did you not know that Ben was working with Snyder for this job while you all were putting together this coalition?
I'm stunned. Especially because you and Chap are both smart enough to know that the name WILL be changed, in the end. It can be done with grace and humor. Or it can be done -- like this: Offending people whose only transgression is that we put feelings before "tradition."
But the pain that I feel over this slur against my ancestors being used for a sports "tradition" is real. And you have no right to challenge it. Or to challenge whether I have the "right" to have these feelings.
I certainly don't challenge whether or not the members of this Caucus have the right to feel bad that they may have to lose a tradition that they love. I just think that using a slur against a group of people has more importance then losing a sports tradition.
Chap - I'm a supporter of yours and disappointed to see you taking such a prominent role for such a stupid cause. It's hard to find unanimity among any group of people, but from what I can tell a significant number of Native Americans finds the Redskin name offensive. They reject the name because they did not choose it for themselves and because it was historically applied to them by people who saw them as less than fully human and fully equal citizens; people who demonstrated that view time and again from the "sale" of Manhattan to the Trail of Tears to the massacre at Wounded Knee. A team name will never "unify" people -- to unify people takes the hard work of careful listening, empathy and mutual respect. I would ask you to do that work, weigh the equities, and see who has more at stake in the naming of the team. I don't think it is people with a sentimental attachment to an superannuated team mascot. This is a huge waste of time and should be beneath you. Please get back to work on issues that actually affect your constituents' lives.
And on and on it goes ... I actually think the reaction is pretty muted because so many liberal Democrats are on board, Dems aren't eager to call their own racist. For me, I think the name needs to change. I apply a simple criteria .. would you call a Native America on the street a "redskin." If you say yes, well ... Dan Snyder, Chap Petersen, and Ben Tribbett are your guys I guess.
Yay diveristy! Yay Democrats! Yay Washington Warriors!