The Washington Redskins are in pop-culture news twice this morning, once for reasons Emily explained involved South Park, and again because of a very, very uncomfortable The Daily Show segment.
Two weeks ago, Jason Jones on The Daily Show filmed a segment in which a group of diehard Washington Redskins fans allowed themselves to basically be mocked for defending the team name, which is to say: They understood the nature of The Daily Show when they signed on.
What they did not expect, however, was for Jason Jones to ambush them by bringing in a group of Native Americans for the panel. Shit got real for both sides when the Native Americans confronted the the fans’ defense of the name.
“I said to them, ‘You sound like an alcoholic, someone who’s in denial and who doesn’t want to believe what they’re doing is not right,’” said one Native American in the panel, who also said the interaction with fans left her feeling “dehumanized.” “They don’t see anything wrong with it … That’s what the owner [Dan Snyder] is feeding their fans.”
According to the Washington Post, another Native American sympathized with the fans. Kind of.
“My heart goes out to them because they are people, too,” said Tara Houska, an Ojibwe from Couchiching First Nation who lives in the District and works for the grass-roots group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry. “But it’s a weird position for them to take, because someone is crying over the loss of their offensive mascot when I am right there, standing in front of them. I don’t think they’re racist. I think their mascot is racist.”
The experience was so tense and awkward that one of the fans contacted The Daily Show and attempted to have her waiver destroyed. When The Daily Show refused, she attempted to file a police report, but she was told by authorities that no crime had been committed.
Except, perhaps, for the crime perpetrated against humanity every day that Daniel Snyder continues to insist that the term “Redskins” honors the Native American community.