In last week’s issue we discussed the disgust over the name of the Washington football team—a legitimate debate, to be sure. But we also noted that often such controversies can be co-opted and blown out of proportion by those who irresponsibly play the race card for their own gain.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think we have achieved liftoff in that department, thanks to one Jay Winter Nightwolf, who is a Native American who does a program about Native Americans on a non-commercial radio station in Washington, DC. From the looks of things—and you can look for yourself at www.jaywinternightwolf.com— Mr. Nightwolf is an activist, and perhaps even an extremist when it comes to, in his words, “the plight of the Native American Indian.”
Consider Exhibit A, Mr. Nightwolf’s argument as to why the radio station owned by the owner of the Washington Redskins should be denied renewal:
It appears that the station uses the word “R*dskins” unnecessarily and very frequently, probably much more frequently than most other stations. I have experienced and/or witnessed harm to myself and/or to other Native Americans which I believe was caused by the frequent repetitive use of the word “R*dskins” on the air.
Is anyone else’s hooey detector going off? Assuming for a minute that the radio station in question uses the name of the team “probably much more frequently than most other radio stations,” how, exactly, does “the frequent repetitive use of the word ‘R*dskins’ on the air” inflict “harm to myself and/or to other Native Americans”? (Cute, putting an asterisk in the name to imply obscenity.)
When I was discussing this issue with my wife, she sagely asked whether anyone had bothered conducting scientific research into the matter—asking a significant number of Native Americans what they felt about the issue. So far we have, well, four—Mr. Nightwolf and his two producers, along with the Washington University professor who originally filed the Petition to Deny.
Unfortunately, the efforts of Mr. Nightwolf do not further the larger cause—not when he is spewing nonsense and expecting to be taken seriously. Then again, when his nonsense is challenged, that could give him even more cause to trump up some more outrage about society’s insensitivity.
I believe the issue itself is legitimate and needs to be discussed and debated among people of conscience and goodwill—traits that, as evidenced by his statements, Mr. Nightwolf lacks.