Kids, let's play inevitable winners and helpless victims

When I was young, we would sometimes play "Cowboys and Indians." I don't recall anyone minding getting the Indian side: in fact, it was cooler to do so. The Indians were not some despised vermin to be stamped out: that would not of been a game worth playing. They were a worthy and difficult opponent, brave and cunning. (That, by the way, is why sports teams have been named after them: no one calls a team the "Duluth Worthless Scum" or the "Albuquerque Cowards." And recognizing this is probably why 90% of American Indians do not find the name "Washington Redskins" offensive.)

Wasn't this attitude a lot more respectful towards Native Americans than the view that they were helpless victims, and today they will only manage to get by if ceaselessly worried over by white liberals?


  1. I remember in preschool, my friends and I played "gun man/arrow man", with the premise that you become *more* powerful by converting from gun man into arrow man.

  2. When I was a kid, I always had the impression that "redskin" was an offensive racial slur, like "wop" or "kike". That being the case, the team name Washington Redskins always struck me as quite different from, for instance, Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, or Fighting Illini. However, multiple polls apparently indicate that actual indigenous people do not regard "redskins" as inherently offensive, and so I have adjusted my opinion about the issue on the basis of new information. Who am I to tell them that it's an offensive racial slur against them if they've decided it isn't?

    1. The Indians apparently first applied it to themselves! I never thought of it as offensive: you wouldn't name a sports team after a slur, would you?

    2. Unlikely but not impossible. If you can name a sports team after an animal, then you can name it after a person who is posited to be base and animalistic. There are teams called "the Savages". I could imagine a team name specifying Indians and strongly implying that they are subhumans, which would be a slur.

      In any event, I completely agree with the point you made in this post.