In your journeys around the Internet, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen an ad or a promoted tweet by RedskinsFacts.com, a site that endeavors to explain why the Washington Redskins’ name is actually meant to be respectful and isn’t really found to be offensive by that many people, anyway. It’s just a grassroots effort to get the truth out there. Wait, it’s actually a run by a crisis communications PR firm that’s been hired by the team. That still counts as grassroots, right?
Now, the best way to make something not offensive is to set your own specific definition of the term. That way, critics can point to existing uses of it being offensive, but those arguments won’t hold up if you just make up a whole new meaning. And that’s exactly what this website is doing.
That’s right – in the “facts” section of the site, the Redskins name is said to only be a reference to the football team itself and not any group of people. It just exists in a nice tidy vacuum like that. Don’t be offended. It’s not about you, ethnic group that just happens to share a slur in common with our football team’s name.
"What should we name our team?" "The Redskins." "Dude, isn't that racist?" "No, it's a reference to the football team the Redskins." "Ah."
— Ethan (@Ethan_Booker) September 5, 2014