‘The Daily Show’ Forced An Awkward Showdown Between Native Americans And Washington Redskins Fans

A future segment of The Daily Show had a group of Washington Redskins fans feeling wronged and misled after the Comedy Central staple surprised them with a “confrontation” with an opposing group of Native Americans. The Skins fans all signed up for the segment with correspondent Jason Jones and were excited according to The Washington Post, but they soon changed their tunes. From The Washington Post:

“This goes way beyond mocking. Poking fun is one thing, but that’s not what happened,” said Kelli O’Dell, 56, a former teacher who lives in Alexandria and doesn’t watch the show regularly. “It was disingenuous. The Native Americans accused me of things that were so wrong. I felt in danger. I didn’t consent to that. I am going to be defamed.”

Brian Dortch, who runs a home-repair business in Dinwiddie, Va., and counts himself a Comedy Central fan, said he and his fellow Redskins supporters asked producers in advance whether they would have to face off with Native Americans.

“They told us they were going to have a fan panel, and, at some other time, they were going to do a panel with Native Americans,” said Dortch, 38. “So I said back, ‘Just to clarify, specifically, we’re not doing a cross-panel discussion right?’ The producer said, ‘Yeah, right. That would be too serious for Comedy Central.’ ”

Almost like they thought they were getting one thing and then had the rug pulled out from under them, right? It would even seem that they were promised there would be no confrontation, but that promise was broken by those at The Daily Show. Who would do such a thing?

The Native Americans who confronted the Redskins fans — including Amanda Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff in the case that stripped the Redskins of their trademark protections this year and is being appealed — said in interviews that they marched into the room and accused the fans of backing a racist mascot.

“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 Native Americans endured some abuse, too, when they were taken to FedEx Field on Sunday to interact with Redskins fans who were tailgating before the home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. That also got ugly. At several points, according to one of the Native Americans, Redskins fans yelled obscenities at them, and one guy shouted, ‘Thanks a lot for letting us use your name, boys!’”

Oh, OK nevermind, that’s far more harrowing than the four people in the hotel room. The Post couldn’t reach the folks at The Daily Show for comment, but do they really need to comment? It is business as usual from them and any fan of the show would know that before signing up for an interview that was probably going to make them look silly.

On top of that, how tone deaf were these Redskins fans? What are they expecting to happen during a comedy segment in the Park Hyatt Hotel in Dupont Circle. I’d be more afraid about what might happen on the Metro after leaving the interview.

The whole article is really worth a look, and I can’t wait for the segment to air, but I think this quote sums the situation up pretty well:

The fans found Jones mostly funny. “We kept telling him that we felt the name honored Native Americans,” O’Dell said. “And then we just felt like, ‘Are we done yet?’ ”

I used to think the name change was silly, that there was so much more meaningful things that could be done to help Native Americans, especially from the Redskins perspective. I think the fans and Daniel Snyder have done more to sway me against the name than anyone. The sad bit is that he’ll probably get a stadium out of this and act like he did the right thing when the name finally changes.

(Via The Washington Post)