US Patent & Trademark Office Gives Washington Redskins The Tomahawk Chop

dean bertoncelj / (
dean bertoncelj / (

In a move that will cost the Washington Redskins’ owners much wampum, the United States Patent and Trademark Office emerged from their wigwam to cancel the team’s trademark registration, arguing that it is offensive to so-called “Native Americans,” a term which, ironically, is potentially offensive to anyone who was born here, which is what the word “native” actually means.

Maybe they should come up with a term for these people that is both accurate and offensive to no one—oh, wait—nearly everyone gets offended at nearly everything these days. Not gonna happen.

A group of five Native Americans—one of whom has the cool-sounding name “Amanda Blackhorse”—whooped around, pounded drums, and chanted until their demands were met. Subsequent to their legal victory, it might be fair to assume there will be much drinking of firewater and perhaps even a visit to the Medicine Man.

In American history, there was no group who was fucked over harder than what used to be known as “Injuns” or the “Red Man.” Even some blacks had a hand in the Natives’ destruction. But what’s always seemed curious to me is the degree to which they’ve completely vanished from popular culture. When I was a kid, one heard more about “Indians” than about black people. Nowadays, American popular culture is to a large degree black culture—look at any Billboard chart—but negative stereotypes about Natives haven’t been replaced by positive ones. For the most part, except for some lingering names of sports teams, they’ve simply vanished from the public consciousness. If I was a Native, this would make me restless.

What I also find odd is the degree to which the SJWs went after the Redskins and ignored the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, and Chicago Blackhawks.

If you’re looking for a team mascot that screams “insensitive”—and I always am—take a gander at Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians:


In contrast with the Redskins’ logo—which was a profile of a brave, stoic, and noble warrior—Chief Wahoo looks like an insane alcoholic who’s ready to scalp you. Why did no one go after him? I think the most reasonable explanation is that successfully fighting to have this image banned would require multiple visits to Cleveland.

What sort of smoke signal does this send to other teams with potentially offensive names? Many will applaud the fact that the Patent and Trademark Office refused to smoke the peace pipe with the Washington Redskins; others will think they acted like a bunch of Indian givers. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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