The white hypocrites who complain about the term "redskins" use the term "native American" which when used in the way they are using it isn't much better than the other n-word. The word "redskins" is a physically descriptive term that doesn't have inherently negative characteristics. The word is one of the English translations of the Ottawa term "Oklahoma". If we consider the characteristics of the people the term "redskins" was first applied to, it's a positive term.
The word "native" has two different uses. In general use
the term "native " followed by a geographic region is used to
indicate people who live in the area in which they are born.
For example, a native New Yorker is someone who was born in New York
and still lives there. In this context what counts is where the
individual was born, not when his or her ancestors arrived from
somewhere else. Those of us who were born in the United States are
all native Americans even if we didn't have ancestors who
called themselves Cherokee, Cheyenne or Lakota. Except for the
eleven months I spent in Vietnam I've lived all my life in the
United States so I would be a native American even if I hadn't had
an ancestor who moved to the frontier shortly after the American
Revolution and married a woman who was probably Shawnee or
Kickapoo. Residents of Mexico and the other countries on
the land mass called "America" are also natives of America.
The context in which whites have used the term "native" when
referring to non-whites is highly negative. In movies made
during the period European nations had colonies in Asia and Africa,
when whites used the word "native" to refer to non-whites the
implication was that the "natives" were inferior and possibly
primitive, uncivilized or even "savages". The best example of
this practice is the old jungle movie cliche "the natives are
restless tonight" which was used when the natives were beating on
drums and making other sounds. The white characters never
considered the possibility that the "natives" just wanted to
listen to drum music. If the natives were making noises they
must have been "restless " about something.
"Native" is used as a generic term for local
residents whose identity isn't considered important.
Whites have often used the word "savage" to describe non-whites who
use violence even though whites at times have used the same type of
violence. The most recent example of white savagery is the
ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.
Those who criticize the term "redskin" ignore the characteristics of
the people it referred to when it was used centuries
ago. The original "redskins" lived on their own lands
and provided for their own needs. They often lived alongside whites
and sold land to them. They had their own medical knowledge, but
much of it was lost because whites were too stupid to recognize its
value. They had their own culture including music and the
visual arts although they lacked an inexpensive permanent
medium to record their literature. The Hopi even had an
extended creation account which included mass extinction events
involving fire and cold as well as a flood like Noah's. In
recent years scholars who study earth's history have supported
theories about mass extinctions caused by cold and fire.
The redskins sometimes lived at peace with each other and the white
skins and at other times fought them. The white nations
sometimes lived at peace with each other and sometimes fought each
other. The white skins sometimes paid redskins to kill
other white skins or paid for the scalps of redskins.
Redskins were warriors who fought to protect their way of life.
French to Major Reno: "Too many blasted redskins with new
Winchesters" defeated Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
The redskins were not defeated. They were inundated by a
flood of Europeans.
Referring to the original inhabitants as "redskins" is consistent
with calling Europeans "whites". There is nothing inherently wrong
with the color red. It is the color used in both the British
and American flags. The British army during and after the
colonial period wore red. Roman Catholic Cardinals wear
red. In the Bible the words of Jesus Christ are
sometimes printed in red. Various sports teams
include the color red in their names: such as Boston Red Sox,
Cincinnati Reds, University of Alabama Crimson Tide and Texas Tech
University Red Raiders.
The redskins term doesn't have any inherently negative
characteristics. Any negatives are based on the stereotyped
view of the people it refers to.
"Redskins" is a much stronger name than "native American". Try
sounding tough while saying "I'm a native American" Now try it
saying "I'm a redskin". Redskins resisted being imprisoned on
reservations. Native Americans live on them.
I don't know if my limited North American ancestry is enough for
anyone to claim me, but I would rather be called a "redskin" than a
"native American"[except in the context in which everyone born in
the U.S. is a native American.]
Many Republicans are trying to have President Ronald Reagan's face
placed on the $50 bill to replace President Ulysses S. Grant.
A better choice would be to have Reagan replace President Andrew
Jackson on the $20 bill. Jackson's mistreatment of the
Cherokee should disqualify him from having his face on money.