NR Digital

Uncles, Fruits, and Nuts

by Jay Nordlinger
A look at some American slurs

Writing for the website of CBS Sports, Mike Freeman blasted the nickname of the Washington, D.C., football team: the Redskins. He also blasted those who support or tolerate the name. He had a particular blast for one group of people. “Sure, there will be some Uncle Tom American Indians who will say ‘Redskins’ honors them,” he wrote, “just like there were some Uncle Tom blacks who once didn’t mind being called ‘colored.’”

As a rule, we bow to the opinions of people belonging to minority groups, except when their opinions conflict with our own. I think of a case in a town I’m familiar with, Ypsilanti, Mich. There, the Eastern Michigan University teams were called the Hurons, after an Indian people. (There is also a Huron River, a Huron High School, etc.) Most of the real-live Hurons who could be found supported the nickname. But that was the “wrong” opinion, so the nickname had to go, and EMU became the Eagles.

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