A federal judge in Northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins federal trademark registrations on this month, according to the Washington Post. The decision comes 12 months after the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Redskins’ trademark registration because it considered the team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.” [sources: cbssports.com and washingtonpost.com 7/8/15]
Who gets to decide what is, or is not, “disparaging” to all Native Americans?
I know for a fact that not all gay people wholeheartedly agree with everything the leaders of the organized gay and lesbian movements pronounce.
I also know for a fact that not all black persons wholeheartedly agree with everything (or even anything) the leaders of organized civil rights organizations maintain.
I don’t happen to know any Native Americans at the moment. But nothing can convince me that the kind of Native American organization pushing this court decision is run by healthy individuals. If I were a Native American individualist, I would not want such people representing me.
The kind of people who work in and run these sorts of organizations generally gain all or most of their personal identity from their ethnic status. More than that, they gain their identity and sense of self-worth and visibility from being seen primarily as victims.
What else could animate and motivate a person to put a productive day’s work into throttling the Washington Redskins and their fans, just for the sake of causing them anguish and irritation?
Consider the mindset of someone who actually gets upset and irate about matters such as the name, “Washington Redskins.” We’re talking here about the psychological state of a person who gains a sense of self-worth and self-respect — illegitimately, and implausibly — through creating conflict where none exists. These rulings are done in the name of tearing down, not building anything up.
The Washington Redskins are not devoted to offending any particular racial or any other social group. They’re simply a football team. They celebrate achievement, excellence, competition and also fun for millions of fans nationwide.
One of the values people implicitly attain from following and rooting for a sports team is a sense of continuity. Granted, players come and go, and in some years the team is victorious while in other years it’s at the bottom. Nevertheless, the continuity of maintaining the same name for decades at a time is part of the pleasure and value that can come from following a sports team.
It’s this very sort of pleasure and enjoyment that these victimologists, bureaucrats, lawyers, judges and activists seek to destroy.
Will any one individual Native American’s life be better as a result of this ridiculous lawsuit and federal government ruling? If the Washington Redskins does change its name, can any Native American individual pursuing productive and meaningful, personal happiness be expected to even give a damn? Of course not. That isn’t the point. Undermining and destroying other people’s pleasure is. The only type of people who do care about such things are the sort whose entire identity comes from their racial or other social/demographic classification.
These are the sort of people the rest of us are permitting to rule our opinions, actions, policies, laws and thinking. They are today’s Puritans. Like the Puritans of an earlier order, they attain success not by any convincing, meaningful or objectively true arguments. They achieve what they want through intimidation, and when that’s not enough — sheer coercion. They attain influence via the majority of the “sheeple” who quietly think such decisions are idiotic, but would never say so aloud because … “Well, someone might think I’m a racist.” It’s all about perception, and nothing about facts, logic, reality or actual justice.
What exactly have these groups and courts accomplished?
As USAToday.com explained last year: “The effect would be large because federally registered trademarks keep others from selling items with the team’s logos, although even then the team could try to keep unauthorized merchandisers from using the marks through common law and state statues.”
Assuming the Redskins do not win on appeal, they will still have every right to call themselves the Redskins. They will no longer enjoy the protection of government enforcement of their trademark, however.
Now let’s get this straight. The one thing a government should be properly counted on to do — protect your intellectual property, such as the name of your sports team or any other product or trademark you legitimately own– will no longer be provided, at least not if the government finds what you’re calling your company improper or offensive.
What’s the standard for determining improper and offensive? The feelings and sensibilities of the ruling authorities. Might makes right. And they call it “sensitivity.” We’re to take, without question, the authority and sensibilities of the “Native American people”– represented by those activists whose primary and sole purpose for waking up in the morning is to be a Native American, not an individual.
This decision is a metaphor for so much that’s wrong with America. Not only does government now routinely enforce politically correct doctrine, defined as what’s either offensive or pleasing to the rulers in charge. It now enforces authentic and real individual rights, such as intellectual property rights, only selectively, based on political considerations.
To paraphrase the warnings of America’s founders, we have gone from a nation of laws to a nation of men. The “men” are hapless, neurotic group-obsessed collectivists whose opinions we would rightly never trust in any other area of our lives.