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Thank you, Daniel Snyder, for continuing to remain the Clueless Caucasian, for being true and loyal to ignorance and insensitivity. In the letter you wrote to season-ticket holders Wednesday, you just made it easier, less confusing and more acceptable for people to agree to remove permanently "Redskins" as the nickname for your Washington NFL team.

"After 81 years," wrote the Washington owner, "the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are .<TH>.<TH>."

So, by Snyder's reasoning, it's more important to remember that Sammy Baugh once quarterbacked the Redskins rather than to go back a little further in American history than 81 years, to see a much different image of what the name "Redskin" implies and means.

The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, the isolating of people on God-forsaken moonscape locations called reservations and the caricature of mascots in headdress running up and down sidelines whooping it up — well, those are important memories, all right. Yes, they all have their place.

But really, how can anyone forget Dec. 8, 1940, when the Redskins got more first downs in the NFL championship game than the Chicago Bears but still lost, 73-0! What a warm, fuzzy, gooey cuddle that is. What a good reason to keep "Redskins" name around.

"We have a rich, complicated history," said Greg Sarris of the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria. "To reduce us to stereotypes, to ignore the past, to ignore the genocide, is not only demeaning, it's dangerous as well. When I first started pushing for a casino, I saw bumper stickers that read, 'Not Here Tonto.' I would receive hate mail that would read, 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.' "

Those words are from five years ago, not 200 years ago. The words haven't changed, only the years have. That they lasted this long reveals one thing. "Redskins" is not a compliment. Neither is "Braves" or "Chiefs" or "Indians." Neither is the Tomahawk Chop or war paint. All that strikes one image to Sarris.

"Wagon burners," Sarris said. "Dangerous people." People who scare. People who live for the spilling of blood. Is that how a white person would want to be seen? Of course not, but a separation exists between the cultures, one that Reg Elgin observed Sept. 27.

Elgin, 75, is a former tribal elder and cultural adviser to the Pomos. On that date, Elgin attended the 46th Annual Native American Days celebration at the state capitol in Sacramento.

"Governor (Jerry) Brown invited Indians from all over the state to attend," Elgin said. "It was the first time a California governor did that."

Elgin stopped talking for a moment to let the information register. This celebration has been going on for 46 years and yet this is the first time a California governor extended a simple invite.

In Brown's proclamation on that Friday to the 55 tribes, he said: "In his 1851 address to the state legislature, our first governor Peter Hardeman Burnett famously said, 'A war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected.' "

Words like that are passed from generation to generation, just like stories of family or of struggle or of success. This history goes back farther than 81 years, carries a heavier and more meaningful weight to it than, say, the great Sonny Jurgensen slinging it in Washington.

So again, back to the core question: What to do about the name "Redskins?"

Should an offending nickname be treated the same way Kelseyville High School treated it? Kelseyville once was the Indians. After years of public protest and community discussions, the Indians became the Knights, without a Native American logo or mascot.

Should an offending nickname be treated the same way Tomales High School treated it? Again, after much public discussion, the school compromised. Tomales voted to keep its nickname, Braves, but to remove any helmet emblem or any other insignia from the uniform and school property.

Or should an offending nickname be treated the same way Laytonville High School treated it? After much public discourse, Laytonville has remained the Warriors with all its attendant emblems and colors.

That there is more than one approach to this issue shouldn't be a surprise, nor should it be an impediment to a resolution. When was the last time 100 percent of Americans agreed on anything? Maybe ice cream but that's it.

To disagree is American. To know Native Americans is to know they have many topics to foster disagreement.

"There are a lot of things that offend us," Elgin said.

That the perception of Native Americans having any issues at all is one problem. If one doesn't see a homeless Native American, doesn't see a hardscrabble house, is not around poverty or the myriad troubles unemployment produces, what's the problem? Where's the problem?

"I joke that Californians didn't even know there were Indians," Sarris said, "until we started building casinos."

So what to do with the "Redskins" nickname? The answer lies in Thad Owens' response to another question.

"What happened to the attendance and the support of Kelseyville football after the nickname was changed from Indians to Knights?"

In 2007, Owens began his first year as head football coach there. It was the same year of the name change.

"The first year you heard some 'Indians' shouted from the stands," said Owens, who coached the team for five years and is now the principal at both the elementary and middle schools in Middletown. "The second year, a little less so. By the third year you didn't hear a thing. It was a big deal when it first happened but it took about three years and it was over."

That's it. Three years! Gone. Those in disagreement found they loved the school and the sport more than their disagreement. It was still Kelseyville football. It still was the town and the kids and the teachers getting together. A new nickname didn't change that. It didn't eliminate the affection.

Sports, by the very definition of the activity, are change. It's adjustment. It's adaption. It's lights at Wrigley Field. It's the Jazz in Utah. It's Los Angeles now in its 19th year without a NFL team. It's Stanford Cardinal, not the Indians.

Fans of those teams still come to their games whether they are the Phoenix Fruit Loops or the Dallas Daydreamers. The game is what draws them, not the nickname.

So let's end the slow glacier-like migration, the incremental move to compassion. Enough already. Resolve now, once and for all. Get rid of the Redskins and the Braves and the Chiefs. Let the fun begin.

"Let's call them the Washington Politicians," Elgin said. "Then we can really boo them."

Now THAT would be a memory worth having.

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