By Steven J.J. Weisman
BOSTON — In his classic work, “Through the Looking Glass” Lewis Carroll wrote, “’When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone ‘ it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is’, said Alice,’ whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master –that ‘s all.’”
This quote seems to be appropriate to the controversy that has been swirling for years in regard to whether or not the name “Redskins” is a proper name for the National Football League franchise playing football in our nation’s capital. Proponents of the name say that the word is used as a tribute to Native Americans and in fact, the Washington Redskins trace the name back to being done to honor its early Native American coach. Opponents of the name find it a racist slur.