By virtue of being Lone Star Dietz’s biographer, I am sometimes drawn into the Redskins naming controversy. Earlier this year, I thought this issue had finally been put to rest when The Washington Post, the most vitriolic of the eastern media elite opposing the team’s name, conducted its own poll of American Indians and found, to use the Post’s own headline, “New poll finds 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name.”
That hasn’t stopped the Post from insisting they know better how Indians should feel than do the Indians themselves but it greatly reduces their credibility in claiming the name is offensive. It also hasn’t stopped the Obama administration.
Barrett Dahl, an autistic member of both Choctaw and Sac and Fox Nations, committed the criminal act, at least within view of a member of the current administration, of wearing a Redskins jersey. While on a school trip to the nation’s capitol on October 30 of last year, he attended a pow-wow at which, according to Dahl, William Mendoza, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, approached him. “He comes to me and calls me the name weetard not retard, weetard. You’re a weetard for not understanding Redskins is offensive. Where are you from that you’re so stupid and uneducated that you don’t understand that the Redskins is offensive. I told him, ‘I’m from Oklahoma,’ as I’m very proud to be. That’s when he spits on me.”
A physical altercation ensued, the details of which haven’t been sorted out yet as Mr. Dahl and Mr. Mendoza each tell quite different stories about the ugliness. Mendoza claims to have witnesses to back him up but the press has been unable to reach any of them for confirmation.
I wonder how Mendoza feels about calling someone a retard after hearing about the poll.