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Why Won’t Somebody Oppress Me? – Another Bruce Rant [Opinion]

Bruce Mikells
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I see where the the federal government has pulled all the trademarks held by the Washington Redskins football team. This is part of a process designed to encourage the NFL team from the nation’s capital to reconsider their ethnic based nickname.

I’d like to say I understand how Native Americans feel but that wouldn’t be true. I don’t know how a lot of people who have been mistreated feel because I don’t think I’ve ever been oppressed in my entire life.

I know I don’t believe in oppression. I like to think of America as the place where we are free to be as unequal as we choose to be. In other words we all have an equal chance to pursue happiness but the happiness we attain is based entirely on how diligently we pursue it.

I don’t think keeping somebody down or using derogatory and offensive terms is right either. I have never been a Native American so I don’t know personally if the term Redskin is offensive. If it is, the team should change it.

As I was taught to do as a kid, I have tried to put myself in the shoes of those who might be offended by any derogatory term. The issue I have is this, there don’t appear to be any terms that offend me. Is it because I have never been oppressed? Or is it because I have a thick skin and simply don’t let idiots bother me?

I am a middle aged, fat, balding, left handed, not to smart, athletically challenged, fashion illiterate, white guy. I used to wet the bed when I was a kid, I guess you could call me a bed wetter but I’m not bothered by it. My ethnic heritage is German, Scottish and Scandinavian but I’ve never worn a kilt or overthrown France or eaten lingonberries so there’s not really a target on my back there either.

Please don’t get me wrong, we the people have done some horrific things to other Americans because of skin color, ethnic background, religious beliefs and more. We the people were wrong when we did that. If we’re still doing it we should quit. If a culture of people is offended by a sports team nickname then by all means change it. In the process of making the change I hope there will be an education process too. So guys like me who have never been oppressed will have a better understanding of what it feels like.

I would love to get your take on this topic, the more we talk the better we communicate. The better we communicate the more likely we are to become the change we hope to see.

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