published Friday, June 27th, 2014

Hart: Redskins get scalped

By Ron Hart

Our country has ongoing problems: trillions in deficit spending, Benghazi, swapping a deserter for five Taliban leaders, systemic unemployment, the IRS, the NSA targeting U.S. citizens, etc.

With all these big issues, what did this administration come out with last week? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office went after Redskins owner Dan Snyder for refusing to change the name of his team to something more pleasing to them.

The government says it has a right to deny trademark protection if a registered name is "scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable," and it ruled that "Washington Redskins" is. So I am wondering: Is "Washington" or "Redskins" the word that is contemptuous and disreputable?

The Washington Redskins NFL team has been around 80 years, but is it only under this administration that the term has become an offensive racial slur?

Are my Atlanta Braves next on the chopping block?

Making the case for Redskins being a slur, Patent Office officials said the name represents "racism, conquest and cultural imperialism." It sounds like someone has spent some time in a college faculty lounge.

While the PC police are getting rid of the Washington team name "Redskins," why not change the name Washington too? The city is named after George Washington. He was a white Southern slave owner, tobacco producing farmer, war monger and gun-toting booze maker. It seems he needs to go.

The Redskins name was taken without an iota of animus. For years it was actually a source of pride for Native Americans because it symbolized a fierce warrior, but it has been PC-ed into something that's now offensive.

Rest assured, in the grievance industry (that now defines liberals), divisive racial issues where none exist can always be manufactured. If the liberals didn't, we would not be diverted from their disastrous day-to-day running of our government.

It appears that Democrats would like to set up a booth at our borders to translate ethnic slurs for incoming immigrants and blame those awful Republicans for them. "Now, might we sign you up for the crack we call government entitlement dependency programs? All we ask for is your vote -- once or twice an election."

Even Harry Reid, who took a moment out from obsessing about the Koch brothers, said he would not attend a Washington Redskins game until the name is changed. So there is a bright spot for the Redskins in all of this.

Government meddling has unintended consequences, almost always detrimental to its intent. When forces came together to punish Clippers owner Don Sterling for racist comments taped illegally in his home, his team was worth $800 million by most reports. He ended up getting $2 billion for it. That will teach him.

This government uses executive orders, regulators, czars and constitutionally dubious means to achieve its world view. Our coal companies are run out of business via EPA edicts, jacking up our energy prices. Opponents are targeted, and the administration will stop at nothing to advance an ideology at odds with that of most Americans. With an all-time low approval rating of 37 percent, the only thing Obama is above is the law.

The Redskins should make an unfettered business decision on whether to change their name, not because they are strong-armed and back-doored by government.

NFL teams make business decisions all the time. The Redskins benched quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was costly and they had high hopes for, yet who never panned out. I wish Democrats would come to the same realization about Obama.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at

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