We've finally come to the end of the crazy line in the Washington Redskins name debate. It's going to be hard to top Walter E. Williams writing about "busybodies and tyrants" for The Oakland Press in a column so nuts you really want it to be satire.
If it is satire, then it is the best goddamned satire ever. Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University and occasional fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, argues that the Redskins name debate is another example of politicians stealing your liberty through slow, incremental changes.
Take, for instance, cigarette smoking:
Another example of the strategy of starting out small is that of the tobacco zealots. In 1965, in the name of health, tobacco zealots successfully got Congress to enact the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. A few years later, they were successful in getting a complete smoking ban on planes, and that success emboldened them to seek many other bans. The issue here is not smoking but tyrant strategy.
Williams takes his readers high atop this slipperiest of slopes and dangles his straw man by the fingertips before letting him drop to his absurd end.
If these people are successful in banning the use of Indian names for football teams, you can bet the rent money that won’t end their agenda. Our military has a number of fighting aircraft named with what busybodies and tyrants might consider racial slights, such as the Apache, Iroquois, Kiowa, Lakota and Mescalero. We also have military aircraft named after animals, such as the Eagle, Falcon, Raptor, Cobra and Dolphin. The people fighting against the Redskins name might form a coalition with the PETA animal rights kooks to ban the use of animal names.
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The theory, then, is that once they come for the Redskins name, the racist-name zealots will come for...other things...like the names of fighter jets and the world will be so much worse because, hey remember when we could smoke on planes and in hospitals? Wasn't that the best? Now we can't even honor the murdered and downtrodden by naming our instruments of death after them.
He then writes at length about how Americans were rope-a-doped into paying income tax when, mercifully, Vladimir rips off Lucky's hat after this paragraph.
Here’s another rope-a-dope just beginning. The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that states reduce the allowable blood alcohol content by more than a third — to 0.05 percent, as opposed to today’s 0.08 percent. The NTSB is calling it a recommendation just to test the waters. If the board doesn’t see resistance, its next move will be to threaten noncomplying states with a cutoff of highway construction funds. Setting the legal limit at 0.05 percent is not these people’s end objective. Their end objective is to outlaw any amount of alcohol in the blood while one is driving.
That is literally how the article ends.
Photo credit: Getty
Banning ‘Redskins’ name would be just the beginning [Oakland Press]