This pretty much sums it up.
Rick Reilly, a columnist for ESPN, recently posted an op-ed defending the name and mascot of the Washington Redskins. Read it, ye mighty, and despair. Kissing Suzy Kolber’s response is funnier and more biting, but David Zirin’s offers more salient counter-examples. Read both for a full picture of just how misguided Reilly’s column really is.
It’s not even that there should or shouldn’t be a controversy about the name. It’s that Reilly’s column doesn’t show a hint of nuance, context, or understanding of how race and culture actually work. His position is odious, but it’s also badly and inconsistently argued.
A few things that I haven’t seen mentioned (yet) in the collective Internet’s swift excoriation:
Like most of the (educated) world, for the past several weeks I have been watching the events in the Middle East unfold with bated breath. BBC’s coverage of the people in Tahrir Square following Mubarak’s resignation almost had me in tears in my cubicle at work—I get that there is a lot of work to be done, but it was emotional, alright? Sometimes you have to get a little teary-eyed over a revolution.
Fast-forward to this past weekend. Reports from Libya—in the midst of its own protests against autocratic ruler Muammar al-Qaddafi (who looks like Prince John from Disney’s Robin Hood, just sayin’)—indicated that the state had begun attacking its own citizens.
So where is the response of the international community?
It’s not as though I’ve kept my love for international affairs secret, or the fact that I think a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine should be a global priority — I had a good rant about it some time ago. The issue is particularly salient in light of the recently stagnating peace talks between Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A friend and I had a discussion last weekend about how to reconcile sympathy for the Jewish cause with their relatively aggressive presence in the region.
Though the peace talks themselves are at a standstill, reconciliation can be found at the grassroots level — for example, the popular program Seeds of Peace and the lesser-known Sadaka Reut, both of which work to bring Palestinian and Israeli youth together in summer programs and outreach trips, or the Bereaved Parents’ Circle, a support group for Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the conflict.
And then there’s this typeface.
Also titled, “Putting My $120,000 Diploma To (Good?) Use.”
World politics is turbo awesome. Period. Maybe my outlook is colored by the fact that international politics was my concentration in college (definitely), but it is really interesting. I could nerd out for some time about the intricacies of diplomacy, jus cogens standards, and how bizarre and wonderful it is that states follow international law when there is no tangible punishment for breaking it. RAD.
Foreign Policy (<3 ❤ <3) ran an opposing views feature some days ago debating whether or not President Obama has failed in his foreign policy endeavors, with Marc Lynch arguing that he has not and Stephen Walt providing the dissent. It’s a really well done piece–read it!
After I read it, as much as I hated to admit it, I had to side with Walt. US foreign policy is completely busted.