Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer weighs in today on the Washington Redskins name controversy: Yes, let's change it, he writes for the Washington Post. But he's quick to point out that he's no fan of the "language police," or "being lectured by sportscasters about ethnic sensitivity. Or advised by the president of the United States about changing team names. Or blackmailed by tribal leaders playing the race card." Even so, he writes, "the fact is ... that words don’t stand still. They evolve."
For comparison, he offers up the words "Negro" and "retarded," once used respectfully but now seen as "patronizing and demeaning." The same is true of the word "redskins," he writes. "No matter how the word was used 80 years ago, it carries invidious connotations today." You wouldn't use it to describe Native Americans, not out of fear of the language police, but because it's "tainted, freighted with negative connotations with which you would not want to be associated." And that's why the team should make a change. Click for his full column.