Now for the next piece of Paul Manata’s reasoning. He begins:
“American Indians in general are not offended. It’s only Activists. Liberal, leftist activists. It’s a voting block. The point is to make them feel attacked and under the gun. Then claim your political party will stick up for them.”
This leaves me deeply puzzled. Paul is supposedly critiquing what I wrote. So presumably his criticism would have relevance to me. But then he politicizes the whole discussion by saying that claims to offense are being cynically used by people who are seeking to further the agenda of a particular political party. But I have never held membership in any political party and in the last two national elections I voted for two different parties. I am not trying to further any political agenda, so this is completely irrelevant.
However, I think Paul’s cynical comments are really unfortunate for those individuals who are “liberal leftist activists”. I don’t think that Martin Luther King Jr. for example was solely interested in furthering the interests of a particular political party. And the same is true for the “liberal leftist activists” I know. Paul’s language here is simply an attempt to demonize other people and undermine their motives.
Now for Paul’s really terrible reasoning. He writes:
“As the Sports Illustrated article on the subject pointed out about the extreme minority of Indians actually claiming to be offended, “Such indifference implies a near total disconnect between Native American activists and the general Native American population on this issue.” The poll “Asked [Native Americans if they] were offended by the name Redskins, 75% of Native American respondents in SI’s poll said they were not, and even on reservations, where Native American culture and influence are perhaps felt most intensely, 62% said they weren’t offended.””
What is Paul attempting to establish here? Presumably something like this: if the majority of a particular population is not offended by a representation then there is no offense against that population.
Sorry Paul, but that is to confuse subjective perception of offense with the objective reality of an offense.
Consider this example. A majority of Americans support gay marriage (53% according to one poll). Thus, they do not think gay marriage is an offense to the human institution of marriage. I assume Paul doesn’t think that is relevant to the question of whether gay marriage is in fact an offense to the human institution of marriage.
In fact Paul might do well to read Romans 1-3 in light of his argument. He will then discover that the subjective perception of an offense is not a particularly reliable guide for the objective existence of an offense.