Transcript: Amanda Blackhorse: Seeing Red(skins) | Jun 18, 2014

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his forties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a shiny black suit, pale blue shirt, and striped pink tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads “The Agenda, with Steve Paikin.”

Steve says IN 2006, AMANDA BLACKHORSE
WAS ONE OF FIVE PLAINTIFFS TO
FILE A PETITION WITH THE UNITED
STATES TRADEMARK TRIAL AND
APPEAL BOARD SEEKING TO CANCEL
THE TRADEMARK REGISTRATIONS OF
THE WASHINGTON NFL TEAM THAT
CONTAIN THE WORD “REDSKINS.”
TODAY, SHE GOT A RULING IN HER
FAVOUR.
THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND
TRADEMARK OFFICE HAS CANCELED
THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS'
TRADEMARK REGISTRATION, CALLING
THE FOOTBALL TEAM'S NAME
“DISPARAGING TO NATIVE
AMERICANS.”
WE RECORDED THIS INTERVIEW WITH
AMANDA EARLIER THIS WEEK ABOUT
HER CASE.

A clip plays in which Steve says JOINING US NOW FOR MORE ON
HER PURSUIT, IN PHOENIX,
ARIZONA:
AMANDA BLACKHORSE, LEAD
PLAINTIFF IN THE BLACKHORSE ET
AL VS PRO FOOTBALL INC. CASE.

Steve and Amanda appear on split screens, with the caption "Seeing Red(skins)." A caption under Amanda’s frame reads "Phoenix, Arizona."

Amanda is in her late thirties, with long straight black hair. She wears a red T-shirt and a silver necklace.

Steve continues AMANDA, WELCOME TO TVO.
IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU ON OUR AIR
WAVES TONIGHT.
PERHAPS WE COULD START BY HAVING
YOU GIVE US A BIT OF A BRIEF
HISTORY AS TO HOW YOU GOT
INVOLVED IN THIS LAWSUIT AGAINST
THE N.F.L.

The caption changes to "Amanda Blackhorse. Navajo Nation."

Amanda says WELL, HELLO.
THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
THE LAWSUIT OR, ACTUALLY, IT'S
REALLY A PETITION THAT WAS FILED
BY SIX OF US AT THE TIME, THERE
ARE FIVE OF US NOW, BEGAN IN
2006 WHEN WE DECIDED -- THERE
WAS FIVE YOUNG NATIVE AMERICAN
PEOPLE WHO DECIDED AT THAT TIME
THAT THEY WERE OFFENDED BY THE
TERM “REDSKIN,”

The caption changes to "Seeing Red(skins.) Blackhorse versus Pro Football Inc."

Amanda continues AND SO IT HAS
BEEN GOING ON FOR ABOUT 8 YEARS.
WE WERE TOLD ONE YEAR AGO, WHICH
WAS ONE OF THE LAST COURT
HEARINGS THAT WE ATTENDED, WAS
THAT THE TRADEMARK BOARD WOULD
MAKE A DECISION WITHIN THREE
MONTHS TO ONE YEAR.
IT'S BEEN OVER ONE YEAR NOW AND
WE ARE STILL WAITING ON A
DECISION.
IT COULD BE ANY DAY NOW.

Steve says ANY DAY NOW.
WAS THERE ONE INCIDENT IN
PARTICULAR, I DON'T KNOW, A GAME
THAT YOU ATTENDED OR AN ARTICLE
IN THE NEWSPAPER YOU READ OR
SOMETHING THAT MADE YOU REALIZE:
THAT'S OFFENSIVE AND I WANT TO
CHANGE THAT?

Amanda says YES.
BECAUSE I GREW UP ON THE NAVAJO
NATION, I DIDN'T SEE HOW THE
SPORTS MASCOT ISSUE AFFECTED THE
NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY, AND
SO WHEN I ACTUALLY LEFT, I WENT
OFF TO COLLEGE AT THE TIME, I
WAS LIVING IN LAWRENCE, KANSAS,
AND I ATTENDED A -- I KNEW ABOUT
THE ISSUE, BUT I WANTED TO SEE
IT FIRSTHAND.
SO WE ATTENDED THE KANSAS CITY
CHIEFS AND THE WASHINGTON TEAM
PLAYED IN KANSAS CITY, AND I WAS
VERY APPALLED TO SEE THE OUTWARD
RACISM TOWARDS NATIVE AMERICAN
PEOPLE, AND IT WAS OKAY, IT WAS
SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE.
AND AS WE WATCHED PEOPLE WEARING
WHAT, YOU KNOW, TRADITIONAL, YOU
KNOW, MOCKING OUR TRADITIONAL
REGALIA AND SAYING VERY RACIST
AND HURTFUL THINGS TO THE NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT WE WERE
WITH WHO WERE SILENTLY PROTEST
PROTESTING THIS EVENT, WERE
SAYING VERY HARSH THINGS TO US
AND I WAS VERY APPALLED BY THAT
BECAUSE IT WAS OKAY, NO ONE
OBJECTED.

Steve says HARSH THINGS SUCH AS
WHAT --

Amanda winces and says THAT WAS
REALLY -- “WE WON, YOU LOST.
GET OVER IT.”
“GO BACK TO YOUR RESERVATION.”
“WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO GET
DRUNK?”
THINGS LIKE THAT.
IT WAS DEFINITELY -- WE
DEFINITELY FELT LIKE WE WERE
BEING TARGETED BASED ON OUR
RACE.

Steve says NOW, DO YOU THINK
THAT WAS JUST A SMALL HANDFUL OF
IDIOTS, OR DO YOU THINK THEY
SPEAK FOR A BROADER POPULATION?

Amanda says I THINK
THAT BECAUSE IT WAS -- THE WAY I
SEEN IT, IT WAS SOCIALLY
ACCEPTABLE TO DO THAT.
NOBODY OBJECTED.
NOBODY JUMPED IN TO SAY ANYTHING
OTHERWISE.
IT WAS JUST LIKE, “OH, OKAY.”
IT WAS JUST ANOTHER DAY AND THAT
WAS OKAY.
AND I THINK THAT DEFINITELY, YOU
KNOW, OTHER PEOPLE FEEL THAT
WAY.
THEY JUST DON'T SAY IT.
I THINK THAT WHAT PEOPLE DON'T
REALIZE IS THAT THEY DON'T SEE
WHAT HAPPENS AT THESE GAMES, THE
TYPE OF MISAPPROPRIATION OF
CULTURE THAT THEY DO AT THESE
GAMES.
THEY SEE THESE AS THINGS NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE DO AND THAT'S
OFFENSIVE.
THAT'S THE PART WE DON'T SEE.
UNLESS YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF TO
IT, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO KNOW.

Steve says IT'S INTERESTING,
YOU JUST, WHEN TALKING ABOUT
THAT FOOTBALL GAME IN KANSAS
THAT YOU WENT TO, YOU TALKED
ABOUT THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL
TEAM.
YOU DIDN'T USE THE WORD.
AND THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS.
TWO QUESTIONS OUT OF THIS:
NUMBER ONE, DO YOU REFUSE TO USE
THAT WORD?

Amanda says I USE IT
SOMETIMES WHEN I REFER TO THE
TEAM JUST SO THAT OTHER PEOPLE
KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, BUT
GENERALLY, THAT'S NOT A TERM
THAT I USE AND IT'S NOT A TERM
THAT IS USED IN THE NATIVE
AMERICAN POPULATION.
I'VE NEVER, EVER SEEN ANOTHER
NATIVE AMERICAN PERSON CALL
ANOTHER NATIVE AMERICAN PERSON
THE “R” WORD.
IT'S JUST NOT SOMETHING THAT IS
USED IN OUR COMMUNITY.
YOU KNOW, WE USE WORDS LIKE
“NATIVE” OR “INDIAN,” “AMERICAN
INDIAN,” BY OUR OWN TRIBAL
NAMES, BUT I DO NOT SEE NATIVES
CALLING OTHER NATIVES BY THE “R”
WORD.
IT DEFINITELY IS A RACIAL SLUR.
I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE.
THE TERM ACTUALLY COMES FROM A
TIME WHEN THE COLONIZERS, WHO
WERE ATTEMPTING TO COLONIZE THE
NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WERE
TRYING TO EXTERMINATE OUR
POPULATION, SO THEY, YOU KNOW,
ALLOWED PEOPLE TO GO OUT AND
KILL NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND
AS A WAY TO SHOW THAT THEY
KILLED NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE,
THEY HAD TO BRING BACK THEIR
SKIN OR A SCALP TO SHOW THAT
THEY MADE THEIR KILL.
AND ONE COULD MAKE A PRETTY GOOD
LIVING OFF OF KILLING INDIAN
PEOPLE, AND THAT'S WHERE THAT
TERM WAS WIDELY USED.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT IS USED
IN THE NATIVE COMMUNITY.

Steve says NOW, I NOTICE,
THOUGH, YOU'RE AT A GAME IN
KANSAS CITY WHERE THE TEAM THERE
IS CALLED THE CHIEFS, AND OF
COURSE IN BASEBALL YOU'VE GOT
THE ATLANTA BRAVES AND I KNOW
THE BLUE JAY FARM TEAM SEVERAL
YEARS AGO USED TO BE THE CHIEFS
AS WELL.
THEY PLAYED IN SYRACUSE, NEW
YORK.
I MEAN, THERE ARE A LOT OF
OTHER -- THE CLEVELAND INDIANS,
FOR GOODNESS' SAKES.
THERE ARE OTHER PROFESSIONAL
SPORTS TEAMS THAT HAVE
INDIAN-RELATED NAMES AS THEIR
NICKNAMES.
ANY PROBLEM WITH ANY OF THEM?

The caption changes to "Pervasive appropriation."

Amanda says I HAVE A
HUGE PROBLEM WITH THOSE.
I THINK THAT WITH THE CLEVELAND
INDIANS, THEIR LOGO IS PROBABLY
ONE OF THE MOST DISRESPECTFUL
LOGOS OUT THERE OF NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE, SPECIFICALLY
NATIVE AMERICAN MEN.
OUR NATIVE AMERICAN MEN DO NOT
LOOK LIKE THAT IMAGE, AND I FIND
IT VERY DISRESPECTFUL.
I THINK THAT NO MATTER HOW YOU
TRY TO SPIN ANY SORT OF NATIVE
AMERICAN MASCOT, IT'S ALWAYS
GOING TO BE OFFENSIVE BECAUSE
YOU CANNOT STOP WHAT HAPPENS AT
THESE GAMES, LIKE I SAID.
YOU KNOW, PEOPLE CAN INTERPRET
AN IMAGE OR A NAME ANY WAY THEY
WANT TO AT THESE GAMES.
THE OWNERS AND THE N.F.L. HAS NO
CONTROL OVER THAT, AND THAT IS
WHY, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU PUT A
NATIVE AMERICAN PERSON IN THAT
POSITION, THEY'RE GOING TO BE
RIDICULED, THEY'RE GOING TO BE
PUSHED AROUND, THEY'RE GOING TO
BE -- A LOT OF HATE IS GOING TO
BE DIRECTED AT THE IMAGE.
SO WHEN YOU PUT A HUMAN PERSON,
HUMAN BEING MORE SPECIFICALLY,
AN INDIGENOUS PERSON OF NORTH
AMERICA IN THAT POSITION,
THEY'RE GOING TO BE RIDICULED,
AND THAT'S NOT OKAY.
NOBODY SHOULD BE PUT IN THAT
POSITION.

Steve says I TAKE YOUR POINT
FOR THE CLEVELAND INDIANS.
IF I REMEMBER, IT'S A BIG
GRINNING KIND OF SILLY LOOKING
INDIAN NAMED CHIEF WAHOO, I
THINK IS THE CHARACTER'S NAME.

Amanda says VERY RED.

Steve says WHICH IS QUITE
RIDICULOUS.
IN HOCKEY YOU HAVE THE CHICAGO
BLACKHAWKS.
WE HAVE CANADIAN FOOTBALL UP
HERE, THERE'S A TEAM CALLED THE
EDMONTON ESKIMOS.
YOU COULD GO FURTHER.
THERE'S THE FIGHTING IRISH OF
NOTRE DAME IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL,
THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS.
I DON'T KNOW HOW FAR ALONG THIS
CONTINUUM YOU WANT TO GO.
BUT DO YOU FIND THOSE NAMES
PROBLEMATIC AS WELL?

Amanda says WELL, I
THINK THAT THE VIKINGS ARE NOT
AN INDIGENOUS GROUP WHO ARE
CURRENTLY STILL ALIVE IN NORTH
AMERICA.
I MEAN, YOU CAN ARGUE THAT THE
FIGHTING IRISH -- THERE ARE
IRISH PEOPLE HERE.
BUT WHAT PUTS US AT A
DISADVANTAGE IS THAT WE ARE A
SMALL MINORITY.
WE ARE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF
NORTH AMERICA WHO ARE STILL
ALIVE AND PRESENT, AND TO BE PUT
IN THAT POSITION, LIKE I SAID,
IS TO BE PUT IN A POSITION OF
RIDICULE.
YOU CAN'T SAY THAT FOR THE
VIKINGS BECAUSE, UNFORTUNATELY,
THEY'RE, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT
HERE.
FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH, IF IRISH
PEOPLE WANT TO STAND UP AND SAY
“I AM OFFENDED,” I WILL STAND
WITH THEM.
I THINK THAT THE FIGHTING IRISH
GIVES IRISH PEOPLE OR THE
GENERAL POPULATION A VERY
MISCONCEPTION OF WHO THEY ARE,
AND I BELIEVE THERE WAS SOME
CONTROVERSY AT NOTRE DAME AS
WELL CONSIDERING, YOU KNOW, WHEN
YOU'RE CONSIDERING THE IRISH,
YOU KNOW, THERE WAS PEOPLE WHO
ACTUALLY DID STAND UP AND SAY
THAT THEY WERE OFFENDED BY IT,
AND SO IF THEY WERE TO STAND UP
AND SAY, HEY, WE WANT TO GET RID
OF IT, I WOULD STAND WITH THEM.

Steve says AMANDA, LET ME GET
YOUR VIEW ON THIS.
I THINK I REMEMBER A COUPLE OF
YEARS AGO GOING TO ONE OF THOSE
NEW YEAR'S DAY COLLEGE BOWL
GAMES IN MIAMI, AND THE FLORIDA
STATE SEMINOLES WERE ONE OF THE
COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS PLAYING
IN THAT GAME, AND AS THE GAME
BEGAN, SOME GUY IN FULL INDIAN
REGALIA ON HORSE DASHED OUT TO
THE MIDDLE OF THE FOOTBALL
FIELD, TOOK A SPEAR, AND THREW
THE SPEAR INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE
FIELD AND THEN HAD THE HORSE
BUCK UP ON HIND LEGS, THE FANS
ALL WENT CRAZY, OF COURSE, THEY
THOUGHT IT WAS A WONDERFUL
DISPLAY, AND THEN HE GOT OFF THE
FIELD, AND I REMEMBER THINKING
AT THE TIME, MY GOODNESS, IF I
WERE A NATIVE AMERICAN, I WOULD
BE PRETTY -- PRETTY DISGUSTED
WITH WHAT I JUST SAW.
BUT FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND,
THERE'S AN AGREEMENT FOR THE USE
OF THE NAME WITH THE FLORIDA
SEMINOLE TRIBAL COUNCIL AND
THEREFORE THAT'S OKAY.
CAN YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND ALL
OF THAT?

Amanda says WELL,
THE SEMINOLE PEOPLE -- THERE'S
THE SEMINOLE TRIBE OF FLORIDA
AND THERE'S THE SEMINOLE TRIBE
OF OKLAHOMA.
SO THE AGREEMENT -- YOU KNOW, I
DON'T THINK THAT SPEAKS FOR THE
LARGER GROUP OF PEOPLE.
I THINK IT IS OFFENSIVE.
I THINK WHEN YOU OFFER MONEY
SCHOLARSHIPS TO PEOPLE WHO
DON'T REALLY HAVE A WHOLE LOT,
YOU KNOW, THEY'RE, YOU KNOW,
BE A LITTLE MORE INCLINED TO
ACCEPT THAT, WHICH IS WHAT I
UNDERSTAND THE UNIVERSITY DID,
FOR THE SEMINOLES OF OKLAHOMA.
I DON'T THINK THAT THE ENTIRE
TRIBE IS IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT,
BECAUSE SEMINOLE PEOPLE HAVE
SPOKEN OUT AGAINST THIS AND THEY
HAVE SAID THEY ARE VERY MUCH
OFFENDED BY THAT.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THOSE GAMES IS
INCREDIBLY OFFENSIVE AND I JUST
CANNOT BELIEVE HOW OUR CULTURE
IS BEING MOCKED OUT IN THE
PUBLIC AND IT'S OKAY.
IT CONTINUES TO PERPETUATE THIS
STEREOTYPE OF NATIVE AMERICAN
PEOPLE.
I DON'T THINK IT'S OKAY LIKE
OTHER UNIVERSITIES LIKE THE UTAH
UTES TO CONTINUE TO HOLD THESE
NAMES EVEN THOUGH THEY GET THE
APPROVAL OF A TRIBE.
I THINK IT DEFINITELY NEEDS TO
BE RECONSIDERED.

Steve says LET ME PLAY SOME
TAPE HERE BECAUSE THEY'VE JUST
COMPLETED THE NATIONAL
BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION FINALS
AND APPARENTLY DURING ONE OF THE
GAMES, A 60-SECOND SPOT WAS
PLAYED.
WE'RE GOING TO PLAY A SNIPPET OF
IT DEALING WITH THE ISSUE WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT HERE TONIGHT.
LET'S ROLL TAPE, PLEASE.

A clip plays on screen with the caption “Proud to be. June 2014.” In the clip, fast clips show Native American people on reserves.

An announcer says UNYIELDING,
STRONG, INDOMINATABLE.
NATIVE AMERICANS CALL THEMSELVES
MANY THINGS.
THE ONE THING THEY DON'T ...

The fast clips of Native Americans end with a long shot of a red helmet with the Washington Redskins logo on it.
Then, a slate reads “Changethemascot.org”

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Steve says PRETTY POWERFUL AD.
THEY DON'T OBVIOUSLY CALL
THEMSELVES REDSKINS.
CERTAINLY YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH WITH DAN
SNIDER, THE OWNER OF THE
WASHINGTON REDSKINS ABOUT THIS
ISSUE.
HE HAS SAID FOR THE MOMENT, NO
PLANS TO CHANGE THE NAME.
DO YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT A SHOT
AT THIS?

Amanda says ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'RE AT
A TIME -- I THINK IN THE LAST
YEAR, WE HAVE DEFINITELY GOTTEN
A LOT OF PRESS ON THIS ISSUE.
I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE IS
MORE PRESSURE BEING PUT ON
MR. SNIDER AND THE CO-OWNERS OF
THE FOOTBALL FRANCHISE.
I THINK WE DEFINITELY HAVE A
SHOT.

The caption changes to "The public scrimmage line."

Amanda continues THE T.T.A.B. HAS ACTUALLY -- DID
NOT APPROVE THE REGISTRATION OF
OTHER TRADEMARKS USING THE “R”
WORD IN THE RECENT -- IN THE
LAST YEAR OR EVEN IN THE LAST 10
YEARS.
THEY'VE DENIED OTHER GROUPS TO
TRADEMARK THAT NAME BECAUSE IT
MAY BE DISPARAGING TO NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE.
AND SO I THINK WE DEFINITELY
HAVE A SHOT WITHIN THE T.T.A.B.
WE ALSO HAVE THE H.R. BILL IN
THE HOUSE -- IN CONGRESS RIGHT
NOW.
A SENATOR HAS ACTUALLY PROPOSED
A BILL TO ESSENTIALLY ACCOMPLISH
THE SAME THING THAT OUR PETITION
IS DOING.
I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF
PRESSURE ON MR. SNIDER RIGHT
NOW, AND I THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE
FINALLY UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS
GOING ON AND THAT THIS IS NOT
OKAY.
I DO KNOW THAT MR. SNIDER SAID
THAT WE WILL NEVER CHANGE THE
NAME AND YOU CAN USE THAT IN ALL
CAPS.
I THINK THAT EVENTUALLY HE WILL
BE FORCED TO.
YOU KNOW, AT THIS POINT MY VIEW
IS THAT NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE,
WE HAVE FOUGHT -- NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE FOUGHT FOR
OVER 30 YEARS ON THIS ISSUE.
THIS IS NOT JUST SOMETHING THAT
HAS COME UP IN THE LAST YEAR.
THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR MANY,
MANY YEARS, AND SO IT'S JUST NOW
THAT WE'RE GETTING THIS PRESS ON
THIS.
I THINK THAT WHERE THE CHANGE
WILL REALLY HAPPEN RIGHT NOW IS
IF HE'S FORCED TO THROUGH THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM BUT ALSO FROM
THE MAJORITY, FROM THE FANS,
FROM THE SEASON TICKETHOLDERS,
FROM THE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN HIS
GROUP, THE PEOPLE IN THE N.F.L.
ARE GOING TO BE THE ONES TO
REALLY PUT THE PRESSURE ON HIM
AND HE'S GOING TO BE FORCED TO
BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE N.C.A.I.,
WHICH IS A HUGE GROUP OF NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE, NATIVE AMERICAN
TRIBES AND LEADERS AND
POLITICIANS, VERY POWERFUL
PEOPLE IN THE NATIVE AMERICAN
COMMUNITY, WHO HAVE BEEN URGING
HIM FOR MANY YEARS, AND HE IS
NOT BUDGING.
AND SO I THINK THE REAL CHANGE
IS GOING TO COME FROM THE
POLITICAL PROCESS AND ALSO FROM
THE MAJORITY, AND I CAN SEE THAT
CHANGE HAPPENING NOW.
I CAN SEE HARD CORE FANS WHO
HAVE BEEN, YOU KNOW, THERE FOR
MANY YEARS, WHO ARE STARTING TO
RE-THINK AND LISTEN TO NATIVE
AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Steve says AMANDA BLACKHORSE,
IT'S AWFULLY GOOD OF YOU TO
SPEND TIME WITH TVO TONIGHT
SHARING YOUR VIEWS ON THIS
ISSUE.
WE'LL KEEP ON TOP OF IT AS WELL.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FROM
PHOENIX, ARIZONA.

The caption changes to "Theagenda.tvo.org"

Amanda says THANK
YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Watch: Amanda Blackhorse: Seeing Red(skins)