The Tyranny of PC: Obama Admin Cancels Washington Redskins Trademark


I’ve often said that political correctness is a barrier to truth and a door to tyranny. The latest proof of this comes by way of the Obama Administration’s US Patent and Trademark office. If you can’t bully, intimidate and strong arm ‘em into agreeing with you, then circumvent the U.S. Constitution altogether and force them into compliance.

It’s the “progressive” way.

The Washington Post reports:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.

“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”

“We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case,” Alfred Putnam Jr., the chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath, said. “The dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and the determination of our clients have resulted in a milestone victory that will serve as an historic precedent.”

The ruling does not mean that the Redskins have to change the name of the team. It does affect whether the team and the NFL can make money from merchandising because it limits the team’s legal options when others use the logos and the name on T shirts, sweatshirts, beer glasses and license plate holders.

In addition, Native Americans have won at this stage before, in 1999. But the team and the NFL won an appeal to U.S. District Court in 2003. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, however, but threw it out, saying that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to file it. The team is likely to make the same appeal this time. Team officials are expected to make a statement this morning.

Whether or not you believe the Redskins should change its team name, you should be concerned by this troubling development. It’s a harbinger of things to come. The American free market and private enterprise are no longer free nor private. Liberty is under threat as never before.

Here’s to the good ol’ U.S.A.! We’ve officially become an Obamanation.

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  • Truth Offends


    • thisoldspouse

      The latter is the cause of the former.

      • Truth Offends

        I wholly blame Americans for the destruction of our nation.

        • Gowdy_The_Pinhead

          I blame the filthy B @ g g ers!

        • fredk

          That’s a good point. I was going to blame Luxembourg, but your idea is better.

    • Boo

      Without stereotyped sporting mascots our nation will surely fall.

      • Truth Offends

        “Ignorance is bliss,” eh?

        • Boo

          What? I’m agreeing with you. We need to safeguard our strategic supply of offensive names or the Russians might pull ahead. We must not allow a stereotype gap.

          • thisoldspouse

            You don’t get it. You seriously don’t. And that’s scary.

          • Boo

            So tell me what’s to get, besides some people freaking out about not having their prejudices catered to any more?

    • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

      The mascot was a racist caricature… what more does there need to be said?

      • thisoldspouse

        How about freedom to be offensive, if desired?

        Or is freedom so outdated?

        • Boo

          They can still use the name, they just can’t trademark it.

        • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

          Why should we celebrate, or even allow the “freedom” to demonize minorities?

          • thisoldspouse

            Why are “minorities” (however you want to concoct that classification) special merely based on demographic representation? Why should that confer special power and rights? Why does a majority not have the same rights?

            Why doesn’t the winner of elections, then, actually lose because they were elected by a majority? That changes the strategy of elections – vote for the person you want to lose.

            See how absolutely insane your mentality gets in real life?

          • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

            “Why are “minorities” (however you want to concoct that classification) special merely based on demographic representation? Why should that confer special power and rights? Why does a majority not have the same rights?”

            —Because the minority in this case were systematically dispossessed and exterminated by the majority, moron. American Indians have been and still are an oppressed set of peoples, who in this case are being lampooned by a major sports team; dehumanizing language HURTS people.

            But thanks for letting us know you’re a racist piece or garbage on top of being homophobic.

          • thisoldspouse

            And you fail to even realize the vile venom you spew publicly at Christians. You are exceedingly blind, hypocritical, as well as evil.

            Enjoy your time here. It will seem like an eye blink compared to what’s coming to you.

          • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

            I am light-years better than you or your fake “god”… and that’s not saying much, honestly.

            May you wipe that filthy scum of faith from your eyes.

          • Jeanette Victoria

            Funny I’m part Indian and I’m not offended in the least and neither are these Indians

          • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

            And somehow that erases every other American Indian’s concerns?

            Grow up, child.

      • Kimo

        Little problem with the First Amendment

        • Boo

          This is a trademark issue, not a First Amendment issue.

          • Wootsauce

            This is most definitely a 1st amendment issue. This is the government limiting what you can say. If you are so offended at the term “Redskins” don’t go to their games.

          • fredk

            No, Boo is right. This is a trademark issue. The team can still use the name, but they lose exclusive rights to profit from it. The Bill of Rights doesn’t protect your right to make money.

      • Kimo

        It’s the same face that is on the Buffalo Nickel, official currency of the United States from 1913 to 1938, until replaced by the Jefferson Nickel. It also appears on a 2001 commemorative U.S. silver dollar, and the current $50 U.S. gold coin.

        • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

          The crux of the issue is the SLUR they use as the mascot’s name. The image itself is less offensive than the Cleveland Indians’.

    • Persephone Sixty-Six

      Oh the humanity! a sports team has to change it’s racially offensive name. It’s like what Hitler did to the Jews!

      • Kimo

        Atlanta Braves
        Kansas City Chiefs
        Cleveland Indians
        Chicago Blackhawks

        And wait until you branch out into other offensive names used by major sports teams that disparage individuals or groups.

        • Boo

          Pretty soon sports teams won’t have any offensive names, and then whatever shall we dooooooo?!

        • fredk

          Note that none of those names have negative connotations.

          Using “Redskins” is like proudly calling your team the “Atlanta N***ers”. Would you support that choice?

          • Kimo

            You don’t know that calling a Native American “chief” is derogatory? And folks saying the depiction of the Redskins mascot is “racist,” while the Cleveland Indian is not? (If you want to know where the Redskins mascot came from, check out whose head is on the Buffalo / Indian Head nickel–our national currency before the Jefferson nickel. Yes, it is the same person.)

          • fredk

            Fair enough – I’ll happily defer to anyone who has a closer connection to these terms. And support their efforts to remove them too.

        • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

          The Cleveland Indians mascot is pretty awful.

  • Twisted Mister

    “Federal trademark law does not permit
    registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or
    “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”

    Oh, the tyranny!

  • ReidDA

    An obamanation despite the fact that the judges who ruled on this were appointed in the Bush administration.

  • Phillip Lightweis-Goff

    You twisted, racist morons… are you REALLY going to hang your hats on this?! Grow up.

    • Kimo

      I’m a redskin and proud of it.

  • Persephone Sixty-Six

    Matt Barber will find any excuse to feel persecuted. I suggest the new team name be “The Fundies.” Or maybe “Bible Thumpers.” “Jesus Freaks?”

    • Truth Offends

      Out of those three, “Bible Thumpers” is my favorite!

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  • hartwilliams

    This idiotic notion that “Liberty is under attack as never before” because you can’t trademark a racist logo reminds one of the old saying: Before you buy a racist’s argument, always look under the hood.

  • MGS

    This is pure stupidity. Because a federal office decides on something, suddenly because it’s federal it’s gotta be Obama’s fault. Grow up and learn how the government works again. just because there is a president in office doesn’t mean that every single damn thing with the federal government has to do with him.

    On a second note, growing up just out of DC, I don’t see what the problem is with them changing it. It’s the same thing as if we had a team who had a caricature of an African-American that African-American’s found offensive. If a racial group of people lobby because an official logo, depicting them, offends them, then they have every right to do it by US Copyright Policy. It’s in our laws that they can do that.

  • fredk

    This ruling is part of an ongoing legal process that started in *1992*. They lost the trademark before in 1999, but regained it in 2003.

    Presumably Barber would know this. Being a lawyer.

    • Truth Offends

      Your comment shows that you didn’t even read the column!

  • Pingback: The Tyranny of PC: Obama Admin Cancels Washington Redskins Trademark | Socialism is not the Answer()

  • Bob Smetters

    Although I think the ruling was a bad one, I think it is silly to assume Obama sat in on the decision and instructed them to make it. I also think the claim that no Indians cared about it, it is all white liberals is a falsehood. Pretty easy to research to see the Indian groups that have been fighting against the name for years. But facts and reality are no fun in the political game….froth and foam at the mouth on…

  • Bob Smetters

    Landmark case? The same office made the same ruling in 1999, long before Obama….and from what I have been reading these current judges that made this one were Bush appointees. Anyone have any proof of that?

  • Wisco

    You ever notice that if you replace the term “politically incorrect” in a sentence with “bigoted,” the sentence generally has the same meaning in the end?

    That’s because “politically correct” is a way for bigots to play the victim card, while failing to make any arguments in favor of their position. That’s why when you call some out for a racist joke, there’s a good chance they’ll say, “Oh, don’t be so PC!”

    And “tyranny”? Another phony victim card. If Obama and liberals were the tyrants you all pretend they were, you wouldn’t feel safe posting this sort of thing. The fact that you post it without any fear at all of a goon squad knocking at your door in the dead of night is all the proof you need that you’re actually enjoying freedom and that this supposed “tyranny” is just another way of pretending you’re the big victim here.

  • Brett Koehler

    Obama personally phones every judge in the nation on every issue. He also retroactively appointed them during the Bush adminstration. He is a time travelling tyrant.

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