Talk:Redskin (slang)

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How is 'redskin' pejorative in the contemporary sense?[edit]

I know many that use redskin in a non-derogatory way. I've known indians that weren't offended when I use the term redskin. I don't take offense when someone calls me white. There is a difference between a word being derogatory in origin but is adopted by that culture in later times.

I agree fully. There's nothing inherently pejorative about the term. "Redskin" and "Pale Face" even enjoy a certain amount use as terms of affection between the two races. I imagine that there are some Native Americans who dislike the term (just as some, maybe even more understandably, hate the word "Indian"), just as there are some who find the terms white, black, and yellow offensive. (Though "yellow" is probably a special case, since it is sometimes associated with cowardice, there are still some contexts in which few if any people would be offended by it, such as in "all people, whether White, Black, Red, or Yellow, should be treated equally", in which the usage is very explicitly non-derogatory.)
Although, this may depend on the area or the individuals involved. For example, a Native American would probably not be offended by being called a "Redskin" by a White friend who he knows to be anything but a racist, but might strongly object to being called a "Redskin" by a member of the KKK. Likewise, in areas where Native Americans are the largest racial "minority", there has probably already been a long history of mutual cooperation and friendship between the Whites and "Redskins" of the area (and many Whites who very proudly boast a Native herritage), who would not immediately think any word was intended pejoratively unless given good reason to do so. I know in my area, where racism against Mexicans and Asians is somewhat common (and sadly, even expected), the idea of racism against Natives is strange and alien, since the Whites and the Redskins here have such a long history together and such a strong respect for one another. Although that might also have to do with the fact that most of the cities in my area were founded by Scottish and Irish immigrants who were treated as outcasts in the rest of the U.S., so the Whites who settled here in the early years knew first-hand how hurtful prejudices and stereotypes could be.
In any event, it's not really accurate (and more than a little ignorant) to say that the word "Redskin" is a pejorative, when it is clearly not an offensive word in all contexts, and may even be, as mentioned above, a term of as a term of affection. --Corvun 00:01, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

I'm Indian and I know alot of my Indian brothers are not at all offended by the term redskin, it seems to me like you non Indians are trying to tell us what we are offended by

I'm a mixed blood, and I call myself a redskin. Why should non Indians tell us what to call ourselves? It's like the whole AI VS NA thing (I prefer American Indian) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

See this article for an Indian who is offended by the word. Dylan Thurston 18:59, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

It's easy to say that something isn't offensive when you're on the outside looking in. If Native American people find the term insulting that should be enough. WHPratt (talk) 14:45, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The names of pro sports teams in the U.S. are chosen to get crowds into stadiums. To honor a relative, or anything so personal, would have to be secondary.

Eh? If you're talking about the NFL Redskins, they were named in honor of their half-Sioux coach - not exactly an unprecedented step, as I'm sure Cleveland Browns fans would agree.


The article says:

In recent years the name has become controversial with some Native American groups and their supporters arguing that since they view the word "redskin" as an offensive slur that it is inappropriate for a NFL team to continue to use it, regardless of whether any offense is intended.

Has the name really only become controversial in recent years? Or is that expressing a point of view? Is there a source that shows the name to be non-controversial until a certain, recent point?-- 01:22, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

"Indian Country Today debunked the Dietz myth as pure fabrication with no basis in fact at all. Dietz was entirely of European ancestry."

This was moved here because the language is obviously biased and it has no citation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

If the people the name is supposedly "honoring" find the usage offensive, it's clearly not serving the intended purpose. Besides which, the usage of a cultural group as a mascot is degrading, particularly in the case of natives, as sports teams usually focus on the violent aspects of native culture that further enhances misconception of native history. If a group were truly honoring native culture, they would choose a feature of native culture that ought to be celebrated, such as The College of William and Mary who changed their team name from "Indians" to "Tribe." The Black Quill (talk) 23:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Folk Etymology[edit]

The purported etymology of 'redskin' from the practice of offering bounties for scalps is ahistorical and demonstrably false; it is as such not encyclopedic, and does not belong here. The OED, Second Edition, cites the following quotation, from 1699: Ye firste Meetinge House was solid mayde to withstande ye wicked onsaults of ye Red Skins. It OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT refer to scalps or anything of the sort. Spider Jerusalem 06:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry for posting out of order. The OED cites a fake document that was actually composed in the early 20th century, not in 1699. Helen Evertson Smith is the author of the fraud, and the OED editors fell for it. See Ives Goddard, "'I am a red-skin': the adoption of a Native American expression," European Review of Native American Studies 19:2 (2005): pp. 1-20. Goddard finds that "redskin" entered the English language during the War of 1812, and was popularized in 1826 in the novel The Last of the Mohicans. — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 15:22, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Is this really true? I haven't found anything in my research to show that the term 'redskin' did not have any association with scalping and bounties. Clearly, it could have been had more than one connotation! TronNDoE 03:40, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

I found this doing a google search: MASCOTS - Redskins origin of the term The Term Redskin Dear Editor; It was brought to my attention that some were asking if the term "redskin" was really offensive to Indians and that they would like to hear from us on this subject. Well, here you are...I am Blackfoot, Cherokee and Choctaw...and yes, the term is extremely offensive to me. Let me explain why. Back not so long ago, when there was a bounty on the heads of the Indian people...the trappers would bring in Indian scalps along with the other skins that they had managed to trap or shoot. These scalps brought varying prices as did the skins of the animals. The trappers would tell the trading post owner or whoever it was that he was dealing with, that he had 2 bearskins, a couple of beaver skins...and a few scalps. Well, the term "scalp" offended the good Christian women of the community and they asked that another term be found to describe these things. So, the trappers and hunters began using the term "redskin"...they would tell the owner that they had bearskin, deer skins....and "redskins." The term came from the bloody mess that one saw when looking at the scalp...thus the term "red" because it was the "skin" of an "animal" just like the others that they, it became "redskins". So, you see when we see or hear that term...we don't see a football team...we don't see a game being played...we don't see any "honor"...we see the bloody pieces of scalps that were hacked off of our men, women and even our children...we hear the screams as our people were killed...and "skinned" just like animals. So, yes, Mr./Ms. can safely say that the term is considered extremely offensive.

In Struggle, Tina Holder Mesa, Az.

-- I'm pretty sure the term "redskin" as referred to in this article is more of a pun than the actual definition of the term. It also seems to have been short lived as this specific connotation could only have lived as long as the practice of scalping Native Americans. I challenge anyone to present me with modern usage of the term to refer to scalps as opposed to Native American people. On a more opinionated note, I cannot understand how someone looks at a football team and sees a bunch of bloody scalps scoring touchdowns.

Whether or not someone still uses the term to refer to scalping, the term will always possess that connotation in the native community and will remain offensive. You cannot remove the history of a word, no matter how you use it today, and the hurt of its origin can sting forever. The Black Quill (talk) 23:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Proclamation issued in 1755 Given at the Council Chamber in Boston this third day of November 1755 in the twenty-ninth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Iceland, King Defender of the Faith. By His Honour's command J. Willard, Secry. God Save the King

Whereas the tribe of Penobscot Indians have repeatedly in a perfidious manner acted contrary to their solemn submission unto his Majesty long since made and frequently renewed. I have therefore, at the desire of the House of Representatives ... thought fit to issue this Proclamation and to declare the Penobscot Tribe of Indians to be enimies, rebels, and traitors to his Majesty. And I do hereby require his Majesty's subjects of the Province to embrace all opportunities of pursuing, captivating, killing, and destroy all and every one of the aforesaid Indians.

And wereas the General Court of this Province have voted that a bounty.... be granted and allowed to be paid out of the Province Treasury.... The premiums of bounty following viz:

For every scalp of a male Indian brought in as evidence of their being killed as aforesaid, forty pounds.

For every scalp of such female Indian or male Indian under the age of twelve years that shall be killed and brought in as evidence of their being killed as aforesaid, twenty pounds.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about this issue. You can contact teh author (not me); [removed email for protection against spambots]

It's racist!!![edit]

It's like calling a white person a cracker or a black person a n*****! (talk) 22:02, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

  • It seems that most people have forgotten this, though. (talk) 22:17, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
  • You serious dude? Please, I really doubt a sports team named n***** would last very long. This country is going down the tube with all the social justice BS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

When I used to live in South Australia in the 1980s there was a candy you could buy that had American Indians on the wrappers and it was called Redskins. Don't know if it is still available but it was yummy! Christopedia (talk) 14:58, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Should "Red people" redirect here?[edit]

There's a redirect from "Red people," which is a wikilink from a template about racial categories.

I don't think the two terms are identical. There is nothing in this article (Redskin (slang)) that refers to "Red people." Comments? — ℜob C. alias ᴀʟᴀʀoʙ 00:38, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

  • It's pretty much a synonym, but I think it should also be mentioned, as in "redskin or red people". FunkMonk (talk) 21:07, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Some Indian tribes (from India) refer to white people as red people. --Joshua Issac (talk) 16:06, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Use in Mainstream Press[edit]

For the record. The New York Times thought that the term was acceptable as late as 1956. Check May 30, 1956, bottom of page 16, betweeen the articles about Don Newcombe stopping Dale Long's home run streak (that's how I found it) and Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First" recording going to the baseball Hall of Fame. "Redskin Joins Redskins" says the little page-filler. "WASHINGTON, May 29 (UP) -- The Washington Redskins added a real Indian to their roster today with the signing of a Clemson halfback, Buck George. George, a Cherokee, was claimed by the Redskins in the National League draft last year but stayed in college to complete his education." The paper is readily available on microfilm. WHPratt (talk) 00:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)


Doing cleanup, mainly adding cite templates to give complete info regarding sources. However, I found one ref that was Not Applicable to the discussion, and not needed, so removed: [1]FigureArtist (talk) 21:32, 6 February 2013 (UTC)


The conclusion that "The consensus based upon a comparison of current dictionary definitions is that the term has negative or disparaging connotations" cannot be drawn from the cited source, when the source itself concludes with "there may still be some disagreement among modern dictionaries as to the offensiveness of the word."

The outright dismissal of the opinion polls as flawed based off an editorial and an offline source unfortunately leaves this article with a seriously slanted tone.

This is a highly debated topic right now, and this article is one of the top results in a google search. I'm new to editing, but I believe this topic needs touching up by an experienced, unbiased wiki editor given the traffic it is receiving right now.

  • The cited sources do support a consensus based upon modern usage in the media as well as dictionaries that the term is disparaging or at least mildly offensive. The extremes, that it is the R-word or just another word for Indian is also presented. I do not know how the opening section could be more neutral, but perhaps it could be worded more clearly. As far as rebutting the public opinion polls, this was done with reference to academic sources; one peer-reviewed journal article and an editorial by a former judge and professor of criminal justice. I could find many more citations regarding the flaws in opinion polling; but consider the current article, with the two polls cited and two rebuttal citations to be balanced. FigureArtist (talk) 12:35, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
The term is unquestionably flat-out racist, it's just that Native Americans are less than 2% of the USA population, and some people in the Native community "own" the word in the same way the African-American population sometimes "owns" the infamous "N-word." (The "I can say it but you can't" sense...) But no one else other than a few allies seems to have a clue. I care, but have too many other dramas and projects on wiki to take on this one. But for those who care, yes, there is good evidence. Go do some digging. Montanabw(talk) 22:22, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Was asked to give the sources I have on this per the request....Moxy (talk) 23:29, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

After a week of no additional comments in support of the POV tag, it should be removed.FigureArtist (talk) 23:19, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Dubious sentence[edit]

  • "some Native American groups and their supporters argu[e] that since they view the word "redskin" as offensive that it is inappropriate for a NFL team to continue to use it, regardless of whether any offense is intended."

There's no evidence that this is their argument. Let's find a source with their argument and summarize it, instead of creating a straw man.--Carwil (talk) 19:49, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

You'll find the sources if you look for them. I don't need the drama of dealing with this topic on this article right now, but it's there. Ping me if there's polling or a vote on the matter, I can weigh in. Montanabw(talk) 22:22, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
And note this. Montanabw(talk) 22:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Frank B. Cross (2007). West's Legal Environment of Business: Text and Cases: Ethical, Regulatory, International, and E-commerce Issues. Cengage Learning. pp. 388–. ISBN 978-0-324-37613-5. .Moxy (talk) 23:32, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
See the following books:
  • Bruce Stapleton, Redskins: Racial Slur Or Symbol of Success? (2001)
  • Amy Bass, In the Game: Race, Identity, and Sports in the Twentieth Century (2005)
  • Paul C. Rosier, Native American Issues (2003)
  • Mark Stewart, The Washington Redskins (2007)
There are plenty of other examples. GregJackP Boomer! 00:26, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Added third citation, removed "Dubious" tag. FigureArtist (talk) 23:26, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

Have revised the opening and done some reorganizing in preparation for adding additional sources. Plan to further reduce the NFL section concentrating it on discussions of the name rather than the entire controversy, given the large coverage elsewhere. FigureArtist (talk) 01:32, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Redskin theater[edit]

I am curious about the Redskin theater in Oklahoma, since only a photo was added but nothing to put it into context. I added a link to the town's article; it has only about 6,000 residents a majority of whom are Native American. The theater was opened in 1947 in somewhat of a landmark , and remains in business [2].

I am sure there are other uses of the name redskin that remain today, mainly in the west. They would be a good addition to the article if accompanied by references that substantiate the meaning of these usages. FriendlyFred (talk) 01:19, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Sorry about dumping a photo here and running, and not getting back for 2 months. I was quite busy placing WikiLovesMonuments photos (it doesn't do any good having a photo contest without placing the photos in appropriate places). There was no Redskin Theater article, and this article seemed to be a place where it contributed something to an explanation/confusion/controversy. The theater is in th National Register of Historic Places listings in Caddo County, Oklahoma in a historic district.

I added more info on the town in the caption.

I also made 2 possibly controversial edits (any edit here might be controversial). First I changed the name of the Delaware tribe to Lenape, what they used to call themselves, and many still do. Then I put a see also link to the Pekin (Ill.) High School Chinks, which was a similar situation. Revert away if you think it necessary!

My take on the whole situation, FWIW, is that we should focus on what the Native Americans think about it. It is clearly offensive, in many parts of the country, to characterize somebody by their supposed skin color, but that might have more to do with us than it does with Native Americans. If Native Americans are offended by this - they should please let people know and we can include RS on that here. If they are not offended, I don't think I, or African-Americans, or Chinese-Americans, etc. should impute their offense to Native-Americans, complete with the baggage that goes along with that. Likely the word and the sports team name will drop out of use and be considered at best an anachronism, but it's not really up to me to force that.

Part of my take on this goes back about 20 years when the Superbowl was, you guessed it, the Cowboys vs. the Redskins. A local Kansas reporter went to an "Indian school" and asked the kids about it. There were probably as many kids proud to be "represented" by the Redskins, as there were kids sort of against it, with only a few offended (likely prompted by the reporter to some extent). It confused me then, and I don't want to extrapolate it to what most Native Americans think now, but perhaps it's because the word "Redskin" is not really about them as Lenape, Sioux, Navaho, or other tribes. The controversy is very much about us - the non-Native Americans. Why do we think the word is offensive (lots of good reasons from our POV)? Why do people who use it want to use it (likely some logic here as well)? But the thing we've left out is what the Native Americans think. I'm sure somebody will let me know how I'm wrong on this. All the best. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:11, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Uh, I don't know what game you're thinking of, but it wasn't the Super Bowl. Both Dallas and Washington are NFC teams, and both are in the same division. They play each other twice every year, so it could have been for one of those games, but it wasn't the Super Bowl. GregJackP Boomer! 20:32, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, you're obviously right - memory can play tricks after 20 years. Of course the NFL hype can play tricks as well - every game is almost like the Super Bowl. Obviously, it must have been an NFC Championship, 1982 seems much too early, so it must have been 1991-2 against the Lions. Smallbones(smalltalk) 00:53, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Redskin is proper in some States[edit]

When I used to live in California, the Indians called themselves "skins". Short for "redskins". To them it's just what they call themselves. Less confusion being called "Indian" I suppose. And my stock is 100% European. Yet I am still "Native American". So that term doesn't work either.

Presidentbalut (talk) 12:47, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

What you describe would be the same as African Americans calling each other variations on the n-word. That is irrelevant to what words should be used in public by those that are not members of minorities. Whatever the origin and intent, redskin has been used as an offensive term long enough to be defined as such in most dictionaries, and to disappear from common usage. The continued use of the name in sports is institutional racism, and should end.
In any other context, native means "born in a place"; but in the term Native American it means "indigenous to a place" . You are European American, as am I, my ancestry being 98% Irish/English/German. According to family stories that cannot be verified, the remainder may be indigenous, one ancestor from the Upper Mattaponi tribe.

FriendlyFred (talk) 15:16, 12 October 2013 (UTC)


This article has gotten a little off-track as more about sports team names has been added. I have added much of this content myself because there was no other place for all of the non-NFL team references that I encountered. I propose creating a new article for that content, although the title is not obvious. The Other Redskins would be journalistic but not encyclopedic; Redskins sports team controversy would follow the pattern of Native American mascot controversy and Washington Redskins name controversy.

I would remove from this article all but the essential references to college, high school, and local teams, including the Canadian teams, replacing it with a Main article wikilink. The NFL team content could also be reduced? The topic here is the origin and usage of the word itself.

FriendlyFred (talk) 20:11, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Not sure why Native American mascot controversy and Washington Redskins name controversy are not enough. Can't you put 90%+ of the "other material" there. As always, I find this topic a bit soft-edged, so am not saying that this is the way it should be done, only asking Why Not? Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:42, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The Native American mascot controversy article is an overview of the entire topic, and could get bloated and unreadable by having a section on each case of a mascot or name. There is much to say on the numerous past and current Redskins teams that is too detailed for that article. There are already individual articles on "Chiefs" Illiniwek, Wahoo, and Osceola. The main area of controversy for the "other Redskins" is at the HS level and younger, which receives limited attention.FriendlyFred (talk) 22:32, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It appears that the consensus in meh, so I will not bother to do the split.FriendlyFred (talk) 01:39, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Which three high schools?[edit]

"...three of which have a majority of Native American students." Does that include Red Mesa High in Red Mesa, AZ? Bizzybody (talk) 18:17, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Added names of schools to the article. FriendlyFred (talk) 23:31, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

Article topic[edit]

This article should only be about the meaning of the slang term and not all the details covered in other articles, so I have begun to summarize the Washington controversy.FriendlyFred (talk) 14:12, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

A related issue is the lead section, which is not a proper introduction/overview, but rather goes immediately into the definition and issues. I plan to correct this.FriendlyFred (talk) 21:40, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Missing context from 1960s and 1970s[edit]

This article addresses the history of the term 'redskin' and whether it may have previously had pejorative connotations in its origins, but misses the larger point that cultural mores toward minority groups changed significantly in the late 1960s and into the 1970s, including how the term 'redskins' is used. This 2013 NPR story has several useful references, including to a New Yorker story on the topic: 'The word began to fade from everyday usage in the 1960s (though songs like the 1960 Richie Allen track "Redskin" would occasionally be released). As Ian Crouch recently pointed out in The New Yorker, "since 1971, nearly two-thirds of professional and amateur athletic teams bearing Native American iconography have made a change."') This history is not very different from the usage of 'nigger,' which likely originated as not specifically pejorative but is now offensive because of its association with the overall debasing historical context when it was commonly used.

Reference only marginally supports statement[edit]

"and by many Native American tribes as non-offensive.[29]" from the current use section uses an article that does mention an Annenberg survey from 2004, but largely doesn't support the statement that many Native American tribes find the term non-offensive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Beaulen (talkcontribs) 15:36, 23 June 2014 (UTC)


However, a historical association between the use of "redskin" and the paying of bounties can be made. In 1863, a Winona, MN newspaper, the Daily Republican, printed among other announcements:

"The state reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory. This sum is more than the dead bodies of all the Indians east of the Red River are worth." [23] (talk) 06:09, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Discussion needed[edit]

A deletion was made with the following comment:

Another deletion due to one using very skewed bias, this website should have facts and let the user form their own opinion, thank you~Native American editor

If an encyclopedia is on any use, it presents facts within a context that makes them meaningful. The deleted material presented the interpretation of facts from a reliable source, so the deletion is one editors unsupported opinion that that interpretation is "skewed bias".FriendlyFred (talk) 23:07, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

The term Redskins has something to do with sports teams no doubt. But This artical re-fights the name controversy artical. If doens not matter that much but I think it should focus on meaning in everyday use and history. For instance if you say the redskins everyone thinks you are talking about a football team now. It is rearly used for people although I have heard skins as in group slang. It should mention a fight but this is a bit much I think. I am new so I could be wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Abc57 (talkcontribs) 07:49, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

I have tried to limit the football team section to discussion of the meaning of the name, just as I have placed much more about the origin and meaning of the word here than in the Washington controversy article.FriendlyFred (talk) 18:38, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • After reading this article again I have begun the process of moving much of the sports team material to the main articles; and will try to focus here on the meaning of the word.FriendlyFred (talk) 21:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Editorializing tag[edit]

I removed an "Editorializing" tag that was inappropriately placed. This tag is intended to mark language used by an editor that is not sourced or implies a conclusion that the source does not support. The line simply reports what an attorney presented to the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board and is supported by the citation.FriendlyFred (talk) 01:22, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Scalping discussion oversimplified[edit]

The discussion of scalping in this article is oversimplified. Some tribes scalped members of other tribes long before the introduction of a bounty by the British or the colonies. There's evidence of mass scalping as early as 1325 AD.

and the practice of scalping during inter tribal wars continued until late in the 19th Century.

In the 18th Century wars, some tribes were allied with the French, some with the British. Bounties were collected not just by "white" men, but also by Native Americans who were allied with the side paying the bounty. In these earlier days, scalping was not intended to eliminate all Native Americans, but only to reduce the numbers of those who were allied with the enemy European power. ("bounty to be paid to British-allied Indians for the scalps of French-allied Indian men, women, and children")

Whites were also scalped - by Native Americans.,_scalped_as_a_child_by_Sioux_Chief_Little_Turtle_in_1864-2.jpg

And British scalps were sought by the French during the French and Indian Wars. There's also evidence of Confederates scalping Union soldiers.

Presumably, the scalps of whites would be just as red as those of Native Americans, which is to say, they would be red only at the beginning, as dried blood loses its red color over time.

So, the scalps delivered for collection of bounties would not necessarily be red and bloody unless delivered within an hour or so.

Given this more complicated history of scalping, it seems unlikely that "red skins" originated as a term to refer to Native American scalps. In addition, there is no evidence of any text equating "red skin" or "redskin" to scalps. The closest is the MN article indicating that "the state reward for dead Indians has been increased to $200 for every red-skin sent to Purgatory." It's the person who would be sent to Purgatory, not the scalp.

This does not mean that the terms "red skin," or "redskin," or "redskins" are not derogatory. It also doesn't negate the fact that the U.S. adopted some genocidal policies and practices. It just means that the discussion of scalping in this particular article that is intended to support the hypothesis that redskin refers to Native American scalps is not supported by a more thorough understanding of the history of scalping in America. At the very least, there should be a link to this fuller discussion about scalping. Something to the effect of "Scalping in America was practiced by a number of parties in contexts other than the payment of bounties." Ileanadu (talk) 05:30, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

This is not an article about scalping, but about the meaning of the slang term redskin, so scalping is barely mentioned since, as you say, scalping has only a tentative relationship to the term. FriendlyFred (talk) 16:52, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Indigenous terminology[edit]

There is an ongoing debate regarding the correct terminology to use when referring to the indigenous peoples of the land now called the Americas. Every WP article cannot be cleansed based upon what some editors define as inappropriate terminology, since the sources used may have an entirely different terminology. When describing something in the past, is using modern terminology a misrepresentation? If a cited source uses inappropriate terminology, can it be "cleansed"?FriendlyFred (talk) 21:59, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

  • "When describing something in the past, is using modern terminology a misrepresentation?" No, using the term "African American" or "Black" instead of "Negro" when describing the past is still accurate and correct. However, unlike "Indian" the term "Negro" is more outdated. You're referring to "Indian" vs. "Native American" right..? Using the term "Native American" instead of "Indian" and "American Indian" can avoid confusion with Indians from India and Indian Americans (Americans with heritage from India). Prcc27 (talk) 23:22, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I see that you were referring to "American Indian" vs. "Indian"... "American" would clarify who you're talking about so unless there's some context clues in the paragraph that Native Americans are being referred to instead of Indians (from India), "American Indian" or "Native American" might be a better term to use. Prcc27 (talk) 23:34, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
I was referring quoting or closely paraphrasing references, where using new terms alters the meaning of the source.FriendlyFred (talk) 01:55, 11 January 2015 (UTC)


Twice in this article we say the word "underwent a process of pejoration," but we don't really cite an article that says this. The link provided is to the Oxford dictionary, which does say it "is now dated or offensive," but I don't think that is really enough. Essentially, this "process of pejoration" is assumed from that statement, and thus we are doing original research. Fnordware (talk) 23:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

The Oxford definition states: "The term originally had a neutral meaning and was used by American Indians themselves, but it eventually acquired an unfavorable connotation." The wiktionary definition of pejoration (linguistics) is "The process by which a word acquires a more negative meaning over time." Not original research, perhaps failure to cite the references fully enough. FriendlyFred (talk) 23:21, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Simplifying by coordinating content of related articles[edit]

Since I edit this article and two others with related content, I am making an effort to simplify things for me and the readers by placing detailed content in the appropriate place and replacing details with wikilinks.

For example:

Comparison of the R-Word to the N-Word[edit]

An anonymous comment was made on my talk page which I deleted, but will answer here. The statement appeared to be that any comparison between redskin and nigger is false because no form of the latter has ever been used by a sports team. However the point of comparison is that both words are contemptuous or offensive references to people, yet one is freely used while the other is not.--WriterArtistDC (talk) 14:24, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

good source?[edit]

how about this writing? 'How Indians Got To Be Red'--Blaua (talk) 14:46, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

The title screams out to me "don't trust this" but at just a first glance it is a scholarly work and the title is meant to be ironic. I only just skimmed to first part, so I have no opinion on the full question of whether to use it as a source. Smallbones(smalltalk) 15:41, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Revised lead section[edit]

Yes, a lead section is supposed to summarize an article. Is scalping and important detail? Many Native American scholars and rights groups think so.--WriterArtistDC (talk) 22:03, 1 October 2016 (UTC)