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Posted: 1/4/2002 8:47:31 PM EDT
Vanity Plates Under Fire Drivers: Ex-Washington Redskin is told to give up the tags after a Native American activist complains. Dale Atkeson's license plates are meant as a modest homage to his three years as a Washington Redskin, but the Department of Motor Vehicles says they are out of bounds. Atkeson, a 71-year-old Manhattan Beach resident who played for the 'Skins in the '50s, has been ordered by the DMV to surrender his "1REDSKN" plates, which DMV policy deems offensive. Atkeson was fingered by a Native American activist who routinely surfs the DMV's Web site to check for offensive plates that skirted the bureaucracy. The activist complained, and the DMV sent Atkeson a letter just before Christmas. Atkeson, a grandfather who shudders at foul language on television, said he was stunned when told his tribute might be hurtful to others. He wants to keep his plates--a Christmas gift from his wife, Wanda, seven years ago--but sees himself up against an unbeatable opponent.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:48:21 PM EDT
"I don't know what legal rights I have. The DMV is like God Almighty," he said Thursday. Years after Atkeson received his vanity plates, the DMV decided in 1999 to ban plates with "Redskins" or derivatives of the word. The decision followed a complaint by Eugene Herrod on behalf of Advocates for American Indian Children, part of the Southern California Indian Center in Fountain Valley, according to DMV spokesman Steve Haskins. The DMV agreed with Herrod's complaint that a slur should not be used on a license plate, Haskins said. An administrative law judge upheld the DMV policy in a February 2000 ruling after the ban was challenged by a football fan with a "REDSKIN" vanity plate. The judge ruled the license plate was "offensive to good taste and decency" and "carries a racist connotation." Herrod subsequently found Atkeson's plates on the agency's Web site. The activist was not at the office of the Southern California Indian Center on Thursday, a representative said. Atkeson, who played fullback and returned kicks for the Redskins from 1954 to 1956, was unwittingly caught in a long-running national controversy over his old team's name. Utah was the first state to ban "Redskins" variations on license plates, beating California by a few months in 1999. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled in 2000 that the team has no right to trademark its name because it disparages Native Americans. The team has appealed that ruling. DMV spokesman Haskins said 18 plates have been found that violate the "redskins" rule. The owners are sent a letter notifying them to turn in their plates to a DMV office. They can propose an alternative vanity plate, or take standard-issue plates as a replacement. Atkeson said he has written to the department to appeal and has not considered possible substitutes.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:49:01 PM EDT
In a world with so many crude images and diatribes, Atkeson wonders why he has been targeted. "How utterly ridiculous it is to go after my license plate when you can turn on the television and see Howard Stern and his filthy mouth," he said. Atkeson grew up in Lomita and went to USC but quickly flunked out. He joined the Navy and honed his football skills on a base team in San Diego before joining the Redskins via the Cleveland Browns. He said playing for the Redskins was a treat because the team trained at Occidental College and played an annual preseason exhibition game against the Rams at the Coliseum. His $7,000 salary was double what he made as a longshoreman, the job he held in the off-season that became his career until he retired three years ago. Atkeson says he has seen real racism. He remembers the bigotry against Japanese Americans during World War II, and confesses to having gotten caught up in it. "The government brainwashed us." By contrast, he said, attacking the license plates on his Toyota pickup "is really grasping at straws. But I'm not Indian," he added sympathetically. Meanwhile, he and his wife are lying low. They have yet to hear anything about the plates on Wanda's Camry, which read "RDSKN2."
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:51:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:52:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:54:53 PM EDT
Well, I think "Redskin" IS an offensive term. Just because its the name of a sports team doesn't make it alright. In fact, many sports teams have finally begun to relize just how offensive the usage of this imagery is, and have changed their names in response. Doing the tomahawk chop at half time could be compared to doing a Catholic baptism ceremony, all for the pleasure of some slovenly drunken sports fans. WHite skins, Brownies, and other such names are not used in the similar manner. Yet the faces of red faces buck toothed Native American are socially accepted just because some pot bellied, beer guzzling sports geniouses think its ok? Please, put yourself in the shoe of others before rushing to judgement. I know that this isn't my most eloquent peice, but I'm very tired. Please post your opinions and we can discuss this matter further.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:57:45 PM EDT
I'm starting to wonder where the hell this country is being led to. There's more worthy problems to take care of than offending some web surfer's idiocy at causing waves. But the main question that person asked was the real ticker. What rights DO WE HAVE? In the face of this BS Politically Correct garbage?
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:59:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:02:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2002 9:05:12 PM EDT by The_Macallan]
[i]Originally Posted By Kaimeara: Atkeson was fingered [:K] by a Native American activist [:K] who routinely [:K] surfs the DMV's Web site[:K]to check [:K] for offensive plates...[:K].[/i] Advice for Atkeson: Load up the back of his car with "Redskin" bumper stickers. His car - free speech. He gets to show support for his team, takes DMV out of the loop, and pi$$es off that good-for-nothing Native American [:K] "activist".
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:09:45 PM EDT
License plates with Roman letters on them are offensive to me and all must be banned. The new plates with numbers only must match the numbers tattooed on the inside of your left arm and on the chip implanted in your right buttocks. I remember reading about a group of college students wanting to change the name of the schools’ teams because the name was offensive to American Indians. Later the local tribe elders made a public statement about how they liked the name and weren’t offended by it. Rather the name was a source of pride for them. What if one person didn’t like the term “limy” do we get rid of the word? What if the whole population didn’t like the word? Do we throw out the first amendment, even if it is the “nice” or “polite” thing to do? Think about how you would answer that because there are people who think the “nice” and “polite” thing for all of us to do would be to get rid of our firearms.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:12:58 PM EDT
Circle the wagons.....
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:14:03 PM EDT
Yeah, you're free to join the klan as well if that's what toots your horn. However "vanitiy" plates are not a right protected under the constitution. So sorry if you can't have one more accessory to foof up you Lexus.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:28:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 50cali: Yeah, you're free to join the klan as well if that's what toots your horn. However "vanitiy" plates are not a right protected under the constitution. So sorry if you can't have one more accessory to foof up you Lexus.
View Quote
Really now? Are they not a mode of communication? Or are they a mode of identification? If they are only identification then why is there $50 option for “vanity plates”?
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:29:39 PM EDT
The complaint was made by Eugen Herrod on behalf of Advocates for American Indian Children. Should have known it was "for the children".
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:37:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:46:35 PM EDT
I remember seeing in here a PIC of a kaliban plate that somebody snapped that said "TYSTIX". Hmm redskins1 is offensive on a plate but promoting drug use isn't uhhhh ok. Do these activists feel the same way about Indian casino's? Do they feel the image of casino's on reservations besmirch their heritage also? I doubt it
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:53:57 PM EDT
Last I heard, the $50 or whatever charge for the vanity plates is considered a "donation" to some conservancy program or something. And yes, they could be considered speech. However, even the 1st Amendment to the Constitution has its limits. Not all speech is protected. "Low value" speech such as fighting words or words otherwise causing incitement, is not given the same level of protection offer to high value speech. Thus, you cannot yell "Fire" in a crowded theater and expect your speech to be protected when you cause a stamped. Similarly, the term "RedSkin" can be found to be patently offensive to the members of a community. Knowing American history and its treatment of Native Americans, can't people find it somewhere in their hearts to at least give these people the common courtesy in modern day America, not to be reminded of racial stereotypes of the past? It is a shame that this ex-football player will not be able to show his team pride in this one instance. However, I feel that he would be doing himself and his profession a great service by standing for what is right and denouncing the continued use of such racial team names. As an example, schools such as Stanford have long since abandoned similarly offensive names. However the teams that continue to beligerently use these names despite common sense reasoning, appear to really show their owne true colors. But what can you expect from a city that re-elects a mayor like Maryon Berry. All I have to say is "B!tch set me up!" D.C. baby...
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:07:01 PM EDT
I've got a good bit of Cherokee blood in me and I have to say that this whole thing is f***ing stupid. Some people have way too much time on thier hands...
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:20:24 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:35:52 PM EDT
I wonder if Cheyenne Silver is offended. I should ask next week.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:57:32 PM EDT
IF you are easily offended by a word then get ready to hear a lot more of them. Terms I find offensive White, black, Caucasian, Hispanic, Indian, Mexican, Asian, voluntary security checks (which are not voluntary) The Patriot ACT, which is not patriotic. And the list is endless what really offends me is people who like to scream "I'm offended by _______" My response to them is "get over it” Don’t like it then LEAVE! I can get anybody who wants to immigrate, a 1-way ticket to Cuba and you can live their way. The segmentation of AMERICA in to ________ American only serves to divide this house even more. This causes intolerance which cannot be allowed to keep flourishing as it is. Do not squander your efforts over some imagined slight while you ignore the real ones that you must endure. Rather put your efforts to work undoing the indignities that are real, like stupid gun laws. Most people in this country know something is wrong, badly wrong, but have no way to begin to know how to fix it. Time to show them. [USA] enuf said.
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