Washington political columnist Charles Krauthammer, who formerly worked for Walter Mondale against Ronald Reagan, believes the Washington Redskins should change their name because it is “a slur.”
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report on Monday, Krauthammer said though he did not think there is “any intent of malice” and there is no “intent of a slur,” “words have histories of their own, and they evolve.”
“The word Negro, 50 years ago, was the most respected word in referring to an African American. It was used 15 times by Martin Luther King in the I Have a Dream speech,” Krauthammer said. “Fifty years later, because of its own history, having to do with Black Power and a complicated history, it’s become a word that is patronizing. You would never say there are 30 Negroes in the U.S. House. You wouldn’t say that.”
Krauthammer, in a debate with George Will and Kirsten Powers, said, “in the same way, Redskins has evolved.”
“And despite its history, it is now considered a slur,” he said. “Growing up, I used to use the word gyp. I never knew until I became an adult that it was a shortening of Gypsy. And I didn’t take a poll of Gypsies at that point to see how many are offended. I stopped using it. It’s very easy to do. It has nothing to do with the sensitivities of a mass of people. It has to do with simple, elementary respect. You don’t use that word if you can avoid it.”
Krauthammer made the same argument with Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday’s O’Reilly Factor.