The ink isn’t even dry on the announcement from the Washington Redskins that they will retire the team name, but already racial activists like Karen Attiah are looking for another scalp to claim. Buoyed by the righteous joy that comes from canceling a much-beloved icon like the Redskins, Attiah took to the pages of the Washington Post on Monday to argue that the Texas Rangers are the next team that should get rid of their name due to its “racist” connotations.
Attiah, who is still mired in controversy from saying on Twitter that white women should be glad that black people aren’t “calling for revenge” against them, wrote this week that “to know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen.”
Uh-huh. Right. That name must have been taken.
Attiah noted that she grew up attending Rangers games without realizing that the team’s namesake “were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory.”
“The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity,” Attiah wrote. “In the early 20th century, Rangers played a key role in some of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history along the Texas-Mexico border. Mexicans were run out of their homes and subject to mass lynchings and shootings. The killings got so out of control that the federal government threatened to intervene.”
None of this, of course, has anything to do with baseball in the 21st century. Literally no one – black, white, purple, or other – goes to Rangers games and squirms at the idea of supporting the oppressive racism of a slavery-era law enforcement force. Does anyone even really think of the Texas Rangers – the police force – when talking about the Texas Rangers – the ball club?
Of course, we would have used the same argument defending the Redskins, so what do we know? We’re probably just too “privileged” to understand how much “trauma” and “fear” these team names spew into the atmosphere. It couldn’t be, certainly, that all of this trauma and fear comes from racial activists and political pundits who generate it for the purpose of stirring up resentment and stuffing money into their pockets. No, no, these are definitely real and important issues.
We should absolutely change everything about our country to address them.