Dear Mr. Snyder,
Let’s imagine for a moment there is an NFL team: an old, storied franchise. Its name, its brand, earns billions of dollars a year. Its symbol, a dollar sign overlapping the state senate building, has become synonymous with the very city where it plays.
While “The Kikes” have had difficult seasons, they are not strangers to the playoffs. Recently, though, they have been embroiled in quite the controversy. A group of Jews has been stirring up criticism about the name. It seems they are offended that the name of the team has often been used as a slur against them.
During civil discussions, The Kikes’ leadership has tried to explain to Jewish groups that the team is named after them because of the great respect Americans have for how powerful and rich Jews are.
The Jews just don’t seem to understand. They continue to want to play the victim. Somehow, they claim the stereotype that they manage money well and use it strategically in this country is actually harmful to them. They claim it separates them from other Americans. According to them, the mere fact they are being labeled is a statement they are not like other Americans.
Besides, they say, it is false. Jews are a diverse group of people; athletes, manual laborers, teachers, white-collar professionals, unemployed, farmers, students, parents, etc. They expect The Kikes’ leadership to believe Jews are not as powerful as the team logo purports. In fact, according to Jewish leadership, this is the most harmful stereotype of all. It makes Jews easy targets when the economy takes a hit.
The fact that changing the brand would cost the franchise millions of dollars falls on deaf ears. Instead, the leadership is threatening to cost the team millions in protests and boycotts.
So what should be done? Perhaps file a suit against Jews for taking offense? What’s changed in the last 80 years that prompts the Jews to complain now? Why couldn’t they have spoken up in 1933?
Mr. Synder, think of what has happened to our world since the inception of the name “Redskins.” Think of what destruction, pain, and annihilation such stereotypes have caused. It is inconceivable to me that another Jew could put any minority group through what you are putting the Native Americans through.
Please reconsider your position. Do it for this country of which I am so proud. Show who we truly are: a group of citizens proud of and comfortable with our rich diversity.
Rabbi Andi Berlin