There’s a growing groundswell of public opinion over the past few years calling on the Washington Redskins football team to change its name and logo. The word “redskin” is obviously racist and hard to defend in the 21st century. The owners of the team have no good arguments to defend themselves, insofar as they even bother to talk about it. I agree with the critics, but only up to a point, and here I offer a compromise that the critics have to accept if they don’t want to be hypocrites.
(Ignore for the moment the fact that people are not fractions of races. No one has this percent of X blood and that percent of Y blood. There’s no such thing as blood quantum. It’s a racist illusion, or at best a racist metaphor.)
Meanwhile, what the “blood quantum” standard has created is a very diverse group of people who are card-carrying tribal members. Native Americans are a much more diverse population than most people realize. That doesn't mean tribes aren't racist, just that the racism may not be obvious. Anyone, no matter what that person looks like, could be a member of a native tribe. There are some tribal members out there with blonde hair and blue eyes. You CANNOT assume that someone wearing a Redskins jacket is not a Native American, no matter what the person looks like.
Applying for tribal recognition would also help show the public that the team owners are not racist against indigenous people. It's hard to brand them as anti-Indian if they officially embrace that identity. Hard to say they hate people if they want to join those people.