Originally published June 20 2014
Redskins ruling means that federal 'thought police' are out of control - again
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In America, you're free to speak and think as you please, so long as you're not harming someone else in the process. The concept of free speech, expression and thought was so important to our founding fathers that they enshrined it in the very first amendment to the Constitution.
Another very important freedom that our founders recognized was the freedom and the right to own property -- but not just physical land, property of all kinds, like businesses; those, too, are considered the private property of the owner.
Fast forward to 2014. These fundamental American rights are changing before our eyes, and they are changing without debate. If they are not being usurped by a lawless president ruling with his pen, then they are being denied or taken by unelected bureaucrats.
That is exactly what happened to the owner of the NFL's Washington Redskins recently. In a 2-1 decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board -- relying on a federal statute that prevents trademarking "offensive" or "disparaging" names and brands -- revoked the 77-year-old franchise trademark from Dan Snyder, a decision that will potentially cost him tens of millions of dollars. According to current figures, the Redskins franchise is the third-most valuable in the NFL at $1.6 billion.
Check out the team's history - it isn't 'racist'
And the only reason the panel made its decision was because the team's name has been deemed "politically incorrect" by the same unseen, Left-wing forces who always make such designations.
Whether you agree with the ruling or not, this is the federal government, once again, picking winners and losers, and penalizing people for thoughts, speech and actions that the vast majority of Americans (and this is verified in all of the polling data on this issue) happen to agree with.
Well, you might say, most Americans agreed with slavery once upon a time as well, but that didn't make it right. Agreed. But the "Redskins" name is not a slur, it was not adopted to be offensive, and it does not deprive anyone of their freedom.
Very few people know the origins of the team, which should tell you all you need to understand about its name -- and how it was not selected to disparage Native Americans. The team began as the Boston Braves in 1932; its first head coach was a Native American (Sioux); the team's first owner, George Preston Marshall, was an avowed racist but changed the name of the team from the Braves to the Redskins in honor of the coach, William "Lone Star" Dietz.
Nothing we own is safe
But none of that mattered to a pair of bureaucrats who, with one single decision, have potentially demolished an American citizen's legally obtained, legally owned and legally operated business franchise. If Snyder lived in North Korea or Cuba, we wouldn't approve of the government taking away his livelihood; why should we put up with it when our government does so?
The thing is, being "offended" is a choice; you can either choose to take offense at something or not, even when someone is trying to offend you, which obviously is not what's happening in the Redskins case. But in our system of government, being "offended" doesn't give you the right to take away a man's property; the standard is much higher, as recognized by the Fifth Amendment, which requires that "due process of law" be part of any proceeding that denies a citizen "life, liberty, or property." And besides, what law, statute or constitutional provision empowers two federal bureaucrats to even make a determination like this? We have two people deciding what is and is not acceptable speech and expression? That's ludicrous.
When our government -- through the Oval Office, the courts or via the massive unelected bureaucracy -- begins to make decisions about our property and livelihood based on political correctness, the sky is the limit. Nothing we own or possess is safe if we tick off the PC Police.
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