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The PJ Tatler

by
Walter Hudson

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June 19, 2014 - 5:45 am

Imagine receiving a letter from your local police department informing you that your person and property will no longer be afforded their protection. Perhaps your religious views have been deemed offensive, or you contributed to the wrong political campaign last year, or maybe the chief just doesn’t like the cut of your jib. Regardless, no one will be responding to your 911 calls. Your property will not be protected. Crimes against you will no longer merit a response. And any attempt to defend yourself will be regarded as criminal aggression.

In essence, that’s what the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has just told the Washington Redskins. As you’ve likely read by now, the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently issued a ruling canceling the team’s trademark under the rationalization that it proves “disparaging” to Native Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid enthusiastically supports the move. Washington D.C.’s delegate to Congress has declared the development a “historic” and “inevitable” victory.

The gravity of this moment cannot be overstated and may be easily lost in pontification over racial sensitivity and the relative importance of a sport’s mascot. This is not about football. It’s not about race. It’s not even about political correctness anymore. This is about whether we live under the rule of law. Or, to put it more directly, whether we live under tyranny.

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(Today’s Fightin Words podcast on this topic and more. 11:01 minutes long; 10.57 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

Tyranny? In reference to a patent case? You bet.

What would you call it if you received that letter from the police? You still owe them taxes. You still have to answer to their commands. You just can’t expect their protection or the recognition of your rights. We’re witnessing the establishment of a second class of citizen, a lesser class whose rights shall go unprotected. Is that not infinitely more offensive than any name?

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder deserves full support in his fight against this egregious action. Whether you believe the team name to be disparaging or not is wholly beside the point. This is no longer about that. Ironically, it’s about whether individuals in the United States are afforded equal treatment under the law. If our rights are contingent upon not offending others, then we have no rights.

Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter and Facebook.
Top Rated Comments   
Elijah Cummings calls for the IRS to investigate Tea Party groups. Loo and behold, they do. And the head of the IRS's emails mysteriously go missing. Harry Reid calls for the changing of the Washington Redskins name. Loo and behold the USPTO cancels the trademark, despite having lost a lawsuit on the exact same grounds twenty years ago.

We have a fascist government.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (2)
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This kerfuffle doesn't make any sense on its face. If the term was thought demeaning, who would name a football team after it? I thought it was a tough guy type nick name. This whole event was brought to you by people looking for a harmless fight.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
Elijah Cummings calls for the IRS to investigate Tea Party groups. Loo and behold, they do. And the head of the IRS's emails mysteriously go missing. Harry Reid calls for the changing of the Washington Redskins name. Loo and behold the USPTO cancels the trademark, despite having lost a lawsuit on the exact same grounds twenty years ago.

We have a fascist government.
5 weeks ago
5 weeks ago Link To Comment
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