In yet another act of journalistic defiance, Slate Magazine decreed in a post Thursday that the online publication will no longer use "Redskins" in any post relating to Washington's professional football team:
Changing how you talk changes how you think. The adoption of the term “African-American”—replacing “Negro” and “colored”—in the aftermath of the civil rights movement brought a welcome symmetry with Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, groups defined by geographic origin rather than by race or color. Replacing “same-sex marriage” with “marriage equality” helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading. If Slate can do a small part to change the way people talk about the team, that will be enough.
Slate, which is owned by the Washington Post Co., "the market-maker in Redskins coverage" as put in the article, is certainly not the first publication to use this form of literary protest; Washington City Paper, the Buffalo News and Philadelphia Daily Newshave all elected to do the same recently.
But it is unlikely that Slate, which is a "national, general-interest magazine" that admits that its Redskins coverage is "sporadic," will make a noticeable difference. Until a "market-maker" like the Post or ESPN decides to join in -- and the chances of that are microscopic -- the Redskins name will continue to be widely used, no matter how admirable the aforementioned attempts may be.
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.