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Friday, October 10, 2014

Jail To The Redskins?

This is about so much more than a football team's nickname.

Some New Jersey state lawmakers think there's nothing wrong with encouraging people to boycott the products of a business which they disfavor because of its name. Especially when the business owner is unsympathetic because he is a billionaire. But it's a brilliant political and strategic move to pick on a particularly unsympathetic if not contemptuous target.

(Further implied: The cost of destroying the millions of dollars of the brand value of the objectionable business name is the owner's problem, and since he's a rich guy, he sorta deserves it.  After all, we live in an age of the Rage of the Mediocre. And note that there's not one peep about a Native American head, adorned with a feather headdress, adorning the crest of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team.) 

Change around the group identities of the players, and you have the type of government-induced discrimination that gave rise to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and legal remedies for civil rights violations arising from "official state actions" under Title 42, Section 1983 of the United States Code.  Remember what groups were the particularly unsympathetic, and in some corners, contemptuous and reviled targets 60 years ago.

Politics doesn't even logically enter into this.  The number of acknowledged Native Americans residing in the districts may be less than one percent of the population (US Census 2010 estimates New Jersey's Native Americans and Alaska Natives to be 0.6% of the population.) So this cannot, not logically at least, be a move to pander for additional votes -- not unless someone is really microtargeting the electorate.  

This is simply not the province of the government.

But what if this is not about the stated agenda?

What if this is about a movement to condition the people to accept a grossly activist government that will use its full force to decide which private enterprises, industries and media outlets will survive, and which will be intimidated into silence or extinction?

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