Ian Campeau, DJ with A Tribe Called Red, issues complaint against Nepean Redskins
Ian Campeau’s recent campaign to change the name of an Ottawa minor league football team hits all too close to home.
Campeau, a musician known as Dee Jay NDN from the group A Tribe Called Red, filed a human rights complaint against the Nepean Redskins. He and his supporters hope that the team will change its name to something less offensive.
“How is it even a question whether ‘Redskin’ is offensive or racist?” said Campeau via his Twitter account.
Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the team won’t apologize for the name.
Nor will the president of the team even acknowledge the racist implications. Instead, he gutlessly waffled on the issue. Apparently because it’s football it’s a positive thing for the community.
Where does one even begin?
“The players call each other ‘redskins’ on the field,” said Campeau via a news release. “How are they going to differentiate the playing field from the schoolyard? What’s going to stop them from calling my daughter a redskin in the schoolyard?
“That’s as offensive as using the N-word.”
Last night A Tribe Called Red played to a packed venue in Saskatoon, a city that’s home of the Bedford Road Redmen.
The term “Redmen” is every bit as racist and offensive as “Redskin”.
How is it even a question?
When I was 14 I played on the Bedford high school basketball team. I didn’t think much about the implications of the name back when I was awkwardly running through school gyms. And I didn’t voice an opinion. I just wanted to play basketball, and kept my mouth shut about it.
Years later, I feel ashamed. I feel ashamed to have played on the team, and ashamed to have been a part of something that could very easily inspire another human rights complaint. Hmm…
Campeau’s charge, like his music, is inspiring and important. How is it even a question that these issues need to be reexamined?
We need positive change, not half-assed excuses.
I would like to add my voice to those who have already urged the officials at Bedford Road High School to take Campeau’s charges to heart and to once again consider the unquestionable racism of the term “Redmen”, and to change the name of the team to something more positive.
Please and thank you.
Ian Campeau’s human rights complaint sparks online support
-Photo from Flickr user “John Paillé” – Creative Commons.