Straight No Chaser: Sam I Am Not

By Desi Cortez, BASN Columnist
Updated: March 25, 2010

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DENVER (BASN) — Where o’ where is Susie Walking-stick’s great, great, great grandson — Sam Bradford?

As the NFL draft looms on the horizontal lined horizon and so many of the experts have the Sooner field general going later then anticipated, and going to the Washington Savages.

I’ve got to wonder . . . when, if ever is this going to make a last stand, declare he’ll not strap on a helmet for a team named the Redskins, because the name is a slight of his people, or at least his great grand mother, Ms. Walkingstick’s people.

“You know, obviously in Oklahoma there’s a large Native American population. There are a lot of opinions on that name….but…I really don’t feel like, you know, I need to be, you know, voicing my opinion. You know. If it’s something I have to do down the line, you know, then I will, but I just don’t feel like I need to address that issue right now.

How many times can one say “you know” in a short paragraph? Sam sounds more like a Valley Girl then the descendant of a Cherokee Indian. And it appears he thinks more like a San Fernando Vally kid . . . then a young man aware of who he is, where it is he came from and what his people went through.

Bradford is an official citizen of the Cherokee Nation , listed on the tribe’s rolls. He is one-16th Cherokee – his paternal great-great-grandmother, Susie Walkingstick was a full-blooded Cherokee. Bradford also holds the distinction of being the first Native American to win the Heisman Trophy.

Well, the “right now” Bradford spoke of is upon us, and young Mr. Bradford has made a few decisions; he’ll not only perform for the Redskins, he will, if drafted accept millions of dollars and play for the franchise.

Apparently Sam has concluded he can look beyond the mascot for the millions . . . . You got to ask; did Sam go to Oklahoma or the Carlisle Indian School, a place noted for its cultural stripping . . . brainwashed him of his ethnic identity? undefined undefined undefined undefined

Does Sam Bradford have the values and ideals of his forefathers . . . or has he adopted . . .

the White man’s ways, and for that fact, the Black and B rown man’s ways of – God is money . . . money is God. undefined undefined undefined undefined

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What if Bradford declined to play for the Redskins? What if he made a calculated and determined stand and informed the sports world that he refuses to play for a NFL team which refuses, even via court battles, to drop a demeaning nickname because it would constitute an inconvenience to ownership, somehow interrupt the cash flow . . . .

Yes, What if this kid had more balls and heart . . . then he apparently does? Note, he’s extremely bright, so he’s not oblivious to American history . . . apparently just disconnected undefined undefined undefined undefined

If Sam were made of the Right Stuff, this kid could have changed the tone, feel and flavor of the American Pie. Institutions of higher learning all across the land might have been compelled to stop with the Redskins, Braves and Savage type, mascots.

Same applies to trucking firms and such. Maybe, for one of the few times in American History, the descendants of European colonist might have to actually be inconvenienced.

Say they are sorry, acknowledge they did wrong. And, in the end – stop pimping and exploiting the American Indian. And for one of the few times . . . show a little respect for people who didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on them. undefined undefined undefined undefined

If Sam Bradford had half the heart and mind of Cochise or Crazy Horse, he might understand that he’s performing for an cartel of extremely wealthy White men . . . who I’d wager, have little empathy for the horrific plight of the American Native.

Honestly, of course Bradford will be rich beyond his wildest dreams, but, in the long run, the NFL will pimp and exploit him for billions of dollars. He’ll get his, but, if he’s successful, the Redskins will get their’s also.

So why not make a statement, make history.

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Here’s where I’m baffled; Mr. Bradford, why not announce you won’t play for the “Savages,” it’s not as if no other team will draft you. You’ll still be a multi-millionaire before the month of April is over . . . ?

You’ll be signed in the first round, and you’ll be able to make an statement heard from Alaska to Nebraska, Fargo to Key Largo, all across your people’s stolen land. Your actions will have an immeasurable, lasting impact on how quickly your people have been slighted. undefined undefined undefined undefined

Or, might that be our problem here? This kid does not see himself as an American Indian, nor does he believe their land was stolen, by folks with a bible in one hand, a gun in the other – and bottle of firewater in their back pocket. . . .

Perhaps, like so many of Bradford’s lost generation – anything pre-1990 is ancient history? Hey, there is but one litmus test for Bradford; Who’s the true American hero – Chief Sitting Bull or General George A. Custer . . . ? undefined undefined undefined undefined

If this cat says Custer, well there you have it. Regardless of what the rank n’ file American Natives say, the name is insulting to the Indian intelligentsia, the older folks.

If we’re going to go by popularity and not common sense – then today Black Americans, particularly the youth and their blind endorsement of “nigger,” then it’s perfectly OK to name a team “the Niggers”since the term is tossed around so ignorantly and recklessly by Blacks, yet we all know it’s not OK, all-right nor appropriate – it simply reflects an era of Black kids who’re both ignorant and lost.

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Let’s end this on a honest note; Dan Snyder nor the NFL owners round table could care less about honoring and promoting American Native culture . . . it’s all about selling hat’s, jerseys, underwear, sheets, lamps, chairs, jackets, sweatshirts. undefined undefined undefined undefined