Redskin Name Stirs Controversy - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Redskin Name Stirs Controversy

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It's a derogatory slang that dates back to the 17th century.

"Yeah, it's controversial," said Native American Don Childs.

A word once used in hatred now used in hoopla; Redskin.

"As like, a Native American, that name is thrown around so often when you're young and growing up I was so used to it," said Kalyn Barnoski, a graphic designer for the Cherokee Nation.

"It doesn't irk me, I guess is the right word, but it shouldn't be accepted, I shouldn't personally accept it," she said.

Meanwhile, just down the street...

"I'd be more offended being called Chief, and I have been," said Childs, surrounded by Native American artwork on a daily basis at the store where he works downtown, Lyon's.

"My personal feeling is, I think they just leave it alone. The more it's brought up, the more controversial it'll be," he said.

A controversy which struck Union back in 2008 when protestors marched against the name used by the high school football team.

"Indians don't like to be called names.," said one woman.

And two years before that the controversy struck Tahlequah.

"Northeastern State who were the Redmen, and they changed that, but I know more people who would rather have Redmen than Riverhawk," said Childs.

And with this debate comes tiptoeing about the commercialization aspect of the culture.

"I want to be cautious, I want to be respectful," said Mary Beth Babcock.

At Dwelling Spaces, owner Mary Beth confers with Native American friends if she's unsure about a product.

"A lot of times I'll actually ask them, go to people that I respect in the creative world, hey is this, is this offensive?" she said.

A debate that continues to linger, as the word continues to hold on to both fans and detractors.

"As I got older I realized it's something that shouldn't be accepted," said Barnoski.

"I think there's more people for it than against it," said Childs.

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