Last May, The Washington Post ran a story about a poll it had conducted of 504 self-proclaimed Native American people which indicated that 90% of Native Americans were not offended by the Washington Redskins name.
I was not satisfied with the Washington Post’s claim, so I conducted my own polls that were open to the public. The results were strikingly different.
My 7-Day Twitter Poll
1,299 Total Votes - 79% Native Americans Offended by Redskins
On May 19th, 2016 I posted a Twitter poll asking this question:
“Just Curious - If you are a Native person: Are you offended by the @Redskins?”
Though it took the Washington Post nearly four months to poll 504 self-proclaimed Native American people, I was able to obtain 1,299 votes in seven days. Of those 1,299 votes, 79% said they were offended by the Washington Redskins team name. 21% said they were not offended.
My Identical Wapo 9-Question Online Survey
730 Total Votes - 87.82% Native Americans Offended by Redskins
On May 22nd, I realized there might be a plethora of nay-sayers to my online Twitter poll due to the fact it was not “professionally-asked,” so I looked up the poll information provided by the Washington Post.
I decided to create a survey asking the identical questions. From May 22nd to July 05, 2016, I received 730 responses by sharing on social media, posting online and sending out emails.
“The professional team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn't it bother you?”
87.82% found the name offensive. 10.92% said it doesn’t bother them, 1.26% had “no opinion” and 16 people skipped the question.
Additionally, 88.87% said the Redskin name in general is disrespectful of Native Americans.
My Previous Article
As I said in my previous article about my Twitter poll on this controversy, in my career of approximately 12 years as a journalist, book author, speaker, journalist and now Arts and Entertainment, Sports and Pow Wow’s editor for Indian Country Today Media Network, I am constantly hearing the voices in Indian Country.
In my experience over the past decade and more having attended pow wows, tribal gatherings, protests, political events, school events, visited reservations and more – and based on all those conversations, I did not believe the Washington Post’s poll was an accurate reflection of Indian country.
I conducted two separate polls. I opened them to the public and encouraged others to share. According to Twitter, my poll received 35,249 impressions. Anyone could have voted. But just like the Washington Post, I relied on anyone who ‘self-proclaimed’ their own Native American ancestry.
For What it is Worth
In an attempt to be all-inclusive and fair to anyone that wanted to answer the question, I conducted another seven-day Twitter poll asking the question: “Do You Find The @Redskins Team Name Offensive To Native Americans? All can vote.”
89% said it is offensive.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on TwitterFollow @VinceSchilling