It’s the Washington ConsensusTM: a landslide 83% of 8,628+ respondents to an online Post poll agree that the Wizards should definitely re-re-brand themselves the Bullets. Clearly, much of this sentiment is rooted in the region’s same self-destructive nineties nostalgia responsible for our current economic policy etc. But I also wonder if there isn’t an element of “protest vote” at work here, resulting in part from the Post’s strident Saturday editorial “Out of Bounds”:
It’s by paying attention to such details and building a team that people actually want to watch that Mr. Leonsis resuscitated the Capitals and hopes to do again with the Wizards. Nonetheless — and we don’t care how much fan clamor there is for it — it’s a bad idea to even think about changing the team’s name back to the Bullets. It was, of course, Abe Pollin, the late owner of the team, who changed the name in 1997 because he believed it was repugnant to countenance — much less cheer — a team called the Bullets when the city was awash in the violence caused by guns. Mr. Pollin felt firsthand the loss caused by guns when his friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated.
Crime has dropped since those awful days, but there are still too many people, mainly young black men, whose lives end with bullets. Mr. Pollin understood the importance of symbols to educate and to inspire, and we would like to think that his leadership in calling attention to the scourge of gun violence might have helped in quelling some of the killing. To return to a name discredited by violence would send the wrong message.
Wait hold on, really? What does Israel really have to do with anything here?The guy changed the name of the basketball team he’d owned for more than three decades, in a city that had made the Murder Capital championships every year for at least two of those, because someone killed someone with a gun in Tel Aviv?
Oh wait actually: not really, no. But you gotta wonder what kind of “message” the Post is trying to send, if not to the young black men mentioned then maybe the rest of us who know from reading all the op-eds about Michelle Rhee how deeply the Washington Post editorial board cares about young black men and young semi-literate, impressionable-to-symbolism people in general. Whatever it is, the Washington Post editorial board clearly wants us to know it also cares deeply about a certain Jewish and democratic state—which might have meant something back in the nineties.
But when there are NBA teams operating within our borders who persist in identifying themselves with weapon references as inflammatory and brazenly full of contempt for Israel as the (Communist China-colluding, ecoterrorist-financing) Houston Rockets, the peacenik Post’s wooly-brained meandering down memory lane is only going to aggravate an increasingly bellicose readership, and thank fucking god for that because the comments were all that kept me from exploiting my second amendment rights after reading this shit:
Seriously, you all wasted editorial staff time and print space on this “issue”? The problem with liberals is that everything turns into an issue of whether somebody is going to be offended by somebody else’s behavior…except when it matters (see Westboro Baptist and the non-response if you need any clarification). Here is a bonafide non-issue that is being drummed up as an issue by the WP. WP if you feel so strongly about offensive names, how about putting the “full court press” on the Washington Redskins to change their name (sorry about overlapping sports metaphors).
Forgot to mention, as the Post is so PC, why not be outraged by the Wizards name, as it is linked with the KKK, and if the KKK is not more offensive to the population of DC, I don’t know what is
Who is the leftist panty waste that wrote this article? Change the name back to BULLETS today, not tomorrow, today..
and Democrats agreed:
I’m as far left as they come but Jesus WP, this is a stretch. The name of a team has zero to do with the murder rate in this city/area. Do you really stay up late at night thinking this stuff up?
Nothing like Fred Hiatt‘s cognitive death squad to bring back bipartisanship in this town!
There is a certain “who cares” element to this debate, but one has to acknowledge the fawning political correctness of the WaPo, as if the name “Bullets” referred to killings by young black males. Maybe Christian fundamentalists don’t like the name “Wizards” either, so should we pander to them the way the WaPo wants us to pander to the politically correct? If it were up to me, I might name them the “Executioners,” though I suppose the WaPo wouldn’t much like that.
One constructive reader offered some workable compromises:
* Fat Cats
* Beltway Bandits
And another offered a gentle lesson in regional history:
The WaPo’s ignorance of history is on display. The team was originally a Baltimore franchise, and its name, the Bullets, referred to a famous passenger train from the great age of train travel: the Baltimore Bullet. When the team moved to Washington, the name came with it. Personally, I think that the name should be revived as a gesture to the region’s culture and history. The name “Bullets” never had anything to do with firearms, and the WaPo’s position is a megaphone for ignorance.
But as one reader acknowledged, it could be worse…
At least it wasn’t another editorial begging for Michelle Rhee’s job or overstating her accomplishments.