The controversy surrounding the mascot that the NFL’s team in Washington, D.C., chooses to use isn’t going anywhere. The team lost a legal challenge to its trademark protection on the grounds that the name and logo are racial slurs (the protection is currently in place, pending appeal), and every week, new voices seem to join the chorus of those who say that the word “Redskins” has no place as the name of a major part of America’s most popular entertainment.
Of course, Native American voices have been at the fore of this fight, and they continue to find new ways to press the issue. The latest attempt to apply pressure around “Redskins”? Going after FedEx, the team’s corporate sponsor and the namesake of the stadium in which they play. It’s a battle fought on many fronts, and in this video from the Native Voice Network, they choose to apply some humor to the issue.
In “FedEx Fail,” a FedEx employee rejects packages from a guy dressed as a Klansman in a full hood with a noose; he later returns dressed as a stereotypical “Chinaman” with a big fake mustache, and then again in a big sombrero and vest. But when he shows up in a fake headdress and a t-shirt with the word “Redskins” printed across the front, the story’s different. “We embrace this sort of racism!” the employee tells him, pulling the guy in for a hug.
The video’s editing isn’t Oscar-caliber, but it’s still a savvy salvo in the battle against the name. The famous “arrow” hidden in the FedEx logo is repurposed–backwards, naturally–when the commercial calls out the fact that “Redskins” is a dictionary-defined racial slur, and the fact that FedEx is a target here shows that the campaign is going after Washington where it really hurts.