Monday, July 7, 2014
My Interview With State Senator Chap Petersen
State Senator Chap Petersen represents the 34th Senate District:
Virginia Gentleman: I believe the vast majority of Americans and Native Americans have no problem with the name Redskins. However, due to politically correctness, most people are afraid to defend the name for fear of being labeled a bigot. Would you agree with that view?
Chap Petersen: “Yes, I would. I think people of terrified of being labeled a “racist” unless they say the correct thing. Ironically, I’ve had a lot of people thank me for speaking out. I’ve had nobody (other than the usual on-line critics)"
Virginia Gentleman: The Federal Trademark and Patent agency last week ruled that the Redskins trademark protection is no longer valid, because a 5-member board found the name offense. That is outrageous. This seems to me to be an example of someone’s property being taken away in the name of political correctness. Your view of the ruling?
Chap Petersen: “It is astonishing that a long-time trademark can be taken away based on a standard that is 100% subjective. Where is the data? Where is the certainty that our economy depends upon? It’s really Orwellian.”
Virginia Gentleman: What has been the reaction to your Redskins Pride Caucus among your colleagues?
Chap Petersen: “We had an initial rush of members, which numbered about 30-40. Then you have a lot of members (mostly Democratic, but some R’s) who are scared of being criticized by the on-line critics. So they hold back. Other people just don’t follow professional sports. And then you have some folks that are 100% political correctness. So obviously they’re not joining.”
Virginia Gentleman: Like you I agree with Snyder. He should stand by the name. Do you think he will hold on, or give in and change the name?
Chap Petersen: “The team will stand by its traditional brand and not bow to political pressure. That is what they told me. That’s why I’m supporting them.”
Virginia Gentleman: And finally, how do you think the Redskins will do this season?
Chap Petersen: “So much depends on Robert Griffin. I’ll be happy with 8-8 or better. But honestly, I think we can win the NFC East if we stay healthy. Maybe I’m crazy.”