There's blood in the water after the media helped tomahawk the Redskins nickname earlier this week. That deed done, The Washington Post's Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah has moved on to the next team in the line of fire: by portraying baseball's Texas Rangers as racists who need to fix their name problem, too.
Attiah, a signatory for the letter written in response to the Harper's Magazine letter decrying cancel culture, concluded her op-ed by calling on the Texas Rangers name to be canceled. She says the Rangers -- the lawmen of the 1800s, not the baseball team -- "were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory." They could easily have been named "the Klansmen."
Attiah, who strangely last month tweeted that white women are "lucky" that black people are "not calling for revenge" in response to historical racism in the United States, shined a huge spotlight on Texas: "There is one major sports team that has avoided the spotlight and resisted meaningful engagement with the violent and racist implications of its name. To know the full history of the Texas Rangers is to understand that the team’s name is not so far off from being called the Texas Klansmen."
The Post writer says she was raised in Dallas "on myths about Texas Rangers as brave and wholesome guardians of the Texas frontier, helping protect innocent settlers from violent Indians. At church, boys could sign up to be Royal Rangers, the Christian equivalent of the Boy Scouts. I still remember the excitement when Chuck Norris himself, star of the television show 'Walker, Texas Ranger,' came to visit my elementary school."
Attiah and her family enjoyed going to Rangers baseball games, but they didn't realize then that "the Rangers were a cruel, racist force when it came to the nonwhites who inhabited the beautiful and untamed Texas territory. The first job of the Rangers, formed in 1835 after Texas declared independence from Mexico, was to clear the land of Indian for white settlers.":
"That was just the start. The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico; in the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity. 'The negroes here need killing,' a Ranger wrote in a local newspaper in 1877, after Rangers fired on a party of black former Buffalo soldiers, killing four of them and a 4-year old girl. A jury would later find that the black soldiers 'came to their death while resisting officers in the discharge of their duty,' an unsettling echo of the justification for modern-day police killings."
Oddly enough, the Post never seemed to care that a real-life Klansman, the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), toiled in its own back yard for 48 years as a U.S. senator. Or that at least four dozen buildings, roads and bridges are named after Byrd, who died in 2010. Why are the monument removers not busily scrubbing away his name, where's the media outrage over him?
The Rangers don't share ancient history with the law enforcement agency. It's merely a baseball team that started out as the Washington Senators in 1961 and moved to Arlington, Texas in 1972, as the Rangers. It's history is one of equal opportunity; minorities who've worn their uniform include Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, Fergie Jenkins, Pudge Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Vladimir Guerrero and many, many more.
Attiah couldn't see it as a baseball team, but as a group of ghosts lynching blacks in order to preserve Texas for white people.
The baseball Rangers say they stand for equality and condemn racism and bigotry. Attiah, a would-be baseball commissioner, called that revisionist history.:
"If the team ownership, as it proclaims, condemns 'racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms,' there is an easy way for it to prove that. The Texas Rangers’ team name must go."
Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board also recently attacked the Rangers and said the nickname needs to go, but neither he nor Attiah made a case for condemning the baseball Rangers.