He thought his T-shirt would turn a few heads, but he wasn't expecting so much backlash.

The Washington Redskins are one of the most controversial teams in professional sports, and it has nothing to do with what's happening on the field.

For one, unless it's meant to describe a type of potato (which, while that would be delicious, it is not the case), the team's name is a racist slur, and not one that many Indigenous people are super excited about. The logo, meant to be some sort of chief with — you guessed it — red skin, compounds the problem. When you add in the fact that many of the team's fans like to dress up as that logo, it creates kind of a perfect storm of racism.

Arguments over whether the team should keep the name have gone on for years. Those in favor of keeping it often cite tradition (the team was established in 1932), while those who'd like to see it changed often cite the, you know, racism. But this is not an article about that. Not exactly, at least.


Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

Frederick Joseph decided to conduct a bit of a social experiment. The results were fascinating.

Joseph, a marketing professional and CEO of We Have Stories, wore a shirt modeled off the Washington team's logo with a few small tweaks: The shirt read "Caucasians" rather than the usual slur, with a white bust in place of the team's current mascot.

Here's what happened next, in Joseph's words:

"The shirt is a play on the Washington 'Redskins' logo to demonstrate how people look wearing apparel with a logo that is blatantly racially charged and disrespectful. The shirt doesn't have any rude language or slurs such as 'crackers' or 'honkies' ...  but that didn't matter. I left [SiriusXM Progress] after just doing an interview with [radio host Xorje Olivares], and it was my first time in public with the shirt on. A white guy walking by mistook the shirt for an actual team shirt and yelled 'Go Skins!' I said 'nah,' he then saw my shirt and yelled 'asshole!'

"Next, an older white lady stopped me in the street and said 'why would you wear that? It's disrespectful!' So I asked her if she would have said the same if I had on the actually team shirt or another team using disrespectful branding. She said 'no, because that’s the logo!'"

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images.

He continued:

"The third person or rather people was a group of white guys across the street and one pointed at me. I can see from the corner of my eye that two of them were seemingly trying to come across the street and have a word with me. I wish they would have, but that's [neither] here nor there.

"As I walked through Manhattan, people looked at me and rolled their eyes, pointed, made snide comments, etc. But, I've never seen white people do the same when people are wearing 'Redskins' apparel, which is actually racist versus the word 'caucasians' and a white man logo. Basically, I was being shamed as a black person for wearing a non-disrespectful shirt with a white person logo on it.

"But people wear apparel and jerseys with logos depicting things such as a Native American and call them 'redskins' ... whew chile, the hypocrisy and privilege. I was fairly surprised by the reactions of people because again, there are so many disrespectful and racist representations of minorities used for brands and they don't even think twice. But, it goes to show how fickle and hypocritical people can be.

"I'd be interested to see more people wear shirts and apparel such as this to make the point and see how the people who have racist car decals, shirts, jerseys, etc. respond when the tables are turned (and still not really)."





Each of the people Joseph talked about in his story were so close to getting it. So, so close!

Many acknowledged that seeing yourself represented in mascot form could be offensive and inappropriate — at least when they were the ones being depicted. Joseph's situation resembles what happened in 2016 when Bomani Jones wore a shirt on ESPN reading "Caucasians" that also riffed on the Cleveland Indians logo and uniform.

One person, clearly missing what Jones was going for, asked him to consider how he'd feel if someone wore a shirt reading "African Americans," to which Jones responded, "Or ... Indians."

In both Jones' and Joseph's cases, the goal was to help build empathy by sharing a bit of perspective with people who hadn't considered how it feels to be on the other side.

Too often, people fail to consider how something might affect others if it doesn't also affect us personally.

Maybe the Washington team's name and logo doesn't seem that bad to non-Indigenous people. That's not really our call to make though, is it?

And while some things may seem petty or centered around "hurt feelings," it's not always so obvious how serious it is to the people being affected. Whether we're talking about race, age, gender, political affiliation, geographical location, religion, or any other axis of identity, we could probably all benefit from a deep breath and a refresh on our outlook.

With his "Caucasians" shirt, Joseph did just that.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less