Choctaw Chief Allen Wright suggested the name Oklahoma in 1866 during treaty negotiations with the federal government. The name literally translated means okla (red) homma (people) or the modern day pejorative of redskins. I added the skin term in the above title because the color was referring to the skin of the Indians in general. The “red” was not referring to their eye or hair color, but the color of their skin. I suppose this might be a case similar to the freedom of black people to refer to themselves using the “N” word and an actual Indian being able to suggest a name for our state using the now (today) blacklisted “Redskin” term. Or is this just another case of some very small special interest group trying to exert a disproportionate amount of influence over one of America’s more favorite football teams.
Of the answer to those questions I’m not sure, but I am for dang sure that the US Patent office was not ever intended to be some linguistic annalist of etymology thereby giving them the right to withdraw the decades old registered trademark of Redskins from the football team of our nation’s capitol.
By that same logic, we here in Oklahoma will need to be looking for a new state name since the two terms are basically identical albeit in two different languages. So I will begin the new state name search by suggesting a term that hopefully could never be construed as being offensive – It.
And here is a great idea, they could change the name of the redskins to the Washington Oklahomans.