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Some People Just Do Not Belong in the Spotlight
"I'm part Native American on both my mom's and my dad's side. It's kind of a funny thing, though. A redskin playing for the Redskins," he said, in a story written by senior writer Kevin Van Valkenburg.
I understand that many sports figures, or any public figures for that matter, lack the composure, self-awareness, or knowledge to address the constant flurry of questions they receive daily in a poised, non-inflammatory manner.
But, Josh Norman is an educated man, a graduate of Coastal Carolina University, an all-american football player there as a matter of fact, see here. He graduated with a degree in Communications with a minor in Dramatic Arts. What exactly does one with a Communications Degree learn in order to obtain such a degree?
Well, Let Me Tell You
According to the 2015-16 Undergraduate Catalog of Coastal Carolina University, the following objectives are listed for a Communications major:
STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
Students who complete the requirements for degrees in one of the concentrations of the communication major will accomplish a variety of learning outcomes:
1. Identify communication problems and develop effective actions that to help resolve those problems,
2. Develop a theoretically informed thesis or practice oriented project in their capstone class,
3. Develop and refine professional, competency-based presentation and speaking skills,
4. Develop communication solutions that are based in an understanding of the cultural contexts of all communication problems, and
5. Develop and write effective and engaging material for a range of audiences
Know Your Roots
Now granted, I am quite positive these learning outcomes have changed here and there some since Mr. Norman's college days. But, what exactly was the measurement tool that showed that he had achieved these outcomes?
I think he has for sure grasped the notion of how to create communication problems. I hope his thesis was not based on his Native American roots. Because he definitely sounds uninformed. He said, "I'm part...on both my mom's and my dad's side..." Ok. Do you know how many parts, and of what? We are all part Native American, as we are all born in America. Or was part of your dad and part of your mom born elsewhere?
Where The Offense Lines Up
Being an American Indian myself, I was not offended that he identified himself as a redskin. In fact, I am not even offended by the Redskins team name. If someone was to call me a redskin to my face, now that would probably offend me. But what did offend me, was that he is implying that he is of lineage of some kind of heritage similar to mine, but he doesn't have the self-respect to find out what exactly that lineage is before trying to relate himself to it, let alone claim it.
I don't go around saying, "I'm part black on both my mom's and my dad's side." It would be a funny thing though, if you were to see me. Long straight brown hair, tan skin, brown eyes. If I had said part hispanic, now that would be believable. But not black. Has anyone ever seen Josh Norman? That boy is black and not just blackish. I'm sure being a redskin isn't offensive to him because the only way that identifies with him is that it is on his jersey.
Mr. Norman, you are not to blame. And I don't blame you for claiming your heritage. I don't even dispute that it is highly likely that you have blood of an American Indian tribe somewhere along the lines in your family. As my tribe has resided in the same regional area as where you were born, it is not a far fetched possibility.
I Know Who I am and Where I am From
I am not part black, if I am, I am unaware. But my family hasn't passed down through the ages that we are. We very well could be and it would not bother me. What would bother me is if I were, and no one told me, or they told me but didn't tell me how. I would want to know who my people are. Regardless of their color or notoriety.
I guess fortunately for me, I was raised in the middle of my people. We had no choice really. But that fact did afford us access to each other and our roots. We know who we are and who we get our blood from, even how much. We know what tribe(s). In fact, I make it a point to not even say that I am American Indian, I simply say I am Cherokee.
Mr. Norman I suggest you find out a little bit more about those mysterious parts of you before you spew more comments about being, "...a redskin playing for the redskins."
© 2016 SJohnson