A columnist for The Washington Post wasted no time Monday in piggybacking off the momentum from the Washington Redskins’ announcement that they would be retiring their name, and immediately called for Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers to follow suit.
What are the details?
Roughly an hour after the Washington, D.C. area’s NFL franchise promised its Redskins nickname would be no more, The Post published a column from Karen Attiah, which began:
As the Washington football team finally gives up its racist slur of a name, 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.
Attiah argued in her piece that “the Texas Rangers’ team name must go,” writing that “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.”
“The Rangers oppressed black people, helping capture runaway slaves trying to escape to Mexico,” Attiah continued. “In the aftermath of the Civil War, they killed free blacks with impunity.”
The writer went on to say that “Ranger racism is not an artifact of the distant past,” adding, “Rangers would be called on to protect white supremacy into the 1960s, deployed to prevent school integration.”
In reaction to the article, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh argued:
“The Texas Rangers battled Indian tribes like the Comanches who captured and tortured innocent people to death, gang raped women before murdering them, and kidnapped children. They did this regularly, as a matter of course. But somehow the Rangers were the undisputed bad guys.”
He continued, “The Comanches and many other tribes also did this to each other. So this wasn’t a backlash against white expansionism. This was just the way they did things and how they treated people.”
Walsh added, “These are basic facts of American history that everyone would know if we had a real education system.”
While we may have originally taken our name from the law enforcement agency, since 1971 the Texas Rangers Baseball Club has forged its own, independent identity. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club stand for equality. We condemn racism, bigotry and discrimination in all forms.
To help bring about meaningful change, we are committed to listening to and supporting our communities of color. Over the past 30 years, the Texas Rangers Foundation has invested more than $45 million on programs and grants in the areas of health, education and crisis assistance for youth in our underserved communities. We go forward committed to do even more, with a renewed promise that the Texas Rangers name will represent solutions and hope for a better future for our communities.