For years, the Washington Redskins have faced criticism about their name. But recently, the backlash has grown more intense. For some, "Redskins" is an outdated slur that belittles an already underprivileged minority. For others, the name was never meant as a slur, and is simply the latest victim of the sensitivity police. But regardless of where you stand, when it comes to controversial names, the Redskins are not alone. In fact, here are several examples that make the Redskins look politically correct by comparison..
Castrillo Matajudios, Spain (a.k.a. Fort Kill Jews)
If you flunked Spanish class, this Spanish town's name probably doesn't sound all that offensive. However, a quick scan of the nearest Spanish dictionary reveals the name translates to "Fort Kill Jews." In all fairness, the name dates from the early 17th century, which wasn't exactly the high point for religious tolerance. But it does seem strange that they are just now getting around to voting on whether or not they should change it. And the crazy part is there's a chance it might not pass. And considering Castrillo Matajudios is home to only 56 people, it's going to be hard to blame a defeat on something like low voter turnout.
Wop Draw, Wyoming
Thanks to the Summer Olympics, Coca-Cola, and legendary strip clubs, we know that Georgia exists (unlike Wyoming), so this bizarre name is a little harder to ignore. Jewtown was first populated by freed slaves before the US Civil War and was originally named Levisonton after two Jewish brothers who operated a general store. But sometime during the 1880's, residents officially changed the name to Jewtown.
Relatively speaking, using "Jew" in this manner wasn't offensive by 19th Century standards, and the name might have seemed as innocuous as "Chinatown." It's possible, even probable, that it was meant as a tribute to the Levisontons. But considering the town was actually named Levisonton, changing it to Jewtown seems like a pretty weird way to pay tribute.
The N*****-head Ranch
We all had a lot of great laughs during the 2014 Republican presidential primary. It produced more hilarious characters than the entire run of "The Simpsons." However, all politics aside, Rick Perry and his team stood out as a shining example of how campaigns should not be run, and that's a tall order considering Michelle Bachmann was one of his opponents.
The Longtime Texas Governor jumped into the fray and seemed poised as front runner, at least until a reporter discovered that Perry's favorite hunting camp was called the N*****-head ranch. In case you can't figure out what those stars mean, we're talking about the grand daddy of career-ending racial slurs. Of course, not everyone in Paint Creek, Texas, referred to it by that name, and Perry himself denied supporting its use. The problem is his family owns the friggen place, so it's not as if he couldn't have taken down the rock placed near the entrance which clearly welcomed people to the "N*****-head Ranch." Apparently, he just forgot about it. He seems to have a problem with forgetting things, for some reason.
The Freeburg Midgets
Apparently, the memo hasn't gotten to Freeburg Community High School in Freeburg, Illinois. Their athletic teams are still known as "The Midgets." They even have a cute, tiny, orange-haired man known as "Marty the Midget" who looks like he's trying to punch up at his enemies. We'd like to suggest that they change their name to "The Gingers." That way, they won't have to design another mascot (until "Gingers" is deemed too offensive a few years from now).
Hitler's Cross Restaurant
However, a restaurant in Mumbai, India, decided to forgo that rule by opening a theme restaurant called Hitler's Cross. The owner claimed he wasn't trying to glorify Hitler, even though the restaurant was named after him and featured a Swastika in place of the "o," which is insulting to both Jewish people and linguists. Regardless, an international backlash eventually forced a name change.
Cheesesteaks are a hallowed tradition in Philly, and any change risks swift retribution from the bloated, diabetes-riddled masses. Recently, a restaurant-owner learned that the hard way.
Chink's Steaks had been in business since the 40's. The use of the slur stemmed from a nickname of the original owner, who had narrow eyes. Despite (or perhaps because of) its offensive name, Chinks was beloved by locals. So when the latest owner decided he'd rather not use a racial slur to sell his deliciously greasy meat, many people were pissed, and changing the name to "Joe's" ended up hurting his bottom line.
The "Wetback Willie" Burrito
One super huge burrito, however, caught some unwanted attention: "The Wetback." Customers complained and the local media eventually took notice, so owners (one of whom is Mexican)decided to change it to the "Wet Willie," which is actually more offensive to your digestive system since it implies that the burrito is made with saliva and earwax flakes.
Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, blogger, humorist and burrito enthusiast. He can be found on Twitter @thisisdannyg.