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I Despise the (Racist) Name of the Washington NFL Team, But Arlington County Is Wrong Here


The other day, I noted approvingly that the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) had passed a resolution calling on the Washington NFL team to change its name, “citing the offensive and derogatory nature of the racist slur and the negative impact it has on the image of our region.” Now, I happen to strongly agree with ACDC on this issue, and I hope that other Democratic committees will adopt similar resolutions and that the team will change the name.

Having said all that,  I also have to largely agree with a former employee of said Washington NFL team, Ben Tribbett, who responded to this Arlington County Board’s official Facebook page by writing, “This is bizarre to see such an inappropriate use of a government Facebook account.”

Now, just to be clear, I have no problem whatsoever with the Arlington County Board passing a resolution urging the Washington NFL team to change its name. In fact, the Arlington County Board did just that in May 2015. And I have no problem with the Arlington County Board publicizing that resolution on any/all of its social media channels. However, I do NOT think it’s appropriate for an official government website, Facebook page, etc. to be linking specifically to one political party committee or the other.

Similarly, I’d dislike it if the Republican-majority Loudoun County or Prince William County Boards linked to their local Republican committees’ resolutions on abortion or guns or whatever. In those cases, I’d likely disagree with the resolutions. In this case, I agree with it. But either way, the County Board should not be giving the impression that it’s a mouthpiece for any political party, particularoly since everyone’s tax dollars — Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Independents, etc. – fund the county government, including its media budget. If the County wants to weigh in on this, or any other, issue, it should do so by passing its own resolutions, using its own voice, etc.

P.S. By the way, I checked the Arlington County Facebook page going back to the fall of 2011, and didn’t see anything else like this — no links to the Arlington County Democrats, Republicans, Greens, etc.


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