Time to Retire the R-Word


Mother Jones has joined the ranks of publications that refuse to utter the name of Washington DC’s pro football team. In fact, that’s now what our style guide calls them: “Washington’s pro football team.” Personally, I’d prefer the Victorian era affectation of using initials. I never quite understood why old novels were littered with things like Mr. K—- or Bishop M—–, but why not make use of it anyway? We could refer to Washington’s pro football team as the R—–s. This has the added advantage of automatically giving it the veneer of vulgarity. Dan Snyder’s team would be the R-word, to go along with the N-word and the C-word and all the others.

But here’s a question: Is there a similar movement afoot to change the name of Cleveland’s pro baseball team and Atlanta’s pro baseball team? It’s true that the I-word and the B-word are less offensive than the R-word, but on the other hand, the team logo in Cleveland sure beats Washington for offensiveness. And that hatchet thing in Atlanta is just plain annoying. I know that both those teams have taken some heat for their names, but not as much as Washington. Anyone know if that’s changing?

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what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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