The word you wanted is controversy.
No, i don't agree with "Native Americans" on this. There are several reasons. This group, among many others, has become, in effect, a political bully relying upon guilt reactions by white folks, based on political rectitude (or political "correctness" is you prefer). Take, for example, the name they use--Native Americans. I was born on the North American continent, and i am, therefore, a native American. I happen to be of Irish descent, and not Amerindian descent--but i nevertheless resent this attempt at linguistic bullying. It suggests that, somehow, those who were born here, but who are of European, African or Asian descent, are not native Americans--when in fact, they are by definition. It's part of a politico-linguistic attempt to suggest that they don't belong here.
Indians became known as "red Indians" because of a group of Amerindians who were first encountered in what is now eastern Canada. These were the Beothuk culture peoples (they may have represented quite a few tribes with a common linguistic and cultural heritage, or just one large tribe spread out across quite a large area--their archaeological sites cover an area which at the time of European settlement was occupied by dozens of tribes). The first Europeans to encounter them (that we know of, and it is likely that they were the first, unless the Irish got there first, and left no records or evidence) were the Norse. About a thousand years ago, a Norse trader named Thorfinn Karlsefni joined an expedition to find the "Vinland" of Leif Erikson. The expedition failed, apparently, to find the place which Leif had visited (probably on the southeast coast of Newfoundland), but Karlsefni did manage to get enough furs and lumber for trade to make a decent profit.
The expedition in three ships sailed from Greenland to what is now the east coast of subarctic Canada, and coasted to the south along the coast of Labrador, making their first winter settlement on the northeastern tip of Newfoundland, at a place which has been identified from the sagas and archaeological investigation as l'Anse aux Meadows. In the following spring, Karlsefni made two attempts to find Leif's Vinland on the west coast of Newfoundland, but failed. During that time, they encountered Dorset culture "Eskimos," and eventually attacked them, running away from them when it appeared they (the Norse) would be overwhelmed. After wintering again at l'Anse aux Meadows, Karsefni went down the east coast of Newfoundland in the following spring, and found a place which seemed to answer the description of Leif's Vinland (although he was very likely too far north). There, he and his crew began to cut timber. They soon encountered the Beothuk people. These people were decorated with red ochre (which contains iron oxide, accounting for the red color) on their skin and hair. When the Norse brought out red cloth to trade for the very valuable furs the Indians had, the Beothuk became frenzied. When the cloth began to run out, the Norse cut it into thin strips, but the Indians still traded many valuable furs even for the small strips. Eventually, the Norse panicked, as they had the previous year in their contact with the Dorset people, and on a claim that one of the Indians had broken an ax, attacked them. Karlsefni became paranoid (considering how he eventually treated any natives he met, i'd say justifiably), and cutting timber as quickly as possible, they load their ship with the lumber and furs, and sailed for l'Anse aux Meadows. From there, Karlsefni and his wife Gudrud, whom he had married when he first came to Greenland, and who was a native of Iceland, returned to Iceland. Karlsefni made a good profit on the lumber--there were no trees in Greenland, and the furs were extremely valuable when they got back to Iceland.
The Beothuk people were obsessed with the color red. They used it to dye their skin, to dye their hair, and to dye the cured hides they used for clothing. Later historical accounts confirm this. Long before the French and English made settlements in North America, they spent their summers on the coast of what is now Canada. They would fish the Grand Banks, and then land on the coast of Newfoundland to smoke or dry the fish, and from whence they could also easily do lucrative whaling and sealing. Semi-permanent whaling stations were built, including a structure at l'Anse aux Meadows which long confused archaeologists until one of them bothered to read some history and realized that it was a 15th or 16th century whaling station, and unconnected to the 11th century Norse settlement.
It was the English and the French who gave the Beothuk the name "Red Indians," and for understandable reasons. When whalers and sealers began to regularly come to the coast for the whales and seals (precisely why Eskimos and Beothuks came there), they met Beothuks who were just as obsessed with red cloth as they were when they met the Norse. Eventually, and predictably, the Beothuk were exterminated. But not before the name "Red Indian" had come into wide use and stuck. Today, the Beothuk are often referred to by archaeologists and ethnologists as "the Red Paint People," and archaeological remains have been found as far south as the coast of New England. Maybe AIM should sue them, too.
Now, of course, the term "redskin" was long used as a pejorative. If the Washington football team were using that term in that manner, the complaint might be justified. But i see nothing racist about the manner in which this football franchise is using the name. Consider, if you will, the case of the Cleveland Indians. Their "mascot" is "Chief Wahoo."
Originally, he looked like this:
The logo has been stylized, and now looks like this:
I have read, although i can't find a source right now, that the logo as originally drawn was based on a Cleveland player who happened to be of Amerindian descent. Whether or not he were, the protests against the logo have become inane. Indians fans do a "tomahawk chop" motion when they are cheering on their teams. "Native American" activists have claimed that a tomahawk chop is a sacred activity of Amerindians (oh please), and have claimed that the Cleveland logo and the "tomahawk chop" are racist.
I'm not buying it. Should i sue the Boston Celtics because they use this logo:
--and i claim it is a vicious, racist stereotype of the Irish? I think not.
It is reasonable to fight racism. It is not reasonable to carry political rectitude to such crazy extremes.