William Mendoza, White House Director on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, appears to have fabricated his story as to the words, “INJUN PIMP” printed on the back of Barrett Dahl’s Washington Redskins jersey. This fabrication casts doubt over the rest of Mendoza’s recollection of the events that evening at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel.
Mr. Dahl claims that he was attacked by Mr. Mendoza on October 30, 2015 at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel outside of Washington D.C. because he was wearing a Washington Redskins jersey.
Mr. Dahl has retained Baltimore personal injury lawyer Randolph Rice to pursue possible injury claims and a lawsuits in this matter.
Mr. Mendoza’s Statement to the Indian Country Today Media Network
On August 25, 2016, Mendoza told reporter Tanya Lee of the Indian Country Today Media Network:
“[Soon after arriving at the venue,] I saw this individual walking across the room in front of everybody and he was wearing a Washington Redskins jersey…. As he was walking towards us, my wife and my children saw him. At some point he turned around and on the back of his jersey there were in all caps [the words] INJUN PIMP…. I looked around the crowd. Others were tapping one another on the shoulder and pointing to this individual.”
It appears the Mr. Mendoza fabricated that part of his story that the back of the jersey stated “INJUN PIMP.” When in fact the back of the jersey said “INJUN PLAYA”; which calls into question the rest of his statements and his recollection as to how the altercation occurred.
In a photo provided by Mr. Dahl from 2013, showing the back of the Redskins jersey he wore that night, the jersey clearly states “INJUN PLAYA” with the number 22 below the wording.
Before the Assault
Before Mr. Dahl went down to the ballroom at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel to attend the 2015 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (“SACNAS”) National Conference: The Diversity in STEM Conference, he took this “selfie” in his hotel room mirror showing the untorn Redskins Jersey.
Mendoza Calls Dahl a “Weetard”
As Mr. Dahl sat in the ballroom, he describes a man that he had never met before who was wearing a grey button up shirt approach him and called him a “weetard”. Dahl states that Mendoza continues calling him a “stupid weetard” for not understanding that his Redskins shirt offended Mr. Mendoza.
Mr. Dahl states that Mr. Mendoza continued to call him an “uneducated weetard.” Dahl states he tells Mr. Mendoza to leave him alone. At that point, Dahl recounts that Mendoza spat in his face at which time Dahl immediately left the ballroom to find a police officer.
Attack Outside of the Ballroom
Dahl remembers Mr. Mendoza follow him outside of the ballroom and attack him at the escalator. Mr. Dahl states that Mr. Mendoza hit him first. Dahl recalls how much larger Mr. Mendoza was than he was as he tried to block his punches and ward him off.
During the assault Mr. Dahl indicates that Mr. Mendoza ripped and tore his Redskins jersey. Mr. Dahl has provided these images of the ripped Redskins jersey.
Mendoza’s Story Inconsistent – Jersey Never Said “INJUN PIMP”
What calls into question Mr. Mendoza’s statements is the misrepresentation of the wording on the back of the jersey. As this picture shows, the torn jersey clearly indicates the words, “INJUN PLAYA” and not “INJUN PIMP” as originally claimed by Mr. Mendoza.
William Mendoza -White House Initiative
On December 9, 2011, William Mendoza was appointment to lead the newly created White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education. The Executive Order 13592 was signed by President Obama on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 establishing the initiative to help expand educational opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all American Indian and Alaska Native students.
Reported by Politico on August 19, 2016, Mendoza claims that he approaches strangers at least a dozen times a year to address what he believes are items that are “reinforcing ethnic stereotypes to explain why certain words and images are hurtful.” This is certainly consistent with his behavior and interaction with Mr. Dahl.
Barrett Dahl’s Attorney – Randolph Rice
Randolph Rice, a Maryland personal injury lawyer has been retained by Mr. Dahl to pursue a claim and/or lawsuit against Mr. Mendoza and any other responsible parties to this incident. Mr. Rice is seeking the help from the public that may have witnessed the assault or seen Mr. Mendoza before of after the incident on October 30, 2015.
If you were at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel on Friday, October 30, 2015 and witnessed the fight or disturbance. Please contact the office at 410.844.5333 or 1.800.470.RICE. Witnesses can also email the office with information at: [email protected]