Wednesday, October 24, 2007

time to say good-bye to Chief Wahoo

I feel that I gave the Chief one last chance. Maybe he really is a good luck charm, I thought. The Indians have done so well this year. Well, the series with Boston put paid to that theory, and I can no longer think of a single good reason to continue with a mascot who doesn't bring good luck and who offends so many people.

I used to belong to that group of people who thought that Native Americans should just lighten up about Chief Wahoo and not be so easily offended. I don't feel that way anymore. I don't get to decide what offends other people or other groups. If they find it offensive, then it is offensive.

You've probably heard this example used before, but look at it this way. What if the Brooklyn Dodgers had decided to re-name their team the Brooklyn Negroes to honor the great Jackie Robinson, the first African-American major league baseball player? As their mascot, say they adopted lovable old Uncle Remus, a clever and harmless character made famous in the stories of Joel Chandler Harris.

Now, fast-forward fifty years or so and observe the now-Los Angeles Negroes, I suppose, in the play-offs. Rabid fans with their faces corked black like Al Jolson to resemble Uncle Remus are cheering on their team in the stands. They are broadcast live on national television. This idea is so unacceptable that it is ludicrous to even consider it. As Chief Wahoo should be.

So, good-bye, Chief Wahoo. Your time has come and gone. Perhaps a new mascot will bring the beleaguered Tribe better luck. I sincerely hope so.


Ben said...

Here! Here! Very well said. It just gets to the point of, you know, why is this still here? It practically offends me now.

tom said...

I have been on both sides of this issue at times, but my basic feeling is that, as the essential hegemons of the industrialized world, and having attained that position by stepping on everyone else (viz the genocide of the Amerind population in particular), white people just *don't get* to decide what their victims should be offended by. Capisce? Wahoo must go.