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Cleveland Scene Article on Chief Wahoo


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As an Indians fan, I wear my Wahoo gear everywhere, and I would be sad to see him go. For those who claim the logo has no tradition, they obviously did not see the Wahoo sign above Municipal Stadium, or watch the great teams of the nineties. For me, that is the symbol of a childhood full of memories of baseball. While I understand those who see racism in Wahoo, I myself don't see Wahoo as a Native American, but as a symbol of my baseball team, in a way that I will never see the block C they use now with their road uniforms (which, by the way, is possibly the most boring logo in all of professional sports, second only to the Browns' helmet). Furthermore, the Indians' franchise has a long history of using red and navy as their colors, and the Wahoo logo only makes use of the crimson skin to correspond to that color scheme. But if Wahoo has to go, so be it, but don't claim that he has no tradition or meaning to Clevelanders or the Indians fan base, don't expect Clevelanders as a group to disown the logo, and don't claim that a city's attachment to a symbol is indicative of their underlying racial insensitivity.

Also, those who claim that a "return" to the name Spiders is the proper route seem to have missed that:

a ) The Cleveland Spiders were a completely different and unrelated franchise to the Indians; and

b ) The Spiders own the ignoble distinction of having the worst single-season performance by any team in the history of baseball.

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Are people really so insecure and weak-minded that they can be this genuinely offended over an age-old cartoon drawing? I hope chief wahoo and all other logos/team identities of his ilk stick around just for this reason; I get a kick out of all the moron-fueled chaos they create. I don't think watching you PC crusaders get pinch-faced and bang on your keyboards over a goofy picture of an indian will ever get boring to me.

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Are people really so insecure and weak-minded that they can be this genuinely offended over an age-old cartoon drawing? I hope chief wahoo and all other logos/team identities of his ilk stick around just for this reason; I get a kick out of all the moron-fueled chaos they create. I don't think watching you PC crusaders get pinch-faced and bang on your keyboards over a goofy picture of an indian will ever get boring to me.

Well I guess we know what kind of person you are... <_<

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If you don't like it, gdf, you don't have to click on it. I personally don't like realignment ir NASCAR threads, so I avoid them. Nobody's interested in my opinion that Paterno was a selfish scumbag who protected rapists and got off lucky not serving time, so I don't bother opening that tread anymore.

Personally, I welcome these threads, when a new article is published that warrants talking about the subject again. I would love for a defender of Wahoo to articulate a consistent, defensible position for keeping the logo.

If for no other reason than my limitless optimism that this time, it might actually happen, these threads are worth it.

That seems to be the battle cry before all social issue related threads get graveyarded.

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Are people really so insecure and weak-minded that they can be this genuinely offended over an age-old cartoon drawing? I hope chief wahoo and all other logos/team identities of his ilk stick around just for this reason; I get a kick out of all the moron-fueled chaos they create. I don't think watching you PC crusaders get pinch-faced and bang on your keyboards over a goofy picture of an indian will ever get boring to me.

to have an intelligent conversation about something requires an ability to see nuance and distinguish shades of gray. Apparently you can't do that or simply choose not to. I am as far from a PC crusader as you can be. I think lots of groups look for any reason to drum up a controversy to draw attention to their cause. There is a ton of PC b.s out there, no doubt. That doesn't mean that there are not legitimately offensive images/logos out there that rub salt in the wounds of groups of people who have been treated horribly over the years. Chief Wahoo is clearly in that category. If you can't get past your aversion to PC crusaders to see the difference then i guess nothing anyone says will make much of a difference. For people that are open minded i think it's pretty obvious.

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"as long as they're not making fun of me, it's OK in my book!"

-anyone who blames this on the "PC Police"

Actually, I've had some in-person success with this. When someone whines about "PC" (Often after dropping an n-bomb or something), I'll wait a bit and try to work the term "Jesus Freak" into the conversation. Some let it go, but some get legitimately offended. It's fun to say "PC Police!" after that. Everyone gets offended...many just think it's worse when "I" get offended.

If you don't like it, gdf, you don't have to click on it. I personally don't like realignment ir NASCAR threads, so I avoid them. Nobody's interested in my opinion that Paterno was a selfish scumbag who protected rapists and got off lucky not serving time, so I don't bother opening that tread anymore.

Personally, I welcome these threads, when a new article is published that warrants talking about the subject again. I would love for a defender of Wahoo to articulate a consistent, defensible position for keeping the logo.

If for no other reason than my limitless optimism that this time, it might actually happen, these threads are worth it.

That seems to be the battle cry before all social issue related threads get graveyarded.

Seems reasonable. If someone is sick of, for example, the Wahoo debates and sees "Wahoo" in the thread title, they can avoid the aggravation by not opening it.

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"as long as they're not making fun of me, it's OK in my book!"

-anyone who blames this on the "PC Police"

Actually, I've had some in-person success with this. When someone whines about "PC" (Often after dropping an n-bomb or something), I'll wait a bit and try to work the term "Jesus Freak" into the conversation. Some let it go, but some get legitimately offended. It's fun to say "PC Police!" after that. Everyone gets offended...many just think it's worse when "I" get offended.

B.... B.... But... you're taking shots at something those people have chosen to have a deeply personal connection to. How can you possibly compare that to something trivial like race? I mean, it's not like anyone has ever chosen to be a person of color....

:P

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This is one of those issues where our future generations will look back and shake their heads. I can't believe that we once had segregated bathrooms. My kids won't be able to believe that we once had a team at the Major League level use a racist charicature as their primary logo.

To borrow a phrase, if you're fighting for Chief Wahoo, you're on the wrong side of history.

For the record, I never used to see the harm in Native American nicknames and logos until I took a history of Native Americans class in college. THAT is one group of people that has earned political correctness.

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"as long as they're not making fun of me, it's OK in my book!"

-anyone who blames this on the "PC Police"

Actually, I've had some in-person success with this. When someone whines about "PC" (Often after dropping an n-bomb or something), I'll wait a bit and try to work the term "Jesus Freak" into the conversation. Some let it go, but some get legitimately offended. It's fun to say "PC Police!" after that. Everyone gets offended...many just think it's worse when "I" get offended.

B.... B.... But... you're taking shots at something those people have chosen to have a deeply personal connection to. How can you possibly compare that to something trivial like race? I mean, it's not like anyone has ever chosen to be a person of color....

:P

While I am not saying that race is a trivial thing, many people would disagree with you that their faith (regardless of what it is) is something they chose. To many people throughout the world their religion is no more a choice than their, race, hair color or sexuality.

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"as long as they're not making fun of me, it's OK in my book!"

-anyone who blames this on the "PC Police"

I don't often full-out agree with BBTV... but here we are. I'm quoting this just so it doesn't get lost.

Was the Wahoo logo considered to be offensive at its inception or is this a more recent notion?

I'm pretty sure you already know that it's (more of) the latter. Like many things that seemed ok at the time they happened, the realization that it's not acceptable sometimes take a while.

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While I am not saying that race is a trivial thing, many people would disagree with you that their faith (regardless of what it is) is something they chose. To many people throughout the world their religion is no more a choice than their, race, hair color or sexuality.

It's not the same. No matter how ingrained religion might be, a person can always choose not to follow it. You can't choose not to be a white guy.

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Was the Wahoo logo considered to be offensive at its inception or is this a more recent notion?

I'm pretty sure you already know that it's (more of) the latter. Like many things that seemed ok at the time they happened, the realization that it's not acceptable sometimes take a while.

It is more of the latter. I would venture that few white people (from designers, team execs, down to fans) really thought "that's unflattering", much less "that's racist." But it would be interesting to know whether actual American Indians were bugged by it. At the time, we did not give a damn what they thought and any voice they had on it was pretty much silenced. I don't want to speak for what they thought of it, but if they did not like it, it would not have mattered.

Those whining about the "PC Police" think we're too sensitive now. I personally think the difference between "then" and "now" is more a reflection on the "then." We caricaturized people who were different, who's customs amused us (though we did not care to learn about them), and who we frankly thought were just a bit less than human. We did it when we designed Chief Wahoo and we did it when we created cartoons with caricature-like sterotypes of American Indians (and other, Asians come to mind).

Can political correctness run rampant? Sure. But more frequently, in my anecdotal experience, I see skipping dialog in favor of quickly dismissing it as "oh boy, the PC police."

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While I am not saying that race is a trivial thing, many people would disagree with you that their faith (regardless of what it is) is something they chose. To many people throughout the world their religion is no more a choice than their, race, hair color or sexuality.

It's not the same. No matter how ingrained religion might be, a person can always choose not to follow it. You can't choose not to be a white guy.

I don't think that most people of strong faith can simply choose to flip a switch and no longer believe it.

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well, most pro-Wahoo people are well aware of the anti arguments. Flipping it around a little bit, why is the pro-Wahoo camp so incredibly attached to this logo? So many teams change cap logos all the time, what makes Wahoo on the cap special or so sacred? If the Brewers can ditch their "M-B Glove" hats, then almost any team can change their cap logo. Even teams with far bigger brands such as the Cubs, Cards, Dodgers and Bosox have either added alternates or made changes.

And for those who say this thread should be dumped, read the actual article because the author brings new talking points to the table.

I've asked this exact question in other Wahoo threads and never got a response. It's not exactly a great design and (as others have noted) Wahoo is associated with the absolute nadir of the Cleveland franchise. What other reason could there possibly be for keeping it around aside from certain peoples' delusion that getting rid of Wahoo would somehow infringe on their 'murican civil liberties?

Well, I know I can't speak for everybody as to why the "pro-Wahoo""

It is well designed. Balanced, unique, easily identifiable. 2 colors. Doesn't need updating.

Makes for a great cartoon in the sports page.

Historical element that has connected teams.

Notes on other comments:

What are the specific concerns? Is a recoloring adequate? Can Wahoo just be an image and not be a cartoon?

Why is it a modern racist cartoon and not a historic relic?

Are all cartoon caricatures offensive? Or only because this is based on select stereo types?

What if i were to have a cartoon caricature of someone from Texas, maybe a cowboy. What would this look like to be offensive.

What if i were to do a caricature of an Irishman? What would I make this look like that would be offensive?

Assuming that an Indian caricature could be used,

and that the image would need to be identifiable as an Indian,

and the colors red and blue were to be used.

What would be a good option? Are there examples of this sort of caricature somewhere?

I'm sure the best option is to play up the headdress right? Other than that, I got nothing.

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