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Cleveland Scene Article on Chief Wahoo


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It's not unheard of for a team called the Indians to have an identity that references Native American culture without using depictions of actual people.

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I'd been waiting to see how long it'd take someone to post that.

The "why aren't people as upset over the Fighting Irish" argument is just plain ignorant. It's nothing more than an attempt to justify marginalizing Native Americans. I'll ask this one more time; would any of Chief Wahoos supporters be as adamant in their defense of him under the following scenario?

We're moving this thread to a parallel time-line. In our parallel history, everything is exactly the same except: today's Cleveland baseball team is called the Negroes. In 1914, the team was still called the Spiders. The team decided to change their name in 1915. They wanted their name change to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker who, in our parallel time-line, had played for the Cleveland Spiders. So, to honor Walker, the team decided to go with a name commonly used to describe black people in 1915, the Negroes. In 1946 noted "zany promoter" Bill Veeck purchases the Negroes and commissions a new logo for the team. The new logo is named "Uncle Sambo." (pictured below)

princechawmin.jpg

Fast forward to 2012 in our parallel time-line. Remember, everything is exactly the same other than the aforementioned exceptions. OK, Wahoo supporters, using the same "logic" you use with Wahoo, make your case for Uncle Sambo. Good luck.

*crickets*

*more crickets*

What we have here is a bonafide checkmate.

Funny, you didn't actually wait for a response. What team is that a logo for? I can't even imagine a team that could have that as a logo and the team name itself being incredibly offensive.

Is it a cartoon whose actions are really the most offensive part?

If the name "Indians" is offensive, that's a different argument.

If the logo embodied actions that were disrespectful to Indians, I would wholeheartedly agree. Smiling isn't disrespectful.

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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.

That's your opinion. It happens every day. People walk away from "strong faith" all the time. But that's beside the point, you do acknowledge that it's possible, right? The same choice can't be made with race. That's the difference. I'm pretty sure you already knew that.

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Funny, you didn't actually wait for a response. What team is that a logo for? I can't even imagine a team that could have that as a logo and the team name itself being incredibly offensive.

Is it a cartoon whose actions are really the most offensive part?

If the name "Indians" is offensive, that's a different argument.

If the logo embodied actions that were disrespectful to Indians, I would wholeheartedly agree. Smiling isn't disrespectful.

It's pretty obvious that you didn't read the original "Uncle Sambo" post. But thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts.

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"was it offensive when it was created, or just now?"

Well, actually owning other people wasn't considered offensive when the concept was created either. Society evolves.

I don't see how the feelings at the time of creation are relevant.

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Well, actually owning other people wasn't considered offensive when the concept was created either. Society evolves.

Uhhh, yeah it was.

It was certainly accepted in many places, including a large enough portion of this country to make it...you know...legal. Again, I'm pretty sure you knew what Vet meant.

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Maybe go back to Spiders and just start over.

Because it's not like the last team the Spiders ever fielded was the worst team ever or anything... oh wait.

Look, I'm an Indians fan. You want my opinion on it? Phase out Wahoo. Put the "C" on the caps, all of them, and leave the sleeve patch for a couple years before introducing a new, more respectful sleeve patch as the primary.

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Maybe go back to Spiders and just start over.

Because it's not like the last team the Spiders ever fielded was the worst team ever or anything... oh wait.

Look, I'm an Indians fan. You want my opinion on it? Phase out Wahoo. Put the "C" on the caps, all of them, and leave the sleeve patch for a couple years before introducing a new, more respectful sleeve patch as the primary.

Serious question, what's the rationale behind phasing it out? Why not just get rid of it all at once?

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

More recent, but that's because it was made in 1951. A lot of images that were acceptable in 1951 aren't anymore.

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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.

You can always leave your faith (I'm not saying it wouldn't be psychologically stressful, but the option's always there). Barring access to Michael Jackson's fortune and a legion of plastic surgeons, you can't leave your race.

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

More recent, but that's because it was made in 1951. A lot of images that were acceptable in 1951 aren't anymore.

Which is of course true. I was wondering if it had strong opposition originally also.

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Maybe go back to Spiders and just start over.

Because it's not like the last team the Spiders ever fielded was the worst team ever or anything... oh wait.

Look, I'm an Indians fan. You want my opinion on it? Phase out Wahoo. Put the "C" on the caps, all of them, and leave the sleeve patch for a couple years before introducing a new, more respectful sleeve patch as the primary.

Serious question, what's the rationale behind phasing it out? Why not just get rid of it all at once?

Personally, I would just as well say get rid of him ASAP, but unfortunately, we both know Cleveland would flip its :censored: if it was sudden.

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

More recent, but that's because it was made in 1951. A lot of images that were acceptable in 1951 aren't anymore.

Which is of course true. I was wondering if it had strong opposition originally also.

I certainly have no way of knowing if it was strongly opposed back then, but, did the offended have as much of a voice then as they do now? Or a vehicle for expressing their opposition?

On the former, I'd speculate no, but I'm not sure. I can imagine that if a minority group did speak up, they either weren't listened to or didn't get the coverage that they would nowadays, simply based on the era. On the latter, I'd say it's pretty certain that the answer is no, simply due to how much easier it is to get your message out there today either electronically or through the press or organizing demonstrations, etc.

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

More recent, but that's because it was made in 1951. A lot of images that were acceptable in 1951 aren't anymore.

Which is of course true. I was wondering if it had strong opposition originally also.

I certainly have no way of knowing if it was strongly opposed back then, but, did the offended have as much of a voice then as they do now? Or a vehicle for expressing their opposition?

On the former, I'd speculate no, but I'm not sure. I can imagine that if a minority group did speak up, they either weren't listened to or didn't get the coverage that they would nowadays, simply based on the era. On the latter, I'd say it's pretty certain that the answer is no, simply due to how much easier it is to get your message out there today either electronically or through the press or organizing demonstrations, etc.

Media coverage does play a role in the anti-Wahoo message getting out today. It is important to note however that the majority of the anti-Wahoo participants in this tread are not Native American. I think it is safe to assume that there were non-Native Americans decades ago that were opposed to the Wahoo logo. I am wondering how loud/strong their opposition was back then compared to those that were either pro-Wahoo or didn't care either way.

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My take on the name: I personally don't like it, not because I feel it to be racist/politically incorrect (though I used to), but because it's factually incorrect. We all know the story of Columbus calling Natives "Indians" because he thought he hit India, so I feel it to be dumb to use an incorrect nickname. However, if that's come to the point that it's seen as a perfectly fine replacement for the term "Native American" or the like, then disregard that. Though "Cleveland Chiefs" has a nice ring to it.

My take on the logo: I have no issue with using a Native American as part of your logo, but a caricature is just insulting. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Chief Wahoo is the equivalent of having a logo of a team called the "Orientals" wearing a rice farmer's hat with thin eyes and yellow skin.

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

More recent, but that's because it was made in 1951. A lot of images that were acceptable in 1951 aren't anymore.

Which is of course true. I was wondering if it had strong opposition originally also.

I certainly have no way of knowing if it was strongly opposed back then, but, did the offended have as much of a voice then as they do now? Or a vehicle for expressing their opposition?

On the former, I'd speculate no, but I'm not sure. I can imagine that if a minority group did speak up, they either weren't listened to or didn't get the coverage that they would nowadays, simply based on the era. On the latter, I'd say it's pretty certain that the answer is no, simply due to how much easier it is to get your message out there today either electronically or through the press or organizing demonstrations, etc.

Media coverage does play a role in the anti-Wahoo message getting out today. It is important to note however that the majority of the anti-Wahoo participants in this tread are not Native American. I think it is safe to assume that there were non-Native Americans decades ago that were opposed to the Wahoo logo. I am wondering how loud/strong their opposition was back then compared to those that were either pro-Wahoo or didn't care either way.

Well while the majority of opposers in this thread are non-Native American, being that NAs are a minority group, it only stands to reason that they'd be represented on this board by a minority of members. I know your point isn't to say that the lack of NAs coming out in this thread means that they are OK with it, I'm just pointing out that it's just because there's a lack of NAs on the board.

As for your point though, I would guess that the non-NA opposition probably wasn't nearly as loud or strong back then as it is now (I would guess that most didn't care either way.) From what I can gather, in that era, we as a society (more specifically the majority segment of our society) were just starting to become more sensitive to the feelings of others and just starting to embrace such radical concepts as equality, so it's entirely possible that the non-NA population had so much tunnel vision toward their own concerns that they didn't even think twice about it. Also, when you think of that era and all that was going on, it seems to have more to do with the civil rights movement and treatment of African Americans in our society, and smaller groups like native Americans just kind of fell by the wayside. I have no education on this, it's just my thoughts on the subject. I'm open to being totally wrong.

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My take on the name: I personally don't like it, not because I feel it to be racist/politically incorrect (though I used to), but because it's factually incorrect. We all know the story of Columbus calling Natives "Indians" because he thought he hit India, so I feel it to be dumb to use an incorrect nickname. However, if that's come to the point that it's seen as a perfectly fine replacement for the term "Native American" or the like, then disregard that. Though "Cleveland Chiefs" has a nice ring to it.

My take on the logo: I have no issue with using a Native American as part of your logo, but a caricature is just insulting. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Chief Wahoo is the equivalent of having a logo of a team called the "Orientals" wearing a rice farmer's hat with thin eyes and yellow skin.

Tribe would be a great replacement for Indians. I look forward to the day Chief Wahoo is gone.

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What if they just did this?

79317664_detail.png

I'm not pro or anti towards the Indians logo.

If they did that, we'd have the same ridiculous caricature except that he'd now be blue and white. Can't say I see much of a difference. Indigenous people aren't blue, but they also don't look a thing like Wahoo. B)

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