NEWS

  /  

October 17, 2007

More on Chief Wahoo

1) Deadspin points out how many people showed up to the last two games at Jacobs Field wearing red face paint. I noticed this on TV and was surprised. I just don't see how this is acceptable behavior for a publicly funded firm (I'm assuming the Indians received public funding for their stadium).2) The Deadspin post links to a Christian Monitor Science column by an NYU professor calling for the end of Chief Wahoo. The column makes a very similar argument to Tim's earlier one here. In particular the column stresses the "Little Black Sambo" analogy:

And here someone might respond that the cartoon of Chief Wahoo is, well, just a cartoon, saying it doesn't reflect the sentiments of anyone today, and only an overly sensitive, politically correct liberal could object to something so innocuous.In 1947, the Washington Post rejected black demands to remove "Little Black Sambo" from elementary school textbooks. Remember Sambo? To African-Americans, this simple-minded and thick-lipped figure embodied the worst elements of antiblack caricature. But to the Post, he was just a storybook character – and a harmless one, at that. "To insist that Negroes be given equal rights with other citizens is one thing," the Post editorialized. "To insist that their particular sensibilities entitle them to exercise a kind of censorship is quite another."But the issue involved more than just black attitudes, as one local African-American leader replied. Instead, he argued, it affected everyone. If white children absorbed the Sambo story of black-as-buffoon, they would never regard African-Americans as truly equal.So when you watch the Cleveland Indians on television this week, watch your kids as well. Ask yourself what the image of Chief Wahoo teaches them about Native Americans. And ask yourself if you can live with the answer.