My beloved Cleveland Indians baseball team’s legally trademarked mascot, Chief Wahoo, has taken quite a beating because of its alleged racism.
I say keep the Chief. If some – and I stress the word “some”, because there is certainly not a consensus- Native Americans think that he should be retired then let them take up a collection and pay the ballclub’s owners for the value of the trademark. Let them put their money where their mouths are rather than just whine about imagined racism, but that would require them to spend money rather than just play on peoples’ feelings. To me, the activists have no actual injuries on their side, just hurt feelings. They impute mocking of their people from a baseball team logo where no mocking was ever intended. We’ve forgiven the Native Americans for the massacre at Little Big Horn and let them run their own casinos to fleece the rest of us now, what more do they want?
The fact of the matter is that Chief Wahoo has never had any racist intent behind it. The Cleveland Indians baseball had no intention to mock native Americans. On the contrary, they appropriated the nickname “Indians” because Indians were considered, strong, popular and honorable, once that little kerfuffle about taking the North American continent from them got settled. The ballclub was seeking popularity with its customers and so it choose a popular nickname, as opposed to a nickname guaranteed to offend and drive off potential paying customers, such as the nickname “N*****s”, Chinks, Japs or Kikes.
Furthermore, Chief Wahoo is just a baseball trademark, for Pete’s sake, it doesn’t stand for evil in the way that the swastika stands for killing Jews, or the way that the confederate flag stands for black slavery. Any “evil” attributed to the Chief is only the evil the Native American agitators cooked up for it, and wasn’t created by the Cleveland Indians baseball team, their owners, dating back to Bill Veeck, who created the logo back in the late 1940s, or their fans, including me. The worst thing the baseball team has done is not win the World Series since 1948. The team hasn’t killed anyone, or enslaved anyone, or committed treason, or stolen any Indian land, or broken any Indian treaties. They’ve made some bad player trades and signed many bad players, and lost a lot more games than they’ve won, but none of those are moral failings or moral issues.
In my opinion, the majority of Native Americans are not offended by such things, as per a never successfully refuted nor rebutted poll in Sports Illustrated from 2002. The anti-wahoo, anti redskin activists said the voters were “Uncle Toms”, which sounds like sour grapes to me. The pollsters, objective reporters & pollsters from SI, called the results “surprising” but there you have it. I wonder if the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins have a cause of action against the activists for intentionally harming their trademarked property. Neither team intended any harm to the Native Americans, and certainly no harm has ever been proven aside for a few oversensitive souls’ hurt feelings, and yet the activists have been carping about this issue for a long time.
Native Americans are sympathetic people to the media, while heartless and greedy sports team owners make good villains and sports fans wearing headdresses and feathers are easy to make fun of. After all, we good Americans conquered the Indians, exposed them to new diseases to which they had no immunity, reneged on our treaties and stole their land, so now the least we can do is assuage our guilt by changing sports team logos. That has the benefit of not costing anybody but the team owners any money. Well, I’m not guilty, and I don’t see the point of making innocent sports teams the scapegoats for what our forebears did to the Indians.
#clevelandindians #ChiefWahoo #Redskins #WashingtonRedskins #NativeAmericans #Indians #Racism