Tuesday, March 30, 2010

McBoneBeat; Poll Closes with McBoners Split

After a mad, eleventh-hour rush to computers and portable devices, the latest McBoneBeat poll has closed. Two points surprise me:

1) Twenty people actually voted.

2) Of them, ten believe that Chief Wahoo isn't offensive.

I sort of get it about not changing the name.  Well, not really, but I'll let it go for now.  But Chief Wahoo?  Can anyone look at this thing and tell me it is NOT a hideous representation of Native Americans?  If you can, I beg you to look again and, please, tell me why.

I know you all are probably sick of me writing about this, but I've been fed up with my baseball team's logo for at least twenty years.  Yet, every time I watch a game, or visit the team's website, I'm greeted by this phenomenally awful image.  I really don't see any argument for maintaining this monstrosity for another second.  Yet, the arguments keep coming.  Here are some of the most common I've come across.  You'll notice that most of them do not constitute arguments at all:

Chief Wahoo is tradition - This is no justification.  Something so fundamentally wrong does not deserve a prolonged lifespan simply because it is a few decades old; it deserves to go away, and should have about 50 years ago.  Or rather, it should never have been.

Chief Wahoo honors Indians - The protesters who have been showing up at the ballpark for more than 30 years would beg to differ.  Personally, I find a stupidly grinning, buffoonish, lobster-hued caricature with a feather to be a pretty poor tribute to both the vast array of people and cultures that were wiped off the planet forever and to the ones that have survived.

There are more important problems to worry about - I would counter that smearing a racist image all over a public space warrants a lot of attention.

Chief Wahoo makes people happy - So did minstrel shows.

I am part American Indian and Chief Wahoo doesn't bother me - Then you need to wake up, revisit that part of your heritage and become aware of the devastation that has been visited upon Native Americans for half a millennium.

What about the Notre Dame 'Fighting Irish?' and all the pirate and Viking mascots out there? - Maybe you're right.  Maybe we just shouldn't go there.  I would argue though that white people nicknaming themselves after white people is slightly less problematic than white people nicknaming themselves after people they massacred through centuries of disease and violence.

PC-ness is destroying the country - I've heard this multiple times, and I'd call it a slight exaggeration.  I'd also argue that political correctness is rooted in racial and cultural sensitivity.  If that's what we call destroying the country, I say destroy it.  We'll destroy it into awesomeness.

All this is just liberal whining - If so, I am a proud whiner.  Better to be whiny than blind.

If any of you agree with me and would like to join the campaign and happen to be on facebook, click here!

Disagree?  I'd still like to hear from more of you.



Kid Shay said...

Maybe they should change their mascot to Chan Marshall? It's certainly worked for some blogs.

Oh, and yes, there are more important problems to worry about. Fortunately changing a team's racist mascot takes practically no time at all.

McBone said...

Now there's an idea!

I imagine they could sell an obscene amount of merchandise if they came up with something new.


Kid Shay said...

Better an obscene amount of merchandise than obscene merchandise. Har dee har.

Low-Deye said...

Look, the team was named after the Braves, and also after a native american that had played for the Spiders. As far as chief wahoo goes, it's a caricature. You should google caricature and maybe you'll understand then that that's all it is. Yes, it does come from a time when creative peoples made friendly funny images without thinking what someone 50 years later would think of them. You're the same kind of person that would ban some of the greatest cartoons ever made simply because they were an homage to african-american culture of the 1930's and 1940's. While I will admit Chief Wahoo is hardly that, it is however a beloved symbol of this team, and has been for many many years. I personally believe that it is just a cartoon, just a caricature, and as such is not to be taken seriously. Certainly is not meant to be taken OFFENSIVE. Plus, this symbol came into prominence around the same time that the Cleveland Indians were leaping and bounding over the rest of Major League Baseball when it came to civil rights, by being the 1st team in the American League to hire a black player, that went by the name of Larry Doby. Who should be just as famous as Jackie Robinson, since he was brough up from the negro leagues mere months after Robinson.

McBone said...


Thanks for reading.

It's time to knock off the arguments that he's not offensive. He IS offensive, and horribly so. That's not even debatable, so I won't bother with a rebuttal. Just know you are wrong.

Now you are free to like him all you want, obviously, but don't think for one second that your adoration makes him any less deplorable. Liking him merely calls into question your own judgment and taste.

Oh, and please do not delude yourself into thinking you have anything to teach McBone about the great Larry Doby.