October 03, 2013

Wahoos caught on national TV

With all the talk about the Washington Redskins recently, let's not forget the other horrendous ethnic slur against Indians:

An odious scene: Indians fans wore redface to last night’s game

By Craig CalcaterraI saw these guys on last night’s broadcast. Hat tip to Ted Berg of USA Today for getting the screen cap:We wouldn’t accept it if these guys showed up at a party in blackface. We wouldn’t cite “tradition” or “enthusiasm” and act as if it wasn’t racist for them to do so. If they wore blackface at a ballpark I am pretty confident that security would have them removed, for their safety among other reasons.

But to pull Indian redface in Cleveland? Hey, no worries. Go Tribe. Quit your complaining, Calcaterra. Indeed, I’m assuming that for even mentioning this I will be accused of being an overly-sensitive P.C. liberal who doesn’t understand that no one finds this offensive and, hey, my Native American father-in-law has no problem with it. If they decided not to go the ad hominem route they’d probably offer something like, “hey, he’s on the caps. So obviously it’s about team spirit, not racism. It’s just a cartoon character, so it’s not offensive.”

But of course it is offensive. And disgraceful. And as long as the Cleveland Indians continue to use Chief Wahoo as their mascot and primary logo, idiots like these three will believe that it is socially acceptable to do with Indians that which we would never tolerate if it was done with other races. They will be given the official cover to make specious arguments excusing their racist acts.
Why Did TBS Show Cleveland Fans Dressed Up In Redface?

By Travis WaldronFans obviously don’t see much of a problem with this sort of dress-up, because they do it at Indians games and Washington Redskins games and at other sporting events featuring Native Americans. They Tomahawk Chop and depict Native Americans getting slaughtered and all sorts of other ignorant things because they are fans and because the appropriation of Native American imagery and culture in sports, not to mention in the rest of society, has desensitized them to the fact that Native Americans deserve respect. We’d never be OK with this if it was another racial minority being depicted, if fans showed up to games wearing blackface.

And neither would TBS. So why did they choose to focus on these fans? One possible explanation is that TBS itself is particularly desensitized to the whole issue because it used to be closely affiliated with another team that appropriates Native American culture. TBS’ founder, Ted Turner, used to own the Atlanta Braves, and the network used to broadcast the Braves’ every game. TBS played a major part in making the Tomahawk Chop a thing during the Braves’ worst-to-first playoff run in 1991 and during Atlanta’s incredible stretch of 15 consecutive division titles thereafter. If TBS doesn’t see a problem with this sort of dress-up, it isn’t hard to understand why.
Indians fans' redface raises eyebrows

Comment:  This should be the next target of the activists targeting the Washington Redskins. Heck, they should target both offenses simultaneously to take advantage of the growing concern about mascots.

For more on Chief Wahoo, see Make Indians' Owner into Mascot and Semipro Team Uses Chief Wahoo.

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