January 13, 2016

Comedians mock Whitesboro seal

Stephen Colbert brutally mocks Whitesboro's 'racist' village seal (video)

By Geoff HerbertThe village of Whitesboro's controversial seal has drawn national attention -- and now jokes on late-night television.

"The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert brutally mocked the Upstate New York community on Wednesday night's show, calling its recent discussion on whether or not to keep the seal "the most important vote of 2016 in my opinion." He then showed viewers a partial picture of the seal, which some say depicts a white settler choking a Native American man.

"All right, let's not overreact. Maybe... it's not like he symbolically stands for all white guys. What's the name of the guy being depicted on the seal?" Colbert asks.

Then a screenshot from a syracuse.com article shows his name is Hugh White.

'The Daily Show' gave Whitesboro logos for village vote on 'racist' seal

By Elizabeth DoranComedy Central's "The Daily Show" provided serious and "mock" designs of possible village logos to Whitesboro for the village's poll on replacing its current seal that many have criticized as being "racist" and "offensive."

Both the serious and the comical logos were on display during Monday's night vote on whether to replace the controversial village seal, and people could vote for both. The mock designs were on filing cabinets separate from the main logo display to emphasize they weren't actually in the running, Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O'Connor said Wednesday.

The Daily Show had a film crew there capturing residents reactions to the seals on display. All the logos but one were provided by the show; one was done by a local artist.

One 'Daily Show' design shows former NHL goalie Robert Esche, who lives in the Whitesboro area. Others show a white man and a Native American dancing, a white settler and an Indian beating up a British soldier, ar closeup of two cartoon hands shaking, and a white settler dressed as a luchador wrestling with the Native American.
Whitesboro mayor speaks out on why village used 'The Daily Show' logo designs

By Elizabeth DoranMayor Patrick O'Connor's statement

The village of Whitesboro seal has been called into question for decades, over the years, minor adjustments have been made, but the theme remains that of a "friendly wrestling match" between Whitesboro's Founder, Hugh White and a Native American.

This friendly wrestling match, which was a normal occurrence during that time period, is what helped foster good relations between the settlers and Native Americans. It is documented that the two shook hands after the wrestling match took place. While there were various depictions of the seal over the years, the original seal dates back to the late 1800s.
And:We are in the process of forming a committee to look at options for modifying the current seal to create a more modern, professional, and culturally acceptable option that will reflect the historic relationship between our founder Hugh White and the Oneida American Indian he befriended. We expect this to be a lengthy process, but ultimately it may include an updated depiction of the friendly wrestling match, that appears less offensive, while still representing the original encounters of our settler with Native Americans.Rob's reply

If the handshake is documented, show the freakin' handshake rather than the "wrestling" takedown. Even on your own ludicrous terms, Mayor O'Connor, you're failing. You're not showing "good relations," you're showing the white dominance (in wrestling) that led to good relations. And your investment in this white dominance is precisely the problem.

Of course, there's no need to focus on the "good relations," which are now ancient history. If you insist on it, you could show a lone Indian giving a blessing. Or an Indian and a white man building something together. There's absolutely no need to regurgitate the Indian's loss in the alleged wrestling match.

For more on government seals, see Whitesboro Votes to Keep Seal and Massachusetts Sued Over State Seal.

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