By Elizabeth Doran
Of 212 votes cast, 157 of them were in favor of retaining the current seal.
It was an informal vote, and village officials say they will discuss the results Tuesday night.
Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O'Connor said he wasn't entirely surprised by the vote results as numerous residents had been calling the village offices asking why the village was holding a vote in the first place.
The controversial village seal, which dates back to 1883, shows a white settler with his hands apparently choking a Native American man. Although village officials said the seal depicts a friendly wrestling match between Hugh White, the town's founder, and a member of the local Oneida tribe; it's caused controversy for years. Many called it racist and offensive.
Manning: Open Letter to the Village of Whitesboro, New York
By Sarah Sunshine Manning
Yet all context aside, and without a thorough explanation, that seal, well, it looks racist. At first glance, this is what Whitesboro, New York, looks like: a white supremacist town. For one, your name is, Whitesboro, after all. And secondly, a white man is subduing an Indian, the original occupant of this land that was ultimately, near annihilated.
I know, I know. White is the last name of founder. But the combination of all of the different elements on the seal, together, evoke a soup of emotions among outsiders looking in, conjuring up discomfort, defensiveness, and even pain. Images matter, and your image is harmful.
Considering that Native Americans went from being 100-percent of the population pre-contact, to roughly 1-percent of the U.S. population today, your historical seal of a white man subduing an Indian highlights the reality of indigenous genocide, while twisting the knife of domination and colonization into the fresh wounds of the indigenous population still living today.
Comment: For more on government seals, see Massachusetts Sued Over State Seal and "Ralph Cherokee" on Roanoke County Seal.