Resisting the temptation to bust out the Turbines’ “Wa-Hey”, the KC Star’s Joe Posnaski takes the occassion of Cleveland coming within a game of the 2007 AL Championship to opine, “it’s past time to get rid of this racist logo of my childhood.” (link culled from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
You know, I remember once walking through the Holocaust Museum, and seeing all of these horrifying caricatures of Jews that they would give to kids in 1930s Germany. I looked at these things in horror for a long, long time. You know why? The logos themselves weren™t so different from Wahoo. I™m not comparing anything but the style of logos ” obviously, the Jewish caricatures were a billion-billion times more sinister. They were meant to raise an entire generation of Jew-haters. Wahoo is, I think, just a stupid sports logo.
But ” and this is the point ” those logos, like Wahoo, were of real people only they were cartoony and goofy and exaggerated and meant to make a child laugh. They did not LOOK much different.
Here™s a newspaper quote you might enjoy :
œTo insist that Native Americans be given equal rights with other citizens is one thing. To insist that their particular sensibilities entitle them to exercise a kind of sensorship is quite another.
That™s the argument for Wahoo, isn™t it? The argument is that Native Americans are being too sensitive. What™s the big deal anyway? Chief wahoo doesn™t hurt anybody. Don™t Native Americans have much bigger problems to deal with than a logo on a baseball cap? Wahoo has been around for a long time, we don™t need censorship of our sports because a few Native Americans are marching, right?
Trouble is, that quote wasn™t about Native Americans. It was actually a quote taken from Washington Post in 1947, and you can replace œNative Americans with Negroes. It was an editorial The Post wrote about how Little Black Sambo was a fun little storybook character, and anyone who took offense to this grinning, big-lipped abomination was just acting silly and politically correct.
Symbols do matter. The funny thing is, everybody really does understand this on both sides of the argument. The Confederate Flag doesn™t just matter to those who see it as a racist symbol. It also matters to those who put in on their trucks or state flags. Neo-Nazis spray paint swastikas on Synagogues ” they know it matters. You could not put a Little Black Sambo statue on your front lawn and then say, œOh, I just appreciate the artistry.
Wahoo is an inherentry racist symbol. Nobody could really deny this. Nobody could look at that grinning mug and say, œNo, it™s really a flattering portrayal of Native Americans, who were conquered, nearly wiped off the planet by our ancestors and then forced to live on reservations.