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UCCtruths

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More to do about Wahoo

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's the beginning of spring which means that it's time for the UCC's annual dig at the Cleveland Indians and it's mascot, Chief Wahoo. From the UC News:
The scheduled participation of the Cleveland Indians baseball team in Memphis’ annual Civil Rights Game on March 31 is drawing criticism from the UCC’s General Minister and President John H. Thomas.

Thomas is speaking out against a decision by Major League Baseball to pit the Cleveland’s baseball franchise – with its racially-charged “Indians” nickname and “Chief Wahoo” logo – against the St. Louis Cardinals in the annual exhibition game that honors the nation’s Civil Rights Movement.

“America’s pastime ought to reflect America’s noblest values,” Thomas told United Church News. “Logos and mascots that demean anyone fall far short of that vision.”
As usual, Thomas can't get past his own narrow thinking to recognize why the Cleveland Indians are playing in this game in the first place. The Indians were chosen to play in this, the first Civil Rights Game, because the Indians were the first AL team to have a black player (Larry Doby) and first in the majors to hire a black manager (Frank Robinson).

More from UC News:
The use of the “Indians” name in sports is widely offensive to American Indians and the team’s “Chief Wahoo” is regarded by many to be a racist caricature of Native Americans. Its use is often spoken in parallel to the “Little Black Sambo” caricature of African Americans, which dates to the early 1900s.
UC News doesn't cite a source to support the claim, but a Peter Harris Research Group poll, published in the March 4, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated, showed that 81% of Native Americans support the use of Indian nicknames in high school and college sports, and 83% of Native Americans support the use of Indian mascots and symbols in professional sports. Sports Illustrated concluded that the "poll suggests that although Native American activists are virtually united in opposition to the use of Indian nicknames and mascots, the Native American population sees the issue far differently." In a similar poll in 2004, ninety percent of American Indians say the name Washington Redskins does not offend them, according to the University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, March 28, 2007

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