New Scientific Study Proves that Chief Wahoo Is Worse than We Thought

by Cleveland Frowns on April 28, 2010

Here’s some amazing news by way of a scientific study that used exposure to “a Native American symbol” to prove that “[o]ne’s reliance on stereotypes appears to be heightened with increased exposure to stereotypes, regardless of whom the stereotype is portraying.” While highly questionable in its methods, the study nevertheless ends up making an airtight argument, proving that Cleveland’s own favorite Native American stereotype, Chief Wahoo, is actually worse than we already knew it was.

First, the problems with the study. Vince Grzegorek has the details at Scene:

A research team led by psychologist Chu Kim-Prieto of The College of New Jersey examined the way our brains react to seeing or reading about a Native American sports team mascot. It conducted two experiments using Chief Illiniwek, a mythical figure who served as the official symbol of University of Illinois athletics from the 1920s until 2007.

In the first study, conducted on the University of Illinois’ Champaign-Urbana campus, 79 students selected at random filled out a 25-item “Scale of Anti-Asian American Stereotypes.” Participants rated on a one-to-five scale whether they agreed with such statements as “Asian Americans are motivated to obtain too much power in our society.”

For one-third of the survey takers, the questionnaire was pulled out of a folder decorated with stickers depicting Chief Illiniwek. For another third, the folder was festooned with the capital letter “I,” the alternate logo of U of I athletics. For the final third, the folder was blank.

The results: Those exposed to the image of the mascot, however peripherally, endorsed anti-Asian American stereotypes to a greater extent than those in the other two groups.

First, the quoted article describing the study (by Tom Jacobs in the Miller-McCune Journal) doesn’t reveal specifics as to the “greater extent” to which those who received their questionnaires in the Illiniwek folders were more likely to endorse the anti-Asian stereotypes. Without paying the $30 it would take to see for myself, it’s enough to note that we’re only talking about 79 people here, broken into three separate groups. So were there two more racists in the “exposed” group? Nine more? And how much more racist were they on average? Four percent more racist? Six percent?

But whatever the answers to these questions, the real problem with the study is that it doesn’t use exposure to a stereotype that’s necessarily or even at all harmful or disparaging.

Have a look for yourself at Chief Illiniwek.

A dignified representation of a Native American person wearing a traditional headdress. But a “stereotype”? Technically, sure. Just like this drawing of a horse.

Your stereotypical representation of a horse, and probably also a representation of a “stereotypical horse.” And if we replaced this horse with Chief Illiniwek in the same study and got the same results, we could conclude the same thing: “One’s reliance on stereotypes appears to be heightened with increased exposure to stereotypes, regardless of whom [or what] the stereotype is portraying.”

Science!

Now, of course, we might not have seen the same results with the horse as we did with Illiniwek. Maybe the same people who were racist after they saw the Illiniwek folder would have been less racist if the pony* would have been on the folder instead.

Which gets to another big problem with this study, which is that a better conclusion to draw from it might be this: People who see a picture of someone of another race are more inclined to remember how much they don’t like people of other races, and as a result might do worse on a racism test.

Or put another way: People who are exposed to a representation of a foreign culture are more likely to have any deep-seated discomfort with foreign cultures rise to the surface than people who aren’t similarly exposed.

From here we might assume that if an objectively offensive stereotype like Chief Wahoo had been used in this study instead of Illiniwek, that the results would have been a lot different. On one hand, Wahoo tends to not remind folks of other people at all, and serves as a benign baseball alien cartoon. Folks for whom Wahoo triggers this reaction likely wouldn’t have had any discomfort with other races of humans triggered by exposure to Wahoo as might have happened if they saw the more realistic Illiniwek, and might have scored better on the racism test as a result. On the other hand, even a racist who understands that Wahoo is an objectively offensive sambo-image might raise his guard after seeing Wahoo on the folder and do better on the racism test for that reason. So on each hand, there are good reasons to conclude that the study turns out opposite results if Wahoo is used in Illiniwek’s place.

But back to the conclusion that the study did turn out: “One’s reliance on stereotypes appears to be heightened with increased exposure to stereotypes, regardless of whom the stereotype is portraying.”

Which probably isn’t saying more than that if the average person sees someone else using stereotypes, he’ll think it’s more OK to use stereotypes himself. Monkey see, monkey do, like your grandma said. Science proves it. And for $30 you can see for yourself. But just because you might not have needed a scientific experiment to prove this fact, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be glad that scientific results like this can help folks answer questions like those raised by Grzegorek in his post:

Native American mascots and logos have long been the subject of much debate. Should schools and teams get rid of them? Are they racist? Does it really matter? Should a bunch of middle-aged white people get to make those decisions? What does it really hurt?

So, first, the easy one: “Should a bunch of middle-aged white people get to make those decisions?”

Are “a bunch of middle-aged white people” responsible for the symbol existing in the first place and persisting to this day?   Then, yes, absolutely a bunch of white people get to make those decisions. And not only do they “get” to, they probably sort of have to.

Now, the harder questions: “Is Wahoo racist? Does it matter? And what does it really hurt?”

If you’re going to ask these questions, you probably also have to ask: What did it hurt to have different restrooms for whites and blacks, anyway? What did it really hurt Rosa Parks to have to sit in the back of the bus?

Thankfully our study has already answered these questions by proving that if folks are exposed to treatment of one race as less than human, they’ll be more inclined to treat other races in the same way. So there’s only one question left. And while it might shock some that it’s actually still a question, we can only assume here in Cleveland that it is: Does Wahoo represent the treatment of a race of people as less than human?

It seems easy enough to answer this question by reference to historical facts like that animosity against Native Americans and racism in sportswriting were each prevalent in Cleveland when the Indians adopted their current name in 1915. That newspaper reports on the name change (available here) demonstrate (unsurprisingly in the wake of the Indian Wars, and 30+ years before Jackie Robinson) an obvious intent to reinforce the image of Natives as anachronistic savages, and that Wahoo was born out of all of this:

A January 17, 1915 report in the Cleveland Leader reported that “[i]n place of the Naps, we’ll have the Indians, on the warpath all the time, and eager for scalps to dangle at their belts.”  The Plain Dealer of the same day included a cartoon titled “Ki Yi Waugh Woop! They’re Indians.”  This cartoon . . . depicts, among other things, a frowning umpire scolding a Native American:  “When you talk to me, talk English, you wukoig.” “Wukoig,” according to the Plain Dealer cartoon, is an “Indian” word.

Now since we’re talking specifically about Chief Wahoo, compare it to the sambo imagery here, and here.

Now consider that Chief Wahoo was created in 1947, that Sambo images were “common in all major American animation houses in the 30s and 40s,” and served largely to reinforce Jim Crow laws and Jim Crow etiquette.

More specifically, the images served to dehumanize “blacks and legitimized patterns of prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” by which blacks were “confined to menial jobs, denied entry into White schools, hassled when they tried to vote, crowded into ghettos, and routinely treated with disrespect.”

The images served this purpose simply by their exaggeration of certain features of the “other” race, with the specific purpose of emphasizing the “otherness,” thus reinforcing the idea that the “other” is something less than human:

For example:

Julius Lester, who has recently co-authored Sam and the Tigers, an updated Afrocentric version of [the book] Little Black Sambo, wrote:

When I read Little Black Sambo as a child, I had no choice but to identify with him because I am black and so was he. Even as I sit here and write the feelings of shame, embarrassment and hurt come back. And there was a bit of confusion because I liked the story and I especially liked all those pancakes, but the illustrations exaggerated the racial features society had made it clear to me represented my racial inferiority — the black, black skin, the eyes shining white, the red protruding lips.

Now of course, if it was the 1940s, and you liked Jim Crow laws, or otherwise wanted to emphasize the superiority of some races over others, you might not have needed a scientific study to tell you that the popularization of the dehumanization of one race could only help with the dehumanization of another, or even all the rest. So at a time when sambo images were routinely used to portray blacks as “lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate buffoons,” what could it possibly hurt to give Chief Wahoo an enormous hooked nose, a foolish grin, and paint his face drunken fire-engine red?

Jim Crow might not have survived in tact, but at least otherwise intelligent people are still asking some really bad questions in defense of Jim Crow imagery. And if some otherwise intelligent people keep asking these questions, then other otherwise intelligent people will ask the same ones in even worse ways.

Science proves it. Jim Crow might still have a chance, right here in Cleveland.

 

 

 

 

 


———-

*A lot of the material here, including most of the images, comes from Dr. David Pilgrim and Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum.

  • Pittsburgh is for Man Lovers

    That might have been the stupidest study ever. I do find it interesting that they used Asian stereotypes/racism as their benchmark since blatant racism against asians is still pretty commonplace – just ask Jerry Lewis and Disney. Anyways, I don't know why you feel you have to constantly defend your stance on Wahoo being offensive. Anyone who doesn't think it's offensive is a grade-A moron. It's just that it appears to be pretty far down the list of priorities to anyone who wields any power to do anything about it.

  • Pittsburgh is for Man Lovers

    Not that I don't think your arguments are well-thought out and executed, mind you.

  • Monazzji

    I don't know what kind of science they do at the College of New Jersey, but 79 participants is way too few to draw any conclusions from this kind of study.

  • Biki

    the controversy of Chief Illiniwek was much more than just the logo. He did a lot of dances that were not in line with traditional native american culture and a lot of groups thought it was done in a mocking fashion.

  • Carl

    1 of 2

    Interesting comments on a subject people could care less about. But there is a commonality…..

    I knew a number of American Indians when I was living out west. They has been raised on reservations. None of them seemed concerned at all with the baseball teams symbol. A few of the women thought that Chief Wahoo as cute.

    And the same with the article by the ESPN blogger – TMQ. So every split second makes a guy "slow" and he feels college players are scrutinized too much? Well, it seems to me that the people doing that are his colleagues at ESPN and the media. I read some dumb comments yesterday by readers of the National Football Post regarding the Jacksonville GM (Gene Smith) taking DE Tyson Alualu from Cal. The "fans" were condemning him for not trading down from 10 and getting "value". They said he could have traded down 5 picks and still got the guy, plus a 2nd or 3rd round draft choice…..and they would have been able to play the player less. Well golly, maybe that's why no one wanted to trade with Smith unless they were offering the low 1st round – which is what Miami and Denver got for 11 and 12. As Frowns noted – its what the teams have on THEIR board, not what Kuiper or McShay or one of hundreds of guys did in their numerous mock drafts which seemed to be changing daily the last week before the draft. Was Smith supposed to endanger his draft to get "value"? He saw a player he and his staff liked, and they picked him. Fact is, the Jags had a good draft last year – they don't appear to be dummies. They wanted a guy and got him. Fact is, no one in the media ever goes over tipsters last mock drafts and ranks them in the future* to determine their records. Fact is that fully 50% or FIRST ROUND draft choices wash out, and the later rounds are even worse.

    As an avid follower of the 3 top professional sports leagues, I find that the proliferation of writers and commentators on sports due to the explosion of the Internet and cable TV has taken a lot of the fun out of sports that I have as a fan**. Too much information out there. People are not wearing Cleveland Indians baseball paraphernalia because they have malice towards American Indians — I would doubt that most wearing it have never even met an American Indian. Maybe they like the caricature. Maybe they like the team. Or maybe someone gave them the cap, shirt or jacket so they wear it.

    And as far as the NFL draft goes — I was driving around the day Joe Haden ran his 4.53 or whatever it was at the combine, and Tony Rizzo comes on the radio and tells me I should forget Joe Haden, he's too "slow". Huh? Bob Hayes was an Olympic sprinter that was a decent receiver for the Cowboys….nothing special — almost every other Olympic sprinter trying to play WR failed in the NFL. Michael Jordan tried to convert his "athleticism" to baseball, and couldn't play at an average level in Double-A ball. Terry Pluto had a nice comment on Haden the other day that he got from his brother that teaches high school football in Florida and had seen most of Florida's games — Haden didn't have many interceptions because teams stopped throwing to his side of the field. THAT'S the real world.

    Bunch of nonsense. The pro scouts can tell who looks like they can play, and they give them a shot with their teams.

  • Carl

    2 of 3

    * I used to keep an eye in financial newsletter writers that would pop up at KWNY in LA in the early 80's (later NBC bought a mini station by the Santa Monica airport – KSCI – remade it, hired a bunch of communication majors for Cals State – Northridge, and rolled it out as CNBC….thereby forcing KWHY to sell there license to some people that made it a local spanish speaking station). If you listend to them, they were always right, or at least most of the time…..kind of running the scam Jams Cramer has been doing on CNBC for about 10 years now.

    Well, a guy named Mark Hulbert got an idea. He took an imaginary $10,000 and on paper bought and sold the stocks about a hundred of the better-selling letter writers were telling subscribers to do in their publications. Then, horrors of horrors, he started publishing their results in his own newsletter based on their recommendations, and actually ranking them against one another. The outcry that came from these self-proclaimed experts was hilarious. They said Halpern was misunderstanding what they were "really" telling their subscribers, and most threatened lawsuits. After a while they accepted that he was around, Barron's would interview him one every year or so, and most investors went on with their lives.

    Years later a guy named Hulbert showed up on CBSmarketwatch. So I sent him an email asking if he was the same guy, and he said he sure was.

    The market has sold off the past few days on financial troubles that the government in Greece is having (and has been for months). I picked up some more stock (including Cleveland Cliffs) on sale yesterday. So I look at Hulbert's article today, and he has one on "four major sovereign debt crises" that last 20 years: 1) Mexican peso devaluation, 1994, 2) "Asian Contagion", July 1997, 3) Russian ruble devaluation, August 1998, and 4) Argentine government debt/currency crisis, 2001. Punch line — "On average the stock market was 17% higher in one year's time (as measured by the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index)."

    Fans could use a guy (or gal) like Hulbert to cover these outrageous things that are going on over pro sports in the media.

  • Carl

    3 of 3

    ** About taking the fun out of sports — I was watching a Dodger game about 15 years ago on TV and Vin Skully was telling a funny story about one of the Dodger players. And it hit me…..no one else broadcasting MLB does that anymore. Only Vin — because he's a living legend — can get away with that. When I grew up I heard about Chico Salmon and his fear of ghosts. Later I read the perspective John Lowenstein had on life. And of course there was the epic ballplayer move of the 1960's when Gene Conley and Pumpsie Green went AWOL from the Red Sox in the middle of the season to fly to Israel for a few days to check it out. And of course Joe opened beer bottled with his eye sockets.

    Do we have these sort of theis written and said about MLB players anymore? Not really. For 30 years now MLB has been run by the Union, the players agents and ESPN pushing the Yankees and Red Sox down America's throats. And in that process, the agents want to assure fans that the player on their team that they represent only played major league baseball to held his invalid grandmother, his real goal in life was to discover a cure for cancer and become the diplomat that would finally bring peace to the Middle-East single-handedly — so treat their client as an infallible, sophisticated member of humanity. I realized that only Vin could still get away with telling stories about the screwball things that baseball players (still) do, something that made it so enjoyable a sport to follow (remember Casey taking off his cap for the crowd….and a bird flew out….the same Casey that mentored Billy Martin who in turn mentored Lou Pinella…..and Casey himself was mentored as a young player by Ty Cobb. But today we have fancy, made-up words by Shapiro/Andretti after looking up from their computers…and the game is not fun, and those two guys have driven every real baseball person employed by the Cleveland Indians out of the organization. It's no fun, and the team stinks. Come to think of it, Shapiro/Andretti would have made sure Bill Veeck was driven over the state line….and Bill was the last guy to bring that team a championship.

    Slow day.

    That's it for me on here for a long time.

    Best to all.

  • Biki

    Looks like the good folks at East High in Akron has been reading Frowns: http://www.ohio.com/news/92147109.html

  • the commenter formerly known as p

    agreed pittsburgh – do grade-A moron-wahoo defenders really think we're going to swallow that tripe about a giant red-faced hook-nosed crazy-eyed "native american" mascot being non-offensive?

    as for the study and frowners' constant defense of his stance on wahoo – i suppose it's necessary given that there are a lot of people that still need convincing and at least some of them believe that "scientific truths" somehow trump truths of other sorts.

  • Verhaden

    Interesting timing:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471204575210384180269378.html

    The Tribe is the most hated team in baseball?

  • Biki

    i bet a lot of yankee fans contributed to that negative ranking from when we broke their hearts in 2007. "mothgate" is still blamed for the demise of Joba Chamberlain.

  • WFNYCraig

    "What's interesting here is that anyone who asks these questions probably has to also ask: What did it hurt to have different restrooms for whites and blacks, anyway? What did it really hurt Rosa Parks to have to sit in the back of the bus?"

    No they probably do not. In fact, I could easily say that these people definitely do not have to ask these questions. People have obviously drawn some kind massively different conclusion about the harms caused by our racist past with regard to former slaves and their descendants as opposed to our racist past with regard to Native Americans.

    There are vast vast differences between Rosa Parks' experiences and sufferers at the hands of Chief Wahoo. Yes, it is undeniable that Wahoo is racist. The problem you really have is first proving enough actual harm as to make anyone really care. The harm of stereotypes against blacks, like Rosa Parks, is generally accepted for obvious reasons. The perception amongst the vast majority is that there was real harm there.

    Good luck proving that with Chief Wahoo. Even though you are right that Wahoo is racist, you can't force your way into being so right as to make people believe that the harm caused by Wahoo's image is anything close to the harm that was caused by separate sections in buses or separate drinking fountains.

    In fact, while I have not done a study, I wonder if your comparisons aren't more harmful to your cause due to the perception difference that our citizenry at large has between Native Americans and the population of former slaves and their descendants.

    I wouldn't mind if they changed the name of my favorite baseball team for what it is worth.

  • jimkanicki

    this an interesting subject for me primarily because i took a complete 180 on the issue. just back in the 90s, i can clearly remember thinking clinton was a total d.b. when he wore the "I" cap on opening day of the jake.

    a true epiphany occurred when i considered: what if we were the cleveland sambos? (ironically it couldnt happen because because discrimination even worse for blacks so that thin thread about 'honoring soxalexis' was impossible.) but if it had… it's not a stretch to think our logo would have looked like the cartoons of the time. if youve seen unforgivable blackness, you must have been shocked at reporting from the LA Times on his fights.

    and if we were the sambos, and if we did have a benign caricature reflective of the times, would we defend it on the premise of tradition plus absence of malice? obviously we would not.

    i haven't been strident on this issue. i was sad when my alma mater became the redhawks… but mainly sad that we stumbled onto a mascot way back when that later became socially obsolete. but hey slavery was acceptable way back when and you have to accept that civilization evolves and not only that be glad of it.

    anyway frownie, thanks for being out front on this. the team needs to alter the logo if not the name before it bites them in the ass. quite frankly, it's surprising that the indians haven't been roasted more on this… but it will happen. as fans, we should let ownership know that they have _some_ support to change, then maybe they will.

  • Cleveland Frowns

    Craig, I'm not sure what your point is. Is it that it's OK to dehumanize Native Americans because they're not black? Or that dehumanizing via a baseball logo is more excusable than dehumanizing by separate restrooms and a bus?

    The point is that it's all dehumanizing, and all on the same spectrum. If you're not against all of it, where do you draw the line? That's the point.

    Thanks for the notes, guys. Carl, I agree we could use more Scully, as well as an ombudsman for draftniks. I guess the guys at Football Outsiders have done some work on tracking Kiper and friends, but I haven't checked it out yet.

  • WFNYCraig

    First of all, yes. There are varying degrees of dehumanization. So much so that not everyone even agrees with you. Right or wrong, yes there is a VAST difference. You don't get to just tell people there isn't because you don't think there should be one. You have to convince them.

    I am saying that you are right that it is dehumanizing but your methods of accomplishing your goals suck.

    Call it a cop out on my part for not suggesting a better way to do it, but drawing a comparison that most people view as apples and oranges and trying to convince them that they are both apples is NOT going to work. Time and again, this nation has proven that they don't think these two forms of racism are the same. Either that, or they feel as if they have made a good enough attempt to repair the damage by having Indian reservations and now Indian casinos.

    I AM NOT SAYING THEY ARE RIGHT. But if you are really out to get something accomplished, I don't think trying to convince people that the treatment of Native Americans is comparable to the treatment of post-slavery blacks in this nation is effective strategy.

    Right or wrong, the people you are trying to convince have already pretty much rejected that notion, I think.

    It is off the topic, but I think the same thing with regard to gay rights in this country. The gay rights movement is always trying to draw comparisons to other civil rights struggles of the past and it is just lazy. Carve your own new path to where you convince people that you deserve rights.

    Or, if you are going to go on the same path, do it for real. The African American civil rights movement had no shortage of spokespeople starting with MLK.

    Where is the gay MLK? Where is the Native American MLK?

    Outrage is only part of the equation.

  • nicholas

    Frowns,

    Excellent critique here – deffinetly sounds like a statistically negligible experiment. Any good lawyer will tell you that one specific image is not representative of "stereotypes in general." Heh, unfortunatley this kind of prescience is less common in statisticians.

    As for imagery in general though, and Chief Wahoo in particular, I think it is actually worth it to ask " what does it really hurt?"

    Not to say that Chief Wahoo isn't a blatanly racist image, or that proving so isn't a valid pursuit, but I would like to comment on the inherent limits in scope for such an argument. Chief Wahoo, The Trail of Tears, and Cortez the Conquistador are all horrible – but ultimatley neglible events. Far and away the worst thing ever 'done' to Native Americans was Small Pox!

    To break this down, let's look at what's currently happening with the Inuit.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281271/

    Basically, they're being systematically poised by trace mineral runoff from modern industry. Stuff dumped in the ocean percolates up the food chain and into these people who eat seafood almost exclusivley.

    What's happening to the Inuit isn't a function of racism or irresponcible technology or anything like that, it's a direct result of our modern contemporary lifestyle.

    http://www.amazon.com/As-World-Burns-Simple-Things/dp/1583227776

    How does this relate to Chief Wahoo? Small Pox (and hepatitis I think) decimated the native american population to the tune of %90 (if I remeber correctly).

    http://www.amazon.com/1491-Revelations-Americas-Before-Columbus/dp/1400032059/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

    It wasn't a small regiment of spaniards with their 'advanced' technology that conquered the Inca, it was the diseases systematically incubated by western civilization as a lifestyle. Squanto, The French and Indian War, Casino Reservations, and Chief Wahoo are all tragic and horrifying… not in the Platonic sense of venturing away from some dualistically perfect 'form' of Enlightened Non-Racism, but because these are all after effects of The Apocalypse (for Native Americans).

  • Cleveland Frowns

    Craig, I think you're making way too much of the Rosa Parks comparison. The point there is dehumanizing treatment is dehumanizing treatment and its all wrong, no matter what the degree (again, I recognize that we're talking about different degrees here). Everybody has a right not to be dehumanized. You don't have to "prove you've earned it."

    Look at African-American sambo images, look at Wahoo. They're the same thing. They were meant to do the same thing. And regardless of intent, they still have the same impact. If you sign on to Wahoo, you're signing on to that, whether you recognize it or not. It's not true because I say it, it's true because it's true.

    I realize my plan isn't perfect, but I'm sure I'm making at least some progress, and that this post helped at least a little bit.

    Nicolas: Thanks. I agree that the symbol is less damaging than smallpox, and you make some excellent points yourself. But if the symbol hurts at least something, and doesn't help anything, why not get rid of it? Especially since we can't reverse the smallpox thing.

  • WFNYCraig

    "Everybody has a right not to be dehumanized. You don't have to "prove you've earned it." "

    I won't keep this going on forever, but I disagree with this statement. You SHOULDN'T have to prove you've earned it, but the pragmatist in me says that you do. Ask gay people if they don't have to earn it as they fight dehumanizing laws across many of the 50 states. It is a process whereby a group does have to prove it to their neighbors and representative lawmakers. And it is much harder to prove it when your proof of harm is an image as opposed to actions. That is why I keep harping on the Rosa Parks example. If the civil rights movement was based around sambo cartoons alone, I am guessing civil rights wouldn't have advanced.

    I am not arguing with you from a philosophical standpoint, just a pragmatic one.

  • nicholas

    Oh I'm not trying to say that Chief Wahoo isn't a 'real' issue and small pox is the only thing worth discussing. I'm actually trying to help your argument here!

    If you denounce Chief Wahoo simply as a racist symbol, then you're fighting an uphill battle. Racism is a tricky subject, and it inspires a lot of emotions in a lot of people because nobody thinks of themselves as racist, but everybody is racist to some extent. Things can get very personal very quickly here.

    To Craig’s point I would say I agree that we have to “Prove you earned it” and that’s what I’m trying to illustrate here because Native Americans have deffinetly earned it! The Native American equivalent to The Holocaust, Enslavement, or Economic Exploitation has gone unnoticed like a tree falling in the forest when no one’s there to hear it.

    There weren’t that many Native Americans left by the time we started colonizing or conquistadoring. There were fewer left by the time ‘contemporary’ episodes of exploitation start poping up in our collective consiosness (diseased blankets, trail of tears, the last of the Mohicans), and this smaller scale is why these events don’t registed like slavery. There’s no ‘Native American MLK’ because there aren’t that many Native Americans anymore.

    Meanwhile, Native Americans are probably more concerned with reservations, casinos, being restored to their traditional home, and dealing with the ecological impacts of our society on their traditional way of life than they are about Chief Wahoo. But again, I’m not saying you need to drop the Chief Wahoo schtick, I’m saying you should conect Chief Wahoo to these other things because that will strengthen your argument.

    • Ojibwa

      As a native I can assure you there are plenty left and plenty concerned (AIM protests this every year) and also the biggest issue in my opinion is the lack of education and respect for natives which causes so many of us to turn our backs on “help” for said issues, but this ignorance is rooted from the racism issue. I believe it is the core problem resisting progression on reservations, the perpetuation of stereotypes and leaving the youth feeling directionless

  • Koja61

    “Should a bunch of middle-aged white people get to make those decisions?”

    Question:  Isn’t this racist also in the same vein that the minorities complain about? Not all middle-aged white people think the same or act the same. Aren’t there just as many minority racists? If you’re white, try walking in a black or latino neighborhood and see what happens…

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