Redface has another big day at the ballpark in Cleveland

by Cleveland Frowns on April 6, 2014

About 45 minutes before the first pitch of the Cleveland Indians’ home opener on Friday against the Minnesota Twins, I took the below photo just outside of Gate C at Progressive Field, where a protest against the Cleveland team’s name and Chief Wahoo logo was being held by a group organized by the local chapter of the American Indian Movement (AIM).

redfaceoff

Pictured at left is Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache tribe member, AIM member, Executive Director of the American Indian Education Center in Parma, Ohio, and more. At right is Cleveland Indians baseball fan Pedro Rodriguez, who is not a Native American.

Shortly after snapping the photo I posted it to the Cleveland Frowns Twitter account from where it was quickly picked up by a number of national outlets, including Deadspin, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and Yahoo. Scene’s Sam Allard, who also witnessed this confrontation, posted some pictures of his own along with a first-person account and roundup of responses to the anti-Wahoo protesters. And the photo has been discussed at length on local sports talk radio programs, including yesterday on ESPN Cleveland 850 AM where Rodriguez was interviewed by Aaron Goldhammer and explained (or at least gave the impression) that he believed he was “set up” for the photo.

Here’s what really happened:

I was on the scene yesterday with filmmaker Brian Spaeth and a small production crew to capture some Opening Day footage for a documentary about Chief Wahoo and the “Indians” name. We were about to wrap up for the day because we were afraid that the continuing rain would damage our equipment, but then we saw Rodriguez in the Eagle Avenue alley behind the outfield wall and of course had to ask him if he would speak about his costume on camera.

Rodriguez1

He agreed, and the two of us had a brief conversation in which Rodriguez communicated a lack of empathy for the perspective of the Native American protesters who find Wahoo and the “Indians” name to be dehumanizing and an illegitimate appropriation of their culture. I then asked him if he would say the same things he was saying to me to an actual Native American. He replied that he would (it would have been hard for him to have said no at that point), so I offered to introduce him to the AIM protesters, who were about 20 yards away.

Rodriguez2

He agreed to meet them, walked over with me, and was immediately confronted by Roche who explained in no uncertain terms that he did not feel “honored” by Rodriguez’s costume. A heated discussion ensued, during which Rodriguez hit on many of the common pro-Wahoo talking points, including Bob Dibiasio’s favorite, “it’s about baseball.

Rodriguez3

At one point during the conversation I showed Rodriguez a copy of Aaron Sechrist’s artwork from the 2012 Scene cover story on the logo depicting a Chief Wahoo bobblehead next to a blackfaced lawn jockey drawn in the same style. I asked him if he’d ever show up at a baseball game in blackface, to which he replied that he wouldn’t. I then asked him why redface was any more excusable and he struggled to come up with an answer. As Allard notes in his piece, Rodriguez could only repeat that “he was an Indians fan.”

Rodriguez4

To Rodriguez’s credit, he was much more respectful to the protesters’ point of view than a great number of his fellow Wahoo fans even despite his outrageous costume, and seemed to actually be considering the arguments that were presented to him. Also, he appeared to be perfectly sober, contrary to what some of the media reports have suggested. I heard that he told Goldhammer on the air that he wants to meet me for a beer. Hopefully this happens so that we can continue the conversation, and hopefully the viral reaction to the photos of the Roche/Rodriguez encounter means that we’re getting close to a time where redface is recognized as just as unacceptable as blackface, even in Cleveland.

—————

UPDATE: Paul Lukas writes about the encounter at Uni Watch:

“[K]eeping Wahoo on the active roster gives license and encouragement to this type of behavior. Like, if the Chief is an official team logo, why shouldn’t fans be painting their face with his likeness? That’s what fans do, right? As long as the Indians keep Wahoo around, they can’t credibly disavow this kind of stuff.”

UPDATE: Craig Calcaterra at NBC’s Hardball Talk:

“I think the most interesting thing about it is that the fan does not, based on Peter’s description, seem to be motivated by racism. Which I think is the case with most people who are cool with Wahoo. It’s not about racism for them. It’s that they never put two-and-two together and appreciate that it actually bugs people. When they are forced to — as this fan was here — it’s amazing how soon they become reasonable about the matter. Or at least appear to on the surface.

“That’s the thing about Wahoo that those who defend him don’t usually get: no one is saying people who wear it are inherently and necessarily racist. It’s that they’re insensitive and oblivious to the fact that the caricature itself is a clearly racist symbol.”

UPDATE: Keith Olbermann on ESPN: “Time for the Indians to Change their Name

UPDATE: Robert Mackey at NYTimes.com: “An Editorial Cartoon on Native American Mascots Comes to Life in Cleveland.”

UPDATE: More from Sam Allard at Scene: “Chief Wahoo’s Waterloo: A Photo from Protests Outside the Indians’ Home Opener Goes Viral and the Debate Over the Team’s Logo Grows”

—————

For a lot more on the profound disgrace that’s Cleveland’s redfaced Major League Baseball logo, see the Cleveland Frowns “Curse of Wahoo” archive here.

  • Klejdys

    A shame you didn’t take a picture of the entire protest, which I can only assume was 2-3 natives. If it was several hundred, we’d have seen tens of photos. It’s okay, you love seeing yourself “on the right side of history” as much as you love the feeling you get showing how much more superior you are to the typical “troglodytic” flyover red state white person who doesn’t really care about the Indians logo. Don’t worry, your crusade will surely bring back all the land (and hospitals and roads and computers) white people took (built) from the disorganized, savage tribes of hundreds of years ago. I am sure getting Chief Wahoo off a baseball uniform will raise their self esteem though.

    Re: your Q to Mr. Rodriguez about showing up in black face – if we weren’t under the boot of political correctness and the soul crushing humorlessness of people such as yourself, an accosted (yet courageous) Rodriguez could’ve stated he didn’t care what face people showed up in as long as they rooted for the Indians. One only need to check affirmative action hiring processes, the media and collegiate entrance applications to see who the real privileged classes are.

    It doesn’t matter, you captured the setup moment you wanted and used this fool for your purposes. Congrats, you won the genetic lottery and got a high IQ.

    • mo_by_dick

      LOL get the fuck outta here with all of this bullshit.

    • humboldt

      I’m sure you have a large portfolio of racist viewpoints to espouse on the internets. So please kindly return to your campaign to use blog comment sections as a platform to re-segregate the schools, ok?

      • Klejdys

        Things Humboldt doesn’t want to talk about = racist.

      • mrm27

        Have to admit that this is something white journalists get a hard on for rather than doing anything substantial for the American Indian women who are suffering a rape epidemic or the problem of substance abuse on reservations. Pat yourself on the back for being righteous about Chief Wahoo.

        • mo_by_dick
          • mrm27

            Youre so right. Expecting sports journalists to give a shit beyond jock sniffing or to spin something as simple as face painting into an examination of the plight of American Indians is too brainy for their adult fanboy minds.

          • mo_by_dick

            You’re so right. @ClevelandFrowns is a sports journalist and doesn’t have a primary profession or volunteer his time. See you around the internet.

        • Cpt_Justice

          While you are correct that one is worse than the other, are you suggesting that sports writers actually know about the worse problem? And you think that sneering at them, when they are doing *nothing wrong* is going to correct everything…?

    • fattymcelbows

      I love it when someone takes the potential of change as a personal attack. Like this entire article was a setup to insult you and only you. Your tone deaf response reeks of selfish, desperate belligerence.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    perfectly even-handed write-up. the costume speaks for itself and needed no embellishment.
    it seems clear that when confronted with the reality of the de-human-ization even the most ardent wahoo supporters do take inventory of their position. which, i think, has been central to your point all along.

    • Klejdys

      “dehumanization” – LOL. I know after watching an Indians game it really heightens my urge to go out to a reservation and start taking land, playing blackjack and stocking up on cheap cigarettes.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        you know what? when i posted this, i didn’t love the word de-human-ization either (and suspect it’s not even a real word, thus hyphens)… but i couldn’t come up with a better or more accurate one.

        • humboldt

          Jim, don’t think you need to backpedal on the appropriate language you used. I can’t think of anything more dependent on the “de-humanization” of a people than government-led genocide

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            not so much backpedaling but rather noting that i think the word is a bit overused and so its currency is diminished. but i like i say i couldnt and still cant think of a better one.

      • humboldt

        The point is not that the de-humanization of Native Americans through a gross caricature *causes* people to do anything actively destructive/exploitative, but rather that it reflects a more insidious ignorance about the centuries of genocide and injustice they have already been subjected to.

        • DailyPlunge

          As a descended of Creek Indians I don’t find what happened a “mass genocide.” My ancestors were indeed treated terrible. As were my Irish ancestors who came to this country.

          Is there a ranking system other there that determines which groups are okay to caricature? Fighting Irish is okay, but “Indians” is not?

          I don’t like the term redskins, but Indians, Chiefs, Braves aren’t really offensive.

          • humboldt

            I would recommend you start by reading a primer on the Indian Removal Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Removal_Act_of_1830) and Trail of Tears ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears).

            If you can find evidence of similar government-supported genocide and extermination towards Irish-Americans I encourage you to share here.

          • DailyPlunge

            You didn’t answer my question. The Creeks were part of the great removal. There have been atrocities through human history. The Native Americans were treated horrible. Many of the immigrants that moved to the US were escaping harsh environments.

          • DailyPlunge

            FWIW: I don’t want to sound like I’m defending the troll this article is about. The guy is repulsive. My question is at the larger topic at hand.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            How do you define genocide? The Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide or the Rwandan Genocide… Jews, Armenians and Tutsis still exist. A genocide doesn’t mean the ethnic group in question no longer exists.

            The prevailing view among New World archaeologists is that the Native American population was reduced by as much as 90% after contact. This was due in a large part to disease, but warfare, relocation and other significant social disruptions played a tremendous role in this.

            Imagine yourself if 90% of the people you know disappeared in the next decade or so. What would your world look like? What would your culture look like?

            Historically speaking, it’s a pretty unique event due to circumstances of biology and geography, and a lot of what people “know” about American life pre-contact isn’t actually correct. A lot of the “first contact” narratives and descriptions of Native culture are actually whites encountering Indians who have had their entire way of life irrevocably destroyed by disease a generation or two previous.

          • DailyPlunge

            No one is denying what happened to some my ancestors was terrible. Human history is littered with terrible atrocities.

            Trying to apply a 21st century mindset to events that cannot be changed is just naive. For thousands of years one group dominated another group.

            Should anaylize the Spartens, Greeks, and Vandals as well? No teams should be named after a groups that were either exploited or did the exploiting?

            As mentioned before, less than 10% of Native Americans object to Chiefs, Braves, or Indians. This is all coming from intelligentsia centers who want us to police all thought and speech that they deem offensive.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Teams shouldn’t be named after groups that were exploited or exploited others? Hey, that’s a great idea!

            Here’s a reason why that Spartans = Indians thing is a false equivalency, though. First, the USA never exploited the Spartans, so that’s one thing. If there was a team in Istanbul called the Armenian Bouzouki Players, you bet it would upset a lot of people. The US Government engaged in destructive, genocidal practices directly against the indigenous population of North America. It is the act of the conquerors making light of the conquered, and calling it “honor.” This didn’t happen to the Greeks or Trojans or Spartans (who are also Greek, btw). To make another comparison, would you be upset if there was a team called the Berlin Hebrews, and their mascot was a hook-nosed caricature? Because that is EXACTLY what we have in Wahoo. THAT is equivalent.

            There were acts of cultural supression (arguably acts of genocide) that occurred against Native Americans in the 20th Century – read about the boarding schools where Native American children were forced to attend, to strip them of their language and culture. This was happening less than a century ago. It is not ancient history, it is now.

          • Frank Weir

            NeedsFood…I was going to mention the boarding schools…glad you did…those children were taken out of their families and some died there. I’m 63 and was unaware of that chapter until just a couple of years ago. As you note, it was a brazen attempt to destroy language and culture.

          • Navin_Johnson

            Citation please.

          • Intrakitt Soul

            You know, I’m getting tired of so many white people claiming they are of Native blood. The fact is, if you do indeed have MY ancestors DNA, it was by force. That is simply a fact. White people always think their great grandparent was Pocahontas and gave of herself freely.. This was never the case. I am Choctaw, and I am still not 100% due to rape. You people need to stop claiming our blood. It was stolen, you are an aberration, and you should not be proud. However you are too stupid and ignorant of facts to understand this. You are very uneducated.

          • humboldt

            You seem to believe that genocide was not committed against Native Americans, including your ancestors. If you can’t accept that premise then I’m afraid no reasonable discussion can occur

          • mrm27

            KitvCarson was riding horses armed to protect farms at age 12 from Indians. As an adult, he saw 1st hand Indian massacres of pioneers. At the start of the Mexican/American war, residents of “new mexico” welcomed US troops inthe hopes they would stop Navajo raids and massacres. Didnt happen. Carson knew a change was needed. He was instrumental in seeing the need for reservations not just to protect Indian lands out west but to protect pioneer communities.

          • corners

            Those that supported Indian reservations are like the same people that support Israel and what they are doing to the Palestinians.

            The same people think both situations are all alright.

            In both cases civilians were removed from their land and labeled terrorists when they tried to fight for it back.

          • Joe Joe

            THE PALESTINIANS ARE TERRORISTS! THE LAND WAS ORIGINALLY ISRAEL’S. IT WAS TAKEN FROM THEM, THEY JUST GOT IT BACK!

          • Jacob Guy Littler

            Obvious troll is obvious.

          • Navin_Johnson

            Hey buddy, I’m going to come take over your house and call it pioneering. Please don’t fight back, that would be very annoying.

          • Amadi

            The problem here is your continual use of the past tense, as if Native Americans aren’t living daily with shortened lifespans, horrible health issues, higher rates of addiction problems, extremely disproportionate violence against them (esp. sexual violence) and woeful educational disparities as a direct result of forced removals, massacres and the reservation system. The atrocities haven’t ended, they’re just playing out in diffused, chronic, structural ways rather than acute acts of violence.

            Treating native people as caricatures, cartoon characters, stereotypes and historical figures makes it harder to see the real struggling, marginalized people who aren’t mascots, whooping it up for the benefit of sports teams.

          • corners

            native americans would have gladly taken Europeans fleeing Europe as a fate then what happened to them. Most that came to american had nothing. Many indians had everything taken from them, then marched to a foreign place and told how to live.

          • SocraticGadfly

            At the same time, the discussion is about more than the name “Indians,” it’s about the team’s name in conjunction with the mascot “Wahoo” and more.

          • Klejdys

            When was Daily Plunge elected a representative to the government(s) who did those things, Humboldt? Just wondering. I am glad, though, that your stance on the a f*cking baseball logo will fix them. If you’re so angry, sir, perhaps you should step forward and be the first to donate your house & savings to a Native family so they can get the reparations for the “genocide” and “extermination” you claim they suffered.

          • SocraticGadfly

            Humboldt: Dude? Plunge said he’s descended from Creek Indians. His history, which I presume he knows, **includes everything on your two links.** Hello?

            And, this is what I (a liberal myself) don’t get about “Social Justice Warriors” myself. Where do you get off telling him how and what to believe about his own history?

          • humboldt

            Given your handle, I’m not entirely sure I should engage seriously with this…

            However, in this thread, I’ve only asked that there be an acknowledgment of historical fact (i.e. that genocide was committed, which is indisputable). He can choose to feel however he would like towards that history, but he is not entitled to deny historical fact or invent an alternate reality in which genocide did not occur, or ‘wasn’t really that bad’.

          • SocraticGadfly

            Actually, he’s right on his stance. Genocide didn’t happen. Like other “-cides,” part of genocide is premeditation. And, while the US government premeditatedly moved the “five civilized tribes,” it didn’t set out to kill off any of the tribes as an American Indian tribe.

          • Jezzer

            Right. That was earlier in our history, with the smallpox blankets.

          • SocraticGadfly

            Actually, there’s only one historically verifiable case of that happening. (Still one too many, but not what you’re thinking.) And, since it didn’t involve any of the “five civilized tribes,” it’s irrelevant to the discussion immediately at hand. (It was Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 1763, in case you don’t know.)

          • Jeremy

            wounded knee massacre was pretty damn oremeditated

          • Navin_Johnson

            He’s an anonymous user on the internet. His history is just some words in a comment box. Go read about what actual Indian organizations think about these things.

          • Cpt_Justice

            So, because no one is complaining enough about “Fighting Irish” makes it okay to do this? And were the Irish in this country massacred in droves & attempts made to eradicate their culture? St Patrick’s Parades don’t count, we do that to ourselves.

          • beeej

            1. The mascot is a Leprechaun. If Leprechauns started protesting outside of Notre Dame’s stadium at the beginning of each year I would be willing to listen to what they had to say…after I made a run at their pot of gold and/or delicious breakfast cereal.
            2. It is an Irish mascot designed by Irish decedents at an Irish-Catholic university. Wahoo…not so much.
            3. I feel this should be posted after each “What about the Fighting Irish?” arguments.

          • Coyotefred

            Regarding the “Fighting Irish” comparison, two important differences you ignore: First, I’m not aware of any widespread level of protest/frustration by Irish-Americans over that mascot. Maybe there should be but there isn’t. But we don’t have to consider/respect a position that hasn’t been taken. Second, it was largely the Irish THEMSELVES (at least those involved with Notre Dame athletics) that applied that mascot to THEMSELVES. Native Americans have had these mascots IMPOSED on them with little input on whether they felt “honored” or not.

          • DailyPlunge

            There’s no widespread level of protest from Native Americans. It’s less that 10%. The Seminole tribe has endorsed what FSU does before every game.

          • Candice Kamencik

            As someone of both American Indian and Irish descent, I completely echo this sentiment! Who is making the arbitrary mark on the “scale” that decides which cultures were treated badly enough to warrant their historical symbols as offensive or not? While I too find the Redskins offensive; Braves, Indians, etc. are fine to me. The fact that the Cleveland Indians use a caricature is the issue. For instance, the Chicago Blackhawks use an Indian head logo, but it isn’t a caricature or slur, and that is the only Native American symbol used.

          • Navin_Johnson

            Interesting that you can’t see the difference between white people creating their own mascots vs. choosing another race of people to “honor”…

            As a ‘descended’ of Indians you would find yourself a) not speaking for Indians, b) not really sharing the majority opinion on this issue.

            Funny that you mention “Indians” but not the main subject of this fight which is the racist, cartoonish “Chief Wahoo”.

            Let me know when you see a stadium full of thousands of (real) Indians goofing on some kind of white European ethnic group.

      • Cpt_Justice

        But you obviously do feel the need to belittle the objectification of an entire group of people.

      • Peter Markos

        You are a malaka

  • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com Ed Carroll

    If Rodriguez is the tipping point, I’m happy this happened. Heard numerous arguments that he “doesn’t seem like a bad guy” and he “isn’t a racist,” and while I don’t think it’s my place to pass judgement on if someone is a “good person” or a “bad person” off of one incident, I feel it’s hard to make the argument he “isn’t a racist,” when his actions and attire seem to speak otherwise.

    Honestly, I want to be wrong. I want for Rodriguez to meet up with you, and for it just to be he was severely misinformed. Education would be one step to fixing this injustice. For the team to (finally) stop wavering over the issue and just remove the logo, would be another (I’d hope the entire “Indians” nickname could be done away with as well, but I’m open to baby steps here).

    Clinging to something that’s wrong simply because of history, tradition or a misinformed idea of what the thing is supposed to stand for is still, unquestionably, wrong.

  • Bob

    The picture of the two needs no write-up. It’s a powerful picture that should make anybody with some sort of critical thinking pause.

    It’s time for Wahoo to go.

    • SocraticGadfly

      Add to it the fact that Rodriguez now claims he was set up is the icing on the cake.

  • Irish Paul

    I will admit to referring to Pedro Rodriguez as a middle aged drunken douche bag and that is my mistake. I shouldn’t have included the term drunken as I just assumed no body would pull that look off without a little alcohol fuel. Maybe what Pedro is going for is that we change the name to the Cleveland Beaners and have a drunken lazy jumping bean as our mascot.

  • Jeff Rich

    I forgot to mention, I dropped your name in my pod with Joe Posnanski last week, where I was following up on his “Joe Blogs” post on the misnomer of the Indians name itself. Though I’m not as vocal about it as Frowns and many other proponents of simply doing the right thing in these circles, I don’t think there’s any question that I’ve migrated over to the “opposed” camp.

    I really don’t blame Rodriguez or his fellow supporters of Wahoo, though I obviously question their motives for such blatant disrespect, nearly as much as I put this on Shapiro and the Dolans. It’s their brand; no one will miss the Chief when he’s gone, but it will be ugly when his removal is a mandate rather than a highly encouraged suggestion.

  • humboldt

    Pete, great work here – was amazed to see the penetrance this story received in the national media. Also, I hear from inside sources that you did a great job at the City Club debate. Thanks for providing such important grass-roots leadership in the city we love.

  • Natsphan

    Thanks for sharing.

  • One man’s opinion

    If the team would change its name, he and others like him would immediately change the way they dress for games. If they became the Cleveland Clowns he and others like him would stop dressing like Indians with red painted faces, and start wearing Clown clothes with white faces and a big red nose or whatever a clown wears. Fans of the NJ Devils paint their faces like devils, SF 49′ers fans dress like gold-miners, Chicago Bears fans wear hats that look like a bear face, etc. Fans work with what the team gives them as a mascot. I’m not defending this guys desire to wear his red face and dress like he does, I’m offering the real and universal solution. At least, that’s one man’s opinion.

  • jamick6000

    Hey Pete, I don’t live in Cleveland anymore, what are some ways that people outside the area can help with getting rid of the mascot?

    • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com Ed Carroll

      There are probably better suggestions, but purchasing attire sans-Wahoo (assuming you buy Indians attire) is one way to make your opinion known. The team does look at the sales data of that, but I admit I’m not certain that’s the quickest or best way.

      • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com/ Brian Heise

        One pass through the team shop on saturday and it was clear that even though chief wahoo was relegated to “secondary status,” he’s very much alive and well when it comes to apparel.

        • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com Ed Carroll

          Yeah. From discussions I’ve had with people who should know this info, one of the major factors is that the logo is still popular, still makes money.

          • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com/ Brian Heise

            The more I’m thinking about this, the more it’s becoming apparent that to end this a clean break is what they need to do. New name, maybe new colors, new everything. It’s never not going to be popular and retaining just the name is going to continue to lead to issues. As long as they’re the Indians, it’s not going to completely go away.

          • http://www.wahoosonfirst.com Ed Carroll

            Yeah, I agree, only way it goes away is if the team makes it go away completely. I’m hoping now it’s just a matter of time.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          i saw some of the Cursive I caps in the stands and they looked to be in new colors. do you recall if the indians are still offering that style in the team shop? (they dont seem to have them online.)

    • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

      If you are on Twitter, check out #DeChief as CLE fans remove the offensive Wahoo from their gear

  • Kate

    I’m a Native American Comanche, and I’m not all that offended by a sports team bearing the name “Indian.” Or Native American for that matter, if it came to that. Mascots are picked based on their ferocity. Comanches and other NA’s were pretty insane, just saying.

    • Steve

      And I’m not American Indian but I’m still offended that they chose to name the team after a group of people because they considered that group savages and sub-human and they use a picture like Wahoo to depict that group.

      • Kate

        As someone who isn’t American Indian, not sure you have the ability to be offended.

        And, “Savages” and “sub-human”: can you please cite your source that these were the reasons that Indians were chosen as the mascot? I don’t think cowboys are all that offended by the Cowboys team, or patriots by the Patriots team, or Texas Rangers by the Texas Rangers, and pirates are probably not offended by Pirates mascots, either…

        To my NA compatriots: other teams depict people, too, but it’s a source of pride for those people. You just want to find one more reason to bicker. None of us are running around with a scalpel or in a loin cloth; we’ve been whity-ized. And TBH, it’s probably for the better. Not all heritage is good heritage. Still, our ancestors were respected for their hunting and war tactics, and THAT is why we should be glad that we are still represented in the sports industry. I think the problem lies with the fact that the Indians sports team isn’t all that great… if they were winning or even going to the World Series I bet the NA’s wouldn’t have such a problem. But that hasn’t happened since 1997.

  • Jeff Thieken

    as one of the protesters that got to witness this i’d like to thank you for this and your help.

  • Joe

    Whatever side of this issue you take, I think we all would have to agree that the tactics taken by Peter here are pretty disgusting. I am not in agreement with going to a game dressed up in redface, but the original tweet led millions of people to believe that the fan went out of his way(presumably while drunk) to get in the face of the AIM protesters and make fun of them. Instead Pete, you convinced him to go over to the group, walked him over there and challenged him to debate the issue with them. There certainly honest ways we can all discuss this issue. This article seems to take that tone of an approach, but before this you let the national media take this story and run with a dishonest premise. Hopefully this wont affect the fan’s life in an extremely negative way due to the media storm. Name/logo issue aside, this was a pretty shameful attempt at journalism.

    • Steve

      I just double checked to make sure, and no, the original tweet did not suggest that the fan went out of his way (though he was obviously willing to), was drunk, or made fun of anyone. I’m sure you can provide cites of the national media depicting things in that light, but Pete was in no way dishonest. A fan dressed as Wahoo was willing to go tell American Indians that Wahoo shouldn’t offend them, and the picture was incredible.

      • Joe

        He 100% made the picture seem as if the event was a spontaneous act he witnessed instead of something he himself organized in order to get the photo he wanted. Pete isn’t dumb, he knew what he was doing (though he probably did not expect it to go viral). He wanted to get a pictured of the guy in redface next to a native in order to display the ridiculousness of the logo. He then portrayed the photo as something he spontaneously witnessed instead of something he himself organized.

        The national media will not follow up on this story to find out what actually happened. They will be left with the impression that “that the fan went out of his way(presumably while drunk) to get in the face of the AIM protesters”. That story will carry the day in the national media, and its a lie.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      I absolutely do not agree that Peter’s “tactics” are disgusting. Mr. Rodriguez chose to wear what he wore to a public event, and Peter has no control over how any media outlet tries to frame any photo (which was one of many taken of the interaction, it seems).

    • bupalos

      Hey I hope the redfaced guy doesn’t get pummeled too hard, but more than than I hope he really is able to consider in a sober light the plain fact that redface differs from blackface so little as to be a meaningless distinction. It’s totally understandable how you can go for the team’s mealy-mouthed lies, and in a crowd and fan based environment with nearly no Native-Americans in evidence feel you aren’t offending anyone but only showing civic spirit, and forget that this is wrong on a whole different level.

      Shame on the team for not dealing with this sooner.

  • Kate

    Wow were my comments deleted? I am absolutely Native American. I am part Comanche and probably have some NA on my father’s side, too. Related in some way to Quanah Parker. Way to censor speech, Cleveland Frowns. The reason I haven’t written on Disqus before is because I’d never heard of it, haha. I saw this on my twitter feed, and was annoyed by it.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    Paul Lukas wrote about the encounter at Uni-Watch. This is dead on:

    “[K]eeping Wahoo on the active roster gives license and encouragement to this type of behavior. Like, if the Chief is an official team logo, why shouldn’t fans be painting their face with his likeness? That’s what fans do, right? As long as the Indians keep Wahoo around, they can’t credibly disavow this kind of stuff.”

    http://www.uni-watch.com/2014/04/07/masahiro-tanaka-used-banned-pants-strap/

  • Mike Stein

    That guy was behind me at the game once I got to my seat. I had seen this picture. So when he was walking buy, we called him over to show him and see if he had seen it. At first he seemed to think I had taken his picture and he wanted me to text it to him. I told him, no, it’s on this website Deadspin. I don’t know if he knew about the website, but it appeared to be the first time he had seen that picture on the web. He looked not pleased, and then walked away.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    The transgender community should take note of interactions like this. Good things can happen when you don’t let extremists co-opt your movement.

  • Brian Sipe

    Frownie I give you a ton of credit for staying with this subject and now letting it die. I think your seeds are starting to grow and we are moving in the right direction for sure. Block C is getting more and more momentum over the Chief.

  • dimoko

    I’m not your biggest fan, but props for shedding light on this. it would be easy to let the picture go viral and have people not understand the context of the discussion. The way the media wrote it up is a drunk a-hole confronted the protester.

  • Toddyus

    The crux of the argument for baseball-loving, non-racists to retain Chief Wahoo is the mascot’s history AS IT RELATES to the team and baseball. Compound that with a geographical fan base that has previously had its team taken away from it, and people are understandably upset about losing such an historic identity.

    However, it is an identity that was appropriated and never “ours” to begin with. Anything that takes humans and strips away their diverse nuances, experiences, feelings and distinctly identifying characteristics and boils them down to a gross caricature of physical traits is – by definition – de-human-izing (as @jimkanicki so appropriately hyphenated in his comment).

    • NateOgden

      So sketch artist in the park or at the rib cook off next month are engaging in mass dehumanization?

      “A caricature is a rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way.”

      What’s next, how about the land o lakes butter logo? Is that offensive? Redskins logo has an exaggerated nose, at what point is that offensive?

      I went to a website for Indian casino’s and they advertise a game called Rooks Revenge, compare that caricature to Chief Wahoo, apparetnly its only offensive if they aren’t getting a cut of the action.

      • NeedsFoodBadly

        The subject in question is an actual race of people.

        • bupalos

          Ethnicity to be technically accurate. There are not separate “races” of humans.

          /pedantry

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Biologically, yeah. But in as much race is a cultural construct and we’re talking about cultural issues tied to blah blah blah you know what I’m saying.

            In any event, I agree with that. Although there once were… Oh let me bore you with tales of the Denisovans and Indonesian hobbit people.

      • Avory

        I wonder if I’ll ever see these protesters doing something that really mattered, like demonstrating in front of Native American casinos opposing their participation in vice and “dehumanizing” the thousands of families in gambling’s grip. Nah. Not enough demagoguery there; too real. Let’s go after something much easier: white man’s guilt.

        • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

          Yes gambling addiction is a terrible thing, funny how nobody has issues with Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or the entire state of Nevada’s gaming action for that matter, but when natives like myself want to eradicate offensive native mascots we get all kinds of silly crap like this thrown at us.

        • Chris Mc
      • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

        Yes we actually boycott Land O Lakes products, we do not agree with the sexualization of native women, Did you know that 1 in 3 native women will be sexually assaulted by a non-native this year? You wonder why? Because of the constant stereotyping that this country does of natives, we are not seen as people, we are seen as mascots, and logos, and mythical creatures to be fetishized by our oppressors.

        • NateOgden

          Your creditability didn’t last long. It’s wild lies like this that make it hard to care about causes and arguments from people like you.

          1 in 3 this year???? Really? Try 86% of 34% CLAIM in their lifetime. Again as others have said maybe you should worry more about education and things that matter then Chief Wahoo.

          http://firstpeoples.org/wp/who-deserves-protection-in-america-native-american-women-and-the-new-vawa/

          “34 percent of Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes,
          and 39 percent will be victims of domestic violence. The murder rates
          for Native American women are consistently much higher than the national
          average. Current legislation does nothing to address the jurisdictional gap
          that leaves many Native American women absent of a path to bring their
          attackers to trial. Federal and state law enforcement are required to
          intervene on such cases, but they are often located far from the
          reservations and lack the resources to respond properly. 86 percent of
          Native American women who report sexual violence say that they were
          attacked by a non-Native man.”

          • Toddyus

            Huh? How is 34% not equivalent to 1 in 3? Are you quibbling with his comment about “this year.” Again, taken in the aggregate, if 34% of Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, this would roughly follow a similar arc on a year-to-year basis.

          • NateOgden

            no it means every year 34% are raped meaning either close to 100% are raped in their lifetime or some are raped every year of their life. Either scenario obviously bogus.

            Its that sort of half brain thinking that allows them to be manipulated into thinking they are victims, oppressed, fetishized and all the other BS they spew. All the whille ignoring the vast majority of their problems are self inflicted. If they wanted to improve their lives they would start with themselves.

            I was looking at my Chinese take out menu last night and the “offensive” caricture they use. I don’t see them crying about being fetishized and demeaned.

          • bupalos

            Congratulations on finding a quibble.

            “See, this guy’s an idiot. Not ALL native america women get raped! Wahoo RULZ!!”

            Yeah, he said it wrong. The point stands. You don’t make logo’s and mascots out of historically oppressed minority races. PERIOD.

          • NateOgden

            Who has not been oppressed? Who are you to say what others can and can not do? If a Native American wants to use a caricature your telling them they are not allowed to? If I Chinese restaurant wants to use a caricature with slanted eyes your going to make it illegal? A graffiti artist using Hispanic caricatures going to be attacked as racist?

            There is a small minority of people that want the right to tell others what is and is not offensive at their whim. Screw the PC, get your priorities right, PERIOD

          • bupalos

            I didn’t say you CAN’T. I said you don’t. Like you don’t go up to someone without legs and say “haha! you can’t walk you fucking cripple!!! HAAHAHHAH!” You CAN do that and I don’t want to tell anyone that they can’t. You Don’t. Or you’re a dick that deserves to get blasted in the face by anyone with a human heart nearby. Oh but HOW DARE THIS SMALL MINORITY OF CRIPPLES TELLING ME WHAT TO DO?!??! PC OPPRESSION!!!!!

            I get it. You think it’s fine for people to caricature and ridicule other ethnicities than their own (though you keep subtly drifting back to confuse whether this is minorities like Indians/Chinese/Hispanics making fun of themselves or the majority making fun of them). Good for you. You have every right to continue being a dick and ignoring the dictates of good taste, you rebel cowboy you! I’d just rather my baseball team not encourage you.

          • NateOgden

            Who’s not a minority? Why would it not be ok to do something to a minority but it would be ok to do it to a majority. Sorry I believe in equality, we shouldn’t have protected classes who’s feelings matter more than others. The same people that would go on the war path if they saw someone in black face wouldn’t raise a peep if they saw someone in white face.

            You can’t selectively choose who gets to be offended and who doesn’t.

          • bupalos

            Who’s not a minority? Sadly, you, with your shallow, self-serving, mechanistic understanding of equality. I guess you really and truly just don’t get it and I honestly have no useful response to the deficit of empathy your argument here suggests, so I’ll do us both the favor of shutting my trap.

          • danz

            Judging by your profile picture, I would say you are not a minority. I am a white male, I am not a minority. You and I are in the majority in this country. And a protected class does not mean that their feelings are more sensitive. A protected class is a small (i.e. minority) group of people who have had horrible shit happen to them in this country in the past by a larger group of people. For example, blacks are a minority group. On top of subjecting them to slavery for the first 75 years of this country’s existence, we then segregated them, restricted their right to vote, and oppressed them. Again, I cannot stress this enough, WE HAD LAWS THAT ALLOWED THE SEGREGATION AND MARGINALIZATION OF A MINORITY GROUP. So the Supreme Court decided this was wrong (those jerks I know) and instituted the protected classes idea to remove the segregation laws and make sure it does not happen again. The protected classes idea is there because when it is not there we are such horrible dicks to minorities that we create laws to marginalize them.

            Now I know you are saying, “But hey wait, that was really long ago, we don’t do that anymore, we learned our lesson, everybody should be free, take these protected classes away.” But sadly that is not true. The Supreme Court recently removed some of the provisions of the Voting Act put in place to protect blacks and minorities from discrimination at the voting booth because the conservative part of the bench thought “Racisms Over, Yay! There is no way that if we remove these protections that states would implement discriminatory voting laws, we are all past that.” So you want to guess what happened next? You guessed it, basically the same day the Supreme Court made its ruling, states began implementing discriminatory voting laws.

            So all of this is to say, your idea of protected class is kindergarten grade bullshit, much like every other argument to keep a sabo-like caricature of a minority group.

          • NateOgden

            Your solution to racism is more racism, wow that’s brilliant. And how exactly has that been working out? Inner City minorities excelling with your solution?

            I know your like aren`t very educated or good with math but a single white strait male is one of the smallest minority classes today. Apparently in your preschool thought process the child of Michael Jordon needs protection from the white male born into poverty in Appalachia. That is the stupidity of race based laws, then and now, and the absolute definition of racism. Racism is never the answer.

          • danz

            Wow! you read that whole post about preventing voting laws that discriminate against minority groups and you all you got was RACISM!!

            I also don’t think I was clear enough on the protected class idea. A protected class is not a group of people but a group of characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, sex, age, etc. So these laws are not intended to protect a specific minority group, they are intended to protect anyone who has those characteristics.

            And no, white males are not the smallest minority group today. There are almost 200 Million non-hispanic whites in this country. If you split that in half to get the total number of white men (which is generous considering there are 104 males per 100 females) you get about 100 million white males. Even if you want to throw in the entire LGBT population into that number (which is about 9 million for the entire country) you still get about 90 million white straight males in this country. Please explain to me how a group of about 90 million in a population of just over 300 million is the “smallest minority class today” since I am not “very educated or good with math”.

            http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-243.html

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States

          • NateOgden

            you forgot to split out the single, our tax code that favors married people is discriminatory.

            If Democrats were allowed they would send pre-filled ballots to every minority that said to vote don’t return this card. Now any effort not that generous to collect votes from preferred communities is called racist, BS, if Unions and Democrats require ID to vote at their elections requiring ID to vote in publis elections is not racist.

            http://www.eclectablog.com/2012/05/michigan-democratic-caucuses-this-saturday-may-5th-9-a-m-noon.html

            http://www.electionlawcenter.com/2011/12/10/union-elections-require-a-photo-id-to-vote.aspx?mid=54

          • danz

            Please tell me how the tax code is discriminatory towards single people. Is it the married couples deduction, which is simply double the single person deduction? Also, even factoring in the 50 million married males (not even splitting out other races) into the 90 million white straight males, you still get 40 million, which is a far cry from the smallest minority in the country.

            Also if you think requiring ID’s to vote is the only issue with voting restrictions, then you are very uninformed on the subject and I would advise not trying to go down that road.

          • NateOgden

            ” A protected class is a small (i.e. minority) group of people who have
            had horrible shit happen to them in this country in the past by a larger
            group of people. ”

            What exactly happened to the LGBT community

            that was more horrible then the treatment of early Irish settlers?

            The AA community had laws passed to specifically oppress them based on their race for the advantage of white people. To amend for this we will pass laws specifically to oppress white white people based on their color to the advantage of AA people. Didn’t you just make white people a protected class by your own argument?

            To further mock the ignorance of your argument; There were black slave owners and white slaves. We need to punish decedents of white slaves to make up for the harm to the AA slave owners?

            A rich AA moving to America in 2014 needs advantages over a poor white person descended from generations of poor white people that never owned slaves?

          • danz

            Again, protected classes are CHARACTERISTICS, not specific groups.

            Also, please tell me what laws have been created to oppress white people – other than the laws not allowing them to oppress minority groups.

            Also the civil rights act protects people from being discriminated against on the basis of race. If in the future, white people are a minority and there is a law that would specifically target them, they would be able to use the Civil Rights Act to protect themselves.

            You still haven’t answered my question about how the tax code is discriminate towards single people, and how you are a minority (or are you conceding that point?). While you are at is, please let me know how you as a white single male has ever been oppressed by a law that this country has created.

          • NateOgden

            MBEs and minority set asides, any affirmative action law. Very frustrating not getting business just because the color of your skin or the fact you were born a male. Or are you one of those naive people that believe white people can never know what it feels like to be discriminated against?

            If I make 50K I pay more in taxes then a married person making 50K. Considerably more a married person with kids. Why should two identical working people pay different taxes based on marriage and kids? Why when the married person with kids in general consume more public resources do they pay less? How is that not tax code discrimination?

            What percent of the population are single white strait males? What part of minority do you not grasp? My characteristics make up well less than 50% of the population, the majortity has mad laws to disadvantage me.

          • danz

            Wow! Just wow. I think I have proven my point here. I will just stop now because I am kind of afraid what you will say next.

          • Jeff

            Perfection.

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            Bup, you are the best.

          • danz

            Wait, so the statistics say that a full 1/3 of Native American women are raped in their lifetime, and you do not thing they are victims? Also, last time I checked, I do not think women rape themselves. I also do not think Native Americans decided on their own to make a death march from their native lands to reservations thousands of miles away, nor use infected blankets, or freely give up their children to white people who wanted to ‘civilize’ them.

            Also, who is to say they are not trying to improve their lives? From my understanding, there are a number of Native American groups who are trying to have these changes to team mascots made. Isn’t removing offensive caricatures of their ancestry and heritage, so people do not associate them with such caricatures a way of improving their lives?

          • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

            Listen sparky, you got me on the typo, obviously at 4 in the morning those things happen, it was close to quitting time and I got carried away with trying to finish my post. As I can see though, your ignorance and actual resentment of native people is pretty consuming of every word you type. That is cool, you don’t like natives, you don’t have to, but whether you like it or not we are people and surely deserve to be treated as such. I mean, look at how you talk to me and about natives, like we are stupid children that need to be taught how to be civilized. GTFO with that ignorance. The only BS being spewed here is coming from your hairy orifice, both of them.

          • NateOgden

            If you can’t have an intelligent conversation just resort to labeling them racist. I’m part Native American you idiot, I’m just evolved enough to know a logo has ZERO impact on my life unless I’m stupid enough to do it to myself. Just the same as racial jokes when laughed at have no power. There is a reason simple people like you struggle, you focus on the meaningless and ignore what is important.

          • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

            Oh WOW, You are part native American? Really, Which part?

          • NateOgden

            1/32 on fathers side

          • Penn_Patriot

            You are an insult to our people. The only thing about you that is 1/32 is perhaps your brain size compared to that of a normal human. More likely though, that 1/32 means of an inch compared to that of an average male’s ahem. Either way, you betray your heritage.

          • NateOgden

            Also one 1/16 on mothers side. Not sure what our people you refer to, my people aren’t intolerant and hateful like you. There is a reason some people excel in life and others fail, your a great example of the mentality that leads to failure. It explains why you waste your time worried about a cartoon instead of improving your life. Continue going through life concerned about trivial and meaningless matters and see how far that gets you.

          • Penn_Patriot

            Yes. Racism, bigotry, rape, murder, almost complete genocide is something to make a cartoon. You disgust me.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns
  • Homer Greenz

    The look on his face in the photo is “Oh shit”

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Olbermann did a great job of giving credit where credit is due tonight.
    Congratulations Mr Pattakos!
    You are doing dog’s work sir, I commend you to the highest degree.

    • beeej

      He butchered the pronunciation of Pattakos though. Granted, I did the same thing when asked to call role for a teacher one of the first days of high school. Sorry Tina Taks.

  • ishkanota .

    would anyone be offended if traveling in japan you saw a team named the tokyo Texans and they were dressed like cowboys. with a doofy looking japanese mascot with a dumb looking hat and boots on? i know i wouldnt, id just laugh and think it was hilarious. or if in England and they had the London Californians, dressed like surfers, or the Paris Americans dressed like nerds, i would not be the least bit offended, I think this is an isolated incident and some people are looking for some kind of compensation.

    • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

      Aaaannnnndd again, Californian would be a description of a person whom lives in California, regardless of race/color/ethnicity, all residents of California are Californians. Now I realize you should never start a sentence with “and” like I did, but considering your level of intellect shown in your previous comments, I figured I could get away with such a mistake…..

    • bupalos

      Uhhh, yeah, if Texans had been systematically removed from texas by any means necessary, including rape, murder, biological warfare, massacre, and forced death march–and this had been done by people of Japanese extraction, then yeah, goofy racial depictions of “cowboys” would be more than “offensive.”

      • beeej

        I am sure a team called the Tokyo Midshipman with a sinking battleship would be just fine with most Americans. Or perhaps a Saudi team called the Martyrs? Put a highrise and a 747 on the uniform. What’s the big deal? It’s just a cartoon.

    • Chris Mc

      You could have taken 30 seconds to see if you made a relevant comparison to at least one team in Japan.

      (Spoiler alert: you didn’t.)

    • http://brian23.com Brian

      Pretty sure that Texans aren’t:

      1) A race of people
      2) An oppressed minority in Japan

    • Penn_Patriot

      As a Native American- Cherokee, I am astounded at your stupidity. I am not a f**king red skin! I am not looking for compensation!
      Texas is a place not a race. Cowboy is a profession not a race. How are you not getting this?
      I also have caucasian blood. If I went to Japan and saw an asian man with a painted white face and he was the mascott of a team called the Houston Honkeys or the California crackers, I would be just as pissed off!
      Racism of ANY KIND IS NEVER OK!

  • ishkanota .

    how come I only see one Native American there? I would think if this was a huge thing, that there would be a whole group of American Indians, protesting all day to get some attention, if we were in Japen And named the Tokyo Americans, i wouldnt be at all offended. because Im intelligent to know that this is about Baseball, and not about making fun of Indians,

    • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

      American is actually a description of people that live in this country, it isn’t a race of people, but you knew that, right? Oh, yeah, also Japan is spelled Japan,

  • ishkanota .

    are these people offended by these names of pro teams?
    Brewers
    Pirates
    Yankees
    Rangers
    Texans
    Saints
    Cowboys
    Patriots
    Steelers
    Vikings
    49ers
    these are all groups of people, crrent or from the past, should people be offended by these names? if so thats kinda sad they have no spirit of Sports, just because the Dallas Cowboys have a mascot dressed like a cowbay, should real cowboys be upset?

    • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

      Obviously there is a big difference between an occupational descriptor as cowboys, and a race of people, no? please don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m thinking maybe a few books should be in your immediate future…

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Toby you are engaged in a battle of wits and your enemies are going in completely unarmed. I appreciate your effort, but the cognitively challenged are like zombies, you can keep blasting them but they will get up and stumble around aimlessly forever.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1kbBmlAvdI PML
    • Harlan Pruden

      Cowboys are not an ethnicity……… nor are Brewers. This is a false analogy, and is the main reason cowboys, brewers and the like are not offended or protesting!

  • ishkanota .

    so if in 50 yrs the majority of and the best of cheese was now made in florida, would the green bay packer fans be offending the florida people by wearing cheese heads to games

  • phlhui

    How could fans even care enough about the name of the team? It’s still the same team with a different name.

    Maybe we should name a team the Rapists and have a catholic priest as the mascot. We’ll see how well that goes over with the white people.

  • theumpire1

    liberals are modern day fascist

    • beeej

      Yea those damn libs! It is all their fault my wife can vote, my kids use the same restroom as everyone else, and my friend doesn’t have to live in constant fear for loving the “wrong” gender. Bastards! Why oh why can’t my wife be considered property?

      Also, I am including the definition of the word “fascism.” From your well constructed sentence, it looks like you don’t know what the word means.

      fascism (ˈfæʃɪzəm)

      — n
      1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism
      2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc
      3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified: body fascism

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Speaking of fascism, I just read “For Whom the Bell Tolls” again this weekend. It gives a great perspective on the sheltered idealogues versus the people who actually fight and die. Anselmo is a terrific character in unfortunate circumstances, and every time I read the damn book Robert Jordan dies again, (Perhaps I should have gathered that from the title.)
        Peer into this debate and understand that it is just a logo for a sports team. If it makes any group of people, or even a very small percentage of of that group feel angry, belittled and objectified it should be removed. This is simple, the people in charge of MLB and the Cleveland Indians did not walk the Trail of Tears, they did not receive any “pox blankets”, so they have no perspective on how this effects others and if they do not have the empathy to just do away with a Sambo logo, why are they the one’s making decisions?

        • beeej

          Next time I would appreciate a *spoiler alert.* Damn you Acto!!!

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Sorry about that beeej.
            I understand how you feel, I was all excited about seeing “Titanic”, then on my way into the theater I heard someone mention that the boat sinks.
            (I hope that was not another “spoiler” for you.)

    • Chris Mc

      Fascist?

  • zarathustra

    I am late to all of this, but this really awesome. It is only a matter of time now and to the extent that people will look back and identify a single tipping point this very well may be it. It is really cool that you could be a part of it after all the work you have done on this.
    But coolest of all is the grace with which you handled Rodriguez–encountering him as a human despite the utter ridiculousness of his position.

  • shutupandknit

    White people in this country forget that int he UK Scots and Irish were treated poorly and had caricatures and derogatory behavior toward them by the British that are today considered beyond the pale. It’s amazing the level of ignorance their American descendants can have for race/ethnicity based caricatures that are made without the consent of those being parodied.

  • Little Bear climb tree

    Drew Carey: Well, if you don’t like it, should have fought harder.
    To the victor goes the spoils.

  • http://www.eclecticworld.org/ Jim Macdonald

    Peter, your activism and advocacy never cease to amaze me; how I wish I knew you when I actually lived anywhere near Cleveland. I am reading a lot of people here try to deny that what happened was actually genocide. I gave a talk on this once in Washington, DC, on Columbus Day, – a talk that went well beyond the issue of genocide to what was then current U.S. policy in Iraq (just shift it to Afghanistan or Syria or Iran) as well as the mass extinction of buffalo as part of the genocidal story. The pdf of that presentation (along with citations) is online. Here is the link – in it are definitions for genocide and a case for why it is – as for why the Wahoo caricature is wrong, I can add nothing to what you or your commenters have shared. http://www.yellowstone-online.com/buffalo/october12genocidedestructionandimperialismslideshow.pdf

    • definitions

      Half the country is named after tribal words, names and events. That doesn’t happen with genocide.

      Stop misusing the term and demeaning the memory of cultures that were actually erased.

      While you’re at it, stop acting like tribal Americans weren’t themselves often brutally contentious long before imperial powers arrived, as if conquest is only bad if white men do it.

      • http://www.eclecticworld.org/ Jim Macdonald

        1. Why does it not happen with genocide?
        2. Please show me how I am misusing the term. I provide in my presentation two definitions – the original one coined from Lemke, one from the UN; I argue that what happens is genocide based on either definition. You show me where the argument fails – either that I am using the wrong definition or that the evidence isn’t consistent with the record.
        3. When did I ever say that native tribes never fought with each other or weren’t ever brutal? How does the fact of conquests prior to euroamerican invasion change the truth about genocide?

      • http://redskinsinamerica.tumblr.com/ Toby

        Actually, if you pop open any accurate book about the tribal nations of Turtle Island before European contact, you would see that there were very few warring tribes, very little “brutal contention” amongst native people, and at no point was there any genocide, that only began when Europeans showed up with things like the Doctrine of Discovery and then the ever popular Manifest Destiny to fuel the incessant blood-lust of early American entrepreneurs. Oh yeah, the natives were never Tribal Americans, we predate the “Americans” by ten thousand years or so, but you knew that too, right?

  • NateOgden

    Front page of ESPN is a graphic for the MVP race

    between LeBron and Durant with cut out caricatures of each. Some aspects of which are obviously exaggerated (LeBron wishes he had that hairline) When does this become offense and who decides? Haven’t seen any uproar at ESPN who has had no problems discussing Wahoo. Little more teeth cross the line? Their extra baggy shorts down to their ankles not insulting to some?

    • bupalos

      Guy. Come on. Try harder to get it. Please. Caricatures are not in and of themselves offensive. No one’s arguing that caricatures of actual individual people should be illegal or something. Your earlier comment that this means there can no longer be caricature artists at the rib cook off is the single dumbest thing I have read in a month. TRY HARDER TO UNDERSTAND.

      The issue is that it is extremely offensive and embarrassing (and not just to Natives) to use a generic racial caricature of an ethnicity that was legally defined as subhuman, and treated to genocidal treatment by the United States government for much of it’s history, as a happy fun-time logo. This is an ethnicity that still struggles with the consequences of said treatment. It is so hard for me to understand how you can not get it in the way that you are not getting it, and think this is a debate about caricature artists.

      There are two monumental moral failures embedded into the DNA of the United States from it’s inception, and in 2014 the Cleveland baseball team continues to celebrate one of them. Come on Cleveland. Try harder.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

        Have I ever told you that you’re the best, bup?

  • HisFishHawk

    Surely this is a site well worth seeing.

  • chip

    The solution is simple… MLB outlaws all team mascots / names that can in any way be associated with a human being (Yankees, Royals, Twins, Mariners, Athletics, Dodgers, Rangers, Astros, Braves, Brewers, Pirates, Giants, Dodgers and Padres) because a human should not be objectified in this manner lest some human consider the name offensive. And since we must respect animals too, we should do away with all animal mascots since it isn’t fair to their species to be objectified. Give all teams mascots that can’t be construed to be a living being (“Reds” poses a bit of a problem since it may not be politically correct) so that we are left with colors and inanimate objects. MLB and teams reap millions in new merchandise sales and then Kumbaya can replace the national anthem before games.

  • Jono

    So he was telling the truth – you did set him up.

  • threenotch23

    I don’t care what you say or how you think or if you think this idea is over blown or not. What I can tell you in no uncertain terms there will never be nor would there have EVER been a team called the Brooklyn Jews, nor a team of Pittsburg Palefaces never would there be Frisco Bay Babes, or Newton N****s the use of Redskin can NOT be justified no matter how the argument is worded. Yes it has been used but now that it is APPARENT to anyone with half a brain that it is insulting it must be taken out of the vernacular forthwith. Do not stand on the wrong side of the line, you will be remembered if you do and not pleasantly.

  • Sherrie Noble

    Now, today the NBA took on an owner’s racism as demonstrated in a provate conversation. It is time for the city of Cleveland and MLB to take on the official team racism here in the name and logo.

  • Weston Pruitt

    What would you call the team dressed in black face? If there was a black version of the Indians’ mascot, shouldn’t he be more like a Zulu warrior?

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