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Why, Wahoo?

March 26th, 2014

Last Wednesday, March 19, John Carroll University hosted a speaker who discussed the controversy of the Cleveland Indians’ team logo. The logo is the red-skinned face of a Native American chief with a wide, manic grin named Chief Wahoo, and is being scrutinized as a form of blatant racism against Native Americans.

Considering the amount of outrage over the Washington Redskins’ name and logo, it’s surprising that the Indians’ logo has not received the same attention. It should go without saying that racism of any form must not be tolerated and especially not promoted in a highly publicized manner. The Cleveland Indians’ managing staff needs to take immediate action to remedy this offensive logo and also issue an apology to the Native American community.

There is no excuse for allowing offensive stereotypes to be promoted in a professional or private setting. It is appalling that it has been taking so long to replace these logos. There are options for making the logo more appropriate. For example, the Chicago Blackhawks’ logo displays a dignified Native American warrior that gives proper tribute to Native American heritage. It is not simply the portrayal of a Native American that is offensive; it is the stereotypical traits that they are given.

Surely, the Cleveland Indians have the resources to develop a new logo and name that is appropriate and non-offensive. There is no reason to wait to make these changes.