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Must-click link: What Chief Wahoo really means

Apr 26, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Wahoo Cover

You’ve heard me go on and on about Chief Wahoo before. If you think I’m just being an alarmist liberal pansy about it, however, I’d ask that you educate yourself a bit and understand what Wahoo is really all about.

You can do that by reading my friend Peter Pattakos’ excellent article about it in the latest edition of Cleveland Scene. I think this quote from a team executive is telling:

“When people look at Chief Wahoo, they think baseball,” says DiBiasio. He calls the issue “one of individual perception” and explains that the franchise’s “acknowledgment to the sensitivities involved” is evidenced by the fact that it “does not animate nor humanize the logo.”

But the questions raised by the organization’s stance on the symbol are as glaring as Wahoo’s skin tone. If it’s a matter of individual perception, why would the perception of those who “think of baseball” when they see the logo matter more than the perception of those who see a demeaning vestige of America’s racist past? If the Indians recognize that it would be wrong to animate the logo, why keep it around at all?

And if they try not to “humanize” Wahoo, are they not admitting that, in its current form, it’s rather dehumanizing?

I know there is zero chance that this comments thread won’t turn into the same old Wahoo debate we always have.  But what those often tend to lack is actual history and information. To that end, I ask that you read Peter’s article. You’ll learn about the origin of Wahoo and the nature of the opposition to the logo.

You’ll be shocked to learn that, yes, real people are deeply and personally affected by Wahoo. It’s not just liberal pansies like me.

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