Playing the Indian Card

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Cleveland Indigenous First Nations Individuals

Critics object that the Cleveland Indians logo, Chief Wahoo, is disrespectfully cartoonish.

Unlike, say, the Fighting Irishman of Notre Dame.

Inevitably, Canadian activist Douglas Cardinal has gone to the Human Rights Commissions demanding that, during the current playoff series with the Blue Jays, the opposing Cleveland Indians be prohibited from wearing their uniforms, displaying their logo, or using their team name. It is, you see, offensive to Indians that they call themselves Indians. The Ontario Human Rights Commissioner, showing that body's traditional scrupulous neutrality and respect for due process, has already publicly agreed.

Great job, impressing our American neighbours with both our hospitality and our commitment to basic human rights like freedom of speech.

One commentator, in support of the proposed ban, points out that it would be offensive to call a team "The New York Jews," or "The San Francisco Chinamen," so why is this different?

Why, indeed? And why indeed is it different from the Minnesota Vikings, the Boston Celtics, the New York Yankees or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish?

Why do teams everywhere want to name themselves after Indians, while nobody anywhere seems to have ever wanted to name a team after Jews or Chinese?

It is because, if you name a team the Indians, people like and want to support it, but if you name a team the Jews or the Chinamen, people do not.

In other words, there is a general popular prejudice against the Jews or Chinese, but in favour of Indians. The surest proof that a group is not being discriminated against, is that it is used as the name of a sports team.

Cardinal is not protecting Indians from discrimination. He is pulling rank.

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