VIDEO: Real Native Americans React to Wahoo, Other Native Mascots

The folks at BuzzFeed reached out to some Native Americans at the Southern California Indian Center and asked them to chime in on a few of the current mascots in use by professional sports teams. Among them, obviously, was the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo.

The Wahoo debate picked up steam at the beginning of the 2014 baseball season, when the Plain Dealer called for the mascot to be terminated "once and for all." A confrontation at the home opener between a local American Indian activist and a fan in redface drew increased national attention. Even a few city councilmen voiced their opposition to the dehumanizing logo. 

But the debate hasn't garnered many headlines this year.  It's important to recall that though Wahoo might no longer be a priority for local news organizations, it remains a tasteless reminder of the injustice Native Americans endured (and endure to this day) at the hands of the United States government.

On Wahoo, beginning at about 1:38:
-"He looks like Mr. Burns, kind of."
-"He's completely red. Are you kidding m?" 
-That's the color of a fire truck."
-"He looks like the indian guy who's about to sneak into camp and steal your horses." 
-"This is another one that really depersonalizes our people." 
-"The fact that a people group is your mascot, that's just not okay."
-"It's just weird, because then everyone shows up acting like a stereotypical version of that race." 

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Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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