Cleveland Baseball Team Finally Stops Calling Themselves After Indians With Scalping Knives, But Isn't "Guardians" Racist, Too?
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Whining by American Indians about sports teams named after them has been going on for a long time. One of the first pieces I wrote here on was on that fairly pointless controversy. Now Cleveland's baseball team has cucked, and will call themselves the "Guardians"[Cleveland Guardians: Baseball team announces new nickname as it moves away from Native American imagery, by Dayn Perry, CBS,, July 23, 2021].

One of the things that "activists" objected to was the allegedly "racist" imagery of the Indians mascot, Chief Wahoo, pictured on Bob Hope's shirt, right.

The point of that is that it's a caricature, no more intended as a portrait of what an actua Indian looks like Notre Dame's pugnacious leprechaun is meant to look like an actual Irishman.

Most non-activist Indians don't care about that. I have personally seen an Indian proudly wearing a Chicago Blackhawks jacket with the Indian Head logo, left. Its possible he was an actual Black Hawk Indian, I didn't ask.

In A Comanche On The Fear Of A White Planet, the late Dr. David Yeagley, an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, wrote that this kind of whining was disgraceful for people who want to be considered a proud warrior race:

The Left, the liberals, the professional good-deed-doers, they hired up a bunch of Indians from the north country and paid them to hate America, hate everything about it, and protest the sports mascots.. That started back in the 1960s. Go for the big media targets: protest the Redskins, protest the Cleveland Indians, this sort of thing.

And they set a precedent that I have not been successful in erasing. I have not been able to erase the image of the Indian as professional complainer, perpetual malcontent. They try every way, raising our young people as victims, teaching them victimhood from the time that they’re born.

I can't help thinking that the new name, Guardians, can also be called racist. Aren't society's guardians frequently guarding white people from minorities like blacks and Indians? Wasn't George Zimmerman a guardian of his community? How is that not racist?

In my 2001 article Should the Land of the Free be the Home of the Braves?, I wrote, updated slightly and with added links, the following point: maybe, instead of worrying about what Indian activists think, we should reconsider calling American sports teams after wild Indians.

Professional sports teams are not always models of sportsmanship, but the ideal of sportsmanship embodied in the rules of the game conflicts with the traditional Indian "known rule of warfare" which—to quote the Declaration of Independence—was "an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

Shouldn't descendants of the victims of Cochise, Osceola, and Geronimo be consulted about whether they think it's appropriate to name these professional teams, often seen as representing their communities, for their ancestral enemies?

I would think that many right-thinking Americans would object to teams called the Milwaukee Nazis, the San Francisco Cong, the Los Angeles Rioters, the New Jersey Mafia.

Why shouldn't we object to the glorification of the quite literal savagery of Native Americans, whose modern culture is still not a paragon of civilization?

So here's my suggestion: why not name teams after notable Indian fighters? The Colorado Cavalry, the New York Pilgrims, the New Jersey Crooks (after the General George Crook the Indians called "Grey Wolf") the Gary Owens, (in Gary, Indiana?) …make up your own names.

I also mentioned the Texas Rangers MLB team as an example of a team named after someone who fought against Indian savagery on the frontier—you will be unsurprised to learn that they are under attack for  being named after white people, rather than Indians [The Texas Rangers have a nasty history. Why does the baseball team keep the name?, by Steve Chapman, June 18, 2020]

Apparently the Rangers were "guardians" of the wrong people.

Earlier Mascot Posts:




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