The Problem with Racist Caricatures

I’m going to be honest.  I haven’t watched the Simpsons in forever.  The shelf life of relevance on that show expired approximately 10 years ago, and no matter how much they keep dragging that lifeless corpse onto TV every Sunday, I will continue to aggressively not watch it.

However, I am keenly aware with Chief Wahoo.

Give me a moment to connect these two.

Chief Wahoo is, to put it bluntly, the atrociously racist mascot of the Cleveland Indians.

This guy.

Image result for chief wahoo

And this guy.

Image result for chief wahoo history

And this guy, for posterity’s sake.

Image result for chief wahoo history

The sort of mascot that makes white people think it’s okay to do stuff like this to defend it against its removal.

(And don’t even get me started with the Washington Redskins.  At least “Indians” isn’t a gross ethnic slur.)

The fervor against Chief Wahoo has been steadily boiling over, and it’s been engendering a steadily rising push back, centered around a defense that the Simpsons effectively invoke when finally confronted about their own little racist caricature that they’ve been running with for twenty years.

Yep.  The Simpsons asked the same stupid question that Cleveland Indians fans have asked repeatedly as the anger towards Chief Wahoo has stirred ever hotter.

“Why weren’t you upset about this years ago?”

It’s a dumb question because the answer is simple.  They were.  You just didn’t want to listen, so you tuned it out.  Now, thanks to social media amplifying even the quietest of voices, you can’t get away with it any more.  Now you have to face your casual racism, and you don’t like it.

I say, too bad.

To the writers of the Simpsons, do better.  To the Cleveland Indians, get rid of Chief Wahoo.  This is only hard because you want to pretend it is.

(I’d chastise the Washington team, but history has proven Dan Snyder is beyond shame.)

 

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