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This is Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch

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You and I Both Know This is Bulls*** – Just Stop

I’m a decent human being. Generally speaking, my friends are decent human beings. In all of my decency, I’ve only just given this issue the thought it deserves, and I’m hoping my friends (and strangers who read this) will do the same.

It’s time to kill off Chief Wahoo.

But it’s tradition, right? You don’t hate American Indians. You just want to enjoy a piece of hometown sporting tradition in peace.

Defending Chief Wahoo because it’s a longstanding tradition in baseball is like defending the Confederate flag because it’s a symbol of Southern heritage. We know that flag symbolizes policies responsible for a period of great suffering in the U.S., and many of us applaud its recent disassociation with government buildings and publicly protected grounds. Yet some of those same people cling onto a mascot that makes a much broader mockery of the once-great tribal nations. Regardless of baseball tradition, it’s mean, much the same way flying the confederate flag in front of our black friends and fellow citizens is a slap in their face, even if that’s not our intention.

But maybe you didn’t oppose removing the confederate flag either. So let’s try basic human decency.

Like it or not, we, as a nation, committed genocide against the indigenous tribal nations. This isn’t an opinion or subjective commentary. It is a simple statement of fact. The Indian population was already greatly impacted by diseases our ancestors brought to this contintinent. Then, the founders of this nation and the generations of Americans who followed, with all of their “civilized” society and “Christian” values, systematically slaughtered, enslaved and/or forcefully relocated the natives of this land. Chief Wahoo adds insult to injury. Imagine starting a sports team in Germany in 1946, the Berlin Jews, having a mascot of an Orthodox Jew with an oversized nose. We did exactly that, except its worse, because we “won” our war! We killed most of them, and then we capitalized on them with a mockery to their past greatness. Even if the intentions are not racist, the actions are.

Or, imagine if the Chinese invaded us, killed off 90% of the white population, forced the rest onto isolated patches of land, created a Chinese-owned Badminton team called the Canton Whites, with a cartoon redneck as its mascot and made billions of dollars on merchandise. You win some, you lose some. Quit your bitching, right?

The mascot is part of our sports heritage. Just because it’s our heritage doesn’t mean it should be our enduring legacy. Good people do bad things. The difference is that once a good person understands they’re doing a bad thing, they stop doing it. That’s what makes them good.

I am a decent human being.
You are a decent human being.
Decent human beings do not do this.
Decent human beings do not accept this.

Is this really who we are? Is this really what you support?

Is this really ok?


(Go Tribe!)