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      April 12, 2017

      Cleveland, Why Not Consider Replacing Racist Chief Wahoo Mascot with a Pink Bird that Has a Spaceship for a Nose?

      Really bad! © Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

      Chief Wahoo: so racist. Just, like, unbelievably racist. Saying why this is so almost seems wrong, just because... I mean, you can see it, right? Even engaging in the argument feels like giving credence to the other side, and the other side is just out-of-control absurd. You can see Chief Wahoo, he's right there on the hat, and also you're a rational, modern person, and therefore you can see how it—"He" feels wrong where Wahoo is concerned, because it ascribes humanity to a racist doodle—is just so very racist. I don't need to explain, really.

      I mean, the team knows it, too. When they gave out ALCS Championship Rings, because their organization has fallen prey to Participation Trophy Syndrome, Cleveland kept Chief Wahoo—the thing they stubbornly kept on their hats for good luck all the way through the playoffs and into the World Series, which they lost—like a million miles away from the whole thing.

      MLB should probably bring unilateral action against Chief Wahoo, but commissioners and the adjacent sports-league apparatus work for the owners, and so instead of taking direct action against the hateful cartoon they're more sort of, uh, suggesting, that the team that plays in Cleveland might uh refrain from sticking that super crazy racist cartoon on their hats, if that was a thing that team wanted to do. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred did just that today, when a spokesperson said he expressed his "desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo.''

      I have no idea why teams with racist-ass mascots go on with this racist-ass "tradition" dance that appeals to no one except their worst, blobbiest fans. But, hey, I'm an optimistic guy, I believe in the essential goodness of human nature, and so I'm CHOOSING TO BELIEVE that Cleveland just hasn't thought of a better mascot they could use to replace the racist one they have. And so, I am here to offer some suggestions which they can use FREE OF CHARGE.

      (Or they can totally ignore them, and just get, like, the core idea of the article, which is to please get that fucking mascot off their paraphernalia and act like responsible grown-ups. Either way.)

      THIS NICE CAT

      Hey, look, it's a nice cat! People love cats. There was a cat at a baseball field yesterday, he stopped the game everyone was watching AND NO ONE CARED! The only problematic thing about this particular cat, who loves baseball and you, is that she or he might make the crowd fall TOO DEEPLY IN LOVE, and demand that ownership replace all the human baseball players with similarly beloved, friendly cats in little uniforms. Honestly, that would probably be better for ownership, because cats cannot form unions—I can't even find record of them trying, to be honest—and also do not demand payment to play baseball. It's basically an all profit proposition, and it's also one hundred percent not racist, unlike Chief Wahoo, which is EXTREMELY RACIST.

      TERRY TURNER!

      This guy is Terry Turner. He played for Cleveland from 1904-1918 and is, like, tenth or something in all-time hitting WAR for the team. He is a handsome man with a very chill, sleepy air. To the best of my knowledge, he is not a racist caricature. Hell, he even has the common decency to wear a hat with a tasteful "C" on it, instead of, for instance, a racist caricature of a Native American who is literally named "Chief Wahoo." Because Terry Turner was a Cleveland player a long time, ago, you cannot say that his replacing the racist caricature is a violation of tradition because there is nothing more traditional about a sports team than its actual history of actual players who played for the team. Flesh and blood human beings are more traditional than racist cartoons. It's a fact!

      A LIGHT BULB!

      This web site says that "Cleveland and the region have a long history of innovation and production of lighting-related products." Therefore, a big friendly light bulb—maybe the costume lights up, I don't know—would be really appropriate for the region, because only hack political pundits and internet trolls work in the racism manufacturing industry, and I'm pretty sure most of those people do not live in Cleveland.

      A PINK BIRD WITH A SPACESHIP NOSE

      The space program is not based out of Cleveland, and my data shows that there are only a negligible number pink birds there, but this good space bird is a noble pioneer who looks towards the future. He is not a retrogressive racist caricature, which means that she or he is already better than Chief Wahoo which, not to belabor the point or anything, is an extraordinarily racist image.

      YOU CAN AFFIX EYES TO ANYTHING AND IT WILL PERFORM THIS TASK MORE SUITABLY THAN A FUCKING 19TH CENTURY-EDITORIAL-CARTOON-STANNING-FOR-AN-INDIAN-MASSACRE-ASS-CARICATURE. JUST LOOK:

      For instance, you could use:

      • A friendly patch of hairy human skin.
      • The pen I used to draw these pictures.
      • A clarinet, a beloved woodwind instrument that I'm sure a Clevelander has played.
      • A nice lady.
      • A depressed, mutated starfish.
      • A cellphone. Kids love cellphones! Everyone loves cellphones!
      • An overgrown blade of grass, whose ambition to be better than his peers inspires everyone who lays eyes on him.
      • A toilet of the kind you shit in.
      • A baseball! This is a baseball team, after all!
      • A sleeping blue dog.
      • A dancing pocket pie.
      • A tank, or, if you're feeling hog wild, a tank operator.

      ANY AND ALL OF THESE PROPOSED MASCOTS WOULD BE SUPERIOR TO THE STATUS QUO. As a matter of fact, THE STATUS QUO IS BETTER THAN THE STATUS QUO, because you could use...

      THE OTHER MASCOT

      via Wikimedia Commons

      That's right, Cleveland has another mascot, named 'Slider," seen here with TV's Superman, Tom Welling. Slider isn't extremely racist, because they know, THEY FUCKING KNOW, that you can't send a big foam-headed racist caricature around the stadium and have him pose for pictures with CHILDREN and expect it to not come back to kick you in the ass. The only problem with Slider is that he has Chief Wahoos on his uniform, but you could probably replace them with more Sliders, as I have done, here:

      I even fixed the name, for good measure. Isn't it great!? Isn't it, at least, better than parading a bunch of racist caricatures around in public, in 2017? I have to say, I think it is!

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