In my Leadership and Development class we did a “Say, Mean, Matter” assignment on this illustration, and I found this cartoon interesting because there is an actual baseball team named after Native Americans called the “Cleveland Indians.” Of course, this mascot does not make the Native Americans happy because this is a stereotyped picture of how they look. The illustrator of this image, Tony Auth, decided to put different races such as African, Asian and Hispanics to see how people of those races like stereotyped images of themselves.
I think that I would not like the mascot of my heritage that is represented in this picture because this is a distorted picture of the way Hispanics are supposed to look. Hispanics in this picture are made to have oversized mustaches and a sombrero — and it is not meant to be flattering. Just like the other interpretations, this isn’t really how those groups want to be remembered. This is just a stereotyped image of how people see them. The Cleveland Indian mascot is part of a national movement led by Indian activists, which began in 1989, with the goal of ending the use of Indian imagery. Others, like the owners and the fans of these teams, might say that they view the “Indian” image as good and honorable for them rather than seeing this as an insult.
Through this image I can see the “Indians” or Native American’s point of view; they are mad because their heritage is being used as a boilerplate version of themselves to promote sporting events.
In the United States, there are teams that still use American Indian team names and mascots such as the Braves, Warriors, Chiefs, Squaws, and Indians. These mascots and team names have their own set of supporters but sports fans still resist the efforts made by Native American activists to retire this Indian imagery.
I think once a person is confronted with their distorted version of their nationality, I think they will understand why Native American’s are so upset. Apparently so do the Cleveland Indians baseball team. On January 29, NBC News reported that the Cleveland Indians will remove chief Wahoo logo in 2019.
By Jonathan Campos