Everybody's heard that it's 2007, right? The 21st century is old enough to be in second grade now--maybe it knows how to write in cursive. So raise your hand if you don't have some measure of disbelief that this--
is still the Cleveland Indians' mascot.
Really, Cleveland? Really?
Bob Harris puts it better, and more vehemently, than I am going to do, but his post only reminded me of something I'd already found really obvious.
If any particular Bugs Bunny cartoon contained a caricature like this (and maybe some did), TV stations would have stopped airing it decades ago. If this character were the equivalent depiction of a black or Asian person, it would be long gone. In fact, somebody on the internet made this point visually:
I can't decide whether the weirdest thing is that Native Americans are the one ethnic group that is widely used as a sports mascot or whether it's that--somehow--"Chief Wahoo" has escaped the political correctness smackdown on the worst abuses of Native American mascottage. (Well, them and the Washington Redskins. Seriously, I bet you'd be just as likely to call Native Americans "redskins" to their faces as you would to call a black person the n-word. Think about it.)
Sometimes I think the whole political correctness thing gets out of hand, yes. But I disagree strongly with people who use the term only in a derogatory sense. Political correctness, at its heart, is about respect; respect as mandated by mere common decency. It's about acknowledging that people--no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.--deserve to be understood and appreciated as individual human beings. Not as stereotypes, not as jokes, and not as this.