Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The American Left continues to shut down mascots and products that celebrate minorities while being fine with those that uphold whites.
From Indians and Redskins to Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima, the Left clears the aisles, stadiums and airwaves of venerable and wholesome images of black Americans and Native Americans — often without the support of blacks and natives. But these same Leftists are totally find with the Fighting Irish, Celtics, Vikings and Patriots along with every white face in your local grocery store aisle.
Of course they have eschewed history and the classics. Such a shame.
Our modern-day American Left stands much to learn from Greek mythology, specifically Erysichthon’s tragic plight. Erysicthon was a mythological king of the Greek region known as Thessaly who became so overwhelmed by the insatiable hunger cursed upon him by vengeful nymph that he eventually ate himself into oblivion. The same thing is now happening to the Left, with its insatiable drive to teach white people a lesson.
As Americans, we have witnessed the unnecessary deletion of the word “Redskins” from the still-nameless Washington football team. Although those few thin-skins who complained about “Redskins” were ostensibly attempting to combat stereotyping, in reality they accomplished the suppression of a celebration of positive qualities Native Americans displayed throughout their proud history. In naming the team “Redskins” the Washington organization was tapping into the strength, heroism, fierceness and loyalty Native Americans displayed to their land and to each other when confronted with the brutal attacks from the incoming Europeans. Clearly, Washington did not choose the name as a result of some racist drive, but rather they found something inspirational in the Redskin. Still, the Left and a band of irrational thin-skins doubled down on America’s troubled history of prejudice bounded to skin color. No matter how earnestly the Washington apologists made their point, the thin-skins argued the problem was the attention the name brought to our differences in skin color.
But if the Left’s mission is merely over skin color, then why go after teams named “Indians”?
Hold on to that thought.
Let’s first review the other slogans and marketing brands upon which the Left has concentrated its efforts. Due to the Left’s Erysichthonian obsession with all things perceived to be racist, in one felt swoop, it erased the gentle, heart-warming, African-American face of Aunt Jemima from syrup bottles, the very distinguished dark-skinned façade of Uncle Ben from rice boxes, and the absolutely beautiful and untainted appearance of Mia, the Native American Indian woman, from butter boxes. In each case, the selected brand was meant to bring out positive qualities of the represented group. Aunt Jemima was a symbol of stability, hospitality, and love. Uncle Ben was an inherently virtuous man who could be trusted. And Mia was a woman deeply rooted in her land, a symbol of purity and honesty, the same qualities that could be found in the butter she was offering.
There is only one conclusion to be gleamed from the furious attacks on Indians, Mia, Uncle Ben, and Aunt Jemima: the Left, in its own racism cannot stand to leave undisturbed symbols of wholesomeness, virtue, and purity emanating from people of color!
Don’t believe me? Then take a look at the things the Left has left undisturbed. Why can a team not exalt qualities of resilience and relentlessness of the American Indian while the same qualities are highlighted in Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish? Is it because the Irish, despite their stubborn embrace of Catholicism, are white?
How about the Vikings? They were from the whitest parts of Europe, and they were ruthless and fierce, great qualities for sports team and shared by Atlanta’s Braves, Cleveland’s Indians, and Washington’s Redskins, yet, according to the Left, these qualities are acceptable in Swedes, Norwegians, and Irish, but not in Native Americans.
How about Boston’s Celtics? Few greater symbols of whiteness exists than the Celtic tribe inhabiting England and northern Europe that held off Rome, but the Left has no problems with them.
And just in case the Left tries to base its weak defense on a contrived concern over the stereotypical features of ethic groups, one can simply direct it to the caricature of the Irishman in Notre Dame’s logo.
And why does a team calling itself “Patriots” plaster an image of a colonial white man on its helmets? Is it saying that only white people can be Patriots? I, for one, would be proud to play under the image of Crispus Attucks, Peter Eastabrook, or a Danbury slave named Adams on my helmet . . . look them up.
Oh, and no problem with the white Sam Breakstone (even though he was one of the most demanding men alive), Mr. Clean, the Brawny Guy, or Cap’n Crunch. Somehow, they’re okay, but not Mia, Aunt Jemima, or Uncle Ben.
But so far, I have left untouched the greatest real-world casualty of the Left’s ignorant drive for its self-defined and misguided sense of social justice. Most assume that the Indians were named in honor of the continent’s original inhabitants. They would be wrong. The Cleveland Indians were named in 1915 as a tribute to the then Cleveland Spiders player Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American major league baseball player to play the game and a member of the Penobscot tribe. Ignorantly, or worse yet, purposely, in trading “Indians” for “Guardians” the Cleveland organization cut the last remaining cryptic tie to the Jackie Robinson of Native Americans-Louis Sockalexis. Which brings up the question, “Guardians” of what? Cleveland’s baseball team is certainly not the guardian of tradition, history, Native Americans, or even diversity. Indeed, if it was any of these attributes that Cleveland was guarding, it would have named the team the Cleveland Sockalexians, which actually has a nice ring to it! Oh, and by the way, in one last ironic twist of fate, the group that today vociferously celebrates the name change–journalists–is the same group that selected the name “Indians” in 1914! (seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.)
Our cursory review of the Left’s charge at ethnic and cultural symbols leads to only one inescapable conclusion: to liberals, positive qualities in ethnic groups, symbols, or persons are only acceptable when they are encountered in whites. If one is black or Native American and displays attributes of virtuousness, wholesomeness, honesty, integrity, strength, vigor, tenacity, or bravery, one’s legacy is to be erased from our nation’s collective consciousness, but if they are encountered in Celts, Vikings, Irish, Britons, or even Cowboys, then celebrate away!
In Greek mythology, so voracious was Erysichthon’s appetite for food that he devoured himself into oblivion. One can only hope that the Left will do the same today with its craving for cancel culture and mass harassment.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.