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Lalo Alcaraz: 2002 cartoon foretold 'Chief Wahoo' confrontation

Filed Under: Opinion | Sports
More on: baseball, illinois, lalo alcaraz, mascots, racism
     
   

Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz notes eerie similarities between his 2002 cartoon and a 2014 protest against the "Chief Wahoo" mascot:
One of my preferred topics for editorial cartoons has always been American mistreatment of indigenous people. Nothing makes me feel better than dreaming up a solid cartoon that reminds us all about the sordid history of our country’s crimes against Indians. The only thing more satisfying is seeing my ideas validated.

This weekend POCHO Florida Burro Jefe Santino J. Rivera sent me a “heads-up” about a Tweet featuring one of these editorial cartoons. I clicked the link and just about fell out of my chair.

The graphic in the Tweet was a side-by-side presentation of my cartoon showing a Native American confronting an Indian-mascot-garbed sports fan next to a photograph of a Native American confronting an Indian-mascot-garbed sports fan (image, above.)

They are eerily similar. The strange part was that I drew my cartoon in 2002, and the photo was taken last week in Cleveland, home of the Cleveland “Indians."

At first I thought it was just a hilarious comparison. Then I began examining the two images more closely and got a little weirded out. I went to the archives to pull up the big, high-res version of the toon (below, double-click to enlarge) and compared it to the photo. I immediately noticed the face paint, the writing on the shirt, the similar headdresses, and the nearly identical right hand position of the mascot-lovin’ dude.

Get the Story:
Lalo Alcaraz: Am I a prophet? A time-traveling cartoonist? (Pocho 4/7)

Also Today:
Robert Mackey: An Editorial Cartoon on Native American Mascots Comes to Life in Cleveland (The New York Times 4/8)
Chief Wahoo's Waterloo: A Photo from Protests Outside the Indians' Home Opener Goes Viral and the Debate Over the Team's Logo Grows (Cleveland Scene 4/9)

Related Stories:
Opinion: New movement takes 'Chief Wahoo' out of team's gear (04/03)
Activists to rally against 'Chief Wahoo' mascot at opening game (4/2)
Cynthia Connolly: Time to banish Chief Wahoo and other mascots (3/31)
Opinion: What will you do after Cleveland 'Indian' mascot dies? (3/10)
Editorial: Cleveland baseball team should retire 'Chief' mascot (02/28)
Cleveland baseball team asking for opinions on 'Chief Wahoo' (10/24)


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