Residents of NY Town Vote to Keep Seal Depicting White Man Choking Indigenous Person
Welcome to the historic town of Whitesboro, New York where the official emblems of the town features a white man trying to wrestle a Native American to the ground.
In the representative symbol, a white man looks to be grappling with a Native American man, who is identified by the feather on his head. The Native American looks like he is about to admit defeat by the way that he looks with his eyes closed and his head moving backwards.
For over forty years, some residents have been advocating to take down the image. That advocating eventually led to an actual vote this past Monday, January 11, 2016. Out of the approximately 3,700 residents that live in Whitesboro, there was an overwhelming number of votes to keep the image the way it is, letting it represent the community. Out of 212 votes, 157 of them were in favor of leaving the image.
“Whitesboro views this seal as a moment in time when good relations were fostered,” Dana Nimey-Olney, the village clerk, told the Associated Press.
The story behind the image is just as bad as the Whitesboro emblem.
In 1784, Hugh White moved to what-was-then Sedaquate and was the first White inhabitant of the area, which inhabited by the Oneida Indians. One day, the chief of the Oneida Indians challenged White to a wrestling match.
The story posted on the site said, “”White dared not risk being browbeaten by an Indian nor did he want to be called a coward. In early manhood, he had been a wrestler, but of late felt he was out of practice.”
The town believes that the image is a Polaroid capture from when White defeated the chief in a “friendly” match.
The Village Board filed a notice in 1977 stating that the seal was “demeaning and degrading.”
Until there is another viral campaign to change the image, it looks like this stamp will remain on the village store, offices, and painted on village police cars.
(Photo Credit: Screenshot from Twitter)