Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ had a hand in an upstate village’s vote on whether to change its longtime logo, which has been called racist because it appears to show a white man choking a Native American.
The official seal of Whitesboro has drawn media attention periodically over the years, most recently in July, when someone posted an online petition saying it was offensive and should be removed from village trucks, police cars and signs.
Whitesboro’s website says the cartoonish drawing dates to the early 1900s and depicts a friendly wrestling match between village founder Hugh White and an Oneida Indian.
Legend has it White won the match and the lasting respect and goodwill of the Oneidas.
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Comedy Central’s ‘The Daily Show’ had a hand in the Whitesboro village’s vote Monday on whether to change its longtime logo that has been called racist
Residents of Whitesboro voted (above) not to change their current seal, which appears to show a white man choking a Native American
Video Courtesy: WKTV
In Monday’s non-binding vote, residents voted 157-55 to keep the seal.
A day later, following a 90-minute meeting, the village board decided to ask local artists to submit more ideas for a new seal.
Village Mayor Patrick O’Connor said: ‘There is no deadline. It’s a work in progress,’ the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported.
What’s unclear is whether residents really like the current seal or just disliked the alternatives. One picture, by a local artist, shows a placid scene of the nearby Mohawk River.
Another shows a brown hand grasping a white one. Others, supplied by ‘The Daily Show,’ include: a white settler and an Indian beating up a British soldier; a white man and an Indian apparently dancing; former NHL player and Whitesboro resident Robert Esche.
Multiple videographers and producers from ‘The Daily Show’ were on hand to capture residents’ reactions to the alternative seals.
Multiple videographers and producers from ‘The Daily Show’ were on hand to capture residents’ reactions to the alternative seals that were provided during the vote Monday night
Whitesboro’s website says the cartoonish drawing dates to the early 1900s and depicts a friendly wrestling match between village founder Hugh White and an Oneida Indian
Village resident Sally Creaser was taken aback when she arrived at the village hall to cast her vote, thinking it was just a yes-or-no vote on whether to keep the seal or seek an alternative that would be designed after further discussion.
‘I thought a lot of the choices looked like a big joke,’ she said Tuesday by phone. ‘Then I realized ‘The Daily Show’ was there.’
Creaser voted for the Mohawk River motif. She said the outcome of the vote surprised her because she’s heard a lot of people say it’s time to get rid of the seal.
‘But I guess they’ve grown up with it and they understand the history and meaning,’ she said.
O’Connor said he decided to schedule a vote because it was time residents had their say.
‘It’s no secret that the intent of ‘The Daily Show’ is to provide comic relief regarding various types of issues,’ O’Connor told the Observer-Dispatch.
‘When your community becomes the focus of comedy involving a controversial issue, the best way to approach it is to make sure something positive comes from it.’
A Comedy Central spokeswoman said no air date has been scheduled for the segment.
Legend has it White won the match and the lasting respect and goodwill of the Oneidas. Above the village’s seal appears on the welcome sign