Last week, we brought you the story of Whitesboro, the Central New York town with an official seal that appears to be a white man choking a Native American. That town, which is real, and which is not a deleted joke from a sitcom, recently voted to keep its official seal, which, again, appears to be a white man choking a Native American.
In a statement, Whitesboro mayor Patrick O'Connor said the village would work with the Oneida Indian Nation to create a new, more-inclusive official seal. O'Connor kinda-sorta blamed all the media attention for the change.
“In speaking with a lot of the residents that voted to keep the seal, I think they were surprised at the negative attention that Whitesboro was receiving as a result of the vote,” O'Connor said.
“As we’ve always said, we are happy to work with anyone who wants to make sure the symbols they are promoting are honoring and respecting all people,” Ray Halbritter, a representative of the Oneida Indian Nation, told the New York Times. “We applaud the village leaders’ willingness to evaluate their own symbols and how to make sure they accurately reflect their community’s core values.”
According to Gothamist, it was a widely circulated segment on The Daily Show about the town seal that even lead to the vote in the first place. After the vote's failure, correspondent Jessica Williams asked Mayor O'Connor a simple question: "If there are millions of people outside of the town telling you that the seal is racist, wouldn't it do you a service to listen to them?" The segment worked because, sometimes, withering mockery works.
Free idea for Whitesboro: Two people shaking hands and smiling. Or, really, anything that isn't a white man choking a Native American.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org