Whitesboro Village Seal Revisited; Petition to Repeal Native Land Giveaway

We wrote a post last year about the bizarre Village Seal of the Village of Whitesboro, New York. It’s supposed to represent a friendly wrestling match between and early settler and an Oneida Indian chief, but to anyone without the history (and that’s most everybody) it looks like the Indian is getting choked to death.

It has been a contentious symbol. Among other places, the Village Seal the “choking” imagery appears on the side of police cars.The village mayor defends the Seal as an important part of the village’s history, and others, like Cliff Matias, director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council in Brooklyn, see it as nothing but racist.

A recent article in the Smithsonian Magazine brings the story up to date, reporting on a village vote on the Seal.  The story is perhaps more about apathy than anything else. It said only 200 of the approximately 3,000 residents bothered to vote. Those who did overwhelming supported keeping the Seal. The Smithsonian quoted voter Scott Hastings from an interview he had with WKTV News.”Political correctness, who cares?” Hastings said “This is our village, who cares what the world thinks?”

So much for the whole “City Upon a Hill” thing.

Check out the Smithsonian article for more details.

Petition — Tell the Senate: Stop the Native American Land Grab

An on-line petition is circulating calling on Congress to repeal its giveaway of a holy Native American site in Arizona to Rio Tinto, a foreign-owned mining company.
The issue revolves around a copper-rich site known as Oak Flats, a site with religious, cultural, and historical significance to the Apache. Congress transferred the land to Resolution Copper company, which is owned by Rio Tinto. According to the petition, the mining would create a crater two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep. In addition to cultural concerns, local Apaches are worried about the environmental dangers.
Of particular concern is the way the land transfer was pushed through. in what the petition calls “a secret, backroom deal.” Congressional backers snuck the language into a must-pass defense bill, making it impossible for people to vote up or down just on the merits of the land deal.

Here the link to the petition.

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