The Slants Survive; Will Chief Wahoo?

The Slants Survive; Will Chief Wahoo?

If a leftist ever said one sincere thing, it was the Students for a Democratic Society radical who admitted, “The issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.” In this context, revolution means “authoritarian control by leftists.” That’s why Phoenix’s moonbat mayor Greg Stanton wants expanded power so that he can arbitrarily change street names he regards as noncompliant with leftist sensibilities, such as Squaw Peak Drive and Robert E. Lee Street, against the adamant wishes of the people who live on these streets. It isn’t about street names; it is about achieving the power to remake our world to their liking. It is also why it was a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled that musicians have a right to call their band “the Slants” even if liberals bark that it makes them guilty of racism against themselves. Daniel Henninger gets it:

It is not possible to overstate the importance of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision this week to confer free-speech protection on the Slants, an Asian-American rock band. That is because it is also hard to overstate the progressive left’s determination to establish, in practice if not in law, limits on America’s free-speech traditions.

Ruling against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s determination that the name Slants had violated its “disparagement clause,” Justice Samuel Alito’s decision for the court was written with the rare clarity of a declarative sentence in the active voice: “This provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

Being offended, usually on behalf of others, is the primary cudgel with which liberal authoritarians beat their victims into submission.

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Encouragingly, the Matal v. Tam decision holding that the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause went 8-0 in favor of freedom. This means the Slants can be the Slants, and the Washington Redskins will not be stripped of their trademark protection, as liberals have wanted to do. However…

That won’t stop the political coercion cops, who are still deploying intimidation and shaming tactics beyond the reach of the courts and Constitution. All the informal silencing elements are in play to extinguish Chief Wahoo, who after nearly 70 years is pretty much the symbolic representation of the entire city of Cleveland.

Even infuriatingly P.C. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell resisted pressure to pressure the Redskins. Unfortunately, MLB may have worse leadership.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is leaning on Indians owner Paul Dolan to drop the logo. Last month, “Saturday Night Live”—which notably bills itself as “from New York”—described Chief Wahoo as “racist.” Naturally, an ESPN commentator in April did a number on Chief Wahoo. Editorial pages in Ohio routinely call for a ban…

Last year, the Washington Post actually did a poll of Native Americans’ feelings about the Redskins logo. The percentage who were offended was . . . 9%. The rest checked off “doesn’t bother me.” A Cleveland friend who’s been going to Arizona for years says she has met plenty of Navajos who love Chief Wahoo.

This is after liberals have been striving for years to convince Indians that naming sports teams after them is somehow insulting.

This mode of attack is related to the “cultural appropriation” campaign, which has actually resulted in artwork being ceremonially burned.

Manfred is probably more a coward than an authoritarian leftist, but that is a distinction without a difference.

People like MLB’s Rob Manfred think they are making a reasonable accommodation. But you can’t. The exterminating left will pocket any concession and roll forward toward the next target. Agree to delete Chief Wahoo or burn one uncomprehending artist’s sculpture as cultural misappropriation, and centuries of Western art will be heading to the furnaces or basements, with complicit museum directors holding the door open.

That’s why Chief Wahoo is a hill worth dying on.

Hail the Chief.

On tips from Varla and Dragon’s Lair. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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