“Douglas Cardinal, an officer of the Order of Canada, has filed applications to the Ontario Superior Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, arguing that the Cleveland Indians’ team name and mascot – Chief Wahoo, a cartoon man with red skin and a feather in his headband – are offensive and discriminatory.”
The Cleveland Indians have used at least two versions of Chief Wahoo as a mascot since 1951 so far as I can gather, and one may reasonably wonder why it took so long for Mr. Cardinal (who is 82) to get around to complaining.
But he clearly intends to make up for lost time, and while common sense may have reigned in the past, now is the age of instant fame and praise for anybody who can come up with a way to be aggrieved in a “politically correct” manner against Whitey and all his racist works.
Wikipedia (2) does not mention Douglas Cardinal having been involved in “human rights” activities in the past, and his Governor-General’s award is for services to architecture, a field in which he has achieved eminent success.
He was born in 1934, attended the University of British Columbia, and later attended at the University of Texas (Austin), graduating from there in 1963 with his architecture degree. He was “…one of the first North American architects to use computers to assist in the design process. His curvilinear designs reflect the landscape around them, so that people making use of the building can retain a sense of the land that surrounds them.”
Wiki also tells us that his background includes Metis and German. His access to higher education, his opportunities, his many successes and awards in his chosen field, hardly reek of discrimination or oppression.
So why this, and why now?
By making multiple applications, to the Ontario Superior Court, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, he invites suspicion that he is doubtful of the likely outcome of his appeal to the Ontario Superior Court.
He might even be unsure if either or both of the Ontario and Canadian “human rights” commissions will rule in the right direction, and is trying to cover all the bases…
During my time as an Executive Board Officer with CUPE Local 79, I observed Black union officers and stewards tell Black members filing grievances to also file “human rights” complaints as a back-up in case the grievances failed.
Eventually, it got to the point that the Ontario Human Rights Commission became so back-logged that it stopped accepting complaints from people who have access to a grievance procedure in the workplace, unless the grievance failed.
In this case, I suggest it would be appropriate for the two human rights organizations to refuse to consider Mr. Cardinal’s applications until the Ontario Superior Court has rendered a decision.
And in any event, what a nerve, trying to put the Cleveland Indians under triple threat in a foreign jurisdiction. The sense of entitlement just never seems to end…
(1) – Read “Canadian activist seeking injunction against use of ‘Cleveland Indians’ name” here.
(2) – Read Douglas Cardinal’s Wikipedia entry here.