Residents of Whitesboro, a small village in Oneida County, New York, voted to keep a logo that appears to show the 18th century founder, Hugh White, choking a Native American from the Oneida tribe.
But supporters, who won the vote 157-55, say White is not choking the man. The emblem instead depicts a “friendly wrestling match,” according to the official village website, that was “an important event in the history of the settling of the Village of Whitesboro and helped foster good relations between White and the Indians.”
Not all are buying the long-supported explanation of the logo. Though residents voted overwhelmingly to keep the emblem, many are calling the image racist and offensive. In fact, this isn’t the first time the emblem has come under fire. In the 1970s, White’s hands were moved up to the Native American man’s shoulders to change the appearance that he was choking his “opponent.”
But the slight change, it seems, has done nothing to appease those who find the image distasteful.
Mayor Patrick O’Connor grew tired with the continued issues over the emblem after a petition started by a Long Island man gathered steam last year, so he presented the village of 3,700 with new options on Monday night.
Other less controversial calling cards for the town included depictions of White and the Oneida man shaking hands on a tranquil landscape scene.
Not one won out. And Whitesboro residents, 99.5 percent of whom are Caucasian, don’t want to have the discussion again.
One resident who voted to keep the current seal told [WKTV] that he was not interested in what the rest of the world thought about his village and did not care about “political correctness.”