That Horribly Racist “Redskins” Team Name Is In The News Again…
…so, speaking of which, I think it’s time we have a discussion about offensive stereotypes so we can all move forward, eh, as a society. Sure.
And what better way to move forward than to turn the clock back fifty-four years and check out this 1960 ad from a chain of long-defunct Florida appliance stores:
Oh my. That’s something else, isn’t it?
The ad features “Chief Wag” creating a smoke signal to call his “Council of Braves” to “declare war on high prices.”
It’s unclear whether Chief Wag was specific to this ad or Tyree’s always ran Indian-themed ads, or, my guess – “Wag” was Tyree’s regular cartoon mascot, dressed in Indian garb for this ad. Although judging by his crow’s feet, maybe he was a caricature of the owner of the chain. Or maybe all that smoke just irritated his eyes.
They really, eh, heaped it on with the mock Indian talk. By my count, there are 19 instances of the ol’ favorite: adding the suffix “um” to a verb. Among them: “No messum up tepee,” “gottum two doors,” “savum wampum,” “fillum tepee with music,” “no needum two stick to startum [an oven],” “washum-dryum all in one.”
I think I speak for all of us when I say, “I didn’t realize they had washer/dryer combos in 1960.”
They didn’t skimp on the exceedingly tasteless visuals, either:
Left to right: arrowhead, tom-tom drum, deerskin pouch, tepee, tomahawk, and an Indian head that looks remarkably like it’s straight out of a Walter Lantz or UPA cartoon of the 1950s.
Regardless, the entire ad – from the tepee that reads “No payum for 3 moons” at the top to “Deliver um free” at the bottom – is highly inappropriate. With insensitive ads like this, no wonder Tyree’s is long gone! And, brother, if they weren’t already, this would drive ’em out of business much like the European colonization of North American drove Nativ– eh, nevermind.
But the question is, cherished reader, will you see at it through the eyes of a 1960 newspaper reader and chuckle at its-over-the-top goofiness, declare it somehow “harmless” and excuse it as “a product of its time”?
Or will you be brave (oh dear) and as an informed citizen of the 21st century world, glance at it only briefly – just enough to get the gist! – before becoming suitably outraged?
Oh, I hope for your sake you pickum the latter!
Next time: We’ll explore our feelings after binge-watching all 65 episodes of F-Troop.