I’m Loving It!


In a highly proud day for the State of New York, the village of Whitesboro, New York has voted to retain the village seal which appears to show a white man throttling or chocking an Indian. As I said, a proud moment, though village resident Scott Hastings, makes clear that he won’t be pushed around. “Political correctness, who cares? This is our village, who cares what the world thinks? I want to see this settled today. Once and for all.”

But part of me wonders whether this isn’t a more appropriate or at least more historically accurate way of representing the country’s and perhaps this village’s origins.

I’ll note for your attention that the historic seal of the state of Massachusetts is based on the image of a barely clad Indian (a loin clothe made of leaves, which was never a thing) calling out “Come over and help us.”

The current state seal is based on this one but brings the design up to date and omits the request for colonization. Here’s a history of the evolution of the seal from the Massachusetts secretary of state website.

I certainly agree that the Whiteboro town symbol is not one to base a multi-ethnic 21st century village around. It’s wildly offensive. It also makes me a little curious how they became “whitesboro”, though normally I would just assume that the founder’s surname was “White.” But who knows?

In any case, much of the existing iconography of Indianhood on American national imagery is not too far off that new McDonald’s slogan, “I’m Loving It!” So there’s some room for improvement.