We Aren't REALLY Upset With Pedro Martinez For Doing An Indian War Cry Live On Air, Are We?
Is it wrong to think that it's slightly more acceptable for oft-trivialized minorities to make jokes at the expense of other oft-trivialized minorities? Trust me, I am not here to defend the action itself. As silly as it sounds, I am moreso here to defend the person. For instance, if it were me on a baseball panel talking about "hunting Indians" and appropriating their culture in the most stereotypical way possible than I would expect my name to get dragged through the dirt for all eternity. Hell, if it were literally any white dude using his widely disseminated platform to do his best 'Chief Wahoo' impression then they would be deserving of the tongue lashing they got from every media outlet.
But it's not. It's Pedro Martinez. It's a guy that honed his craft by chucking oranges in the Dominican Republic as a child. It's a dude that has undoubtedly been a victim of just as many generalizations as the people represented by the logo that the Cleveland Indians - THEMSELVES - used to have emblazoned across their hats. That doesn't give him the right to perpetuate that prejudice on an entire people, but it makes it is a little more understandable than if - say - John Rocker were to do it.
He's surely been in this country long enough to know what is and isn't socially acceptable, but I don't think his temporary lack of better judgement is worthy of widespread backlash. After all, when Pedro was still taking the mound it wasn't even all that frowned upon to do Indian war cries in front of a camera. So I'm all for members of the Native American community attacking his mentions with raft jokes and poking fun at the way he pronounces "buddah-fly". However, can we stop short of making this more than it has to be? As stupid as it was, it was clearly a reference to baseball and a good natured - albeit ill-advised - attempt at taking his lumps after 'The Tribe' drove a spear right through his former team's championship hopes.
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