Is Whitesboro, N.Y., the Most Openly Racist Town in America?

By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

whitesboro

Last year was the year of decried visual moments of bigotry. From the vitriol about the Washington Redskins to the confederate flag coming down in South Carolina, it appears that America finally grew a conscience.

While the anti-bigoted hoopla was happening around the country, the village of Whitesboro, N.Y., kept moving backwards, as seen on its historic seal.

In the late 1700s, Whitesboro was founded by its namesake, Hugh White. According to its website, White and his five sons took interest in a patent for a public sale of property. Following a purchase, his family settled and less than 200 “white inhabitants” followed.

A peculiar use of that phrase — until you see its seal. It’s in that marquee outside the village center, but you need a close-up. Ready?

whitesboro-seal

If that looks like a white inhabitant choking a Native American, it’s because it is.

According to the New York Daily News, this seal of heritage and pride has been voted to protect this emblem of heinous narrow-mindedness. The village vote wasn’t even close: 157 of the 212 votes were placed in favor of the seal.

[The seal] dates to the late 1800s, but was changed in the 1970s, when White’s hands were moved down from the Native American’s neck to his shoulders to change the appearance of choking.

It’s not like the village of 3,700 didn’t have options. Here are the more progressive versions of the seal that were offered:

other seals

Alas, the village swayed in the direction of murder in the first degree.

As the Village clerk and historian Dana Nimey-Olney has been quoted in the past that this represents “a moment in time,” it may be time to wake up and smell the 21st century there, Dana.

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