The Atlanta Braves "Tomahawk Chop" is one of the most iconic fan rituals in the MLB. But because the American left is obsessed with racism, there are those who think that the celebration is insensitive.
Kevin Bruyneel is Professor of Politics at Babson College in Massachusetts, and he specializes in teaching Indigenous Studies Settler Colonialism, U.S. Politics, Political Theory and, not surprisingly, Critical Race Theory. So naturally the guy that makes a living off of teaching students that America is an inherently racist country would think that this harmless gesture is an example of how white colonialism is alive and well.
But he doesn't just think that. Bruyneel published an editorial that labeled every fan that participates in this chant as perpetrators of racist hate towards indigenous people.
"Through this colonialist logic, 'honoring' means Indigenous people are rendered as the ghosts of a primitive past, noble savages who could not survive the U.S. 'manifest destiny' and its civilizational expansion, although they put up a good fight, like 'braves,' 'warriors,' and 'chiefs' do," Bruyneel wrote in The HuffPost.
To Bruyneel's point, like everyone else in the history of the world, Americans could have behaved better during Westward expansion. But I guarantee you that no one who attends Braves games and does the chop does so with any intention of trivializing Indians or their culture.
But that didn't stop Bruyneel, who doubled down on his assessment of these supposed good-for-nothing racists in America. He accused many Americans of not seeing "Indigenous people as their contemporaries, as people who live in and around them. For many fans, there are not enough Indigenous people around to offend, and in fact, according to many fans and team owners, these names actually 'honor' Indigenous people."
The lack of intellectual competency and overall hatred for his fellow Americans displayed by Bruyneel here is striking. Furthermore, the fact that we use positive elements of another culture's heritage is not indicative that our sports teams or their fans are racist or insensitive towards a specific people group. If that were the case, we should get rid of names like the NFL's Packers because we are making light of all the hard work they do in the dairy industry.
So far, we have not seen a good enough reason to get rid of this "racist" gesture. Chop on, Atlanta!