The city was livid when they learned that the name of the new team would be the Chihuahuas... And I don't mean just some of the city, I mean out of the thousands of reactions I read on KVIA's Facebook page Tuesday night, I could count the positive comments on one hand.
But guess what? I'm irritated too. As much as everyone in El Paso. As much has the die hard baseball fans North of the Border. I am pissed off and I want to talk about it. I should warn you that this probably isn't going to be the same as the rant most El Pasoans are having on the subject.
El Paso may be disappointed with the name, but I'm more disappointed with the way so many people reacted. Call the name estupido, lame, vergonzoso, whatever. I mean, it is after all, a tiny little dog known for the fact that it is a yappy ankle-biter and shivers even if it's 100 degrees out. I get why some people would think it's the most stupid name ever. I get why people are irritated because the "voting process," was clearly a bunch of bullshit. First they said that the name was chosen because it represents El Paso's "spirit and fiercely loyal community," and then it was said that the name was submitted by Shae Vierra and chosen at random. Hmmm... Why did we vote again? I can understand the frustration.
It's not the best choice for the team name, I get it. But the following comments that I read on Facebook after the announcement was made absolutely blew me away. Say the following things? Then you're the lame one. El Estupido. Say these things and know that the only thing bringing shame to El Paso is yourself and your bigoted, back-woods, ignorant remarks. These people represented El Paso with their reaction. And it did not look good my friends.
Desert Gators was the better one. Now we look like a beaner team.
Might as well named them the border jumpers or coyotes
That's it I'm not supporting no baseball team from El Paso named Chihuahuas. We r not from across the border. We r Americans!
They should have just called it the el paso wet backs or el paso mojados
I didn't know Juarez voted on this ... This is Texas not Mexico stupid ass ....
Might as well just name the team the "SPICS"
I know how about "Los Trafficantes" anybody ... anybody huh!? Lol
FUCK THAT NAME. good job pendejo owner, at least you'll get your dick sucked for this one. I'm pretty sure ur Chihuahua wife made you do it
I decided to remove people's names from these comments because I would hope that there may be a sliver of a chance that these people are embarrassed. Maybe there is a slight chance that they just spout out these remarks behind the protection of your computer screen and that they would never have the audacity to speak these words in public. Racial slurs never sit well with me but I find it more bothersome when they are thrown about among those of the same race. It tends to give the ignorant permission to add the words into their own vocabulary. I can't claim to know what it's like to be a Native El Pasoan or Juarense, and I never will, but I'd like to think these comments do not represent these Sister Cities. Because, for lack of a better term, these people look like fucking idiots. And I think I speak on behalf of most people when I say that we would all like to move beyond the bullshit and racism so that we can take this world to where it was always meant to be.
On another note, we have to recognize that AAA Baseball is kind of known for some questionable names so we can't be too shocked. Some of the names are just plain laughable. Certainly more ridiculous than the El Paso Chihuahuas! You have the Louisville Bats, Albuquerque Isotopes, Toledo Mud Hens, Salt Lake Bees, Harrisburg Senators, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Montgomery Biscuits, Charlotte Stone Crabs, Lansing Lugnuts, Great Lakes Loons, Asheville Tourists, Savannah Sand Gnats... Should I go on? I don't know about you but biscuits and tourists and isotopes and senators don't seem any more intimidating than Chihuahuas to me. Well, maybe Senators do, but that's a whole other blog.
There were plenty of people who were more civil in their responses and felt that the name fed into negative stereotypes about the city. However, here's my question: Why does that fact that the name has a connection to Mexico and to the Spanish language automatically make it negative? The name isn't stupid because it's Spanish, the name is stupid because it's a God damned Chihuahua! The name isn't derogatory if El Paso doesn't make it derogatory. Is the San Diego Padres name derogatory? I don't find it to be. Doesn't mean that everyone in San Diego is Latino. What about the Cleaveland Indians and Atlanta Braves? Are all the people of Georgia and Ohio Native American? Texas Rangers? All Texans are cowboys? Let's get real.
And that's the weird thing. I spoke to a lot of El Pasoans about this subject this week. Several people threw out the race card, then immediately said they would have been happy with keeping the Padres or Diablos name. How does that make sense? The Chihuahuas make El Paso out to be nothing more than a bunch of Mexicans but the Padres or Diablos wouldn't? I just don't get it. Maybe it's because I'm a gringa who isn't from El Paso, but I honestly don't understand. Feel free to enlighten me.
Maybe instead of tearing each other down and denying the roots that most El Pasoans have with all these disgusting comments we could do the right thing. If they think it's so terrible, maybe baseball fans could direct their efforts to teaming up to petition a name that better represents El Paso? Or maybe they could give this name a chance?
If it makes anyone feel any better, there are a handful of articles floating around about the name that had relatively positive comments from people who said they would have chosen the name Chihuahuas if they had been given the same 5 options. None of those commenters were from El Paso. None of those people had anything derogatory to say about Mexicans. They just took the name for what most of America will take it for. A dog. Not a connection to Juarez, not racist, not anything more than another silly AAA Baseball League team name.
Just my two cents...