Jessica Williams has always had a knack for taking on tough assignments and exposing false narratives with great poise. Last night, she turned her sights on Whitesboro and its controversial racist seal, which town officials conceded are now working to change after weeks of public pressure.
Here is the seal, which shows a white man choking a Native America:
Whitesboro’s residents say the seal depicts Hugh White, the town’s founder, and an Oneida Indian in a friendly wrestling match. But the symbol has drawn criticism from around the country for looking like a white man choking a Native American.
Williams and The Daily Show apparently got involved in the controversy last week, when they proposed alternatives to the seal that the town voted on. The meeting over the unofficial vote had some pretty awkward moments — including a man calling Williams, a black woman, “a negro.”
But the town ultimately voted not to change the seal.
“This is blowing up my brain right now. Do you guys just hate American Indians?” Williams asked the town’s mayor, who argued that the town is merely preserving its history. “But if there are millions of people outside of the town telling you that the seal is racist, wouldn’t it do you a service to listen to them?”
All of that apparently changed on Thursday morning, when Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O’Connor told Williams that Hugh White’s descendants, town officials, and the Oneida Indians are meeting to work on a seal that will make everyone happy. Public pressure, including from The Daily Show, was apparently too much.