The BIG Game is Sunday--How BIG Is It?

Sunday, NFL Superbowl in Phoenix, AZ. Given the history of the NFL and indigenous issues this location is ironic. Yet most fans will be oblivious to the implications as they are too wrapped up in the game. It is the largest single annual sporting event. I would like to see this power brought to bear for good on the issue or racism. I have worked for close to 2 decades on this issue and while some progress is made obviously much remains to be done. Entrenched interests are powerful. Money, lots of money is involved. 

The amount of money around sports in general is all but impossible to calculate. For the single game on Sunday here are some examples

  • Legal gambling: $100M
  • Ad cost: $150,000/second, $4.5M/30 seconds
  • Ad revenue: $10M/ad
  • Ticket sales: average resale over $11,000/ticket
  • Benefits to region: estimated $500M

 

Even though the New Englad Patriots did not make the game this year because of contractural arrangements with the NFL and broadcasting rights they too will share in the profits. This does bring the issue of the continuing racism in all Major League sports organizations home to Massachusetts, where I now live. Every league has a team that is exploiting Native American indigeous identity for profit. These stereotypes promote racism and continue to teach our children that disparaging a race of people is appropriate and acceptable. How important is this to us? One week after the Super Bowl my local high school basketball team is playing the North Quiincy High School team, the Red Raiders. Here is their mascot:

Truthfully I am not surprised. I am saddened that this remains in front of our children in the 21st century. It is not surprising given the aggressive, degrading and racist state seal, pictured below, on the side of Massachusetts State Police cars as well as in our courthouses, city offices and legislatures. 

The translation of the Latin on the ribbon is "By the sword we seek peace but peace only under liberty."

The translation of the Latin on the ribbon is "By the sword we seek peace but peace only under liberty."

It is time, today, to start the process of change. We are in fact all in this together. As I have often written and said: Humankind shares one home only, earth and we have to do it better. Start looking around, right where you are, where do you see racism? How can you begin to do the right thing, recognize it, start the process of change? Can you ask questions about it? On Sunday during the game ask about the Washington D.C. NFL team identity--why is Dan Snyder still allowed to promote overt racism? Could the team instead open a conversation around change, progress and new understanding? Maybe the conversation can start in Cleveland around the MLB team identity there? Or just maybe, right here in Massachusetts will our city, county, state and federal officials and agencies, our spiritual leaders and communities, our amazing schools and universities and yes, our great people and families see the responsibility we all share given the absolutely unique history of our state. Will they, will we have the courage to open the conversation? I have personally asked many to do just this, repeatedly, across all dividing lines and interests lines. Personally I do this with every post here. I am one woman and I cannot bring about this change alone. Will you join me? 

The truth is everyone alive today is a survivor of all that hs come before us. We share that status. By waking up and breathing today we can know that life is indeed good--if we choose, if we decide to take that perspective. Or we can become bitter, entrenched, defensive, greedy, arrogant, oblivious--the negative list is endless. For myself I choose the positive: hope, energy, love, connection and community. I say yes to each and every day--do you? 

Life is change and change is good!




Biology? To Create Positive Change Start With Facts

New, very current research is showing some brain differences around moral questions. Much more needs to be done, of course, but what if through training, social pressures and indoctrination, even when done with the best intentions, some differences amoung the human species may be anatomical? Take a breath if you are reading this and are immediately overwhelmed. I wrote differences, not better or worse. History only repeates if we forget asnd let it happen. No one walked the first time they stood up. We simply find a new, good way forward. More importantly in this case because of all we know about a certain part of human anatomy we do know for a fact that it can and does change throughout human life. 

The Human Brain  

The Human Brain

 

Now about that research: in summary it involved some of the latest brain scan tech, volunteers from 3 different countries and stories with moral components. The stories were translated into the native languages of each volunteer and the underlying default mode network--yes that is a real thing--showed differences. The conclusion is that depending upon the country/language used varying amounts of energy at a statistically significant level were used when reading the stories with the moral quandries.

Think of it perhaps as various kinds of animals--crab, horse, giraffe--all are animals, our planet has and needs them all and yes, they are all different. A drought threatens them all, as would another ice age. Survival requires they change, adapt and perhaps live and work together.  They do have to find some way to communicate together too. We humans use language. We have learned that many species also have communication amongst themselves. However until we find a way to share understanding among people our anatomical differences may keep true shared communication as impossible as a crab communicating with a giraffe--except in cartoons of course. Here we are facing real life and real world situations.

For purposes of understanding assume the animals can communicate. The crab keeps what water there may be clean, the horse can run long distances to look around for the next place where their may be water and the giraffe can see danger coming from a long way away. This is not a childhood story, not given the actual research. But human racism sows the seeds of hatred and violence. Perpetuating racism, teaching racism supports division. Why do we tolerate it when change is certainly possible. Change, done well will even be profitable. Now, what are you doing to get everyone at least in the same building, if not the same room. Without all coming together we cannot find a way forward and alone no one will survive. Yet action itself is change. Reading this is giving you ideas to share, questions to ask. Do the first step. Start today!

Begin your journey TODAY!

Begin your journey TODAY!


What Are You Taking Action On Entering 2016

The New Year of 2016 is 2 weeks old today. What have you done in these two weeks that moves you into action against racism? Silence is NOT enough. Silence condones. 

Do Not be silent. Do Not support any of the major sports' leagues as all profit from racist identified teams. Live 2016 with integrity. By all means wear team colors--but not bought from any of the major league franchises or with official team logos or identifiers. Cheer on your teams but do not buy tickets to the games themselves. Do NOT become part of the owners profit bases. And most importantly: TALK about the racism in Native American sports teams' identities. Make 2016 the year of change. Together we can make change happen. Make your good intentions into good outcomes. 

Indigenous People's Day Is Spreading

Happily the concept of changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day is  It has been done in Belfast Main through a vote in City Council. By honoring Indigenous people and Native 

Americans we can indeed show the world that we who work in anti-racism find the racist team identities unacceptable, the trademarks illegal. 

Now the challenge is to bring Indigenous People's Day to Massachusetts--isn't it irnoic that a state with a name directly from a tribal people, variously identified in English as Massachuset, meaning a location near a great hill, often thought to be the Blue Hills, or Moswetuset referring to hill shaped like an arrow, referencing a hill in Quincy, MA. I will approach my local government in Weymouth to see if we can follow belfast, Maine. A new Mayor is being sworn in on Jan 4, 2016 but this week I plan on sending a letter to our current mayor and the mayor elect. Weymouth dates back to 1623 as a town/city so this can be a good place to start the conversations.

Here is the current home of the Weymouth Historical Society, founded 1879. It is obviously a European homestead so brining attention to the indigenous peopl who lived here before Columbuds seems most appropriate. 


Increased Diversity = Increased Profits & Better Conclusions

Confirming yet again that increased diversity increases both profits and correct conclusions at the local and global levels today's NYT offers direct comments from the researchers determined enough and brave enough to do the work. We, as people working to build a better future for everyone, need to communicate across groups of all kinds while those holding power and making decisions must come from a widely varied spectrum of individuals. We share one home only, earth, and we must do it better. When we degrade and demean any group everyone loses. It is that simple. It is this true. Racism in all its forms represents a hate crime against all people, at all levels of government, community, culture and society. 

It is a small world in a vast universe. We need each other. It is the truth. Do you know it today? 

It is a small world in a vast universe. We need each other. It is the truth. Do you know it today? 

To use what I know to be true: life is very often not either/or, instead it is both/and so above I offer a brief respite in this busy season to share with family and friends. This ride is the combination of cultures, holidays and modern tech all shared with the world. I offer the honest truth and basic idea here: Happy Holidays to all my family and friends across our shared world, winter 2015. 

Lyrics To It's A Small World Including Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

That it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide,

And the oceans are wide

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of wonder, a world of fun.

And in years to come we'll know peace on earth.

We will open our eyes,

And we'll all realize

It's a small world after all.

 

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

That it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide,

And the oceans are wide

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of wonder, a world of fun.

And in years to come we'll know peace on earth.

We will open our eyes,

And we'll all realize

It's a small world after all.

 

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

That it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide,

And the oceans are wide

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of wonder, a world of fun.

And in years to come we'll know peace on earth.

We will open our eyes,

And we'll all realize

It's a small world after all.

 

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

 

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

That it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide,

And the oceans are wide

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of wonder, a world of fun.

And in years to come we'll know peace on earth.

We will open our eyes,

And we'll all realize

It's a small world after all.

 

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.

 

It's a world of hopes and a world of fears.

There's so much that we share,

That it's time we're aware

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

There is just one moon and one golden sun.

And a smile means friendship to everyone.

Though the mountains divide,

And the oceans are wide

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

Unreleased Third Verse

It's a world of wonder, a world of fun.

And in years to come we'll know peace on earth.

We will open our eyes,

And we'll all realize

It's a small world after all.

 

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small world after all.

It's a small, small world.

 

 

National Day Of Mourning

This past Thursday I was with friends at the National Day of Mourning, in Plymouth, MA. For the 46+ year in a row Native Americans, their friends families and allies came together peacefully with the call for justice, recognition and respect. It was peaceful, beautiful--the weather was great. Buses came from two locations in New York City and Boston.  One of the most frequent chants was "Free Leonard Peltier" followed by "Whose land is it?" and the answering call: "Our land"  The kitchen staff had been working for most of the week, donations were strong and in the fight for justice and recognition community was strenghtened in hearts and spirits for all involved. My thanks to everyone I met, my deepest appreciation to the organizers and looking forward to achieving solid progress in the coming days, weerks and months. 

Sports teams are the single greatest place where we still teach racism to our children, bring it into our homes and cities, profit from it and continue it!

Will You Open The Conversation?

Say YES!  Talk about racism. Everyone knows a bit about sports,  every person you meet today will know something, be it local or national or global about sports. Open The Conversation.

You can do it! 

You can do it! 

You CAN Open The Conversation! 

You CAN Open The Conversation

This can be the most empowering and life affirming thing you will do today. Certainly it is different, it could be making you nervous to even consider talking about racism in sports teams' identities--or in the latest pseudo-psych speak it might be  "anxiety inducing"--AND it just might open an entire new world to you and each person you engage in conversation, speak with, video with, write to or IM with. 

You may ask why I believe this. Legitimate question. Here is the real world answer: I have lived it and know that having meaning in life matters. Challenging something as insidious as racism in team identities IS worthwhile. When done well it can be fun. It is absolutely never boring. 

I have brought up the subject of racism in sports teams' identities--best spoken slowly so others can get their heads around what you are saying--to literally hundreds of people both individually and in groups so I do have real world experience in the subject. From this experience I have learned a few things, first and foremost, people do care, if approached nicely.  To Open The Conversation remember that examples help, so does friendliness and always be sure to add in the occasional question.  People get interested when it involves them, their families, communities and friends. Sports and teams involve everyone, somehow. You can ask how everyone feels when their team is winning. Questions are great to Open The Conversation

Respectful and happy questions help. 

Respectful and happy questions help. 

Examples can anchor the conversation: the "R" team name tied to Washington D.C. NFL team, the Cleveland, Ohio MLB team, local school teams with indigenous and Native American identities are signifcant since they promote and teach racism to children, national teams and leagues business sponsors profit from racism impact us all--especially true given many leagues' business structures and contracts for game broadcasts, and any current news headlines on the topic. linking the teams, leagues and schools to American communitites and businesses still teaches and supports racism--and does get people's attention. These are all true even if many people are not yet aware of the facts. Truth is very difficult to argue with or dismiss. So be gentle and kind since again, in my experience, most people do not understand the entire situation. I think that everyone generally does the best they can in life given what they know at any given time and what they think they can do. Don't you do this in your own life? When you Open The Conversation you are giving someone powerful new ideas by asking them truly important questions. Keep it simple Basically you can ask around the toipic of racist team identities: 

Now the conversation is started. Easy wasn't it? Think about some answers, for the past, for presenting today's reality and for how we can move forward into a better tomorrow since we absolutely cannot change yesterday. By moving for change we can make today good since status quo is status not good and soemtimes status truly bad. No one wants this, not really.

 Kindly and positively wrap up the ideas you exchange, always politely and calmly--anger and hostility will defeat  so if the person you are reaching out to gets angry or hostile stay calm, be polite and just maybe you will reach....

A lightbulb moment

A lightbulb moment

In the 21st century we can do and be better. Say so. Tell others. Inspire. It is the truth, right? We can absolutely come up with team names that are not racially linked in any way. This is important since people have been and are today still killing each other over identity. We do NOT want to or need to continue teaching racism through team identities. This is a very simple ask, a very positive idea. It is easy to share. We can take one step forward. Together. When you Open The Conversation the person you are conversing with knows automatically that they are not alone. We can all do and be better. One person at a time. I have Started The Conversation here, for all of us, again and today. Will you OPEN The Conversation in your life, today?  Then you can take and suggest next steps......

Talk matters. Be in and around your world. Today.

Talk matters. Be in and around your world. Today.

Your next step in your new conversation is to simply suggest any of several of actions:

  • Share links to this website  www.RacismIsNotAGame.com  and others dealing with the issues,
  • ask the person in the conversation if they would like to be involved in efforts to change team names,
  • ask them to share the conversation with others and
  • certainly ask them to consider not buying fan merchandise from the leagues or teams.

You can stop at one ask, share possibilities and even brainstorm with them if they are really excited and interested. They can support their favorite teams through:

  • buying clothes with team colors but not logos
  • not buying sponsored merchandise from the leagues, 
  • using homemade signs to support their teams, without the racist images,
  • use social media to point out the racist team identities,
  • write letters, organize letter writing groups, challenge local schools using racist team identities be they indigenous or Native American in origin

There is always something anyone you are talking with can do...even sharing your conversation is a start. They too can Open The Conversation. The vast majority of people are not racist. You are giving them a chance to show their world, their friends, loved ones and community this truth: they are good people. Most people are willing to consider next steps. I speak from experience. You can too, if you.......Open The Conversation




Massachusetts State Seal is Racist

The State Seal of Massachusetts has been linked to the Confederate Flag publicly--finally.  It only takes a look at the image to understand:

Now, in the age of questions over police behavior towards people of color, specifically people who are not perceived as white/caucasian, and incarceration of non-caucasisions at rates far in excess of caucasian people due to laws written in less than equitable terms the seal of the Massaschusetts State Police is chilling: 

Ma State police.jpg

The question the images raise is simple: What is the arm with the sword held in a ready to strike pose over the entire body of the Native American representing? Additionally it can be legitimately asked: What does the downward pointing arrow disengaged from the bow held by the Native American represent? We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I add that these images, presented throughout the State of Masachusetts, in offices and courts, viewed daily by thousands, and online, able to be viewed by millions if not billions should they chose to do so, perpetuates racism both consciously and unconsciously. It is wrong and it needs to be changed. 

Personally I am happy to see the discussion opened. When I first came to Massachusetts years ago the image troubled me. As I have learned more over time, as our society's understanding of the imact of imagery on society, communities and individuals has grown, including through research involving actual brain scan studies  I have found the silence of individuals and society around this issue absolutely unacceptable. Where are our leaders and why are they silent? The politicians, major sports league commissioners, players and their formal organizations, team owners--of all major sports teams, male and female and in all sports-- corporate leaders, media of all kinds and at all levels, from corporate to individual cerlebrity, and finally but perhaps most importantly our spiritual and religious leaders rarely even identify this issue. Why? They cannot claim they are unaware of the topic. I personally have reached out to many, as I have sometimes detailed in this site. The demonstrations around the Washington D.C. NFL team identity and the Cleveland MLB team identity receive national media attention. The NBA removed a team from an owner over his personal racism, a drama which played out worldwide, for months. Yet the racism persists, the silence  both endures and endorses. It is time to open the discussion, being making the needed changes--today.

 With a small population of approximately 3 million pure ancestry Native Americans and Native Americans with ancestry mixing other races of approximately 5 million and with all but overwhelming issues facing them, from resource management to education to health care to employment this is not an issue only for Native American to address. The racism in sports teams' identities is an issue for all Americans. What are we teaching our children? What are we shwoing to the world through this silence, through our symbolic and team identity racism? Our personal integrity is called into question by our willful silence. Our national integrity is challenged by tribal and indigenous peoples worldwide--legitimately. 

The history of the United States of America is inextricably intertwined with the historic and current realitites of all Native Americans. Silence is not acceptable. Silence condones. Do not be silent. 



Thank You California and Gov. Brown, Thank you Philadelphia

It may be true that most people like progress while individually resisting change yet California once again leads the nation in doing change right. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a bill which has banned the use of the "R" word in identifying California's school teams. 

In other states various cities have taken other approaches in dealing with the NFL Washington D.C. team name. It is possible to confront racism quietly and keep everyone comfortable. It is also time to be honest, to identify the one arena where America still endorses, supports, teaches and often profits from racism: Sports teams' identities when the team is identified as part of a Native American stereotype but not owned by a Native American tribe.

NFL are you paying attention? 

The blunt truth is that America, as a country, and each and every American as individuals, can and must do and be better than the racism perpetuated in our sports teams' identities. Across the world people are killing each other over identity issues daily. Sometimes Americans are caught up in the violence.  Americans have killed other Americans very recently over identity issues. To state the obvious: Racism is dangerous. This last safe refuge of racism, sports team identities must be recognized and it must be changed. There is no reason not to do the right thing. Any objection can be met with logic and even business analysis if need be. Finally, will the billionaire team owners, the leagues and their players step up and take the real leadership their postions give them or will they continue to buckle to social pressures among their peers? 

Change the Names, change the Mascots.

Facing Racism Against Indigenous Peoples in America

What is the foundation of society? Once people have come together in a group and share a given physical space the social interactions will be endless conflict unless shared values develop. Those shared values in the 21st century are based within spiritual, cultural and national identities but the strongest worldwide, to date, are the spiritual beliefs. We are still, we human beings, fighting wars and killing each other over our spiritual and religious beliefs. It is time to move beyond this and perhaps the best efforts will be showcased by Pope Francis when he speaks at the U.S. Congress and to the United Nations. He is carrying words and ideas in the face of weapons and death. 

What might be the greatest thing the Pope can do on this visit? It depends upon what area of life interests you, kind reader, the most. But, as a Roman Catholic I would like to see His Holiness right one of the greatest historic wrongs the Church has ever committed: rescind or renounce or formally relegate to the permanently inactive file of history the Papal Bull which is now known as the Doctrine of Discovery. The history and positions taken by the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Quakers and others are good and realistic examples and for once the Roman Catholic Church can follow rather than lead. Humility comes in many forms and it always contains the ability to take ownership when one has been wrong, transparently and with accountability. 

Coming To a Stadium Near You?

The MLB is still playing, with racist team identities. Is YOUR city, town, region profitting from racism? A new Facebook page is up on this topic.  

Now the NFL season is soon starting, preseason is already underway. Check out the schedule here and the FCC has already declared the Washington D.C. team name racist. Comment here at RING or here on Facebook

What will you do about racism in sports team identities TODAY?