Who Will be Killed Next? Or Is Cleveland, Ohio The Most Racist City in America?

Cleveland is close to earning the title of Most Racist City In America. It starts with the top moral leadership: the Churches, the legal community, the courts and the judges. It is all very broken. Today's decision of a white judge aquitting a white police officer of killing two unarmed black people confirms this. Again. After living most of my life in and around Cleveland I can verify the truth of this. Today's decision is the tip of a very large iceberg. I heard about this killing from friends in Cleveland when it happened and the decision today on CNN. The story is now global with BBC coverage. While the DOJ and city leaders call for change there is one stong and simple step they can take: demand the MLB change the team name and logo or force the ownership out for promoting racism. The NBA did it. There is no pride or sense of right and wrong when a city and a team and the fans are told a team racist logo and team identity are somehow right and decent. 

The main justification is tradition. Traditions change. It is time to start a new one on racism in Cleveland. MLB, Cleveland, are you listening? When the leadership of Cleveland accepts and the fans are shown a racist image and team identity in the MLB team, the people see real, high profile accepted and endorsed racism. I find myself wondering how many Cleveland police officers and their families buy team merchandise, attend games and "love" the home team and what effect this has on their awarness of racism in general. Supporting racism against one group can and frequently is easily be seen as support for all racism. Racism is hatred based on birth identity. It is wrong in all its forms. 

Relief Brelo never gave those he killed. 

Relief Brelo never gave those he killed. 

How they were killed--by police Brelo included and the ruling is "no one was guilty, of anything". The people killed had no weapon and there were no shots from inside the car. 

How they were killed--by police Brelo included and the ruling is "no one was guilty, of anything". The people killed had no weapon and there were no shots from inside the car. 

The judge, John O'Donnell

The judge, John O'Donnell

Timothy Russell Rest In Peace

Timothy Russell Rest In Peace

Malissa Williams Rest In Peace

Malissa Williams Rest In Peace

To most of the people in Cleveland and many of those who I have known for years: you are better than this. The city is yours, the region is yours. Legal technicalities are words that can and must be rewritten. Justice is what rules and laws people are willing to accept and this decision must not leave the system, the words unchanged. 

Hope is needed so I am, yet again, calling on the Larry Dolan and his entire extended family and friends, all those who profit from the team, including staff, managers, players, sponsors, vendors charities and religious organizations, and I include specifically the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in this call: make a difference. Give the city of Cleveland, the fans of the team, the country hope--by real action. Retire the racist mascot and change the name. How many more people must die before Cleveland leadership and everyone in the area stands together against racism, anywhere, anytime and in all forms? 

End racism today--do not support the MLB any longer Cleveland. Fans, Mayor Jackson--even Dolan family: you can and must be and do better. racism is racism is racism. Silence this racism now. 

End racism today--do not support the MLB any longer Cleveland. Fans, Mayor Jackson--even Dolan family: you can and must be and do better. racism is racism is racism. Silence this racism now. 

Why Racism Affects Everyone

There is plenty of research clearly showing diversity at work and in communities is needed to produce healthier environments, greater profits and more creativity. Given this reality racially exclusive endeavors, racially isolating groups and racial purity groups can easily be sowing the seeds of their own failures. Yet through deliberate financial market undertakings like redlining, school funding patterns, the prision industry coupled with racial profiling in stop and frisk as well as in-group social pressures racism persists trhoughout society across many generations. It actively limits everyone by restricting access to "the other."

 

The persistence of the racial divisions in society are well documented and pervasive in many Greek life organizations on our campuses. Since racism involves support across many socially important venues the team identities of schools are also relevant. When the schools permit racism to occur, by turning a blind eye at the very least, claiming tradition when challenged or citing the costs of change--although those costs are never detailed--we all lose but especially those who adopt racism as their personal lifelong pattern.


The mere fact that high school students thought this was appropriate this year identifies beyond any question the presence of powerful racist groups within our schools today. Persistent use of Native American mascots in the major league teams certainly can be seen as endorsing their beliefs. 

I wonder if it has crossed the minds of those seeking racially based power, exclusivity and social standing that all the work and goals they are seeing as so valuable are slipping through their fingers by the problems inherent in the very processes they are taught to use and value. If marriage to another member of the world of Greek Life or among the same "kind of people" on campus or in groups is the ultimate status symbol we may be looking at a situation where the narrowed genetic pool creates similar problems to those experienced by inbreeding among royal families across the world. Royalty had physical problems due to narrowed genetics but I suspect new ideas, problem solving and creativity were also limited due to limited exposure to other groups of people. The current sidelined roles of royalty in society coupled with the real loss of political and economic power indicate something more than poor health has been at work in the royal families which has seriously reduced their success. Do the narrowed genetic pools of the racists in the upper reaches of the 1%ers hold the same future? Quite possibly. Will team owners recognize this and lead to a better future for everyone? Maybe. 

 

Personally I choose to speak out, work to change minds and hearts in the sports world rather than sit silently, assume things will somehow magically solve themselves and ignore the possibility that each of us can make a change, we all can, in our daily lives make a difference. Open the conversation, read a book, share this site. Silence condones. Always.  

Make change happen today. 

Make change happen today. 

Do one positive change in your world today. Deal with racism. Together we CAN change the world.

Racial Violence Silences Today's Oriel's Game

A real game, an empty park. Today. 

A real game, an empty park. Today. 

Major League Baseball in America is arguably the most racist of major league sports. Yes, it excells at player diversity. Yes. it fails at ownership diversity and management diversity. In many ways this can be seen to mirror much of modern society. I belive both the players and fans know in their hearts we can do better. Will today's emty stadium open the owners' eyes or harden their bunker mentality. I think smart money would bet on the later. Owners, care to prove me wrong? 

Trademark Racism

The Major League Baseball season is underway. Currently there are no pending legal cases against the racist teams' identities in the game either under American Civil Rights Laws or Trademark status. It seems as if everyone is waiting on the Red****s Trademark appeal. A development this past January should be of interest to everyone aware of and involved in this situation. The Depart of Justice has entered the case, upholding the challenge filed against the original plaintiffs by the corporate owners of the NF team. 

Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Civil Division.  “I believe strongly in the rights of all Americans to celebrate and maintain their unique cultural heritage.  Going forward, we will strive to maintain the ability of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make its own judgment on these matters, based on clear authorities established by law.” 

offensive_mascot_redskins.jpg

I believe most of the leagues and most team owners are well intentioned. Most, not all. I think many do not understand the issue but their actions are not showing serious attempts to consider new ideas. The possibility that their silence about the racist team identities is approval of those team identities. They all share in profits to a greater or lesser degree. They allow the racism to be accepted and endorsed wherever they play, they allow the racism to be taught to our children. Perhaps the owners and the league leaders are so focused on the winning and losing in sports they no longer understand success is hollow when it lacks fundamental moral and ethical integrity.

 

                                                Gamers                                                Players                                             Game ON!

                                                Gamers

                                               Players

                                            Game ON!

To help the teams, the players, the fans and the leadership remember I am developing a game for the players and all game player to enjoy, one with moral and ethical integrity. It is not a random undertaking and I certainly know I cannot do it alone. I need a team. Those of us who care about racism in sports team identities cannot succeed alone.  We need each other, we need many skills and real energy, we need cod developers and mobile game app designers. I have ideas, I believe in the challenge of change and see beyond the status quo. By coming together, building new and better games and creating community around these games I do feel we can make today good and tomorrow better since we all know yesterday cannot be changed. There is opportunity in every sunrise and on every playing field.

If you or someone you know shares this belief just drop me a hello at Sherrie@RacismIsNotAGame.com 


Coffee, Coffee, Where Is The Coffee?

Today's New York Times brought me more than my coffee today, one of my favorite writers brought me some good news. My thanks to Joe Nocera’s spotlight on Starbucks and #RaceTogether. Ags my readers here know (all 3 of you!) I am a white, American (born and raised)church going mother who has been involved in the racist sports teams’ identities discussion for more years than I care to count. I learned of the problem when I was in school in the Greater Cleveland area and then later in life as a community justice advocate. The topic crosses from the MLB in Ohio into the NFL in Washington, D.C. down to Atlanta and beyond into our American  schools.  Serious applause for the courage Howard Schultz has shown in what is perhaps the most globally important justice and social issue of the decade and perhaps, to presume a bit, the century.

#RaceTogether

 

Rightly or wrongly we humans are visual creatures. We identify instantly into “us” and “them” based on looks alone. Men/women, children/adults/elderly, black/brown/white/tan/other. So many arguments, battles and wars have begun on these simplistic and wrongheaded categories. After filing a lawsuit in Cleveland, Ohio against the MLB team and stadium corporation at the end of the 1990s I have moved from the courts to the world of social media, however small my efforts. Sometimes our courts simply are too unpredictable on issues so important.

 

I now live in Boston, MA. My new home city just hosted a peaceful wonderful Marathon. We had runners here from across the world and of all abilities. With the support teams, families and press in many ways it was a microcosm of the world, all colors of people, all kinds of people joining together in health, activity and great energy. The world needs more of this, even when the energy comes from coffee.

To everyone on all sides of this issue I have one question: whatever your perspective, whatever injustice you have survived, whatever injustice you still suffer from, whatever you and yours have endured here is my question: what would justice, in race, community and the larger world look like to you now? Do we still need to kill each other, hurt each other, maim each other in this race we call life? Can we take a deep breath, maybe a second breath and talk things out?

Tonight I heard of another youn man who died too young after an encounter with police, this time the Baltimore police. My sympathies, deep and sincere to his family and all who loved him. Yet I still ask, even in this case, this situation, what would justice look like? What would your own personal justice look like? what will it be for the community, the city of Baltimore, the state and the country? I know, for me, more violence is ot the answser. Neither will any amount of money bring back your loved one. WE may all have our own stories, our own pain but I seldom here this question so I will ask: what DOES judtice look like? What can I do today to bring it closer to reality? I know it is the truth, wherever we are, whatever our days, in our days from sunrise to sundown and beyond, in joy, saddness, pain and celebration, from grief to hope in the race of life we #RaceTogether.  

Justice is for Just Us to create. 

Justice is for Just Us to create. 


Some Good News--Thanks to YWCA

The YWCA now has a national annual Stand Against Racism Day

Communities and organizations are invited to become a Participating Site by taking a Stand. Individuals can join existing events or take individual Stands. Between April 23rd and April 26th 2015, hundreds of thousands of people across the country will take a Stand Against Racism. Registration is now open!

What wil you do with your local YWCA? 

What wil you do with your local YWCA? 

Doing and Being Good

Ok, fans, I do get it--you are not racist and you want good outcomes. 

But, i know this and you need to know this. Just watch. 

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T Minus 5

You ARE involved--if you watch any of the major league sports but especially America's  Pastime: Baseball. 

 

You ARE supporting racism if you stay silent.

 

You ARE teaching racism to all children when you do not point out the racism in the Cleveland MLB baseball team, the Atlanta MLB team and the Washington D.C. NFL team  even when those teams are not playing. All the teams, both sports, profit from the existence of the Cleveland, Atlanta and Washington D.C. teams.



Atlanta Braves.jpg

We CAN stopt accepting racism. 

 

When you support the advertisers in these sports you are supporting racism. When you spend your time watching these sports, talking about these sports, even playing these sports and do not identify the racism you ARE silently supporting racism. 

You ARE doing the right thing when you TALK about this, OPEN the discussion, SHARE ideas for new team identities and MOVE the conversation into your home, office, work and neighborhood. 

A good today and a better tomorrow ARE yours to choose and yours to make happen. Will you do this or are you still silent? 

   

Racism Still--Is Anyone Surprised?

Image result for hockey racism

Hockey. Racist?

Now the major question of yet another incident of outright racism at a sporting event this time in hocky should be "What are the consequences of the racist behavior?" and "Why does the NHL permit a team to promote and use a racist identity since the fans can see the racism, easily decide ii is supporting all forms of racism?"

I wonder:

  • Does the Rapid City Rushmore Civic Center have security cameras on the fans? Where is the footage of this horrible incident?
  • Why are there no criminal charges against those harassing the Native American attendees? Pouring beer on children is not harmless and neither is huring racist insults. Assault and battery seem legally appropriate charges.
  • Did the VIP suite owner know or should they have reasonably known the people they had in their suite were racist?
  • What are the legal past records of those in the suite and the owners, personally and corporatly of the suite--is there a pattern of this tye of behavior for any of those involved?
  • What is Rapid City, SD doing to address this racism and prevent it in the future as it is the owner of the venue?

If you are reading this and want this racism to stop I suggest you send a few letters, use local media and even email to draw attention to this situation. Boycott the sport, join a locat anti-racist group, keep the media involved and aware of ongoing racism and racist behavior, vote and always vote against racism. Make the good change happen.

Image result for hockey racism

Silence supports the status quo. Your silence will support racism. Do NOT be silent.

Human Rights In the USA in Sports

Today President Obama called for an expansion of Human Rights worldwide. This is certainly needed. It is needed right in the USA, today, on our playing fields, from professional to the youngest children's games to the senior teams: NO use of Native American names, mascots or trademarks by teams not owned and operated by Native American tribes. This would be Human Rights for all Americans. cropped-people-not-mascots.jpg

sad-chief-wahoo3

No Red......

Mr Snyder, Are You Paying Attention....Yet?

Today the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a prominent civil rights organization specifically focused on racism in the NFL, joined the calls for the Washington, D.C.  NFL team to change its name. Mr. Pollard became Coach Pollard in a history worth knowing on Martin Luther King Day 2015. I applaud the Alliance for taking this strong stand and join, as a white American woman in their call to the teams, the players, the coaches, the staffs and the owners to make this change. It is long overdue. Racism affects every person on this planet. For our sports teams to pass demeaning racist stereotypes deliberately and knowingly along to our children and the world as a whole is a shameful disgrace.

My home team, the New England Patriots are happily headed to the Superbowl! Of course I want them to win. I also want the entire NFL to walk away from the racism of the Washington D.C. team name and logo since they all share in the profits together from each team in the league.

Today of all days we can and must do better.

Tax $ Support Racism

It is terrible to see tax dollars still supporting racism but it is true. Should the tax exempt status of the NFL offices be dropped the teams and league still have billions of dollars of income at their disposal to continue profitting from racism. This is not only about Native Americans, it is about how each and every American wants to see America as a country and us as a people with a shared history move into the future. The way teams are identified in sports continues teaching everyone stereotypes, sometimes at the youngest ages of childhood. We can and must do better.

No Red...... People Not Mascots