Connecting Dots to Stop the Killings

Do sports teams support racist murderers? Before you dismiss this possibility out of hand take a moment, pause and think: Where might a racist look for encouragement and support for his/her/their beliefs?

Certainly many racists can find direct support among their friends, neighbors and family members who share their beliefs, sometimes the same people who taught them to be racist initially. Racism is not natural, it is a learned attitude, one that must be intentionally taught, actually learned.  

A beautiful song in the musical South Pacific has the best description of the teaching:



Racism is taught. Here is one simple example found online with a simple search. It is outright propaganda and has nothing to do with facts, truth or accuracy. : 

Wrong but a sophisticated design. Intentional teaching of racism--truth is not relevant. 

Wrong but a sophisticated design. Intentional teaching of racism--truth is not relevant. 

The  local racists and small groups look beyond themselves for validity as well. it is far easier to show someone you know that others support your position than to find support for your position on your own when it your belief is something extreme and fundamentally wrong. The human mind is built for questions. In life we seek answers. When real answers are not possible then social pressure and the idea that "others agree" can be a convenient answer to any legitimate question. 

 

What happens if someone starts deeply questioning the assumptions in a racist group? Often in these circumstances those deeply inside the group will bring in outside "evidence" to support the racist positions being held up as "right and true." In yesterday's horrific murders at the Emmanuel AME church prayer meeting and Bible study in South Carolina the alleged shooter has been identified as racist. A picture of him in social media shows him wearing two flags, one of South Africa while it was still an apartheid country and another of the unrecognized state of Rhodesia in Africa which which the United Nations condemned as an "illegal minority racist regime" during the years it "existed", 1965-1979. Along with showing loyalty and publicizing the racism of both regimes the alleged shooter himself could find support for his beliefs.  If entire nations could endorse and promote alleged shooter 21 year old Dylan Roof's belief in racial supremacy he could then feel justified, supported and empowered to act. Thankfully those governments are no longer in place. We cannot assume those who accepted those teachings have changed their views.


As always silence endorses. It is time for everyone, white people included, to step up and challenge the sports teams promoting racism. They give support to all racists, everywhere. The reasons are simple the  racists now look for support outside their own circles. Where?  I suggest people who believe in racist falsehoods will look for other prominent racial identities in the world and examine underlying realities: Who profits? Who is making the decisions? How popular or unpopular are the decisions? Which groups support or oppose the decisions? If white people are profiting from racist images, if white people are making the decisions to continue racist images/identities and if white people are supporting the continued racism of the images with only protests coming from groups and individuals of color then the white racist can see support for their own racism. This will be true even if the white decision makers claim that the images/identities are "not racist but traditional" or use any other justification to continue the use of the racist image/identity. 

In the USofA major sports leagues must consider that their race based team identities are part of the problem, not part of the solution. While no major organization or corporation or legislative body can control actions of determined extremists or unstable individuals they can either support or refute extremist ideologies through their decisions and actions.   The world is watching. The continued use of race based team identities must be examined and stopped. 


Change Happens Slowly & Sometimes

"After viewing it several times, this court is still thunderstruck by how quickly this event turned deadly," stated Cleveland, Ohio Municipal Court Judge Adrine in his opinion on Thursday, June 11, 2015 reviewing the video from inside the police car of the officers involved in the shooting death of Tamir Rice. Judge Adrine issued a ruling finding probable cause for indictments on murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, negligent homicide and dereliction of duty charges against Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehman and indictments of negligent homicide and  dereliction of duty charges against Cleveland Police Officer Frank Garmback in the death of 12 year old Tamir Rice. Judge Adrine did not find probable cause for charges of aggravated murder against either officer. 

                                                                                                     Do they Protect and Serve? 

                                                                                                     Do they Protect and Serve? 

The case is now in front of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty with the Judge's ruling adding pressure upon him for indictments on the named charges. This is CHANGE. It is slow, with tiny steps and uncertain outcomes. It must not be sen to be enough, nor must the pressure stop. Racism leads to violence and needless death everywhere but with a MLB sports team showing a racist identity and mascot in front of home town fans, city leaders, the entire police force and legal system daily is it any surprise that the racists in Northeastern Ohio feel they have the support of the entire community leadership? The support may be subtle, sometimes barely a wink and a nod but the team is sending out a silent message of approval to all those racists who cling to their discredited, false and horrible beliefs. 

                                                                                                     Slow Justice is NOT Justice

                                                                                                     Slow Justice is NOT Justice

Will justice prevail in Cleveland? Time will tell. but until the team changes the city and the team carry support for racism and racist beliefs into the world, into the stadiums wherever they play and on any screen they reach. It is time for REAL change--a new team name, a new team mascot. Cleveland, Ohio--you can and must do and be better. 

                                                                                                    Cleveland, You can do this!

                                                                                                    Cleveland, You can do this!

Cleveland and MLB start HERE

Cleveland and MLB start HERE

Hope with Change

Creative solutions in longstanding racial issues are needed. The American modern judicial system and policing practices are increasingly in the news. The focus on shootings by police of people of color has drawn worldwide attention as have the incarceration statistics showing at a minimum that in the 30% of the American population made up by people of color there are found 60% of current prison populations. Native Americans are seldom singled out in statistics beyond the suicide rate and victim of crime figures. These numbers are worse than among any other American population.  http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/otj/docs/american_indians_and_crime.pdf

 

There is hope in the efforts of those addressing the violence against youth of color and working with the Black Lives Matter coalitions as well as those lawyers and judges willing to use every tool available to them creatively confront the problem of modern 21st century American racism. It is impossible to know what will work, what might work best in one situation and possibly cause highly negative unexpected consequences in others. Life is not a once size fits all. As this is written the actions of the people in Ohio to requesting a Cleveland Municipal Judge to issue arrest warrants for Cleveland police Officers Frank Garmback and Timothy Loehmann in the shooting death of 12 year old Tamir Rice.


The tragedy of Tamir Rice’s death in Cleveland, Ohio can, if the men and women in positions of responsibility in Cleveland and nationwide face the horror fully, find their courage to look at the sorrow of this needless death and choose, finally, the path of change. It is time for everyone to do the right thing, move the police, the community, the city and the country, each and every one of us forward into change.  Change is always a challenge but the degree of this challenge is vastly overrated. When good, strong and loving people are determined and caring the past has clearly shown we are capable of incredible, amazing and very powerful actions. Our children deserve our courage and our determination. It is time to confront racism in all its forms, it is time to change and it can begin in you, in Cleveland, today. 

No More Racism in Sports in Cleveland MLB

No More Racism in Sports in Cleveland MLB

Media Responsibility: Satire, Humor & Choices

Adam Sandler is a comic known for pushing the envelope. Around the world with humor and satire others do too, sometimes to great results, sometimes to tragedy and sometimes to just really bad tatste. Often where the line is drawn depends upon who is viewing, reading or hearing the piece. For the record I will state that violence is never an appropriate response to any expression of opinion so long as that expression itself is not violent. Then the only excuse for responding with violence is to stop the continuation of violence or to protect other people and sometimes property. 

Moving back to Mr. Sandler--readers can easily find his filmography online. In terms of Native American experience recently a script for an upcoming spoof of the old western movie genre offended Native American movie actors on the  set. It is unclear when they received the script or if they knew of the character names and/or scenes involved. A video captured the exchange. The Native American actors who took exception to a character name and various scenes eventually walked off the movie and the incident gained widespread attention. The headlines identified the "stereotypes" as objetionable to the actors. 

Stereotypes can be and are harmful. Happily in America the actors had the freedom to express their opinions and leave. Would anyone find these stereotypes appropriate on any major league team of any school team:

MLB and the Dolan family--you are supporting this reality today. Why? 

MLB and the Dolan family--you are supporting this reality today. Why? 



Racism + Campaign $ = Corporate Profits, John McCain Are You Listening: This IS Wrong

Once agan the Senator from Arizona, John McCain, is showing is craven greed, disregard for American history and clear racism against Native Americans. The San Carlo Apache are fighting to preserve their sacred lands, lands even highly racist past US President Richard Nixon protected for them. The man leading the attack is Sen. John MCcain.

Sen. McCain has a long history of acting against Native American interests. Does your Senator or US Representative vote with him? Then your Congressional representative supports his racism. It really is that simple.

The proof of America's continued racism against Native Americans is the exploitation and continued use of Native American images and names in major league and school team names and mascots. 

Arrests and Violence And Call for Calm in Cleveland, Ohio

Everyone wants peace and yet everyone wants change. It is a complicated process but process it is.  Both can only begin with meeting, discussing and learning from everyone involved. When NBA Superstar and Cleveland's reigning hero LeBron James says a game can be a distraction he is exactly right. But I find myself wondering, how exactly does he propose to find racial justice in a city with the MLB team showing a racially degrading image as its mascot. Does he know who Little Black Sambo was? Does he know the history of the restaurant chain created from that name? Does he know one restaurant still exists, one with hopes of expansion?  In the name of winning do his handlers and coaches keep him isolated from such troubling information? My suspicion is the latter. Yet as a black superstar from humble beginnings he and his family must know racism still exists, still harms all of society. Cleveland needs and wants a winner. Winning on civil and human rights could be the city's greatest win ever. 

Yesterday is over, We have today so what can we do, together today to make today good and tomorrow better? 

Sunday calm followed Saturday violence in protests in Cleveland, Ohio. Monday reports have surfaced of calls for peaceful protests in Cleveland to protest the Brelo aquittal

LeBron calls for peace, claims a game can be a distration.

LeBron calls for peace, claims a game can be a distration.

I am a white woman anti-racist who wants to see change happen, everywhere, peacefully. I have worked most of my life either on or near the front lines of change. Cleveland, now, today, will you take the first step? Face the lead, the comfort and endorsement the MLB team gives to racists, no matter where they live or what they do. Here is what everyone can do: protest peacefully for justice and always demand the Cleveland MLB team change the name, change the mascot. .

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. 

this was but a few days ago: and if the tech dose not load compatibly here it ise wity my url http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/walter-scott-shooting-video-stopped-case-from-being-swept-under-rug-family-says.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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