baseball crystal

My bio(brief) and some background::

I am an American woman, a mother, an advocate, a writer and a bit more. I trained as a Physician's Assistant in Anesthesia, back in the day, worked at a major metropolitan hospital for some years, before marriage and children. Also, in my spare time(?) I went to and graduated from law school. Rasied as a only child and living as such for almost all of my life I recently discovered a family I never knew existed, from before my father married my mother. If anything it absolutely proved  me the ability of social media and modern technology to change human lives.

Over the years, especially when I was working in the Cleveland operating rooms,  I realized something essential: every human being is connected to innumerable other human beings, all deserving basic dignity and respect. In those operating rooms I gave my best to each and every patient. The surgical teams were international in character and we shared the same goal: the best care for our patient. Through years of volunteering I also learned about human needs, broken systems, discrimination, prejudice and, sometimes, the abuse of power.

Finally one volunteer position brought the situation home to me in a way impossible to ignore, the urban experience of relocation many Native Americans have experienced, the cultural clash and the longstanding misconceptions and misunderstandings involved on all sides. The extreme poverty that exists still on some tribal lands was simultanelously eye-opening and heart-breaking.  Despite all my years of education somehow this was never even mentioned, I never found any reference in my readings across many interests and just about all genres.

This almost accidental ignorance is still true for the vast majority of Americans. I was living in Cleveland at the time, the home of the Cleveland MLB team carrying the name "Indians" with the logo "Chief Wahoo."

In 1999 I joined the already decades old challenge to that very official racism, through a lawsuit filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission against the municipal stadium and the Major League Baseball team. I expected the negative ruling based on case law. But because of a US Supreme Court ruling in another case, not exactly on point, but one that could be used as precedent and one handed down while my case was pending I deliberately decided to not use the courts any further to address the basic issue.

For over a decade I have been working quietly to move the discussion forward. I do this as an American, a now single woman, who wants better for everyone involved. I have never claimed to represent anyone but myself. Yet I believe that many good people on all sides, once aware of the history and current reality will come to join the effort. With this blog I am taking the history of the fight and the current conversation public. More will be coming.

I learned to love the game of baseball through an uncle who adored his niece and wanted to make sure she learned the basics in one of the sports that help make America the great country it is (sometimes). We would listen to games on the radio back then and he would tell me stories about the players. He would be tossing  gently, to this rather uncoordinately little girl, a signed baseball he had from a game I no longer remember. Lemonade would be nearby, cool water meling down the glasses in the summer heat. I would spend half my time running after missed tosses.

I still want the best, for America and for baseball. Racism is an ugly word, a brutal behavior and still all too present. Yet it fits. It is time to change American baseball's most obvious representations from the bad times in the past to truly new, exciting and positive identities so everyone can move forward together.

 

sherrienoble@racismisnotagame.com

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