Indians

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.



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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? 

   

LeBron, Welcome Home--Now What?

LeBron, Welcome Home--Now What? View image on Twitter

When racism directly hit your league you spoke out. Thank you for that. You rather brilliantly controlled the announcement of your return to Ohio. My question for you Mr. James is this: do you really care about racism, in all its forms, in sports? In all sports?

If so, what is your position on the racism in the NFL and in MLB and in all the other arenas in Ohio and all the cities where NBA teams play involving the Native American team identities? Cleveland is your sport's home as much as Akron is your family's home and Cleveland has the most racist team in MLB in the country.

The team name while currently commonly accepted does represent a racist and arrogant mistake by a man determined to conquer an entire continent centuries ago, a mistake never really addressed and certainly not corrected. The logo is the modern version of plenty of ugly racist caricatures no longer accepted as legitimate but in Cleveland it is accepted as "cute"--Chief Wahoo. Will you stand up and call out this racist issue? Or do you only care about racism as it affects your own race?

Is racism in all its forms, against all people important enough for you to take a stand?

Business and Human Rights

Business and Human Rights The United Nations has found  "the use of stereotypes obscures understanding of the reality of Native Americans today and instead help to keep alive racially discriminatory attitudes." Last month the owner of the Redskins was again challenged to reconsider his position on the team name

This week the state of relations between the First Nations and Canada have again come under critical review and been found wanting. This parallels findings to some extent of the Special Rapportuer when he was examining the situation in the USA. He clearly outlined standards: "Private actors also have responsibilities independently of the States' obligation to promote and protect human rights," Mr. Anaya said.  http://unsr.jamesanaya.org/statements/usa-redskins-team-mascot-hurtful-reminder-of-past-suffering-of-native-americans 

MLB teams are in Canada and the USA, both have indigenous peoples still living in communities with rights of self-governance and MLB still continues to claim the name and logo in Cleveland are neither racist nor contributors to racism. Are these claims honestly true?

Indians: The Name, The People, Christopher Columbus

Why is the name Indians racist?

It was given to an entire continent of people by a man believing in the superiority of his race and his religion. It also happens that he was lost, seriously lost.

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The origin of the name Indians for the indigenous populations of the Americas tracks back to Christopher Columbus. When he arrived in the Caribbean he believed he had found islands off the coast of China in what was then known as the Indies. Columbus named the people he found Indians. He died believing he had found the route to China from Europe. When Columbus arrived his mission was to convert the native people to Christianity, to send some of them back to Europe to study and to be studied, to ultimately conquer them and to exploit their natural resources.

Before his first voyage of Columbus had obtained a contract with the king and queen of Spain to receive 10% of all profits from his voyage or voyages. On the return to Spain he captured a few natives and took them back with his crew. On his second voyage Columbus sent a larger group of natives back to Europe to be enslaved. Many died from diseases they contracted in Europe for which they had no immunity.

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During the time Columbus was on his third voyage in the Americas his inability to adequately govern the colony he had established was recognized in Spain. Queen Isabella refused to accept the natives as slaves, returning many to their homes on future voyages. Additionally a new governor, Francisco de Bobadilla, was sent to the Americas to replace Columbus and his brothers in 1500. The new governor, with 500 armed men under his command,  had more authority than Columbus. To remove a combative Columbus and his brothers he placed Columbus in chains aboard one of Columbus' own vessels for the return to Spain of the 3rd voyage.

In 1502 Columbus began his fourth and final voyage. Before he would again see Spain he would be shipwrecked on a Caribbean island for over a year, endure a mutiny on the island, be unwelcome in the colony of Hispaniola which he had originally founded, encounter Mayan traders on a river but neglect to explore their lands or culture  and find upon his delayed return to Spain that his single major benefactor, Queen Isabella, was dying. Columbus himself died less than two years later. At his death he was still insisting he had found the route to China and the Indies. He firmly believed that with the wealth in gold and silver soon to be found there Spain would convert the entire world to Christianity which would then soon bring the end of the world.

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This is the real Columbus, the man who named an entire continent's people the name of the wrong continent. He did shape history. He did bring change. It is time to bring change again. Perpetuating his racist wrong essentially because this history is not widely known is itself wrong. It is time to banish the name Indians from the MLB because it truly is a racist name.

Insult For Insult? Whoa

Is it legitimate to use a similar insult to highlight someone else's insult? The Onion thinks so as reported here by CBS News New York today:  http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/10/22/satire-gone-too-far-the-onion-hurls-slurs-at-redskins-owner/ and internationally http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2472391/The-Onion-describes-Redskins-owner-anti-Semitic-word-racism-row.html

Redskins, Indians, and every other insulting racially tied name need to be taken out of public use in every and all commercial enterprise, of which the Onion is certain one. Adding to the vitrol with more hate speech helps no one and hardens thinking. 

Today, in nearby(to me) Boston the first game of the World series is starting. I would love to go, listen, support the team and yes I like the game. One of my fondest memories of my childhood is sitting in a parked car with my uncle while my aunt finished her shopping and we listened to the game on the car radio and he taught it to me. Or on the porch in the summer and hearing the play-by-play. As a "girl" back then I was not supposed to be to much the sport lover so I often did not understand a lot. What I understood was the family closeness, enthusiasm, energy and excitement. 

Today plenty of young people, worldwide feel those same feelings. It is time to end the association of MLB and all major commercial teams with any and all forms of racism. "Chief Wahoo" and the "Indians" included. MLB, Mr. Bud Selig, Mr. Dolan, will you finally step up to the plate and swing for the bleachers--do it right? Change it up? 

By now you know where to find me. Your silence means one thing: you approve the current situation. Tradition? I don't think so. Being "one of the boys"--whoever those boys/men/groups happen to be? Maybe? Profits and ego? Most likely. Do you really want the current situation to be your legacy? Really?

As I asked a Cleveland City Council member years ago when he said he only bought his grandson the team hat with the C on it because he loved Cleveland--"Would you put one dollar in the team owner's wallet if the team was named the Cleveland "N...." His answer was, and I quote, a deep laugh then "Right on sister."

He knew racism then, I know it now and so do all of you. Next time look you each look in the mirror look hard, think of your children and grandchildren--they will all know your positions on this.