Tag Archives: Cleveland

Purple flowers, guest collection #77

IMG_6512 (600x800)

photo by Sera Chung
25 October 2017
University Circle
Cleveland, Ohio

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Filed under Friends, Photo, Uncategorized

Time to change the Cleveland baseball mascot

It is time to change the mascots of a number of teams. Past time.

The Cleveland baseball team is one of them.

A recent story on Indian Country Today Media Network, based on a report in Deadspin, addresses this question:

A Cleveland Indians fan, painted in redface and donned in a faux Native American headdress, justified his brazen actions Friday afternoon by stating his attire was not racist – just “Cleveland Pride.”

The photo with the story says it all. Check it out.

Here are three responses to the Cleveland mascot.

From Indian Country Today Media Network:

A campaign to remove the image of Chief Wahoo, aptly titled “DeChiefing,” has gained momentum again as the 2014 season launched across the nation.

From Deadspin:

There is a lesson here, and that lesson is: For fuck’s sake, don’t do this.

From the National Congress of American Indians:

Change the Mascot.

Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry has a petition campaign to address the NFL about the Washington football team. Hopefully a similar campaign will address the Cleveland team.

It is time to change. Past time.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Baseball, Current Events, Football

Proud to Be – National Congress of American Indians

It is time to change the names and mascots of a number of teams. It is past time.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities, produced this video.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Baseball, Football

Tears remain

Be careful.
Keep safe.
Don’t get into trouble.
If trouble comes looking for you . . .
run!

So they told him –
those who loved him,
who heard his first cries,
who held him at his birth,
those who would protect him
from a world in which children
die too soon
so often
that no tears remain to shed for them.
Be careful.
Keep safe.
Don’t get into trouble.
If trouble comes looking for you . . .
run!
He heard their words
and learned them well.
When gunshots
tore the silence
of the street where he played,
he ran.
For cover he ran;
for safety he ran;
for his very life he ran.
Following the sidewalk;
cutting through the grass;
leaping up the steps, he ran –
his heart racing
faster than his feet.
Sprinting across the porch;
throwing open the door;
stumbling through the doorstep, he ran –
entering what should have been the safety
of his own home.
Filled with fear
and their words, he ran still –
his fingers touched the bannister
as he began to mount the stairs
that led to his room,
the wall beside him exploded –
a chunk of hot lead
ripping through vinyl siding,
spraying drywall,
violating his body,
tearing life from him.
Be careful.
Keep safe.
Don’t get into trouble.
If trouble comes looking for you . . .
run!
So they told him –
those who loved him,
who heard his final gasps,
who held him as his lifeblood pooled around him
those who tried, but could not protect him
from a world in which children
die too soon
so often
yet still tears remain to shed for them. 

15 August 2001
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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Filed under Cleveland Heights, Poem

The trip not taken, part 3

And now I have a boarding pass for tomorrow – Sunday 23 December.

An actual boarding pass.

I have never had one of those for this trip.

It’s a step.

See you along the Trail.

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The trip not taken part 2

As I suspected yesterday, the piece of paper I was given at the airport did not prove helpful.

At the appointed hour, I attempted to obtain a boarding pass for the flight upon which the piece of paper proclaimed I had a seat.

I did not. My reservation did not show up in the system.

From calling the help desk, I learned that I would be called back in between 28 and 37 minutes.

The call actually came at reasonably close to the 37 minute mark.

But the agent told me that my ticket was cancelled. The frequent flyer miles had been returned to my account.

After several minutes of ranting, I said, “Let’s put aside what happened and why. How can you get me to Cleveland and when?”

No flights were available today. But I was told – and received an email to the effect – that I am on a flight tomorrow.

I prepared to go somewhere for dinner. Before I left, Ryan contacted me and we went and had coffee. Then DeLaina called and we went for dinner. A good evening followed a travel-challenged day.

Now I wait. At 10:50 tomorrow morning I will put this most recent information to the test and see if I can at least print a boarding pass.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Friends, New York, Travel

Walking with Russell

We met once.

We did not speak.

But for a few moments, we walked together.

On April 4, 1994, the Cleveland baseball team opened a new stadium.

My friends and colleagues among the indigenous peoples and the antiracism activists of Cleveland have a simple message. People are people. Not mascots. The name and logo of the Cleveland baseball team need to go.

The Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance organized an educational event for the stadium opening. The event included a public witness/demonstration at the new stadium. I attended.

As the stadium opened, we gathered in its shadow. Words were said. Prayers prayed. And then we walked in silence around the stadium.

Russell Means attended the event as one of the speakers. He walked with us. And for a few moments, we walked side-by-side. We made eye contact. We smiled. But no words passed our lips.

Russell, who journeyed to the spirit world early this morning, was a big man. And I walk slowly. I did not keep up for long. But those few moments, I remember, for they were a gift, an honor.

Russell lived a life of courage – working tirelessly and faithfully for the well-being of his people – of all indigenous peoples – of all oppressed peoples – of us all.

I give thanks for his life, his work, and his witness. I give thanks that, for a few moments on one April day in Cleveland, we walked together. I give thanks for all who in any way carry on the struggle for human dignity.

The National Museum of the American Indian will present a symposium: Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports on Thursday, November 1, 2012, 10 AM – 5:45 PM in Washington, D.C. I will not be there, but the event will be Webcast. As my friend Molly suggests, watching – and then taking action – would be an appropriate way to honor Russell Means.

People are people. Not mascots.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights