Tag Archives: Indian Country Today Media Network

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

Reconciliation Park, Mankato, MN

Driving from Estherville, Iowa (where I did a presentation for First Presbyterian Church) to Minneapolis-St. Paul (where I will meet with youth at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, meet with a group working to end human trafficking, and attend the NEXT Church Conference), I noticed a sign to Mankato. I decided to follow and see what I might see.

December 26, 1862 – in the largest mass execution in U.S. history, 38 Dakota were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota. The U.S.-Dakota war, as it is named, began in August 1862 fueled by hunger and broken promises. When the fighting ended, the Dakota people were driven from Minnesota.  392 Dakota were tried, 303 were sentenced to death, and 16 were given prison terms. President Lincoln reviewed the transcripts and reduced the number of death sentences to 39. One man received a reprieve at the last minute.

I discovered Reconciliation Park, a simple park near the Minnesota River and across from the Mankato Branch of the Blue Earth County Library. The park features a white limestone buffalo that marks the spot of the executions.

IMG_4242It includes a memorial created to resemble a leather scroll. One side bears the names of the 38 men; the other has a poem and prayer. Benches with the inscription “forgive everyone everything” surround the memorial. The memorial was dedicated in 2012 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the execution. Indian Country Today Media Network reports the dedication came at the end of “a year of lectures, discussions, exhibits, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, concerts and commemorations in the state of Minnesota acknowledging the history of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.”

At the simple memorial, I pondered what I know and what I need to learn of past expressions of racism, oppression, and violence. I pondered contemporary manifestations of racism and oppression and yes, even violence from time to time.

And I added my silent prayer that the day might soon come, and that I might have grace and strength to work for the day, when all our relatives live in community.

See you along the trail.


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Filed under Antiracism, Photo, Travel