About Harmful Traditions and Why I Celebrate The Indians Losing to the Cubs in the World Series
First, I have to say how proud I am for my home city! The Chicago Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series! They haven’t won since 1908. The last time the Cubs were Major League Baseball’s champions, no World Wars had happened yet, women couldn’t vote and polio was still killing a lot of people.
So this World Series win? Long time coming. I know Wrigleyville was in complete shambles last night, and that part, I’m happy I’m not home for.
Chicago needed this big win, even if just for a morale boost. I’m a Northsider so this is the team I am geographically obligated to support (not the White Sox). But the Tale of Two Cities is real, as one side of the city celebrates this win and the media tells a dreary story about the other side. But that’s another piece for another day.
Anywho, as the true bandwagon fan that I am, I am geeked for my Cubbies!
But as the Petty Queen that I am, I am especially celebrating that the Cleveland Indians lost this. CELEBRATING. Why? Because they are a team that still bears a name of a people, with a caricature of those people as a logo.
Literally, he is a red man, grinning like a cheshire cat with a part in his hair and a feather in his cap. Y’all. Looking at this image makes me wince. It makes me squirm in my seat. It offends me that this is what a team in 2016 would use to represent itself.
There was an old Bugs Bunny cartoon used during World War II that you would now never see on TV because they were racist as hell, depicting a big-tooth, slanty-eyed short man who was supposed to represent Japanese people. THAT cartoon is banned from syndication because people realized that it was xenophobic, literal yellow propaganda and just completely unacceptable. Or the one of Bugs Bunny himself in blackface.
That Bugs Bunny cartoon is not that much different from the red-skinned, feather-capped grinning “Indian” that is Cleveland’s mascot, 65 years later.
So yes, I am celebrating their loss in the World Series. I took to Twitter last night to rant about a conversation that we need to continue having: using Indigenous people as sports team mascots.
Below are my fast and furious thoughts.
None of us are free until we’re ALL free.
I actually touch on this in “The Privilege Principle” chapter of my debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual. Haven’t ordered it yet? Now’s your chance. You’ll love it. Amazon. Barnes & Nobles. iBooks. Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself). Kobo. Books-A-Million.