Culture

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.

chicago-cubs-world-champions

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.

cleveland-indians-logo-black

BHET WHY.

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.

bugs-bunny-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. If you can’t see it below, read About Traditions and Why I Celebrate The Indians Losing to the Cubs in the World Series on Storify.

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.

Im Judging You 468x60

Previous post

Because Now You Can Get Collard Greens at Neiman Marcus

Next post

About the Election from Hell and Why I Voted for Hillary Clinton

11 Comments

  1. Aisha (NappyAsIWannaBe)
    November 3, 2016 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    I agree that the mascot is hella wrong and I’m an Ohio girl all day every day. They made an effort a few years back and pushed Chief Wahoo to the side in favor of the C logo. They still hesitate to pull him completely due to fan reaction.

    It should be noted that the team was named in an attempt to honor a player from the early days of Cleveland baseball. ..a man that was widely regarded as the first native American in the league. Back then no one used the term Native American. It doesn’t change it from being offensive, but understanding where it comes from makes me not hate it

    I’ll be cheering when they finally drop the logo…just like I was cheering then in last night.

  2. November 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm — Reply

    I grew up in Georgia, born and raised. I have loved the sports teams of Atlanta since I wore jelly bracelets and barrettes with plastic balls. The baseball team was on their epic run of pennants and Division titles. In 1996, they won the world series and made Atlanta a city of champions. But as much as I cherish those memories, I love the indigenous people in my life more, and can’t support a team that makes a mockery of who they are. It’s time Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, and Washington DC make a change.

  3. Kellen
    November 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm — Reply

    I’m at University of Illinois right now, and some of us are STILL struggling to get people to let go of their damn made up “war cry” and offensive chief depiction

  4. notconvincedgranny
    November 3, 2016 at 4:04 pm — Reply

    I’ll see your petty and raise you a cackle: I’m glad they lost not only because of their continued insensitivity, but because grace-free King James is still flexing on the Warriors 3-1 collapse. No more championships for Cleveland until Big Baby Bron-Bron grows up.

    • November 3, 2016 at 10:41 pm — Reply

      As a Bay Area Warriors fan, I will high five you for that!

  5. Darkrose
    November 3, 2016 at 5:20 pm — Reply

    I’m glad the Cleveland Racist Logos lost. I just wish the Chicago Domestic Abuse Enablers hadn’t won, especially since Chapman is going to be credited with the historic win. He fired a gun in the house to terrorize his girlfriend, and after a “suspension” that was basically “don’t come to spring training”, he’s going to get paid like no other reliever in free agency. It’s almost like domestic violence doesn’t matter in sports unless there’s video.

    • AGrownAzzMan
      November 6, 2016 at 2:07 am — Reply

      Not only does domestic violence not matter in sports, it doesn’t seem to matter in society at all. Until we properly address toxic masculinity this is where we will be. Rare will be any consequences. Actually the sports leagues as poorly as they have performed are doing better than the legal system.

  6. Dave
    November 6, 2016 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Why not stop trying to erase any connection to Indian history. I “native american” and It does not bother me as much as you

    • notconvincedgranny
      November 6, 2016 at 8:05 pm — Reply

      Because if you were an abused woman you’d say it was your fault. And if you were black you’d think slavery wasn’t so bad. And I believe you’re just a troll.

  7. 1Chiq
    November 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm — Reply

    This just gave me life and made me open my eyes up just a lil bit more. #StayWoke

  8. March 3, 2017 at 11:39 am — Reply

    This is why I can’t ride with my hometown team. I believe Chief Wahoo is why we (Cleveland folk that want to like the Indians except for their racist ass logo) can’t have nice things…like a World Series win. What’s a shame is the Indians were the first team in the American League to sign a black player (Larry Doby)…a few weeks after Jackie Robinson signed in Brooklyn. They also signed Satchel Paige who helped them win it all in ’48. The first modern black manager (Frank Robinson) is also part of their legacy.

    But all of that is overshadowed by the minstrelry that is Chief Wahoo.

    Miss Celie pointing at Progressive Field saying “Till you do right by me” was running through my head during Game 7 of the World Series.

    At least we have the Cavs…I can’t ride for the Indians until Chief Wahoo is out. Gone. Period.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *