Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Cleveland, Ohio....

I grew up in your town. I was there at the last game in Cleveland Stadium before it was torn down. I watched Hollywood make fun of our team with the movie Major League. And I'll admit that being from Cleveland isn't the easiest thing in the world with our sports teams. But I have to say one little thing about our mascot.

Apparently, there is controvery regarding the American flag being put on Cleveland Indians baseball hats. It's considered to have the American flag used in this fashion for profit. This special edition is coming out specifically for Memorial Day.

This is the problem people have with the hat. The American flag being used for profit. I'll admit, that's not the best idea. But Tommy Hillfiger made a career out of it. Here's what bothers me:

Nobody made a big deal over the completely racist and innappropriate caricature of a Native American on the hat.
I mean, really?

I know people are going to defend this mascot because of the first Native baseball player, Louis Sockalexis (a Penobscot from Maine), played for the Cleveland Spiders back in the day. But I can assure you, after working at the National Museum of the American Indian and knowing much about this subject, this was not an honor. He was treated like dirt when he played for Cleveland.

So please, Cleveland, keep your priorities straight. If you are offended by the American flag being used in this way, you should definitely re-evaulate where you stand on this mascot.

And you can learn about Codetalkers here, since it is Memorial Day weekend and we should be honoring all veterans for their service, regardless of their racial or cultural background.

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