Wednesday, October 17, 2007
1491 to now
If the sight of these two Cleveland fans in Indian-face doesn't give you pause about mascots like "Indians" or "Redskins," you're too busy rooting for laundry to see the big picture. As a teacher, I proudly displayed the big Skins mug in my classroom, until I had students who were of Native American descent... Kids always put things into perspective.
In my current hometown, legions of Braves fans do the ridiculous tomahawk chop and faux Indian war-chant not far from where the Trail of Tears started. The point is that they are just names, names we grew up with, names we're invested in; how hard would it be just to do the right thing and, out of courtesy for the past, find new ones that didn't have their root in old ignorances? Just a thought as the Dalai Lama is feted by this White House and the Armenian genocide is finally recognized by Congress. 1491 by Charles C. Mann is a worthy read.