Racism struck out in game six of the #World Series. One could almost taste the karmic justice of the Chicago Cubs 9 to 3 defeat of the Cleveland Imposters. Addison Russell of the Cubs delivered a bases loaded grand slam that rocked the Imposters like the wrath of the five fingers of Tecumseh's fist. The Cleveland Imposters are foreign invaders illegally occupying the sovereign territory of the continuously free and independent Shawnee Nation. Many sports commentators have spoken of the alleged curse of the Chicago Cubs. The fact that the team has not won a World Series since 1908. Some of have discussed the fact that the Imposters have not won a World Series since 1948, but none outside of the indigenous community have discussed Cleveland's curse.
The Curse of Means
Ed Rice reported in “Indian Country Today” that the late American Indian Movement activist and Oglala Lakota patriot Russell Means cursed the Imposters predicting they make it to a World Series game seven and suffer a humiliating loss. Means helped ignite the national indigenous movement against the racist misrepresentation of stereotypical Native sports team mascots by opposing the Imposters and their leader Wahoo as early as 1972. The Imposters, and all teams that use such racist imagery, continually assert that their misrepresentation of indigenous peoples is somehow meant to honor us. The Cleveland Imposters' treatment of Louis Sockalexis proves this is a bald faced lie.
The First Indian in Baseball
Ed Rice's book “The First Indian in #Baseball” details the historic career of Louis Sockalexis. The man who broke the color barrier in baseball 50 years before Jackie Robinson ever played. Yet it is unlikely that most readers, indigenous and non-indigenous, have ever heard of him. Back then the Cleveland team was called the Spiders. It was just before the turn of the 20th Century, and Sockalexis faced disgusting anti-indigenous racism from the urban white population.
Racism toward Sockalexis
Newspapers of the day spoke of him as a savage, asserting he would scalp opponents, or “go on the warpath.” Rice writes that Sockalexis was treated like a curiosity good for Cleveland's marketing. Rice's book proves that Sockalexis was not even mentioned when the Cleveland franchise settled on the name “Indians.” The Imposters continue to use a falsified fantasy version of the story of Sockalexis to justify the continued use of its racist team name and despicably racist mascot. Rice correctly points out that neither Cleveland, nor Major League Baseball, has ever properly honored the very first Native American in the #MLB.
There is nothing progressive about the Imposters
It is a tragically hilarious irony that the Cleveland Imposters play in a field called “Progressive.” “Backward”, “ignorant” or “racist” field seems more appropriate considering the Cleveland franchise's unwillingness to change, but things are changing. While the lame stream media still refuses to abide by the Native American Journalist's Association's request for ethical reporting on the 2016 World Series, the indigenous movement of the new millennium has taken to the Internet and social media.
Indigenous media and the indigenous movement
Thanks to the Internet and social media the issue of indigenous opposition to racist sports team mascots can no longer be ignored. Many indigenous communities have already succeeded in ridding schools of racist mascots. This year a Canadian lawsuit nearly succeeded in blocking the Imposters from playing in Toronto with any of its racist Wahoo logos. May this momentum continue. May the spirit of Tecumseh, Means, and Sockalexis be with the Cubs in game seven and drive a nail in the coffin of the Imposter's racism.