Tonight's Chicago Cubs 5 to 1 victory in game two of the World Series is not only important for Chicago Cubs fans, but also to anyone who opposes the racism of Cleveland's baseball franchise. “Native News Online” reports the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) calls for ethical reporting on the World Series. NAJA rightly asserts that Cleveland's dehumanising imagery of Native people leads to dehumanising actions. Dehumanising actions like police brutality against water protectors defending against the Dakota Access Pipeline. NAJA asks journalists to use the standards of the Society of Professional Journalists by eliminating the use of Cleveland's racist mascot “Wahoo”, and referring to the team by its city name.

NAJA goes on to describe how Native people were instrumental in the racial integration of MLB.

Native American racial integration of baseball

The racial integration of African Americans in MLB is well known, Jacky Robinson's story is a major motion picture. Unknown is Native American racial integration of baseball long before Robinson played, but no one has made a major motion picture on the lives of Native ball players like Louis Sockalexis (Penobscot). Why? Because Native people are portrayed as grotesque racist caricatures like Wahoo (he ain't no chief). The racism of the Atlanta and Cleveland MLB franchises is an affront to modern Native ball players like Jacoby Ellsbury Dine (Navajo), and Joba Chamberlain (Winnebago).

Each time a team using such racist imagery wins national championships, the franchise uses its victory trying to legitimise its racism. This is why tonight's victory for the Cubs is so important.

Root for the underdog

The Cubs are said to be the ultimate underdog. While this may be true of baseball, the indigenous peoples that the Cleveland franchise continues to misrepresent are the ultimate underdogs.

We have battled back against over 500 years of colonial oppression and yet we remain politically and culturally distinct peoples and nations despite all of the racist efforts to annihilate and assimilate us. Cleveland's MLB franchise name is a tragic racist irony in light of the history of what the settler colonialists call the state of Ohio.

This is Shawnee land

What they call Ohio is, in fact, the sovereign treaty territory of the Shawnee nation, and until the beginning of the 19th Century it was still under the de facto control of the Shawnee people. The Shawnee patriot Tecumseh envisioned an alliance of indigenous nations that would guard against any further westward settlement of Euro-American colonists beyond the Appalachian mountains. They were defending the sovereign territory of the continuously free and independent indigenous nations of the region against a foreign invasion. Tecumseh succeeded for a time, and might have prevailed, had he not been betrayed by the British in the War of 1812, and were it not for the treachery and cowardice of William Henry Harrison.

Wahoo must leave Shawnee territory

The British reneged on their alliance and Harrison, knowing he could not defeat the Shawnee Alliance in battle, attacked the peaceful spiritual village of his brother Tenskwatawa to demoralise them. Through treachery and cowardice, Tecumseh's alliance was defeated, and his people driven from their land. Cleveland claims to “honour” the very people its territorial government sought to annihilate through the use of its franchise name and its racist mascot Wahoo. This is absurd. If Cleveland wants to honour the Shawnee, then recognise the territorial treaty rights of the Shawnee nation. Don't put on a parade of assorted racist jackasses who paint their faces red and wear headdresses and other ridiculous and racist costumes.

All who oppose the racism of Cleveland's baseball franchise are hopeful for a Cubs victory in the 2016 World Series. Indigenous law is clear, Wahoo and the Cleveland franchise are foreign imposters illegally occupying Shawnee territory. They must be expelled.

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