Little League players drop out of baseball at agest 13-15. Sure there are other draws on young boys during those years but they also become aware of the more sublte forms of racism and discrimination. They want respect. How can they ever expect respect in a game officially, and still for profit, today naming teams after a race of people and still using a demeaning racist caricature like Chief Wahoo?
They know that Major League Baseball, at its heart, has never recognized the racism it perpetuates against the first people living on American land centuries ago and still living here today. They know by demeaning one people you demean all people. The Clevealnd City Council is considering calling for a change. The city councilors have to work on jobs, city services and education. Yet because the Cleveland team owners and the MLB refuse to address this issue wisely, comprehensively and effectively they take the time to call for change.
A few loud ill-informed fans do not a city make. Make the whole city proud MLB, bring about the change called for, in the way you know we have been calling for it, the way I very directly and personally along with others have been calling for it for many years.
The young boys between 13 and 15 are smart enough to know they will not get real respect in baseball. MLB and MLB team owners–maybe you are surrounded by people afraid to give you this message, afraid to go against your well entrenched opinions and ideas, afraid to risk your displeasure, afraid to risk social censure in the inner circles of power. Here I do say the truth to each of you: it is time to end the racism in teams, their names, logos and mascots. The teams you send from your cities across the country and out into the world carry the message of America’s pastime. What exactly do you think you and your teams are saying to diverse communities, indigenous people and the world at large? Do you stil really think across America the mothers and fathers of the younger generations are willing to teach this racism to their children in the 21st century? Do you think it makes America proud to look in the mirror and see this in our midst?
It is time to change. Come together, join with those of us who have been involved in this for years and who stand ready and willing to talk with you to design together new solutions. Something truly new and powerfully great can start–it is starting isn’t it?
Sherrie A Noble