An embarrassing symbol of arrogance and bullying is coming to an end with the Cleveland Indians planning to scalp their nickname. It’s also a significant racial reckoning in American history sparked by the killing of George Floyd, writes USA Today’s race and inequality editor Mike Freeman.
Late Sunday night The New York Times reported the Tribe is caving in to political correctness and following the lead of the Washington Redskins in ridding themselves of an Indian nickname. Freeman says the Redskins were the first domino to fall, and the “eradication of another ugly nickname” that’s even more disgraceful than Redskins became the second. Snowflake media like Freeman are out of touch with the prevailing wave of Native Americans who have no problems with Indian nicknames.
Freeman tries to tie the Indians’ name change (see photo of CBS News report above, along with the video):
“The Cleveland baseball team could no longer ignore what's been one of the most significant racial reckonings in this nation's history sparked by the killing of George Floyd. The franchise was forced to change just as the Washington team was.
“While President Donald Trump has fed racial divisions the way an engineer from an old steam train shoveled coal into its belly, his actions still couldn't damper America's X-raying of its soul. Floyd's death set the country on a certain path that, for now at least, seems impossible to derail. It's likely we'll be having these Floyd-sparked conversations for decades.”
Freeman says the pending change of the Cleveland nickname proves that sports franchises are finally listening. To whom? To Native Americans who have been ignored because they don’t have the political clout of other people of color. In truth, the Indians and Freeman are not listening to the masses of poll respondents who consistently pooh-pooh the idea that these names are offensive.
“The utilization of Indigenous people as mascots is one of the last pieces of hardcore racism left in sports,” Freeman insist ... Cleveland and Washington defended its use for decades. They ignored the pleas of Natives until they couldn't any longer.”
Again, whose pleas are they genuflecting to? Whomever it is, it’s a distinct minority.
Like the plea of Crystal Echo Hawk, founder of IllumiNative, an organization that fights negative stereotypes of Native communities. She once told the USA Today inequality editor that “These mascots propagate offensive stereotypes, and scientific studies have shown they increase rates of depression and anxiety among our youth."
Battle of Cleveland won, Freeman is taking aim at the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks. None of these teams plan to cave in to media pressure and abandon their nicknames. He promises that they’ll “feel the pressure the Washington and Cleveland teams did,” and he calls them the racial equivalent of dial-up internet.
The last Indian nicknamed teams will be held accountable, Freeman promises.
As long as that’s the case, it’s good job security for a writer who gets paid to create racial drama.