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ALLIES IN A COMMON BATTLE
ALLIES IN A COMMON BATTLE, RACISM, AND
THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB
GARY NORRIS GRAY-BASN STAFF REPORTER
OAKLAND, CA- With the recent political, racial, and social events happening across the United States, Americans are asking are we reliving the 1960′s?
This is a battle for people of color. This is a battle for RESPECT; This is a battle for the right to the pursuit of happiness. This is a battle to be HUMAN. It has not been going well since President Barack Hussein Obama II stepped into the White House in 2008. The election of our 44th President opened the doors for racism to stream across our land. Americans were allowed to speak their minds when it came to race and they have done so.
Native American activist Amanda Blackhorse, a plaintiff in the litigation against the Washington Football Club’s “Redskin” mascot, makes a powerful argument about why the mascot litigation is important given all the other problems facing Native Americans. Writing for Indian Country Today Media Network, Ms. Blackhorse stated that the overarching battle is against dehumanization.
Ms. Blackhorse is from the Navajo Nation in Arizona. She has been waging a legal battle against the Washington Football Club and The National Football League for over eight years, she states that:-
If we are not respected as human beings how can we be respected when dealing with politics and/or economics? It makes it harder to be seen as leaders, advocates, and people who want real change to happen in our communities if you are seen as just a person who dances at pow wows and viewed as a mere relic of old cowboy and Indian movies. Of course this is not the case in every situation when dealing with non-Natives and government, but it seems to be a common misconception of Native people, which transcends into politics and government
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/03/20/blackhorse-what-dehumanization-looks-159694
If you listen to the Gray Leopard Cove on Saturday afternoons on Blog Talk Radio it has been repeated many times that the United States of America will have to come to grips with race with a national conference on race with minorities leading the forum while President Obama is at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence is not helping by passing the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act which targets gay and lesbian residents of the state of Indiana. The Governor stated that this bill grants religious freedom and is not a discrimination bill, but just ask the (LBGT) Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, community. This opens the door for any business in their state to refuse service just because they think that you could be a member of the LBGT community.
The University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon-fraternity Kappa Chapter outing.(pun intended) SAE Members sung racist epithets on a bus traveling to their yearly Founders Day gathering. These young men created images of Black people hanging from trees in these songs. Racism is alive and well in the United States.
The mounting number of deaths of African American males by police officers in the states of Ohio, California, Missouri, Florida, and New York, ALLEGEDLY. Black men are losing their lives on the platform of the Fruitvale (BART) Bay Area Rapid Transit Station, on the playgrounds of Cleveland and on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri and Miami, Florida.
The Washington Football Club and it’s owner continue to defy the request to change the name, REDSKIN, a name that has been defined in the dictionary as derogatory and offensive. Racism extends towards our Native American brothers and sisters, reducing them to a mascot or logo.
Lastly the immigration fight by the legislators in Washington, D.C. against Latino-Hispanic Americans that want to stay in the Land of Liberty. You can clean our house, care for our children, fix our automobiles, and farm our lands but…..YOU CAN’T STAY HERE!!!!
Our Native American Brothers and Sisters are fighting the same battles. Native Americans like Ms. Amanda Blackhorse makes it very clear in her recent article “THIS IS WHAT DEHUMANIZATION LOOKS LIKE” with her 18 points.
1. The land grabbing of indigenous lands
2. The raping, violence, and hatred directed at indigenous women and children
3. The poisoning of our water
4. The desecration of our ancestor’s bones and graves
5. Each “redskin” (hair, scalp, nose, ears, genitals, and skin) taken off of an indigenous person
6. Each child taken from the arms of their parents and grandparents for the sake of “killing the Indian and saving the man”
7. Each treaty that was not honored
8. Every acre of land stolen from indigenous people
9. Every law passed since the Doctrine of Discovery for the sake of Manifest Destiny
10. Every religion stuffed down the throats of indigenous men and women for the sake of colonization
11. Each small pox blanket
12. Every head of hair chopped off in boarding schools and residential schools
13. The forced mining, fracking and desecration of indigenous lands yesterday and today
14. The sterilization of Indigenous women by Indian Health Service
15. Each tribe which no longer exists due to the attempted extermination of Indigenous people
16. Each tribal person who was exiled and relocated to urban communities
17. Each person who has been subjected to alcoholism in the name of poor business or poor treaty deals
18. Each Native person who has been experimented on and exploited for their blood, bodies, and DNA
Take a close look at each point. These are some of the same issues that African Americans and The Gay community are struggling with everyday.
Also add the lack of concern by the American public when it comes to the issues of missing young African, Asian, and Native American women.
Ms. Blackhorse has been cited and criticized by others because she is messing with their beautiful 1950′s American image. She is forcing Americans to re-think racial and social issues.
Quite often when speaking out and educating others about the mascot issue, the same question is asked, “Why are you people worried about mascots? Don’t you have bigger issues to worry about on the reservations
This is the same political and social tactic America takes with crime in the United States. BLACK ON BLACK CRIME is an oxymoron. Question, Do you ever hear the news media state WHITE ON WHITE CRIME, NO, but as First Officer of the Starship Enterprise Mr. Spock states; “That would be logical” Why? Because there are more white residents in the United States than Black. So, logically there would be more white on white events than Black but don’t tell the American public that because it ruins a good story. A story that continues to dehumanizes African Americans the same treatment as Native America/First Nation.
Ms. Blackhorse makes it clear again that we are in this fight together.
Oh yes, the bigger issues question. What most people seem to be referring to are the many issues which plague Native American communities. Societal problems such as violence against women, suicide, alcoholism, high unemployment rates on reservations, poverty, etc. Many of these issues have been highlighted throughout the history of Native American people, through various studies, articles, documentaries, movies, so on and so on.
The same issues are African American. Example many do not know that the Lone Ranger-Bess Reeves a 1900 Oklahoma lawman was an African American and yes his partner was a Native America-Tonto a Potawatomi Indian, there was a Black American President before Mr. Obama.
Many African Americans believe that Senator John Hanson of Maryland was the first Black President of the United States. Henson was also the First President of the Continental Congress. It is still unclear.
These are positive role models but American History writers will not print these stories because the ruling majority wants to continue the psychological warfare on minorities.
Demonizing Black males and dehumanizing Native Americans have been consistent the past ten years. Police officer Darren Wilson called Michael Brown a monster, a demon, which needed to be put down. Eric Gardner was called an elephant making him an animal. Five officers dragged him to the ground in the process of choking him to death. The military brainwashes its troops to make the enemy an animal so it will be easier to kill without conscience. This is happening all over the United States when it relates to minority citizens.
That is why it is so easy to have Native American names for its sports teams. Question, what other minority has a professional team named after them? Answer, The Santa Barbara Gauchos, The San Diego State Aztecs, The University of Pennsylvania Quakers, The Idaho Vandals, The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, The Syracuse Orangemen, The New York Cubans, and The New York Black Yankees, are a few names.
In 1968 there were over 5, 000 schools that used Native American names. In 2015 The United States cut that number to 350. The tide is slowly turning but not fast enough for some minority Americans.
The Washington Football Club and owner Dan Snyder could be a beacon of light and a vision in solving a small part of a disparaging and degrading sports image. Changing the name would send a message to Americans that it is time to move forward.
Again Ms. Blackhorse makes it clear:-
And allow me to drive home this point: using the ‘bigger issues’ excuse is just that, an excuse. It is an excuse that is counter-productive and does nothing to solve the greater problem of the oppression of Native people and racism directed at Native people. It’s an excuse to be apathetic and to deny a problem really exists. If you are not engaged in addressing those bigger issues you should not be using the bigger issues excuse. If you happen to be working on those bigger issues and still do not agree then let’s agree to disagree, and also understand that just because this isn’t your struggle, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle for your fellow Native people.
African Americans consistently hear that Black people are too sexual, criminals, not intelligent, lazy, athletic, dance like animals, and are loud. NOT HUMAN!!!!
When America colonized the Hawaiian Islands the residents were informed they could no longer perform their cultural dances or speak their native language. The woman had to wear tops to cover their breast. The Hawaiians had to conform to the Western Cultural morals.
African Americans are the second group in the United States that were stripped of their land. But Blacks suffered more the lost of their culture, food, religion, and language. This country continues to do likewise with Native Americans. It is not working, Native Americans/First Nation are fighting back with tenacity and pride.
THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER and THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB will change it’s name. It is now just a matter of time.
The Gray Leopard Cove Salute, Amanda Blackhorse and the Native American political activist movement.
The Telegraph- United Kingdom
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network on Blogtalkradio.com Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod