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Monday, October 17

  1. page Open Letter edited ... To Whom It May Concern: My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario…
    ...
    To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario. I visited Cleveland for the first time this past weekend with four friends to attend game 2 of the ALCS. We came to cheer on the Blue Jays, and although the outcome wasn't in our favour, we had a memorable time in your city. We had a pleasant stay, met some very kind Clevelanders, and fell in love with your ballpark.
    ...
    just feel annoyed,annoyed or angry.
    ...
    would think it'sthis action is okay and appropriate to do this.appropriate. As she
    Later on, I needed to go past her on my way to the stairwell, and as I did, she said, "Go Tribe!" to me in a reaction to my Jays shirt. And that's fine. I've been to Fenway and Comerica and received harmless taunts, and hey, I understand that comes from wearing "enemy" colours in "enemy" territory. I was not initially going to say anything to her regarding her “war cry”, but this gave me the icebreaker to do so. I'm a high school teacher, and I teach my students to not be bystanders when they see an injustice occurring, and so I figured I should do the same. Politely, I asked her if she knew that the ‘war cry’ she was doing was distasteful and that millions of people in North America are offended by it - not just Native Americans or Indigenous peoples, but people from all backgrounds. She just smiled, nodded and shrugged. I asked her then why she continues to do it if she knows it's racist and mean spirited. She just smiled. I dropped it and continued past when the older woman next to her, I assumed her mother, did the same 'war cry', and laughed at my confused reaction. I asked her if she knew that it was racist, and she said “yes”, and then laughed along with a man who was also with them. I frustratingly asked her, “how can you be fine doing that then?”. She just smiled and shrugged. Disappointed, I gave up and walked away. Minutes later, I noticed a white man about my age wearing a crude Hollywood style “Indian” head dress with war paint on his face. And it was at that moment, that as a white man myself, I fully sympathized with the #notyourmascot movement.
    I tell you all of this for one main reason: to ask you to have the courage to do what is right, and change the name of your baseball club. I know you've heard this all before, but please, hear me out.
    (view changes)
    6:09 pm
  2. page Open Letter edited ... Later on, I needed to go past her on my way to the stairwell, and as I did, she said, "Go…
    ...
    Later on, I needed to go past her on my way to the stairwell, and as I did, she said, "Go Tribe!" to me in a reaction to my Jays shirt. And that's fine. I've been to Fenway and Comerica and received harmless taunts, and hey, I understand that comes from wearing "enemy" colours in "enemy" territory. I was not initially going to say anything to her regarding her “war cry”, but this gave me the icebreaker to do so. I'm a high school teacher, and I teach my students to not be bystanders when they see an injustice occurring, and so I figured I should do the same. Politely, I asked her if she knew that the ‘war cry’ she was doing was distasteful and that millions of people in North America are offended by it - not just Native Americans or Indigenous peoples, but people from all backgrounds. She just smiled, nodded and shrugged. I asked her then why she continues to do it if she knows it's racist and mean spirited. She just smiled. I dropped it and continued past when the older woman next to her, I assumed her mother, did the same 'war cry', and laughed at my confused reaction. I asked her if she knew that it was racist, and she said “yes”, and then laughed along with a man who was also with them. I frustratingly asked her, “how can you be fine doing that then?”. She just smiled and shrugged. Disappointed, I gave up and walked away. Minutes later, I noticed a white man about my age wearing a crude Hollywood style “Indian” head dress with war paint on his face. And it was at that moment, that as a white man myself, I fully sympathized with the #notyourmascot movement.
    I tell you all of this for one main reason: to ask you to have the courage to do what is right, and change the name of your baseball club. I know you've heard this all before, but please, hear me out.
    ...
    negative role onin the current
    Why do you insist on continuing a tradition that mocks, offends, trivializes and appropriates numerous Indigenous cultures, only to reduce and lump them all into one inaccurate, disgusting stereotype? I ask you this question sincerely and without malice. You must know it is offensive. Can you imagine a team called the Cincinnati Negros? Or the Columbus Jews? Can you imagine the Chief Wahoo version of those logos? It would be appalling. Your mascot and name is the very same thing. Why must you perpetuate these negative and inaccurate ideologies that hurt and hold back so many people?
    Lastly, I think your baseball club’s name and the attitudes and actions derived from it reflect so poorly on not only your team, but your city. Even outside the stadium in the hotels and restaurants, everywhere there are Chief Wahoo logos. I can’t help but think how non-Clevelanders would negatively perceive both the organization and the city as ignorant. As a visitor to Cleveland, it was a blemish on my experience, and I know I’m not the only who thinks so. A nice couple from Cleveland seated to my left quietly apologized to me (not that they needed to) and said that they were embarrassed by it all. I commiserated with them, albeit on a lesser scale. As a Jays fan, I was disgusted that some pathetic fans threw beer cans on the field at the Toronto wild card game, and how those actions poorly portrayed the city of Toronto and the people of Canada. The glaring difference, though, is that these are actions that were condemned by the team and all its fans. The Blue Jays haven’t encouraged and instilled these beliefs in their fans as your institution has. But you can change this.
    (view changes)
    1:51 pm
  3. page Open Letter edited ... I think the team plays a horribly negative role on the current treatment and racism of Indigen…
    ...
    I think the team plays a horribly negative role on the current treatment and racism of Indigenous peoples in your country, and thus you have a responsibility as an institution and organization to correct this. I think of those people who did the war cry, who wore the head dress, who yelled “Go Tribe!”, who clapped along to the war drum on the jumbotron, and what I see is a culture at your stadium that has normalized racism in its fans. I don't think your fans truly understand that it's racist or wrong because you've been telling them for their entire lives that it's perfectly acceptable - by your name and mascot alone. I see a culture created at the park - a microcosm for the past and current mistreatment of Indigenous peoples in North America - that has told its fans that it's okay to reduce different races and cultures into a convenient, culturally appropriated caricature, which serves to only reflect their own prejudice, and not the reality of the peoples you continue to treat as mascots. I see adults thinking this is all acceptable and passing it down to their children. And the horrible cycle spins on. It was painful to experience and frustrating to think about.
    Why do you insist on continuing a tradition that mocks, offends, trivializes and appropriates numerous Indigenous cultures, only to reduce and lump them all into one inaccurate, disgusting stereotype? I ask you this question sincerely and without malice. You must know it is offensive. Can you imagine a team called the Cincinnati Negros? Or the Columbus Jews? Can you imagine the Chief Wahoo version of those logos? It would be appalling. Your mascot and name is the very same thing. Why must you perpetuate these negative and inaccurate ideologies that hurt and hold back so many people?
    ...
    a Jays fans,fan, I was
    What an American is brought up to believe in a ball park might as well be what they are brought up to believe in a church. You should embrace this! This should be a beautiful opportunity for you to make good! I know you reading this are not personally the ones who created this logo, or this name, or these traditions. But you perpetuate them. And I think deep down you know that they are wrong. And that one day the name will change. So, please, just change it now, starting fresh for next season. Do the right thing. Look at the children in the stands and be motivated that you have the power to influence them to grow up as more educated, worldly and compassionate young Clevelanders.
    Respectfully,
    (view changes)
    1:50 pm
  4. page Open Letter edited ... To Whom It May Concern: My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario…
    ...
    To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario. I visited Cleveland for the first time this past weekend with four friends to attend game 2 of the ALCS. We came to cheer on the Blue Jays, and although the outcome wasn't in our favour, we had a memorable time in your city. We had a pleasant stay, met some very kind Clevelanders, and fell in love with your ballpark.
    ...
    sick, and sadsad, that this
    Later on, I needed to go past her on my way to the stairwell, and as I did, she said, "Go Tribe!" to me in a reaction to my Jays shirt. And that's fine. I've been to Fenway and Comerica and received harmless taunts, and hey, I understand that comes from wearing "enemy" colours in "enemy" territory. I was not initially going to say anything to her regarding her “war cry”, but this gave me the icebreaker to do so. I'm a high school teacher, and I teach my students to not be bystanders when they see an injustice occurring, and so I figured I should do the same. Politely, I asked her if she knew that the ‘war cry’ she was doing was distasteful and that millions of people in North America are offended by it - not just Native Americans or Indigenous peoples, but people from all backgrounds. She just smiled, nodded and shrugged. I asked her then why she continues to do it if she knows it's racist and mean spirited. She just smiled. I dropped it and continued past when the older woman next to her, I assumed her mother, did the same 'war cry', and laughed at my confused reaction. I asked her if she knew that it was racist, and she said “yes”, and then laughed along with a man who was also with them. I frustratingly asked her, “how can you be fine doing that then?”. She just smiled and shrugged. Disappointed, I gave up and walked away. Minutes later, I noticed a white man about my age wearing a crude Hollywood style “Indian” head dress with war paint on his face. And it was at that moment, that as a white man myself, I fully sympathized with the #notyourmascot movement.
    I tell you all of this for one main reason: to ask you to have the courage to do what is right, and change the name of your baseball club. I know you've heard this all before, but please, hear me out.
    ...
    that it's okokay to reduce
    ...
    caricature, which serveserves to only
    ...
    is all ok,acceptable and passing thisit down to
    Why do you insist on continuing a tradition that mocks, offends, trivializes and appropriates numerous Indigenous cultures, only to reduce and lump them all into one inaccurate, disgusting stereotype? I ask you this question sincerely and without malice. You must know it is offensive. Can you imagine a team called the Cincinnati Negros? Or the Columbus Jews? Can you imagine the Chief Wahoo version of those logos? It would be appalling. Your mascot and name is the very same thing. Why must you perpetuate these negative and inaccurate ideologies that hurt and hold back so many people?
    ...
    from Cleveland nextseated to memy left quietly apologized
    What an American is brought up to believe in a ball park might as well be what they are brought up to believe in a church. You should embrace this! This should be a beautiful opportunity for you to make good! I know you reading this are not personally the ones who created this logo, or this name, or these traditions. But you perpetuate them. And I think deep down you know that they are wrong. And that one day the name will change. So, please, just change it now, starting fresh for next season. Do the right thing. Look at the children in the stands and be motivated that you have the power to influence them to grow up as more educated, worldly and compassionate young Clevelanders.
    Respectfully,
    (view changes)
    1:49 pm
  5. page Open Letter edited ... My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario. I visited Cleveland for…
    ...
    My name is Devin Stratton, and I am 29 years old from Ottawa, Ontario. I visited Cleveland for the first time this past weekend with four friends to attend game 2 of the ALCS. We came to cheer on the Blue Jays, and although the outcome wasn't in our favour, we had a memorable time in your city. We had a pleasant stay, met some very kind Clevelanders, and fell in love with your ballpark.
    I've never penned a letter like this to an organization or company, but an incident at the game compelled me to write you. My friends and I were sitting in section 546, when a woman in her early twenties seated four seats over began to yell out in the faux Native American war cry. You know the one: when someone yells and rapidly puts their hand over their mouth. Now I know this is not a rare act in your past and current stadiums, and I've been aware of this fan behaviour from as far back as the Major League films. But when I heard it in person, my reaction surprised me. I figured I'd just feel annoyed, or angry. And I did. But I also felt sick, and sad that this woman would think it's okay and appropriate to do this. As she continued to do this, I tried to ignore it and enjoy the game, but the more it happened, the more it frustrated me.
    ...
    a white man,man myself, I fully
    I tell you all of this for one main reason: to ask you to have the courage to do what is right, and change the name of your baseball club. I know you've heard this all before, but please, hear me out.
    I think the team plays a horribly negative role on the current treatment and racism of Indigenous peoples in your country, and thus you have a responsibility as an institution and organization to correct this. I think of those people who did the war cry, who wore the head dress, who yelled “Go Tribe!”, who clapped along to the war drum on the jumbotron, and what I see is a culture at your stadium that has normalized racism in its fans. I don't think your fans truly understand that it's racist or wrong because you've been telling them for their entire lives that it's perfectly acceptable - by your name and mascot alone. I see a culture created at the park - a microcosm for the past and current mistreatment of Indigenous peoples in North America - that has told its fans that it's ok to reduce different races and cultures into a convenient, culturally appropriated caricature, which serve to only reflect their own prejudice, and not the reality of the peoples you continue to treat as mascots. I see adults thinking this is all ok, and passing this down to their children. And the horrible cycle spins on. It was painful to experience and frustrating to think about.
    (view changes)
    12:12 pm
  6. page Open Letter edited ... A Visitor's Open Letter to Cleveland To Whom It May Concern: ... I am a 29 year years …
    ...
    A Visitor's Open Letter to Cleveland
    To Whom It May Concern:
    ...
    I am a 29 yearyears old from
    I've never penned a letter like this to an organization or company, but an incident at the game compelled me to write you. My friends and I were sitting in section 546, when a woman in her early twenties seated four seats over began to yell out in the faux Native American war cry. You know the one: when someone yells and rapidly puts their hand over their mouth. Now I know this is not a rare act in your past and current stadiums, and I've been aware of this fan behaviour from as far back as the Major League films. But when I heard it in person, my reaction surprised me. I figured I'd just feel annoyed, or angry. And I did. But I also felt sick, and sad that this woman would think it's okay and appropriate to do this. As she continued to do this, I tried to ignore it and enjoy the game, but the more it happened, the more it frustrated me.
    Later on, I needed to go past her on my way to the stairwell, and as I did, she said, "Go Tribe!" to me in a reaction to my Jays shirt. And that's fine. I've been to Fenway and Comerica and received harmless taunts, and hey, I understand that comes from wearing "enemy" colours in "enemy" territory. I was not initially going to say anything to her regarding her “war cry”, but this gave me the icebreaker to do so. I'm a high school teacher, and I teach my students to not be bystanders when they see an injustice occurring, and so I figured I should do the same. Politely, I asked her if she knew that the ‘war cry’ she was doing was distasteful and that millions of people in North America are offended by it - not just Native Americans or Indigenous peoples, but people from all backgrounds. She just smiled, nodded and shrugged. I asked her then why she continues to do it if she knows it's racist and mean spirited. She just smiled. I dropped it and continued past when the older woman next to her, I assumed her mother, did the same 'war cry', and laughed at my confused reaction. I asked her if she knew that it was racist, and she said “yes”, and then laughed along with a man who was also with them. I frustratingly asked her, “how can you be fine doing that then?”. She just smiled and shrugged. Disappointed, I gave up and walked away. Minutes later, I noticed a white man about my age wearing a crude Hollywood style “Indian” head dress with war paint on his face. And it was at that moment, that as a white man, I fully sympathized with the #notyourmascot movement.
    (view changes)
    12:09 pm

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