To: MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Cleveland MLB Team CEO Paul Dolan

Tell the Cleveland Indians it's time to change their racist name and mascot

Tell the Cleveland Indians it's time to change their racist name and mascot

Our faith tradition teaches us that we are all created in God’s image. Holding on to racist images and inappropriate names only serves to injure our common humanity and to disfigure God’s image in all of us.

I urge you use your power to change the name of the Cleveland baseball team and to eliminate the use of its current mascot, Chief Wahoo.

Why is this important?

My name is Toni Buffalo, I am a Lakota person of faith and a member of the United Church of Christ.

I started this petition because it is time for the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name.

To me, this is personal – as a Native American woman, a mother, a grandmother and an educator I see the impact of this harmful imagery on our Native youth and students. When our culture is boiled down to a stereotypical team name or a racist team mascot that falsely represent 2.9 million people and 566 federally recognized tribes, the result is our young people suffer and cannot reach their full potential as God’s children. For all youth to grow up in a world that is healed of prejudice, we must dismantle the racist imagery and names in our society.

Our indigenous tradition teaches us that we are all relatives to one another through Mother Earth. Our faith tradition tells us that we are all created in God’s image. Holding on to racist images and inappropriate names only serves to injure our common humanity and to disfigure God’s image in all of us.

For more than 100 years, the Cleveland baseball team has adopted the name “Indians” and perpetuated the myth of Indigenous peoples as savages in this continent. It's the same negative stereotype that was used to justify genocide and land theft from our communities. The racist caricature of Chief Wahoo is similar to the smiling face of Little Black Sambo and equally offensive. There is nothing funny or endearing about racism.

Join me and people of faith around the country in calling on the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name!

How it will be delivered

On June 30th a group of faithful advocates marched through the streets of Cleveland. We prayed outside the offices of the Cleveland baseball team and delivered our petition to management. Thank you for standing in solidarity with Native brothers and sisters throughout the country, by working to dismantle racist imagery and names in sports and in our society.

You can check out photos from our petition delivery on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/44030564@N03/sets/72157652959005343

Cleveland, OH, United States

Reasons for signing

  • Native Mascots do not represent the people. Singling out a race of people is unacceptable.
  • Racism also has no place in The Land.
  • cause theyre not indians. theyre indigenous 'americans'

Updates

2015-07-06 15:25:39 -0400

On June 30th a group of faith advocates joined me in marching through the streets of Cleveland. We prayed outside the offices of the Cleveland baseball team and delivered our petition to management. Thank you for standing in solidarity with me, and Native brothers and sisters throughout the country, by working to dismantle racist imagery and names in sports and in our society.

You can check out photos from our petition delivery on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/44030564@N03/sets/72157652959005343
Or read about it via United Church News: "UCC to Cleveland Baseball Team: 'Change the Logo! Change the Name!'” - United Church of Christ http://www.ucc.org/news_general_synod_ucc_to_cleveland_baseball_team_change_the_logo_change_the_name_06302015

In Solidarity,
Toni

2015-06-26 15:14:18 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2015-06-11 19:21:29 -0400

500 signatures reached

2015-06-05 09:30:03 -0400

100 signatures reached

2015-06-04 12:33:12 -0400

50 signatures reached

2015-06-03 21:59:26 -0400

25 signatures reached

2015-06-03 13:50:59 -0400

10 signatures reached