March against racism

racist_flatBY DAVID TILSEN

On Thursday evening, Nov. 7, the Vikings will be hosting Washington at the Mall of America Field. People will be gathering in the Ancient Traders Post parking lot, 1113 E. Franklin Ave., near Maria’s Café, at 4:30 peacefully march to the stadium and ask sports announcers and stadium officials to not use the racist and illegal nickname “Redskins” to describe the Washington team.
That mascot nickname has been an open festering sore in the psyche of too many Indian people for too long. Imagine not being able to have a family dinner in a restaurant with a television playing sports without fearing that your children might be subjected to someone shouting, “Scalp those Redskins!” Or perhaps urging Washington to do the same to their opponents. The simple fact is that this term is like using the “N” word, and scalp has a similar historical memory for Indians as lynching does for the children of slaves.
We, in Minneapolis, like to believe that our city is better than this. The City Council has passed ordinances to protect minorities, and many pretty words have been said. Now, a coalition of Indians, supporters and professional football players have come together in Minneapolis to ask the city to not display the Washington and Cleveland logos on the city-paid-for football stadia. Not the existing one and not the new one. Not displayed on the outside or inside or on electronic screens or spoken by PA announcers. We should all be supporting this call.
At 5 p.m. the group will march to the stadium. There will be a rally at the stadium organized by Clyde Bellecourt. Billy Mills, a Lakota from Pine Ridge, will be a featured speaker. Mills won the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and he was the only American to ever win that event.
Clyde Bellecourt and the American Indian Movement are asking all people of conscience, all people who care about bringing up children without the wounds of racism to support them by showing up and marching with them on Nov. 7.

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