Thursday, October 20, 2016


So a Canadian Native activist and architect is going to court today to prevent the Cleveland Indians from using that name and their logo when they play the Jays tonight. Normally this sort of thing would go through Canada's Human Rights Commission where it would actually have a high degree of potential success. But that takes time. And it would not make headlines in the US. So it seems he is doing this to bring awareness to his concern: That this baseball team's name and logo (and god it's a horrible carcature) are offensive to Native peoples Well, one cannot argue against that. And awareness is always a good thing, understanding a different perspective is how we learn and educate ourselves and how we learn about others. So the publicity is not a bad thing
But what if he's successful? What if, suddenly, the Cleveland Indians, a privately owned and controlled company, is told that they cannot use any of their trademark items. Apparently they do have uniforms free of these logos. If they heard the concern of Canadian people and decided to wear those uniforms during this series that would go a long way to building good will
But if they are forced to do it? And what if they resent the legal system of another country trying to tell them how to run their business. What the affect be on this series, for which thousands of fans are waiting to participate
Educating me, showing me a different perspective, letting me know how you are affected by something, that is incredibly positive and how we evolve as culture. But making these decisions for me, using a legal system to tell how to think about something, well that is Political Correctness. When you try to take away my choices, my choices about how I feel about and view anything, well sir, even if I agree with your point of view (and in this case I do) you are impinging on my freedom of thought And is that a road any of us want to go down

The above was posted to my Facebook account a couple of days ago, the morning the legal action was going to be introduced

It failed. I don't think anyone, including the claimant, expected it to succeed. What he wanted, I'm assuming, is to create dialogue. And that he did. People were talking about it. But they weren't talking about objectification and racism and marginalising an entire people in the name of sport, they were angry. Angry that someone wanted to use the legal system to impose their perspective upon everyone else
To force that perspective. And no matter the perspective, that pisses people off That is the danger of Political Correctness
You want to engage people, to educate them, to let them see your point of view. I may never share that point of view but if I hear about it in a reasoned and rational manner, I can at least respect it. But if you try to impose it on me, if you take away my choice to even disagree, well we are gunna have issues
This is a real issue. For people of my generation we grew up with the term Indians referring to Native North Americans. Of course it's wrong, it's a mis representation. But for us old folks it's subtle. That Indians logo though, you don't need to be particularly Culturally Sensitive to just want to cringe

Seriously, why on earth would this time fight to hang on to that thing? Perhaps with the name you could argue about legacy etc etc but that thing? Give your ignorant heads a shake

Other US sports teams seem to have gotten the message. The Chicago Blackhawks for instance. Without a court injunction from a foreign country The Natives in their area objected to the team's logo

Compared to the Indians logo I find this as progressive as Andy Warhol but it's not my perspective is it. I'm not the one who may feel objectified or disrespected. Do I need to totally understand that perspective? Probably not, perhaps that's impossible, but I can respect it. But I won't respect it if I feel something is forced upon me

At any rate, the Blackhawks engaged in the dialogue and had a Native artist come up with a new version of the logo

This version makes me see how insulting that old logo may have been. And damn, it's just pretty

The Florida Seminoles college football team went through a similar transformation

So there is a precedent and I'm not sure why Cleveland is not jumping in. But that is their business. And it is the business, or concern of Native people to try to change that perspective. I hope that they do. Someone wants me to sign some kind of petition beseeching the Cleveland Indians to move into the 21st century? I'll sign up

But ask me. Don't force me. Forcing people to change their cultural perspective was wrong when white Europeans did it to the Natives and its wrong now

Monday, October 17, 2016


We give our Thanks

We give our Thanks for huge bright skies and deep dark water and humpback trees swaying in the wind

We give Thanks for water still as glass wreathed with early morning mist that dances to a tune you can early hear when you are very still and you close your eyes and you let the wind stir in your hair

We are Thankful for bright cool mornings and water spraying over a bow and friends and family uniting to come together

Thanks for this opportunity to meet and greet and eat and just enjoy the sun and water and each other

We our Thankful for an excuse to come together, for which we really need no excuse but sometimes require impetus. The motivation becomes irrelevant as we share food and drink and smiles as bright as the day

The wind changes, feathering the deep dark water, the sky darkens and the sun catches on the sharp barbs of the electric green trees Home we go across the water As the day ends we remain thankful, we carry the day and the smiles in our memory We carry the memories in our heart

For all of this we are Thankful. For this day and all others that follow

Thanksgiving Georgian Bay from Victor Kellar on Vimeo.
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