"Cleveland Five" to have case heard
by Barry Landeros-Thomas (fwd by a)
Tuesday, May. 25, 2004 at 10:02 PM
Ohio Supreme Court to Hear Case of "Cleveland 5", today, Wednesday, April 26th.
Case of the burning Wahoo effigy.
State Supreme Court, Wed. 5/26..."Cleveland Five" to have case heard
Please come out to the State Supreme Court this Wednesday, May 26, beginning at 9:00 a.m. to show your support for activist working for Native Rights. Please pass on this info to any and all people of conscience. We want to have a presence in the court chambers as well as outside the courthouse.
A little background on this case...for years the Native American community and other people of conscience have worked to put an end to the use of stereotypical and racist mascots by sports teams at all levels. It is exactly this type of dehumanizing and objectifying practice that makes it easy for those of the mainstream to put Indigenous people and people of color in general into an "exotified other" category...this foundation makes it easy for the targets of such racist portrayals to be discounted, discredited, and made to be less than human in many respects.
We can see the effects of such racists portrayals in the atrocities of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where military personnel subjected other human beings to unspeakable torture. We can see it in the burning crosses and white
men in hoods, who saw only a "nigger" and not a man as they lynched him in the middle of the night. We can see it in the eyes of the "real American" who didn't flinch as they carted away Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II.
The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Meida (NCRSM) and other groups have worked to draw attention to this issue in the hopes of educating the larger mainstream population about the issue and to eventually bring about change.
One of the annual rallies occurs in Cleveland, OH, at the home opener of the professional baseball team there. In 1998, five local and national leaders--Vernon Bellecourt, Charlene Teters, James Watson, Juan Reyna, and Zizwe Tchiguka--were arrested for burning an effigy of the racist mascot Chief Wahoo as part of the protest. The link below is the summary of the case to be heard on Wednesday:
It is amazing, in this land of the free, that such a racist mascot continues to be revered by the mainstream. If the city of Cleveland has its way, the grinning, racist, Red Sambo will be afforded more protection than the flag of the United States of America as evidenced by the case of Texas v. Johnson, in which the Supreme Court decided that the flag burning was "speech", and has ruled consistently ruled that punishment for flag burning amounted to an attempt to suppress unpopular speech.
Thank you all for your help,
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