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Rest in Peace,
AN INDIAN FROM INDIA (FINALLY) SHEDS THE CHIEF WAHOO SYMBOL OF THE CLEVELAND INDIANS!
Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Sat, 10/29/2016 - 12:58.
AN INDIAN (Satinder P. S. Puri) FROM INDIA (FINALLY) SHEDS THE CHIEF WAHOO SYMBOL OF THE CLEVELAND INDIANS!
I have been wearing an Indians knitted woolen hat with the Chief Wahoo logo, under my turban (being a Sikh-American), for many years – with the objective of keeping my head warm in the winter months. Later, I started wearing the hat all year round.
I got the hat shortly after my late wife and I moved here from New York City in 2001.
Not being a sports fan – I had no problem identifying with our Indians. After all the Mets are from Queens where we lived before moving here. So is Donald Trump – and I have no affinity to either. And no affinity for the NY Yankees either – who were not too far away in the Bronx – now that we were living in Cleveland.
A few years ago -- I became aware of the controversy surrounding the Chief Wahoo symbol on the hat.
Last year (2015) – I was subject to a lot of verbal abuse (only on the opening day of the season) because of the hat -- saying that I was a racist and insensitive to the needs of our native Americans. The protesters had no idea of my activism (non-violent protests with two hunger strikes) – they just saw the symbol on my hat and unleashed a barrage of vitriol.
This year (2016) – nobody said anything – it appears my paths, on opening day (which was postponed – but I was there nevertheless with my campaign signs) did not cross with those of the obnoxious protesters.
I never see the protesters any other time of the year.
However, I see hundreds of Indians’ fans – from toddlers to senior citizens wearing uniforms displaying the objectionable symbol.
The reason they do it – is because it is part of the local culture with ZERO connotations for implied racism or disrespect for a minority community.
During the playoffs – the team manager and most of the players were displaying the symbol on their uniforms.
I don't know much about baseball or football or basketball -- I just demonstrate outside Progressive Field as I do outside the Browns’ stadium, and The Q, --- to draw attention to my various causes. I have never been inside any of the stadiums.
About two months ago (actually starting on September 13, 2016) I finally decided to shed the symbol after being reminded twice (but very politely) of not showing respect for our native Americans -- the Chief Wahoo symbol was inviting unwanted attention to my campaigns. Instead of answering questions as to why I was protesting against the Sports or the Arts Sin taxes (during the Vote No on Sin Tax campaigns) or what was meant by my Welcome Jimmy Dimora Public Square signs -- I was being asked to explain why I was displaying a symbol that was deemed offensive to the native Americans.
The change was not easy.
I was unable to get a woolen knitted hat with the new block C symbol – it appears they are not making this design anymore. So I got a cap – cut out the front portion with the new symbol with surgical precision – and attached it to a plain woolen hat with safety pins. This woolen hat also holds the symbol for our Cavaliers – also attached with safety pins and a when I put it on – I top it with a small Browns woolen cap – so the three symbols of our sports’ teams are displayed, under a turban, with a pride only a Clevelander can boast of.
HELLO WORLD: We are Cleveland, Ohio – and we are all “GO TRIBE”.
ALL IN: GO TRIBE, GO CAVS, AND GO BROWNS TOO!