Letter to my Grandchildren

Dear Ellie, Gus, Zack and Colin,
I wanted to write you for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to say that I love you and tell you how special you are to me. You are wonderful grandchildren and have great parents – they love you too.

 Secondly, I wanted to write because the election of Donald Trump as president has made me sad and has caused me to think about you so much ever since.  So here are some things I want to say to you now:

1. It’s going to be okay. There are some scary things about this election but it is going to be okay. Your parents and grandparents are going to keep working on this.

2. From all we have seen, Mr. Trump is not a very nice man. He has cheated people, told lots of lies and says things about people who are different that hurt them.  He thinks having lots of money makes him important but doesn’t use his money much to help others.

 Many years ago, long before you were born, I read a book called “All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” It was a good book and a fun book to read. Here are some of the things that book talked about.

a. Be friendly and kind;

b. Share with others;

c. Don’t tell lies – tell the truth;

d. Don’t cheat;

e. Pay attention;

f. Learn to read and think about what you read;

g. Don’t push people down;

h. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and,

i. Laugh and have fun!

Maybe Mr. Trump didn’t graduate from kindergarten, or maybe he never learned these things if he did.  Maybe he once knew some of these things and has forgotten them now. He is an old man like me and he should know these things.  But in the way he lives, he doesn’t act like he ever learned them.

We don’t always win games, or prizes or elections. When we lose it hurts, but we keep trying. 

Just because bad people sometimes win doesn’t mean they are right. 

 And, sometimes bad people can change. Let’s hope Mr. Trump can change. But I am not going to let him trick me and I am going to watch him very closely so that he won’t trick me or others.

I am also going to work really hard to make sure other people who remember what they learned in kindergarten will be elected in the future and we get Mr. Trump out of our lives as soon as possible.

Who knows, one day one of you might be president. I already know this about you – you are smart and nice and will always remember what you learned in kindergarten.

I love you,

Papaw

 

Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indigenous Peoples Demeaning Mascot

Chicago Cubs Vs. Cleveland’s Indigenous Peoples Demeaning Mascot

Okay, so that we are clear, I am a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan.  There was a time when as a preadolescent I had a brief fling with the Cincinnati Reds and, I confess, I admired the St. Louis Cardinals for a brief period, but it was always, first and foremost, the CUBS!  So you can imagine how marvelous it was to sit with my daughter at game five of this year’s world series with Cleveland and see my beloved team win a world series game there for the first time in seventy-eight years! 

img_2017

It was magical — nerve-wracking but magical.  After the Cubs had a great year (the best in baseball with 103 wins) they are struggling against that Cleveland team.  The Cubs are up against some extraordinary pitching, especially from a guy named Miller who is the best closer I have seen in, well, forever.

I will not mention the name of the Cleveland team because… well… because of… this:

th
Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo

Come on Cleveland, time to clean up this image of your mascot.  I have often defended you as a fine city.  You are not “a mistake by the lake.”  In recent visits I have marveled at the vibrancy that has come to your downtown and the renewal taking place in many neighborhoods.  You have had some good political leaders and some not so good (Stokes, Kucinich, Voinovich, Campbell, Jackson).  I won’t mention which I think were the good ones.  You have many fine educational and cultural institutions.  Of course, there is also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

I admit to being a Chicago partisan in this World Series but just a few months ago I was pulling for the Cavs to surprise everyone and come back from a 3 to 1 deficit to become the world champions in the NBA.  THEY DID!  So, now, a few hours before game six, I will be pulling for a similar comeback, this time for my dear Cubbies.  I am pulling for the Cubs to beat the team I shall call the Cleveland Indigenous Peoples Impersonators.

Is the Chief Wahoo image racist?  Of course it is!  Don’t pretend differently.  Ask the people who have the most right to be offended.  The National Congress of American Indians published a poster recently that covers the situation all too well.  Just imagine:

mascot_hats-jpg-crop-promovar-mediumlarge

Anything more need to be said? 

So, win or lose, Cleveland friends, please clean up this racist name and image.  It’s an important step.  Go to the website of the National Congress of American Indians to learn more (National Congress of American Indians).

Oh yes, and those of you NFL fans of a certain football team in Washington D.C. known as the R*dskins — you too can join in the fun of eliminating such demeaning symbols.

These may appear to some to be small matters; not significant.  Some may say I am being “politically correct.”  Others may say I should focus on matters of more substance like the Sioux Nation’s efforts to protect land and tribal rights at Standing Rock in North Dakota.  I get that and I also think this is all a part of the same package — names of mascots, environmental threats, and small bigotries are all a reflection of our nation’s sinful acts against the First Peoples and our continuing discriminations.  It is our enduring embarrassment and, yes, it will require more than just changing a mascot’s name.

As I write, game six of the Series is only a couple of hours away.  So, Go Cubs, Beat the Cleveland Indigenous Peoples Impersonators!

th-2.jpg

Filet