Why the Cleveland Indians Name Change Makes Sense for a Leftist

Last week the Cleveland Indians decided to change their name.  Since it was announced, the far left sports media has been heaping praise on the organization for being so forward thinking and proactive.  My initial reaction was annoyance and disappointment, but then I thought, “I should really look at it from their perspective.”  No, I don’t mean from the perspective of Indians, because as even Washington Post polling from just a few years ago shows, most Native Americans were not offended by the Washington Redskins football team name, much less the Indians.  I mean from the perspective of a leftist.

Think about it.  A great sports team name is tough, powerful, and formidable.  There are Panthers, Giants, Vikings, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Braves, Titans, Lions and Tigers and Bears.  Oh my!  Some might say that the nickname for the team closest to me, the Angels, sounds pretty harmless, but as we know from A Charlie Brown Christmas, when an angel appeared to the shepherds to announce the birth of our Savior they were “sore afraid.”  An angel is probably very intimidating.  If you are not on the left you might think Indians are also tough, but remember, we are putting ourselves in the shoes of a leftist.  The left doesn’t see Indians as powerful.  They see them as whiny, overly sensitive, easily offended wussies.  Who would want their home team represented as that?  You might as well call them the Cleveland Flower Girls.  It makes perfect sense that you would not want your team to have such a pathetic, weak name.  

About now some of you are shocked.  “I can’t believe he just said Indians are whiny, overly sensitive, easily offended wussies!  That is racist!”  Except I don’t think that.  I think Indians is a great team name.  I know that the team was actually nicknamed for Louis Sockalexis, the first Native American player in Major League Baseball.  I think that Native Americans can be tough and formidable.  It is the left that thinks Indians are fragile wimps that need protection from being seen as anything other than victims.  Apparently even leftists who want to give out trophies to everybody are too competitive to name their team after people they consider helpless victims.

I must admit, when looking at this through the eyes of a leftist I caught myself a couple of times using logic instead.  One of the first things that popped into my head was Abbott explaining to Costello that there’s only one Feller on the Cleveland Indians.  It was very hard for me to put aside my assumption that Abbott and Costello were trying to do a hilarious bit about legendary Indians pitcher Bob Feller, and instead think that they were trying to make Native Americans cry.  Then I thought about Willie Mays Hayes, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, and Harry Doyle chiming “juuuuust a bit outside” in the classic baseball comedy about the Indians, Major League, and realized that a leftist cannot in good conscience watch that because the film caused irreparable damage to the lives of our indigenous population.  Please don’t ask me what damage it caused because I’m new to thinking like a leftist and I have no idea.  I think I’m supposed to avoid your question by calling you a racist for even asking it.

The name change actually does make logical sense if you think so little of Indians.  People on the left will deny that this is what they are saying about Native Americans when they object to using the name Indians, but they can’t have it both ways.  Don’t let them fool you.  That is what they are saying.  If they didn’t think indigenous people are overly sensitive wimps who would be offended by hearing a sportscaster say that the Indians beat the Tigers 8-3, then why the push to change the name?  The only other option is that leftists are delusional enough to think that the sportscaster actually did mean to attack Indians by including the team in his report.  If that is the case it seems like the least successful offense against Indians since the Little Bighorn.

Don’t Be Offended Unless Offense is Intended

In the iconic television series Star Trek, Captain Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew would travel to new planets, beam down to the surface, and learn about their societies.  Spock was from the planet Vulcan, and most of us know the Vulcan greeting that he often used, “Live long and prosper.”  We as Americans should consider what saying space visitors would associate with us if they beamed down to the United States today.  Our national motto is technically “In God We Trust,” but unfortunately there is another statement that seems far more common in our country today.  “I am offended.”

The list of things that people in America find offensive is endless.  I don’t even think our alien visitors would enjoy being here because of the eggshells we have to walk on to avoid public shaming or worse.  Even using the word “alien” is now considered offensive by some.  This constant state of feeling offended not only makes that person unbearable to be around, but it makes them less happy.  Imagine how much joy it would take out of life if you went to a comedy show and instead of finding the jokes funny you found them offensive.

I have good news for you, though.  There is a solution to being offended all the time.  Simply choose not to be offended.  Yes, you heard me right.  Being offended is a choice.  I have even come up with a saying to help me decide whether or not I should feel offended.  Don’t be offended unless offense is intended. 

Notice I did not say that you should never be offended.  There are certainly times when you should be.  If somebody purposely impugns your character, their intent was to offend you.  If somebody calls you a loser then you should take offense.  My little proverb is meant to keep you from wasting your time, energy, and likeability on complaining about jokes, harmless comments, or even things that you disagree about.  People should be able to disagree with each other and not feel offended. 

The problem today is that people go around looking for things to find offensive.  There are women who feel offended if a man opens a door for her.  There are people who are offended by the Mark Twain classic Huckleberry Finn.  There are even people who are offended by a new television show on ABC about girls getting kidnapped on a highwaybecause the girls who get kidnapped are not Indians.  Using my rule none of those examples should be offensive because an offense was not intended. 

There is now a term for these types of offenses.  They call them microaggressions.  The psychologist who popularized the term, Dr. Derald Wing Sue, even explained in a video that “Microaggressions occur because they are outside the level of conscious awareness of the perpetrator.”   That means that not only does the perpetrator not intend to offend you, but that you would have to explain to them why you’re offended.  If you often find yourself having to explain why you are offended that probably means your pain is self-inflicted. 

Let’s put my advice into practice and try some examples to test if we should be offended by them. 

Example #1:  Somebody says “Merry Christmas” to you.  You are not a Christian.

Response:  Do not be offended.  Their intention was to be nice.

Example #2:  Somebody asks you for help on a math problem.  You are Asian.

Response:  Do not be offended.  Maybe they weren’t thinking about your race.  Maybe they were.  It doesn’t matter.  The intent was to get a math problem right.

Example #3:  Your friend Fred sits next to you at a blackjack table.  The dealer calls him “sir” without learning his gender identity first.

Response:  Do not be offended.  The intent was to politely address him.  Oops.  I just said “him” without realizing it.

Example #4:  Somebody says that “All lives matter.”

Response:  Do not be offended.  I doubt that their intention was to say that anybody’s life doesn’t matter.  Thus the word all.

Example #5:  Somebody says that you can be put into a basket of deplorables.

Response:  You can be offended because calling somebody deplorable is certainly intended to impugn their character.

Now you have a guideline to go by, so the next time you see a George Washington statue, you should be able to fight the urge to cry and tear it down.  You know that the intent of the statue was not to brag that he owned slaves.  Choose not to be offended.  Hopefully, this advice will help the United States become a more pleasant place for our visitors from space.  If instead, you choose to remain constantly offended, Mr. Spock will probably find you highly illogical.