Of Dots and Feathers

Breakfast With Bwana

By Anil Madan

The Cleveland Indians (feather, not dot) are not really Indians. In some years, they are a baseball team. In other years, they pretend to be a baseball team.

After years of protest from Native American groups, the Cleveland Indians team has decided to stop calling itself the Indians. The name has been considered a racial slur. Photo – Getty Images


Now, after years of protest from American Indian… er Native American… groups, the team has decided to stop calling itself the Indians. Well, as The New York Times reports, the name has been considered a racial slur. Well.

That’s hard to fathom. After all, American Indians long ago stopped calling themselves “Indians” and chose to be known as Native Americans. Never mind that calling someone a “native” is considered a slur in other countries.

It seems to me that this change of identity frees up the term “Indian” and leaves it up for grabs. But why should one have to grab for that which one owns? I refer, of course, to the real Indians after whom the American Indians and eventually, the Cleveland Indians, were named. We all know that the confusion was originally the result of a failure of Christopher Columbus’s GPS navigation system. The failure was that it had not yet been invented.

So, Chris thought he had reached southern Asian shores when he had actually reached the then nonexistent United States. You see, it is entirely possible to not use a nonexistent GPS system and not get to where you think you are going. Now do you understand why Donald Trump thinks that he did not lose the election and that he is soon going to be not the President?

But back to matters at hand. I suppose it would be too cute to rename the Cleveland team as the Cleveland Indians with an asterisk thus:

The Cleveland Indians*

(*formerly the Cleveland Native Americans).

I am fairly confident that Indian Americans (the dots, not feather) don’t think it is racist to be called an Indian.

We all know that the football team in the nation’s capital formerly known as the Washington Redksins is either in search of a new name or has hit on a great marketing strategy by simply calling itself the Washington Football Team. That’s about as non-partisan as it gets. I would have preferred that the team call itself the Washington Samosas or even the Washington Tikka Masala.

Anyhow, we have the Atlanta Braves, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Chicago Blackhawks as candidates for real Indian names.

All of this brings to mind a story that has been going around.

Trump, Putin, and Xi ignored Modi who looked on while they argued about who is in charge of the world… the United States, Russia, or China? Exasperated at their inability to persuade each other, they finally turned to Modi and asked him, “Okay, so what do you say, who’s in charge of the world?”

Modi replied, “All I know is

  1. The CEO of Google is an Indian
  2. The CEO of Microsoft is an Indian
  3. The CEO of Adobe is an Indian
  4. The CEO of NetApp is an Indian
  5. The CEO of MasterCard is an Indian
  6. The CEO of DBS is an Indian
  7. The CEO of Novartis is an Indian
  8. The CEO of Diageo is an Indian
  9. The CEO of SanDisk is an Indian
  10. The CEO of Harman International is an Indian
  11. The CEO of Micron is an Indian
  12. The CEO of Palo Alto Networks is an Indian
  13. The CEO of Reckitt Benckiser is an Indian
  14. IBM CEO is an Indian
  15. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer is an Indian
  16. Britain’s Home Secretary is an Indian
  17. Ireland’s Prime minister is an Indian

So, who’s running the World?”

* * *

On a lighter note: British vaccine fallout

What follow have been forwarded to me by a friend. Sharing with readers just for laughs:

The second patient in the world to receive the approved coronavirus jab is an 81-year-old man from Warwickshire called William Shakespeare. Photo – dailymail.co.uk


If Margaret Keenan was Patient 1A, was William Shakespeare “Patient 2B or not2B?”
Humour and hope ruled high as a 90-year-old grandmother in Britain became the world’s first person to receive a fully tested Covid vaccine shot on a “great day for medical science and the future” that was celebrated as “V-day”. Keenan, who turns 91 in a week, was the first to receive the shot.

The second person to receive the shot was William Shakespeare from Warwickshire in England. Besides Keenan, none attracted as much attention as the 81-year-old, who was second in line for a shot in Coventry and who, the National Health Service confirmed, really is named William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare had the injection at University Hospital Coventry, 20 miles from Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of his namesake, England’s greatest dramatist and poet.
Shakespeare’s shot inspired Twitter users, who joked about “The Taming of the Flu”, “The Two Gentlemen of Corona”.
More literary shots followed.
“Actually I heard the second person to get the vaccine was Christopher Marlowe but William Shakespeare took all the credit,” tweeted Tiernan Douieb, alluding to the theory that some of Shakespeare’s plays were written by his contemporaries.
Some settled for the simple but evocative “All’s well that ends well”.
The pun had its moment, too. “I’m surprised they let William Shakespeare have the vaccine. I thought he was Bard,” deadpanned one person. All of which was getting a bit too much for Amanda @Pandamoanimum who tweeted: “People are making a big thing about the second man to receive the Covid-19 vaccine being called William Shakespeare, but I think it’s much ado about nothing.”

* * *

Picking lemons

Trump’s immigration crackdown and the coronavirus pandemic have caused a severe labour shortage in the agricultural sector.

This is a heartwarming story of how Trump has successfully brought low paying jobs back.

Thanks to John S for this. – some editing by yours truly.

Sally Mulligan of Coral Springs, Florida, read an ad online for one of the jobs that most Americans are not willing to do and decided to apply. Desperate for work, and seeing this: ‘ONLY U.S. CITIZENS OR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS NEED APPLY’, she decided to give it a shot.

She submitted an application to a Florida lemon grove but seemed far too qualified for the job. She has a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree from Michigan State University.

For a number of years, she had worked as a social worker, and also as a school teacher. The foreman studied her application, frowned, and said, “I see you are well-educated and have an impressive resume. However, do you have any actual experience in picking lemons?”

“Well, as a matter of fact, I have,” she said. “I’ve been divorced three times, owned two Chryslers, and voted for Trump.”

She started work yesterday.


* Published in print edition on 15 December 2020

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