Friday, October 21, 2011

Who is the home team?

As we watch the Baseball World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals vs the Texas Rangers, my seven year son Caleb asked me "Mom, which team do we cheer for?  Who is the Home Team?" 

I grew up in Saint Louis and fondly remember donning red Cardinal wear over the years.   Yes I'm cheering for the Cardinals and threatened "all who would like to eat dinner are to cheer with me."  HA!  But if you look in Caleb's room, you'll see gear supporting both teams because we get" hand-me downs" from all the boy cousins -- so he has a Rangers hat from his Texas cousins and a Cardinal shirt from his St. Louis cousins.  So whose colors do you wear?  

Do we simply cheer for the team that we know the players names?  Nick Punto is a former Minnesota Twin and we always liked do we cheer for the Cardinals simply because he's with them now and we like someone on their team?

What if I look better in blue than red??
Do we cheer for where we grew up or where our family lives now?

Or do we follow the logic of one of the neighbor boys and cheer for the team we believe is going to win so that we can be on the winning side?  A little tongue in cheek... but why not? Or do we act like other Minnesota Twins fans in our circle of friends and watch more high school football because "our team is out" ?

This week I was referred to a series of new videos that I'll share with you listed below.   They tell the story of the United States-Dakota Indian War of 1862 through the eyes of settler artists who depicted the main events, cities, battles and main characters.  I just watched a few of these videos today for the first time (and you'll see by the number of viewers, that they are hot right off the press).   You get to see some new releases here!

What struck me in listening to these video was the use of the term "defenders."
I caught myself asking --In this case, who truly were the defenders? 1) The Dakota who were here on this land first and still refer to Minnesota as their homeland OR 2) the pioneer/settlers who moved here from Europe, who built their cities/houses here and were protecting them?    Both call themselves the defenders.

So which was the home team? 
Dakota were on both sides of the war, just like the Civil War.  Some actually went to great lengths to protect white settlers.   Some families had relatives on either side.  Both "sides" committed heinous acts against innocent women and children.  Both considered themselves the home team.  Both prayed to God/the Creator.

To me, 150 years later it's not critically important to assess which team lost more or to agree on all of the details.  Both teams lost.  I want to find ways to help heal.

As we get people in the room to have them share their perspective on history and to find ways to bring justice/healing, I remain hopeful that we can find some common ground, regardless of whose team "uniform" our ancestors were wearing, or where we grew up or who we know the best.

**Defenders Monument by the Bronze Monumental Company
Ansicht von New Ulm by Julius Berndt
The Attack on New Ulm by Anton Gag
Defense of New Ulm by Alexander Schwendinger
First Battle of New Ulm by Anton Gag
Milford State Monument by Perkins & Kratzert Monument Company
The Battle of New Ulm by Frank Stengel
WPA Murals by John Martin Socha
Sleepy Eye Statue by JoAnne Bird