January 15, 2007

All about me

Rob Schmidt’s Super MissionIt seems an unlikely path for a comic book aficionado with college degrees in math and library science. Especially a non-Native comic book aficionado with college degrees in math and library science. But Rob Schmidt isn’t like most non-Native comic book aficionados with college degrees in math and library science, and not just because he was born and raised in southern California, which we won’t hold against him.

Rob Schmidt—yep, the same Rob Schmidt whose blog, Newspaper Rock, we carry in NativeVue—he’s a missionary of sorts, or maybe in keeping with his focus, a superhero. His mission, quite simply, is to dispel stereotypes of Native Americans in mainstream society; to shine a light wherever he discovers yet another example reinforcing the image of Indians as relics, spiritual icons or hapless victims. How and why makes what he does all the more remarkable.


Anonymous said...

don't let it go to your head, big guy...;)

Rob said...

The Indians of the Caribbean managed to survive, perhaps as slaves on Spanish estates, because their descendants are alive today. In fact, they led some of the protests against Pirates.

"Inquisitiveness" was a typo. The word should have been "acquisitiveness."

If anyone cares, I have an MBA too, and it also contributes to my work.

Rob said...

The Taino and Carib Indians still exist. I don't know about the Lucayans.

"Cannibal" is supposedly derived from "Carib," but the Spanish exaggerated or made up their stories about the Carib being cannibals. I covered this point in Cannibals of the Caribbean, which you can read.

Anyway, the movie conflated the real and fictional Indians by not distinguishing between them. And as we've already established, the context doesn't matter when it comes to stereotyping. A fiction-based stereotype is just as harmful as a reality-based stereotype.

An MBA is also useful if you're trying to run a small business. I'm doing that by assisting with PECHANGA.net and operating my own Blue Corn Comics.

By the way, I'm an Aquarius, but I don't covet the latest gadgets and gizmos. I'm a middle-of-the pack adopter when it comes to technology.