March 22, 2007

Leno on Indian trackers

Overheard on the 3/22 morning repeat of the 3/14 Tonight Show:

"An elite military unit made up of Native American Indians is now being used to track down terrorists in the Middle East, including Osama bin Laden. [To Kevin Eubanks] They're using Native American Indians. They're over in Afghanistan right now. They haven't found Bin Laden yet, but they did open 13 casinos."

Racist? Stereotypical? Good for a laugh? You be the judge.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

A little stereotypical, yes, but not in a malicious way. Good for a laugh? maybe a little chuckle.



Anonymouse

voyageur said...

Might not be a bad idea, either. I'm sure the Afghanistan economy can use some help.

Jae said...

A little chuckle? Afghanistan economy could use a little help? From one of the poorest populations in America?? I was insulted by this 'joke'! How offensive to me that generations of service (and continued service) by Natives to this country has been watered down to a piddly comment about casinos.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
The Shadow Wolves are NOT military but rather are paramilitary and working for the US Immigration and Customs Administration. That is not to say that some of them could not be veterans, of course. Leno always goes for the obvious and one will have to admit that the main news items about Natives in the mainstream press usually is about casinos. Count writerfella in for a nano-chuckle for a Leno-snicker...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

voyageur said...

Jae: I've visited a few reservation areas where the economy and standard of living and services were improved by the construction and operation of casinos.

In many areas of the US, this "poorest population in America" has, through the success gaming and other industries, provided money to help the non-Native surrounding communities. I'm sure you are aware of that?

It's no joke at all it probably would help the Afghanistan economy if this did happen for real.

Anonymous said...

Hey Voyageur, I don't think the Muslim religion allows gambling.


Anonymouse

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Nor do the Muslim dicta allow for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Then, why are there so many self-identified American Muslims attending the Betty Ford Clinic for alcohol treatment?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

voyageur said...

Mousie: So true. So they should build casinos in Afghanistan, and people would be free to stay out according to their religion. I bet such casinos would do quite well.

Jae said...

Voyageur,
First of all, the issue of Indian Gaming has been used by many white conservatives (Ahrrnold in particular) to create resentment towards those tribes who have been able to use gaming as a means to support a variety of social programs. (Do I think Jay is a white conservative? No, but I think this statement only serves their purpose of casting a poor light on Indian gaming.) Secondly, the idea of a casino being opened in Afghanistan by native soldiers to help the economy is insulting to those native young men and women who are serving in the military today. We cheapen their service by creating the idea that they are not the highly trained soldiers and marines that the rest of the military is, they are there to open a casino. Yes I have seen the good that casinos can do, but only for those smaller tribes who live in more populated areas. I live on the Wind River Reservation where the Northern Arapaho fought the state of Wyoming for the right to have gaming, their new casino is slated to open next year. Their 'temporary' structure has not been the success that you have seen in other areas (California, I presume?). The Arapaho have yet to see the benefit of having a casino. I am enrolled Oglala, where our casino has been open for many years and there has not been vast amounts of change in the welfare of the majority of enrolled members. Why did the 'joke' that Jay Leno told get a rise out of me? Why was I insulted? Because I come from a family of men who have served our country, from my father who served two tours in Vietnam, uncles who served in Korea, and both my grandfathers who served in World War II, one of whom survived the Bataan Death March. Let's not forget my Great-Great Grandfather who fought in the 'Indian Wars'. I find it extremely hard to take for someone to belittle their memory and service, as well as the service of so many who are in today's military. (By the way, native communities have been supporting the surrounding non-native communities for decades, before casinos and gaming, why do you think the largest Wal-Mart stores are near the reservation? These small towns would have dried up and blown away if it wasn't for our patronage.