April 02, 2007

Stereotypes persist in 2007

Who We Are:  Native American spirit rises above stereotypeUsually G. Peter Jemison of Victor, Ontario County, wears the business casual uniform of polo shirt and khakis. But when he attended Gov. Eliot Spitzer's inauguration in January, he wore traditional Seneca attire, including a feathered headdress, as he was representing the Seneca Nation of Indians. A woman passing by raised her hand and said "How," mimicking the greeting Hollywood mistakenly attributed to all Native Americans more than half a century ago.

It seems that even in 2007, the image of Native Americans is shrouded in hoary stereotypes.

6 comments:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
And so the answer to such a state must be that new 'stereotypes' must be established to replace all the older ones, for after all is this not the 21st Century? Natives no longer should be seen as savage or mystical, and instead must be seen as mere political entities that anyone can imitate to success, thus making them no differing than anyone else in American society. Their governments, their cultures, their histories, their customs, their languages, and thus their very identities could be foregone and assimilated so that EuroMan at last will complete his conquest of the New World and all the New Worlders, that is if there really ever were any New Worlders. The 'Indian Problem' therefore is solved and thence no one is left to chivvy or to complain about what is being done with the land or its people, and no one against whom to discriminate or to be held as victims of media-based biases and stereotypes. No more guilt, no more chagrin, no more contrition, no more hatreds, for the basis of such matters would be over and gone.
The BIA can close down by dint that it at last would satisfy its original charter to exist only 25 years. And then this website could fold its tent like the Indians and silently steal away...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Indian nations have always been political entities. That's why the European powers signed treaties with them centuries ago and why they were given a special status in the US Constitution.

Ironically, you're the one who thinks Indian governments, cultures, histories, customs, and languages don't matter. That's because you've said being Indian is a matter of a "genetic racial memory" or an "awareness granted by heredity." That means being Indian is a biological trait and not a political, social, or cultural trait, according to you.

Since Indian nations have always been political entities, it will have no effect on this site if they continue to be political entities. Therefore, you can count on my doing this work as long as you're around--and longer.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Oh, no problem there. EuroMan NEVER changes his mind and this is something that Native peoples worldwide have come to understand first and foremost. Whatever HE decides is law, and de rigeur, and absolute. It matters not that EuroMan is less than 5% of the world's population, because he regards his situation as supreme above all others. Arrogance and self-awareness are opposing quantities, according to Carl Jung. The more one is self-assured, the less he knows about himself.
Native tribes may have been political entities, TO EACH OTHER!! But, with the arrival of EuroMan, such identities totally were ignored. They were 'the enemy', those to be opposed and removed and/or defeated, period. And that is the sum total of the history of the United States of America.
By the bye, continuation of this website was not in question, as the hypothetical was that its subject would cease to exist, IF ALL THAT SUBJECT MEANT WAS WHAT YOU DESCRIBED IT TO BE. Luckily, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are encompassed in your philosophy...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Repeat: Indian nations have always been political entities. That's why the European powers signed treaties with them centuries ago and why they were given a special status in the US Constitution.

You don't sign a political treaty with a political entity if you don't recognize that political entity. Euro-Americans began signing political treaties with tribes in the 1500s and continued signing them for centuries thereafter. Indian leaders were treated as government dignitaries, even heads of state, throughout this time.

I thought this was Indian History 101, but apparently you didn't know it. Now you do. You're never too old to learn something, eh?

HistoriCUSS said...

"On the 3d of March, 1871, Congress declared that "hereafter no Indian nation or tribe within the territory of the United States shall be acknowledged or recognized as an independent nation, tribe, or power, with whom the United States may contract by treaty."

OceanMica said...

writerfella says, "Arrogance and self-awareness are opposing quantities, according to Carl Jung." I really don't think Jung said that. According to what I can discover from the internet, M (Judi Dench) said something similar in Casino Royale, 2006 -- although from the references to it on the 'net, you'd think it had the weight of a statement by Jung.