October 16, 2007

Why people support Indian mascots

What the "Fighting Sioux" Tells Us About WhitesI think a similar power dynamic is at the core of white resistance to the simple act of dropping nicknames such as Fighting Sioux: Indians don't get to tell white people what to do. Why not? Polite white people won't say it in public, but this is what I think many white folks think: "Whites won and Indians lost. It's our country now. Maybe the way we took it was wrong, but we took it. We are stronger than you. That's why we won. That's why you lost. So, get used to it. You don't get to tell us what to do." I think for white people to acknowledge that we don't have the right to use the name and logo would be to open a door that seems dangerous.

Why should Indians have the right to make the decision over how their name and image are used? Because in the absence of a compelling reason to override that right, a person or group of people should have control over their name and image. That's part of what it means to be a person with full humanity. And in this case, the argument for white people giving Indians that power is intensified by the magnitude of the evil perpetrated by whites on Indians.

To acknowledge all that is to acknowledge that the American nation is based on genocide, on a crime against humanity. The land of the free and the home of the brave, the nation that was born as the vehicle for a new freedom, rests on the denial not only of freedom, but of life itself, to a whole group of people--for the crime of getting in the way of what the European invaders wanted for themselves, the land and its resources.

10 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Again, the opponents and proponents in the name-and-logo debacles ALL miss the continents for the mountains. Yes, superiority and the sanctity of same is the driving force behind perpetuation of such matters. But even elimination of the matters only accomplishes victories in the abstract. Problems of de facto discrimination do not end if a sports team -- whether el-hi, collegiate, professional, intermural, or intramural -- divests a Native-based, Native-sounding name or icon or even identity. People who hate always will hate, no matter how ignorant or even well-educated they are. And sports team names and/or icons and/or identities simply prove to be vestigial to problems of bias, prejudice, partiality, superiority, and racial hatreds. Attacks on symbols are energies, motivations, and opportunities being misdirected, misplaced, and wasted. And the results? The same punchline from that Saturday Night Live skit: "Okay, now are we cool?"
As with the American Indian Movement's 1970 assault on the official Oklahoma University Native mascot, Little Red, it was a successful and satisfying campaign for AIM. But once the Native symbol of pride had been eliminated and AIM had gone its way, Native students became targets for bias, prejudice, partiality, superiority, racial hatreds, and even bodily harm from the rest of the student body. For that stinging and ringing disservice, AIM deserves two thumbs up their collective asses...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Re "People who hate always will hate, no matter how ignorant or even well-educated they are": This begs the question of where the hatred comes from. Are people born with hate in their souls, or does it originate from some external source?

Re "Attacks on symbols are energies, motivations, and opportunities being misdirected, misplaced, and wasted": Criticism of Indian mascots and other Native stereotypes has reduced their numbers, which is one measure of success. If you don't like this approach, what's your solution for combating racism and stereotyping?

Criticizing Indian mascots and other Native stereotypes is simply a form of education. We educate people about why these symbols are wrong and hope that they'll change them. Judging by the results, this educational effort is working. Native stereotypes are much less prevalent than they used to be.

So let's get this straight: You're opposed to education? You prefer that people remain ignorant about how Native stereotypes are false and misleading? Wow. Funny position for a supposedly educated writer to take.

Rob said...

You can repeat your University of Oklahoma anecdote as often as you want, but it's pretty useless without documentation. Where's your evidence that bias and prejudice increased after the elimination of Little Red? All we have is your word for it, and that isn't worth much. Since you've lied about my source of income, you may be lying about this too.

It's tough when you get a reputation as a liar, isn't it? Oh, well. You dug your grave; now lie in it.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Your source of income never has been the issue. It is what you wish to reveal about your source of income that is the real issue. When have we heard anything one way or the other? Casino tribes hand out monies right and left to be able to function in the nefarious ways that they have found most advantageous to themselves, the officials. You, Rob, have defended the actions of casino tribes and their business committees despite the aspersions that even tribal members have cast on such operations. Something is rancid in Tivoli and you profess somehow to have lost your sense of smell. There MUST be a reason, and writerfella only is speculating as to why.
One does not lie if what he suspects and inquires after never is given direct answers. Even paranoids have enemies, no. 9 of writerfella's Four Word Rules Of Life.
This past fall session at the University of Oklahoma, when the Native American Week festivities were held, two tipis were urinated upon and then burned by frat dudes who managed to get themselves caught by campus police and thence were expelled. Didn't you at Newspaper Rock get the memoes?
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfela'

Rob said...

I gather you have nothing to say about the origins of and solutions to hatred and racism. Could you be any more of an intellectual lightweight if you tried?

My source of income is the same as it's been for the last five or so years: writing freelance articles about gaming and helping to maintain PECHANGA.net. I can document this with my tax returns if anyone's interested. Anything else is a lie.

You're made my source of income an issue by lying about it. Now that I've refuted your lies ad nauseam, I'm going to start deleting them. Consider this your first and last warning.

I've defended Indian casinos because they're generally good for tribes. The evidence for this is voluminous. What other reason do I need to defend them besides the reams of hard data?

Are you so ignorant that you don't know that casinos are overwhelmingly positive for tribes? Are you so blinded by a handful of exceptions that you can't process the surfeit of information? I guess so, since you keep referring to a couple of Oklahoma tribes as if they constitute the universe of Indian gaming.

As usual, the exceptions prove the rule. Casinos have helped the vast majority of the 200-plus tribes that operate them. Until you can provide evidence to the contrary, you don't know what you're talking about. As usual.

P.S. The plural of "memo" is "memos," not "memoes." Again, learn to use a dictionary.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Funny, the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language list 'memoes' as an accepted word form. Of course, your contact with such a book must be far less exciting than the latest manga obscurata or umpteenth million graphic novel, and those both do weigh less, of course.
And memoes.com is up for sale, Rob, if your latest checks have arrived...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I guess you mean the checks from PECHANGA.net, my only source of income right now.

You must've looked in the fine print of the OED for an unusual or archaic spelling. If you even looked at all. More likely, you made up the OED citation just like you made up my source of income. Once a liar, always a liar.

Meanwhile, you can check my sources yourself:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/memo

mem·o /ˈmɛmoʊ/
–noun, plural mem·os.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

mem·o (měm'ō)
n. pl. mem·os

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/memos

Main Entry: memo
Pronunciation: \ˈme-(ˌ)mō\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural mem·os

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Will do no such thing, as they likely get the same checks you do!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

The dictionaries get the same checks I do? What a stupid excuse for your inability to look up a word and correct your mistake.

Anonymous said...

I have a Ph.D. and have out competed many non-Indians and have been stabbed in the back by both sides. The more I kick their asses the harder it gets to gain employment.

Natives generally are no better, as this is in caricature for the most part.

One of our most extensive problems is unqualified staffs on reservations. So bad that Bu8sh would appear qualified (lol)....

It is as if the BIA nd Feds are enabling Tribes to flounder. That is OUR biggest problem, Natives I find over and over are fake Euroamericans. Or extremely Pan Indian and have no idea of their own culture.

There are some, but these Natives are underground they stay quiet for good reasons.


I agree for the most part with the News Paper rock blog. I do not call that newspaper rock however, it has a much deeper meaning then that.

However, this speaks to the other points in the blog, (from my Dissertation, Brewster 2003):

"In 1995, I personally heard a local federal agency manager say that “the Indians have already lost; we do not need to consult with them. I am waiting for the new [Republican] administration to come in.” Another such statement was reported by Smith (1998):

BLM officials say they have bent over backward to accommodate the Indians, but now the law of the land -- Uncle Sam's land -- must be enforced. ``We do not consider this to be an Indian issue; it is a grazing issue,'' says Stout. “This is a rough deal because a lot of what they base their arguments on are the policies of conquest of the federal government, policies that every emerging nation used. Conquest is how the Shoshone got their lands in the first place.”

In the 1990's some archaeologists have gone as far as to claim they are “under siege” (Simms and Raymond 1999). Other archaeologists feel that “they will be put out of business” by laws for the protection of Native American rights (Shafer and Stang 1996).

An equal voice will give the American Public a realistic and informed balanced view of the first Americans.

I argue in this dissertation that the “truth can set you free” (Jung 1933). Nuwe traditional knowledge is of a sacred nature. Certain prayers, ceremonies, and songs have been intentionally withheld from the anthropological, historical, and archaeological communities, and this privacy will likely continue into the future. The primary reason is that Nuwe cannot divulge such spiritual information to non-trained, nor non-Indian researchers for their protection. This is in line with reasoning about self-reflection, as has been described in western terms by Jung (1932:35). However, relying on my personal experience, and values that I am free to communicate, I will suggest in this dissertation how to accomplish cultural resources management goals and academic research that will bridge the “etic-emic gap” in the prehistoric archaeology of the northeastern Great Basin, and the gap in productive mutual Indian/non-Indian collaboration on future work."

Yes, my life is ruined for not kissing the asses of ignorant jack asses (lol). I am too good for that.

Atlanta Caucasoids (lol), or the Boston hoes (get it). The Wyoming red necks (lol). The Virginia white trash (lol), and so on : )

Dr. Melvin Brewster