December 22, 2007

Jersey Indians get taunted

Report blasts treatment of Ramapoughs"The committee overall was surprised at the invisibility of the state's 20,000-plus Native Americans," said Christine Grant, co-chairwoman of the New Jersey Committee on Native American Community Affairs.

"There were too many examples of discrimination or extreme cultural insensitivity toward these citizens brought to the committee's attention during many interviews and public hearings," said Grant, a former state health commissioner.
Proving the point:

Mom angered by school's reaction to racial commentSiewertsen said that in class he overheard students talking about his facial hair and when he asked what they were talking about, one girl replied, "Who the (blank) you talking to, Tonto," police report say.

He told police about four other girls began chanting "Woo! Woo! Woo!" reports said. The 16-year-old said the substitute teacher did nothing.

"I was humiliated, angry," he said.

8 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
On this blogsite, Natives either get taunted or else 'Tontoed.' And yet it always is blamed on the media alone, and not on parents or homelife or schools or churches or communities or even 'the dominant culture' which in fact do almost all the communication of taunting or 'Tontoing.' Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Well, the "Tonto" insult ultimately came from the media, since Tonto is a fictional character who didn't exist until the media created him. Draw your own conclusions from that fact.

FYI, the media is the "voice" of the dominant culture. When I refer to the media, I'm referring to the dominant culture also.

Rob said...

As usual, see The Harm of Native Stereotyping:  Facts and Evidence for more information. For instance:

Native American youth say the media has a powerful influence on perceptions of people of color and that they see themselves characterized as "poor," "drunk," "living on reservations," "selling fireworks," and "fighting over land." Whites and African Americans are also seen by these young people as racially stereotyped on TV -- "black people are always funny," "white people are all rich and stuff."

--"Native American Children Recognize Media Stereotypes," Oklahoma Indian Times, July 1999

The only thing I know about the Native American is a movie about the western United States.

--Marie Kanke of Keio University, Tokyo, Japan—quoted in "Japanese Students Get Taste of Oklahoma," the Oklahoman, 8/11/06

russell said...

Writerfella here --
But - but - but - one of the older stereotypes was that all Natives from Oklahoma, per exemplum, were oil-rich and wealthy. That slowly disappeared but now is returning as the number of 'casino tribes' increases. writerfella recalls an episode of the TV series, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, with Jack Palance as circus manager John Slate. Larry Storch played an oil-rich Cherokee horse rancher from Oklahoma who supplied the circus with equine livestock. Slate meets with the rancher and they share some usual by-play. Slate says, "Hey, where's that red Cadillac you had?" And the rancher replies, "Oh, I got a new one. The ashtrays were full!"
The medium was the message in such an instance, as it already commonly was a pre-existing public perception that Oklahoma Natives all had oil monies. Envy through perception is not a product of the media...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

So you have nothing else to say about the fact that "Tonto" is a stereotype and insult derived from the media? So noted.

That all Natives from Oklahoma were oil-rich and wealthy is one of the older and lesser known stereotypes. I can assert this because I've spent the last couple of decades studying Native stereotypes and that one never comes up.

If you disagree, give us an example of it in the recent media. Good luck with your answer.

To the extent that people knew this stereotype, they knew it through the media. The sources included the 1930s Chief Wahoo comic and the 1940 movie Boomtown starring Clark Gable.

You yourself gave an example of its transmission through the media--i.e., The Greatest Show on Earth. Thanks, but that only bolsters my point.

Next time you want to "prove" that people transmit stereotypes through personal contact, here's an idea: Give an example of a person transmitting a stereotype through personal contact. Duh.

Rob said...

Apparently you've confused origination with transmission. The media didn't invent the idea that Indians were savages, used bows and arrows, and didn't have any culture. Someone observed them first and then transmitted his observations via some medium.

Unless other people happened to talk to this individual, they learned what (he thought) he saw through that medium. Or through other media--books, periodicals, drawings, paintings, plays, exhibitions--that reiterated what the first medium reported.

As I've said before, mass communication is a thousand times more far-reaching than personal communications. And as I've said before, you've never shown that parents talk to their children about Indians. This is another of your fanciful fictions unsupported by facts.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
If that blanket statement were to be held as true, that parents talking to their children about Indians is a fanciful fiction, then bigots must learn their bigotry ONLY from the media. Racists must learn their racism ONLY from the media. People who practice discrimination must learn to discriminate ONLY from the media. People who hate other races must learn their hatreds ONLY from the media. And children learn to talk and to judge right and wrong and all other such matters ONLY from the media. Thank the Grandfather that white man's children have the media to teach them everything they know or need to know, and parents and homelife and schools and churches and communities and the dominant culture all can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

As I said, mass communication is a thousand times more far-reaching than personal communications. For every stereotype conveyed by a parent, a thousand are conveyed by the media. Roughly speaking, of course.

I repeat: Next time you want to "prove" that people transmit stereotypes through personal contact, here's an idea: Give an example of a person transmitting a stereotype through personal contact. A real-life example, that is, not a hypothetical example that may or may not be true.