Lakota East play opening draws interest
Superintendent Mike Taylor then reversed the district's stance. The change was made to put the focus back on the students and to use it as an opportunity to begin dialogues about diversity in the community, said school spokesman Jon Weidlich.
"The publicity has certainly sold some seats," Weidlich said shortly before the students took the stage.
Despite the district's wishes to put the controversy to rest, a small group of American Indian advocates from the Lakota East community and Northern Kentucky University handed out bookmarks to people before they entered the building. The bookmarks featured an image of a Lakota Indian from the 19th century and a quote from Lakota Chief Black Elk: "The power of a thing or an act is in the understanding of its meaning."
A member of the group, Wendy Creekmore, said though they dislike the novel's first American title, "Ten Little Indians," they were there not to protest the performance, but to raise awareness of American Indian history and culture.
True, the poem belittles its subjects--whether they're black, Asian Indian, or American Indian. It suggests they're careless and prone to violence and death. By talking about them like children, it implies they're children.
But is the play title alone worth the effort to protest? Worse offenses occur a dozen times a month. I know because I keep track of them.
I'm all for protesting cultural mistakes and insults, but I wouldn't spend more than a few minutes on this issue. With this blog entry, I've given it about as much attention as it deserves. If you want to protest something, take a stand against the worst offenders--i.e., mascots, movies and TV shows, cartoons and comic books that stereotype Indians. The play's title is a trivial problem compared to them.