January 20, 2009

"Red man" in Lowery's benediction

There was one mention of Indians at Obama's inauguration--in the benediction of Rev. Joseph Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Lowery Inauguration benediction. Transcript.Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around--(laughter)--when yellow will be mellow--(laughter)--when the red man can get ahead, man--(laughter)--and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.
Comment:  R-i-ight. Referring to minorities by their stereotypical colors isn't exactly a model of enlightenment. As the only mention of Indians during the inauguration, this was poor. Hope you do better with your speeches in 2013, Obama and company.

Below:  A red man...

...getting a head.

Because one good stereotype deserves another.


Anonymous said...

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH. I am sure that you are well-meaning, but you really are starting to set a dangerous precedent for what is racist and what is not. If African-Americans, Caucasions, Hispanics, and Asians can all accept being referred to as a "color" (especially blacks and whites), why should we Native Americans have a problem with it. It isn't like he called us "r-skins" which would have truly been offensive. Stop looking for bigotry; not everyone is looking to put us down. I thought it was a lovely way to include all peoples of the world and end a beautiful day in America's new beginning.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny. The guy is obviously a few generations back with his poem but I take it in the spirit he meant it, which was inclusive.

To be honest, I think most Natives are seeking to become full fledged Americans. We are proud of our culture but our cultural expressions are mostly confined to song and dance which is no different from all the other cultures in the United States.

There is also this across the board embrace of capitalist ethos and the blurring of what little "territorial authority" we had left.

As you can probably tell, none of this is a welcome change for me.

Anonymous said...

Yep, the other comments say it all; it looks like you're just trying to criticize people, not comprehend what they are actually saying. In which case nobody (you included) would be above contempt, at least on occasion. Listen to the passage again and appreciate the fact that Lowery included us.

Anonymous said...

Well, what DID he mean by "that day when white will embrace what is right"? There is no positive spin on that. (As if the Constituion they were all celebrating wrote itself.) People asked to speak on important occasions should avoid saying stupid things.

Rob said...

For my response to these comments, see Mellow "Yellow" in Lowery's Benediction.