March 27, 2009

"Indian country" in Terminator

In Last Voyage of the Jimmy Carter, the 3/20/09 episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a "flash forward" shows a submarine in the year 2027. The crew is human but the captain is a robot reprogrammed to help them.

As the sub heads through robot-controlled waters to pick up a package, crewman Dietz objects to taking orders from "metal":You think those things work for us? Look around you. We work for them.

Hauling ass through the worst of Indian country? And for what? To take a damn box back to Serrano?
Referring to enemies as Indians is stereotypical, of course. And an American Indian crew member might well object: "As far as I'm concerned, Indian country is the only place that isn't enemy territory."

But the crew members are mainly Euro-American soldiers. And the term accurately reflects a US military mentality. By showing that some soldiers think stereotypically, at least it's honest.

True, it would be better if someone had contradicted this politically incorrect usage. Leaving the notion that Indians = robots unchallenged isn't nice. But at least Terminator's writers are still thinking of Indians.

Previous Native references in the show:

Coyote in Terminator
Native souls in Terminator
Cabeza de Vaca in Terminator
Modoc War in Terminator

For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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