July 29, 2009

Simpson:  "I'm not an Indian giver"

Jessica Simpson Under Fire for Saying "Indian Giver"Jessica Simpson has put her foot in her mouth again.

This time, the 29-year-old singer--who famously confused tuna with chicken because the label said "Chicken of the Sea"--has outraged some in the Native American community for using a racial stereotype.

Earlier this week, TMZ.com asked Simpson if she would be taking back the expensive boat she bought for ex Tony Romo. Her reply? "I'm not an Indian giver."
Why it's wrong:Jacqueline L. Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, tells Usmagazine.com Simpson isn't the only person who uses the word in a derogatory sense.

The concept of Indians giving and sharing with one another is where the term originated, she explains, but has somehow morphed into an insensitive phrase that stereotypes Native people as ones who give and then take back.

"Most people flippantly use the comment 'Indian giver' without realizing its true meaning, Pata tells Us.
Comment:  People shouldn't use the phrase "Indian giver" except in its original context of someone who truly gives. Perhaps not even then, since it's easily misunderstood.

Below:  "Jessica Simpson attends the Joe Simpson Presents An-Ya Candy Shop CD single release party on July 27, 2009 West Hollywood, CA." (Derek Steele/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)


dmarks said...


Ojibwe Confessions said...

"stop brow beating her, can't you see she's sexy".

I'm an Indian giver and I like it. Jessica Simpson should become an Indian Giver, celebrating life by sharing with people. It is so true that people are clueless when it comes to old 'sayings'.

Rob said...

I should've guessed that would be your response, DMarks. ;-)

Here's a comment posted on Facebook:

Ms. Simpson really isn't in the kind of position career wise to sustain an idiotic comments like this one. A negative Twitter blitz would be a great idea like we are doing against Sam's Club for desecrating the Scared Mounds in AL. Her publicist should be contacted, someone should coordinate and we shouldn't let up until she recants. This is very ... significant and it's one thing to re-appropriate racist terms like Redskin by a Native owned magazine, it's another for an ignorant bubble headed caucasian actress to do so gratuitously. Next thing you know, she is going to be saying that her grandmother was a Cherokee "indian princess"...

Melvin Martin said...

The only position I'd like to see her in is on her knees in front of the ghost of the late, great Big John Holmes...

Rob said...

For her first response on the issue, see Simpson:  "I Am an Indian."