October 31, 2009

Rob unqualified to discuss stereotypes?!

When I announced my upcoming presentation in Washington DC on Facebook, someone named Chad Poitra challenged my qualifications. Here's how the exchange went:They couldn't find an indian to address their agency? Do you feel like you are qualified 2 speak 4 us? Talking about white privledge is 1 thing, but I don't think it's right for a non-native 2 discuss native stereotypes.I don't know how hard they searched for a Native speaker. But I asked them myself if they really wanted a non-Native speaker. They said yes.

I think their thinking was that they're promoting diversity. If a white guy cares about Native stereotypes, everyone should care about them. They're not just a Native issue for Natives only.

But yes, I think I'm qualified. Except for maybe one or two Native authors, I've probably written more about Native stereotypes in the last decade than anyone. My website has almost 2,000 pages and my blog has almost 7,000 postings on stereotypes and related issues. That's a fair amount of expertise.

White = unqualified?Wow, that's makes me really sad that you think your qualified! If you truely believed in supporting natives and destroying stereotypes, you would not promote/endorse yourself or call yourself qualified, since you would know there are many others who have worked longer and harder than you on this cause!

I understand and appreciate the efforts you put forth, but question if it's for the cause or you taking advantage of natives in order for you to promote your talents.

For the record, you'll never be qualified, YOUR WHITE!!! You may understand and be knowledgable, but never qualified!!!
Really...someone has written more than 9,000 items on Native stereotypes in the last decade? Who is this incredibly prolific person, Chad? Why don't you name him or her so I can introduce myself?

I believe the huge number of Native people who follow my website, blog, newsletter, etc. think I'm qualified. The Native publications and websites that ask me to work for them think I'm qualified. Their opinion is what matters, not yours.

If you think you can get my Native friends and colleagues to turn against me, go ahead and try. Until then, I'll go with the thousands of Natives who support me over the few who don't. Since they want me to do what I'm doing, I'll keep doing it, thanks.

Chad admits he's wrongYour right, I'm wrong...keep up the good work!

Cuz u asked; Charlene Teters, John Trudell, Devon A Mihesuah, Misko-Kìsikàwihkwè (Red Sky Woman), Wilma Mankiller, Dr Richard West, Kevin Gover, anybody from the Deloria family, Ward Churchill, John Echohawk, Clyde Belcourt, Richard Williams, Jody Rave, Sonny Skyhawk, Chris Eyre, Valerie Tilman, Tim Coultier, Joe Garcia, Tex Hall, Ernie Stevens, ANY tribal chairperson...I can go on if ya like?
Really, Chad? All these people have each written more than 9,000 items on Native stereotypes in the last decade? Including tribal chairpersons who were elected in the last year or two? Who may not have graduated college or even high school? All 564 of them have written more about Native stereotypes than I have?

Sounds like a pretty stupid claim if you ask me. But you have proof of this? You're not just listing people whom you imagine might have written more than I have? In other words, you're not just fibbing to make a false point about my qualifications?

Yeah, right.

Who has written more, again?

I could list hundreds of Natives who have written occasionally about Native stereotypes. But writing about them occasionally isn't the same as writing about them constantly. I have the evidence for my prolific commentaries on the subject. And you don't have the evidence for anyone else.

Apparently you didn't understand what I said, Chad. I didn't say who might know more about the subject in theory. I said who had written more about the subject in reality. You can read, can't you?

In short, you lose, buddy. Thanks for playing, and better luck next time. Try not to waste more of my time with silly claims that you can't or won't substantiate. (Or spell correctly--e.g., "YOUR WHITE!!!")

Epilogue:  Chad "defriended" me after this debate on Facebook. I guess he couldn't stand having his Native butt kicked by a white guy. Meanwhile, no other Native person has objected to my presentation, and many are cheering me on. Apparently Chad doesn't understand Native opinion as well as I do.

For more on the subject, see Rob Knows Best About Redskin? and Rob the Presumptuous White Man?

Below:  One of the thousands of images I've collected and posted on Native stereotypes.


Melvin Martin said...

I don't "hate to say it," but a lot of Indians don't know their ass from a hole in the ground about any of the most important, pressing issues that we're faced with -- if a knowledgeable non-Native can perform what most of us cannot, then so be it!

dmarks said...

About Chad's "ANY tribal chairperson...I can go on if ya like?"

I think he kind of stepped in it there, too. Many tribal chairpeople are just politicians.

Linda Putzel said...

Rob, I am non-Native but recognized and wrote about ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, and stereotyping 25 years ago while a student at Cornell and a consultant for Head Start Regional Training Office. We worked with teachers aiming to purge objectionable literature from libraries while adding culturally appropriate materials. White people and all peoples of color need to teach all people to recognize offensive literature and protrayals wherever they exist. I respect and applaud your efforts toward that end. I read Walter Lamar's Facebook post today about Mexican drug cartels' encroachment onto reservations and thought it was such a shame that drugs are now as much a problem as alcohol on many reserves. I've spoken with traditional tribal members who lament the ambiguities between native pride on the one hand and the adoption of such culturally destructive substances on the other. Perhaps the time has come for native leaders to incite youth to rebel against this kind of encroachment and pollution of culture and truly embrace their traditional values. Chad is off base on this one and exhibits a very lefthanded dismissal of your efforts. Shame on him.