November 25, 2009

JibJab's racist Thanksgiving video

Here's a fractured fairy-tale video of the first Thanksgiving:

Tall TalesCrappy Thanksgiving eCards wouldn't dare give you a Thanksgiving origin story this twisted, so it's a good thing this is a JibJab Sendables greeting! This hilarious video tells the story of the first Thanksgiving, and how a pile of dirty dishes led to an all out war! Sound like some lame Thanksgiving eCard to you? We didn't think so!Comment:  Wow. How racist and stereotypical is this video? Let us count the ways:

  • The Wampanoag Indian leader looks like a cross between a Plains chief and a turkey.

  • The Indians are ugly, big-nosed caricatures while the Pilgrims have pleasant, dainty features.

  • The Indians are shown hunting a buffalo, which implies that all Indian cultures = Plains cultures.

  • The Indians cause a breakdown in relations by showing up without RVSPs--half of them naked, with genitals depicted explicitly--not chewing their food, and not helping with the dishes.

  • Except for the sexy Indian maiden, they look like a swarming horde of rats or other vermin.

  • Incredibly, the video portrays the resulting Pilgrim massacre of Indians as a crusade for "good manners." In other words, Indians were responsible for their own genocide.

  • The video shows all the dead Indians with holes through their bodies, dripping blood, and heads cut off. What twisted but hilarious humor--ha ha.

  • After mocking the dead Indians, the video shows a drunken Indian sprawled outside the "Crazy Horse Saloon." The narration says, "Lest it be said that the oppressors became the oppressed...."

    Huh?! No one thinks Indians oppressed the Pilgrims or other European invaders. Except the makers of this racist video, perhaps.

  • Finally, the video shows an Indian operating a casino because of "extraordinarily favorable gambling regulations."

    In other words, because of the US Constitution, tribal sovereignty, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and various democratic votes to allow gambling. You JibJab people are jibjabbering idiots if you think Indians are getting a special benefit that someone, somewhere, has denied you. Tell your state legislature to legalize gambling in your state and you won't have to worry about favorable conditions for Indians.

  • To protest this video, use JibJab's Contact Us form. For more on the subject, see The Facts About Indian Gaming.


    Anonymous said...

    Dear Rob,
    I was shocked when I first saw this video this year, but I didn't realize that it had already existed for three.

    I showed it to my mostly Central European students here in Berlin and many of them were flabbergasted. I'm often used to many of them being brainwashed by US historical myths, but here they were able to see right through the crude facade of JibJab's 'revisionist history'.

    I even had to explain to my eight-year-old son why we won't be renewing our JJ account. He could certainly see why, but what kind of idiots must run JJ for them to allow such filth.

    Haven't any of the Native American political groups registered some kind of protest against this crap?

    Thanks for at least standing up and saying your piece about this. I'm just sorry to be the only commenter here . . .

    C in Berlin

    Rob said...

    I think some people protested the video online when they became aware of it. But it's pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.