April 02, 2010

Speidi surprised by Native outrage

Speidi to Native Americans:  It's Peace Pipe TimeRunning Bear and White Wolf are now attempting to dislodge their moccasins from their mouths ... after their off-the-wall name changes pissed off multiple Native American groups.

Spencer "Running Bear" Pratt just told us: "Changing our names to Running Bear and White Wolf isn't meant to be disrespectful ... we respect [Native American] heritage and have a sincere acknowledgment of their beautiful culture."

Bear says he and Wolf "would like to invite any Native American tribal leaders to meet with us to help us further understand their culture" ... but we're guessing they'll only do it if cameras are rolling.
The Native Appropriations blog adds:[I]t's not our tribal leaders jobs to meet with you to help you "further understand" our cultures, they're pretty busy running sovereign nations. And make note of the "s" on the end of that. Cultures. Nations. We are not one singular, monolithic, culture. There are hundreds and hundreds of tribes and communities--are you going to take the time to meet with leaders from all of them?Comment:  TMZ joins Heidi and Spencer in the Stereotype of the Month contest with its foolish "peace pipe" headline. Way to mock these losers, TMZ--by using a stereotype about as stupid as the original stereotypes.

Native Appropriations has a valid point, but I think everyone refers to Native "culture" rather than "cultures" occasionally. It's a generalization that has some validity. You can find countless references to Native culture, history, or religion (all singular rather than plural) if you look.

But those of us who generalize know what we're doing. We know when it's okay to do it and when it isn't. Heidi and Spencer undoubtedly lack this knowledge.

I'm sure they think there's only one Native culture. That it resembles the Plains cultures of the 19th century. That it involves handsome braves and beautiful maidens living in harmony with nature. That these Indians have "animal totem" names like White Wolf or Running Bear.

In other words, I'm sure their views are pure stereotypes. They're regurgitating the same words and concepts people have used to describe Indians for decades. Except for the modern New Age overlay--Indian as wise, sensitive healers and shamans--their views could come straight from a 1910 Wild West show or silent film.

Good point that it's not the tribes' business to educate these "celebrities." Try visiting a powwow, museum, or reservation, you nitwits. Heck, go to a library and crack open the first book of your adult lives. Stop talking about Indians as if you're more ignorant than the average kindergartner--which you probably are, unfortunately.

For more on the subject, see Natives Criticize Speidi Names and Heidi and Spencer Adopt "Indian Names."


dmarks said...

You know, they could have changed their first names to Wilma, Russell, Vine, Chaska, or other such first names that famous Native Americans have had. Or their last names to Delorea, Peltier, Bailey, Petoskey, Ettawageshik, Begay, or Wapasha... also surnames of actual Natives.

Note that they chose the type of name that fits in perfectly with stereotypes. Yes, many Natives have had names like "Running Bear", and many still do. But not all, and probably not even most. But it seems that the "play Indians" only choose these types of names, and not ever the English-style names that Natives have had for a couple of centuries, or actual Native-language names that Natives have had exclusively for most of their history, and many still have now.

Micah Wright said...

Shouldn't her "indian name" be something along the lines of "Face like Frozen River" or "Cuts Face For Fun"? Maybe a more accurate name for him would be "Craves Cameratime" or "Pathetic Need to be Famous".

What a couple of pathetic losers.