By Marchell J. Wesaw
The "Indian" is not the Native American/First American. The Indian and the Native American have nothing to do with each other, except maybe constant exploitation by mainstream society. The main difference, however, is that the "Indian" is a figment of the White imagination and is completely manipulated by it, while the Native American is a member of a sovereign nation that has been severely neglected and disrespected by White actions and policies. This difference can be seen in the fact that while the average non-native American citizen knows about war paint, rain dances, and war whoops, he or she knows very little, it anything at all, about Native American cultures and politics.
Comment: I'm sure logos and products using Indians far outnumber those using blacks and other minorities. Why? Because Indians hold a unique place in our collective mythology. They were the "other" we had to defeat to achieve our (manifest) destiny. They were the devils keeping us from God's glory.
We continue putting them on logos and products to remind ourselves of
Curiously, this article seems to start in the middle. And I wouldn't have distinguished between "Indians" and "Native Americans" since it's potentially confusing. I would've called the two entities the (real) Indian and the (mythical) Savage, or something similar.
Other than these minor shortcomings, though, this essay is brilliant. I've said similar things many times, but it's a great summary of the problem.
For more on the subject, see The Political Uses of Stereotyping and A Brief History of Native Stereotyping.
Below: Would you let this drunken savage keep a third of the continent? No, of course not. That would be irresponsible. It's our duty to save the wretch from his own ignorance and folly.