June 10, 2010

Anonymous cowards dislike stereotype postings

In the comments to A Mascot for White People, several anonymous posters criticized me personally for recent postings. The worst comment was this one:Ha! I just read a few more stories. It's really awesome the way you disabled comments on the story in which a genuine native tells you that you're basically a pompous, self-important gas bag.

I especially like how you talked to her like she was an ignorant child (sound familiar?) and insinuated that she was an "Uncle Tomahawk" before making sure that no one else could comment on your arrogance and childish behavior.

To take a page from the award-winning picture book "Rob's Big Book of Go-To Arguments," Why don't you take a walk through the heart of Harlem and tell the first Black Man that says "yes sir" or is in any other way polite to a white man that he's an Uncle Tom? See how well that goes when you don't have a locked blog to hide behind.
My response:

A bunch of anonymous people come to my blog and complain about my hiding? People who won't reveal their identities, websites, or blogs so we can see what crazy things they believe? That's hysterical.

Gosh, I'm really ashamed of not allowing a gaggle of anonymous trolls to insult me in my own blog. I feel so awful that these anonymous cowards have blasted me for "hiding." Woe is me...whatever shall I do?

Okay, I'll give you one warning, Anonymous #2. I'm not tolerating personal attacks on my blog any longer--especially from anonymous trolls. You can post all the criticisms of the issues you want, but I'm sick of the attacks and insults. Another comment like that and I'll simply delete it.

And don't bother telling us how inconvenient it is to create a Blogger ID. You know, the pathetic excuse used by reader Stephen, whom you resemble? All you have to do is type your first and last name at the end of your comment. If you're unwilling to do that much, spare me your hypocrisy about hiding.

Back to the posting

Regarding Valenti:  Movies Are Merely Movies, let's recap. I was polite until Michelle Shining Elk attacked me personally, starting with "zzzzzzzzz You crackpot rhetoric is boring and tiresome Rob." I quoted her at length in my own blog, letting her insult me publicly. Then I schooled her on why you don't have to be a Native to address this issue. Why Valenti's comment is wrong and anyone who agrees with it is also wrong.

To reiterate, she slammed me repeatedly before I responded, but you're upset with me? Wow. Are you sure you're not reader Stephen, cowardly attack dog and white-privilege defender, who loves to put me down to bolster his own ego? Because you sure sound like him.

Anyway, you've confused locking Michelle Shining Elk out of one comments section with shutting her up, period. She has plenty of places where she can "savage" me. She did a good job of it on her Facebook wall, before and after this posting. She doesn't need my help to spew her semi-racist hate. (If her position isn't "all Native people know more than all white people," it's close.)

Incidentally, I wouldn't call her an Uncle Tomahawk. Saginaw Grant is the only Uncle Tomahawk in the Dudesons debate. I think I described Michelle accurately as a PR flack and apologist for racism. I said as much to her face on Facebook.

I told her the same thing I'll tell you: If you have anything to say about the issues, send me your attack-free comments and I'll consider them. But unless it's a defense of the Dudesons' racism I haven't heard before, don't bother again. Your puerile attempts to judge my motives and character are unwanted and irrelevant.

Rob knows best?

As for what genuine Natives think about the Dudesons, I thought I made that clear. Read what they've said again, bright boy, and don't make me repeat myself:

Anti-Dudesons protest at MTV Awards
Idiot's guide for Dudesons defenders
MTV vs. AIM on The Dudesons
Dudesons fans don't get it
The Dudesons = treaty violation?
Natives protest The Dudesons

Speaking of wasting my time with stupid comments, this is an excellent example of it. I've reported on dozens of Native who have criticized or protested the Dudesons episode. With all the "Likes" and favorable comments they've received on Facebook, this is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Yet when I echo their opinions, someone accuses me of speaking for them.

Repeat: It's a complete waste of time to explain myself when the facts are in front of your face. You're not cajoling me into using up my life when the evidence is, um, self-evident. My goal is to fight racism and stereotyping, not anonymous cowards who can't or won't stick to the issues.

In other words, you brought the comments policy on yourself, troll. I hope you enjoy it. If you don't like my postings or policies, you're welcome to leave. Indeed, I encourage it.


For more on the subject, see Rob Shouldn't Judge Natives?, Rob the Presumptuous White Man?, and Wrong to Point Out Stereotypes?

These postings prove we've heard it all before. Basically, we're not going to debate whether I have the right to speak on Native issues or criticize people who deserve it. If you don't like my opinions but can't contradict them with facts and evidence, get the hell out of here. I'm not interested in anything else.

P.S. It's a darn good bet that I'll delete any personal attacks on this posting too. You have been warned.

Below:  "We weren't influenced by the media! Our great-granddaddy went to a Wild West Show and told us what he saw! That's where we got the idea for these costumes! We've never seen anything like them in movies or TV shows!"


Anya said...

De-lurking for a second,

As a card carrying native, I certainly don't think you're a "pompous, self-important gas bag", I think it is great what you're doing here.

I don't have the stamina to confront these issues to the degree that you do here. People, particularly when they put on their internet-tough-guy(or girl)mask, can become sickeningly racist and insensitive. It really gets demoralizing after a while...

Anonymous Indian said...

As a card carrying native, I certainly think you're a "pompous, self-important gas bag", I think it is awful what you're doing here.

You act like you know everything about natives but you don't, According to you and some of your fans its cool to disrespect elders whenever you don't agree with them, whats up with that? I am talking of course about Saginaw Grant and his role in the COMEDY SERIES The Dudesons in America, A comedy series with one episode that would be found offensive. Apparently Saginaw is stupid because he acted like an actor should, he played the part of the Indian but I suppose if the Dudesons had chosen a white guy to play the chief then everything would be OK right? Wrong then you would complain just as much if not more about what happened there.

Rob said...

Hmm...still waiting for any anonymous trolls who are brave enough to sign their names. I wonder who'll be first to emerge from his hidey-hole of cowardice.

Saginaw Grant isn't an elder of my tribe, Anonymous Indian, since I'm not Native. And have you noticed my salt-and-pepper beard? I'm a decade or two older than many people here, including Michelle Shining Elk. Tell us why she didn't respect me and I'll tell you why I didn't respect Grant. (Hint: The reasons will be similar.)

I complained about the Dudesons' stereotypes, not their casting of Grant. Therefore, my response wouldn't change much if a white actor had played the ludicrous "King of All Indians." I'd still deem the same stereotypes wrong for the same reasons.

As for what I know about Natives, you're right that I don't know everything. But so far you haven't told us anything I don't know. All you've offered are your opinions.

If you want to share some facts with us, I'll be glad to admit the ones I don't know. For instance, how much did the Dudesons paid Grant to stooge for them? Did he try at all to change the offensive stereotypes? What would've happened if he'd insisted that they go?

Any other questions you want answered? I'm temporarily in an answering mood. We'll see how long that lasts, eh?

Rob said...

If you think I'm going to change or stop because of your criticism, think again. I must've written a million words on Indians and received hundreds if not thousands of critiques. Being called "pompous" by a Native may have been worrisome in 1994, or whenever I first heard it, but I'm way past that now.

So the options aren't you stay and attack me or I change my ways. The options are you give up and go or I start banning personal comments. Which of these options grabs you?

You really should leave if you find Newspaper Rock so "awful." Naysayers like you are spoiling things for the thousands of readers who like my blog. Generally speaking, you're the ones forcing me to curtail comments--which isn't my preference, of course.

After almost two decades of writing about Indians, I'm confident I know what my readers want. It's not to respect someone who stereotypes Indians, I assure you. Anyone who's been around for a while knows I don't do that.

If that's what you're looking for, go join Saginaw Grant's page on Facebook. Then you can shower him with the love and respect you think he deserves. Everyone will agree with you and you'll have a happy time together.

If you want cultural commentaries, try the excellent blogs of Adrienne Keene and Jennifer Yuhas Gall, who address similar issues without the scathing sarcasm. I've linked to them several times, so they shouldn't be hard to find. Stick with the people who "respect elders," in your opinion, and leave me and my readers alone.

Rob said...

Incidentally, I've visited and read as many blogs as anyone. I don't think I've ever attacked a blogger on his or her site personally. I've certainly never called someone a "pompous, self-important gas bag" or anything similar.

If I thought the blogger was wrong about something, I'd say, "You're wrong about X for reason Y." If I thought the person was saying something racist, I'd say, "Isn't that a bit racist?" I never commented on the person's ego, arrogance, self-importance, or whatever.

And soon after, I left. I really don't understand the folks who stay here for months or years, reading and commenting, but continually put me down. I really don't need an onslaught of negative opinions from anybody, people. If you don't like it, leave.

I support Rob said...

TO Anonymous Cowards and Rob:
There is enough resistance to “hiding” and “demeaning” the issues in Indian country without our fellow Indian brothers and sisters adding to the ignorance, stupidity and repetitive stereotyping of the most “demonized” people in the western hemisphere. I am a full blooded descendant of chiefs and medicine men that was raised both traditional and christian. We are our greatest enemies. Is it not better to have a non-native come clean about his credentials and intent to bring into the arena the unending racists and destroyers of our fading culture as opposed to full bloods whom lack the courage and wit to openly address said issues? Saginaw and Michelle Shiny Elk are but two in the crowd of a whole population of indigenous peoples whom may have the knowledge and means to qualify as Indian, but they do not qualify my respect nor do they qualify in a resistance, namely the media and pop culture, that continues to belittle an ancient culture. Where are your hearts? Every tribe has its group of Indians that garner and support the status quo that defeats the collective good for all just as you have over half of the United States that puts men in the White House to cause death and destruction on the other side of the world (on indigenous cultures as well), but that is an accepted evil most Americans choose as a trivial (yawn) demise while unaware of the self-damnation and karma we inflict on ourselves. When 911 happened, the whole nation acted as if THERE ARE NO ENEMIES OF THE UNITED STATES when in fact, as a veteran whom served overseas, Americans are hated around the globe, and justly so. 911 was simply a repeat of the Battle of Little Big Horn only the “savages” this time were on the other side of the world with a tribe that has the money, the weapons and the religion that just does not play.
Now back to Rob and his site. You say Rob disrespects native elders. I hate to burst your native bubbles people, but native elders are not prophets, gods or chosen ones my dears. Their generation is either the first to become forcibly assimilated by religious and regimented boarding schools, or they were adopted and stolen out of their culture into the mainstream either abused by non-natives or if they were lucky, they were raised by good people. Many served in the wars of the time and came back to face racism and segregation in society that you natives so vehemently defend and fight Rob in addressing.

dmarks said...

The attempt to justify 911 overlooks the fact that Osama bin Laden hated the US not for its foreign policy faults, but for its tolerance of other religions and "decadent" lifestyles. The "religion that does not play" that you glorify here is an extreme branch that would readily kill and convert Native American worshippers as well as the hated Jews or anyone else. And far from being defenders of the indigenous, the 911 perpetators favor genocide against noncomforming non-Muslim/Arab ethnicities within the lands that they deem to be part of their empire (the manifest destiny of that extreme branch of Islam). This includes the indigenous (non-European descent) Jews of the Israel area, and the Yezd in Iraq. And Kurds also: indigenous groups defended by the US but targeted for elimination by the "religion that does not play" you are defending.


About the elders:

"They were a part of nature and the earth; they fasted and got their power from all living things that were not manmade or artificial. They had power to heal and make sick. Some could even cause death, but that is where I stop."

That kind of comes close to describing a modern era elder that I have known.


TO Dmarks:

There is no justification for violence period. The point the man is making is the fact that history repeats itself.

"The "religion that does not play" that you glorify here is an extreme branch that would readily kill and convert Native American worshippers as well as the hated Jews".

Where in this statement do you ignore Christianity being harmless and non-violent?

It seems you ignore the violence within your own group and even justify it. How imperialist and ethnocentric of you!


About the elders statement.

If there are elders out there that can preserve some indigenous culture without allowing an anthropologist standing over them or accepting payments to teach the languages and dances, I would be optimistic.

Otherwise, I have seen firsthand elders getting paid to teach language classes while certain grandchildren of mixed tribes not get paid or not get named in ceremony simply because they were not "enrolled" in the same tribe as said elder.

I have also seen elders sell lands and make deals with corporations and private owners over land not passed down to the next generation.

I hope there are legitimate elders that hold "all" their grandchildren special without playing favorites to some while ignoring and even avoiding the many. This seems to be a big problem in Indian country and even accepted as traditional. Where some young are singled out as "spoiled" while the many are just competely forgotten.

Rob said...

Thanks, "I Support Rob." Anonymous people who support me don't have to sign their names, although it wouldn't hurt. ;-)

Naturally, I think you made some great points. For more on the subject, see Ethical Code for Native Elders Needed.

Rob said...

Actually, the terrorists hate us for our foreign policy faults, not our tolerance of other religions and "decadent" lifestyles. As I documented in Inside the Terrorists' Minds.

Try to stick to the subject at hand, DMarks. I don't want a long debate on 9/11 here.

dmarks said...

SupRob said: "Where in this statement do you ignore Christianity being harmless and non-violent?"

That's a total non-sequitur. And I wasn't even talking about Islam. Just about Bin Laden's narrow brand. So to answer "where in thie statement" do I ignore something that has nothing to do with anything. it is in the same no-where place with mentions of kumquats, Buicks, and Slovenians.

"It seems you ignore the violence within your own group and even justify it."

You are pulling stuff out of thin air. So, now back to the subject: your defense of the 911 attack which was done by a group seeking genocide of indigenous groups and elimination of differing religions (considering practitioners of the wrong religions, including Natives, to be forcibly converted or slaughtered).

OK, Rob. Bin Laden has written at length about his justifications. No more on 911, after shutting down Support's wild ideas.

Back to elders..

Support, check this one out

Keewaydinoquay Peschel. Does she pass muster?

Rob said...

I don't know anything about Keewaydinoquay Peschel. (See? Admitting my ignorance, as usual.) I gather she taught her religion and culture to non-Natives. That caused controversy and rightly so.

She thought her efforts were necessary to preserve her people's knowledge, so I suppose I respect that. At least she was teaching genuine lore, not phony New Age rites or "catch fish in mouth" nonsense.

P.S. For more on the subject of comments, see Clarifying My Comments Policy.

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with Rob is he takes information from people's Facebook page and then use them on his blogs like photos without asking the person if he could use them and he hates Saginaw Grant for whatever reason and I am sure that Rob has never even bothered to speak to Saginaw to get his opinions before he decides to criticize him on his blog pages here. Well Rob you wrote that you do not criticize people on their own Facebook page but you did just that on Michelle Shining Elk's page!

You are very one sided because you basically support ONLY the protestors side and you have written things about Saginaw Grant that was not true based upon how you feel. You question the people who post comments anonymously because you say they are hiding. You are too! You hide from Saginaw Grant...why don't you face him and question him in person or call him up and then you can write about that but to criticize a man you have never met or know nothing about is wrong!

John Lees said...

In Rob's defense, Anonymous, it's the internet. We're all criticising and arguing with people we've never met in person. I'm sure there are many ways one could feasibly argue that Rob's criticisms of Saginaw Grant are wrong, but I wouldn't say him "hiding" would be one of them. Rob has always been open about who he is, and where he can be found (online, at least).

However, on the flipside, I don't think people remaining anonymous necessarily makes them cowards either. One fair point you do touch on, Anonymous, is that Rob does not hesitate in naming and shaming people on a public forum. The main reason I kept my surname hidden for so long was that I've seen how little middle ground there is when arguing with Rob - if you don't see things his way, you are a hardcore racist, and he will not hesitate to name you as such. I must admit I am not aware of him posting pictures of people from their Facebook to pair up with these accusations, as you say he does, but if you are correct in this then that's even worse. And I was reluctant to have a potentially damaging accusation unjustly associated with my name.

That said, Rob's argument about how if he is willing to stand by his opinions and put his name to them then we should too also has merit, so that's why for now I've decided to respect his wishes and make my identity public.

Anonymous said...

JohnLees, at least you see things from both sides unlike Rob but just to also let you know I noticed that the photos that he took from someone's Facebook page without their permisssion and posted them on here (his blog site), he (Rob) has now taken off and replaced with just a simple ad about the Shift The Power Launch party. I do no understand why he posted those photos without permission in the first place and that again was wrong of him.

What would be nice is for you, Rob (is to stop) stealing people's post from their Facebook page and pasting them to your blogs too! I have read through many of your blogs that you have done that!

Anonymous said...

JohnLees, at least you see things from both sides unlike Rob but just to also let you know I noticed that the photos that he took from someone's Facebook page without their permisssion and posted them on here (his blog site), he (Rob) has now taken off and replaced with just a simple ad about the Shift The Power Launch party. I do no understand why he posted those photos without permission in the first place and that again was wrong of him.

What would be nice is for you, Rob (is to stop) stealing people's post from their Facebook page and pasting them to your blogs too! I have read through many of your blogs that you have done that!