June 11, 2010

Ethical code for Native elders needed

A respected Native elder who participates in a Jackass-style "spoof" for money...isn't that a complete contradiction in terms? Let's think about this a minute.

What else can "respected Native elders" do without reproach? Reveal sacred religious secrets to reporters? Embezzle tribal funds for personal use? Fondle little boys and girls?

It would help if someone developed an ethical code for respected Native elders. What do Indians think these people should and shouldn't do?

Really...if you're a Saginaw Grant defender and Rob critic, list all the items someone like him can do without reproach. Once Indian country agrees on this list, I'll stop criticizing Grant for his actions. We'll never have a controversy like this again.

To make sure there's no chance of misunderstanding, the list should be as detailed as possible. It should have a whole section devoted to entertainment shows like The Dudesons. It should answer questions such as these:

  • What if the respected Native elder does the stunts himself? Okay or not?

  • What if the respected Native elder refers to Indians as "prairie niggers," "redskins," and "squaws"? Just as a joke, I mean. Okay or not?

  • What if the respected Native elder gives his blessing to on-screen urination or defecation? Just as a funny "initiation rite," I mean. Okay or not?

  • What if the respected Native elder pretends to fornicate with an inflatable Pocahontas doll? Just to spoof stereotypes of Native sexuality, I mean. Okay or not?

    Remember, we're talking about a comedy here. A job for a working actor such as Grant. As so many people have reminded us. Do the asinine "comedy" and "job" labels literally excuse anything? If not, exactly what do they excuse?

    No, really, I'm serious

    These aren't rhetorical questions, people. I want someone who thinks he or she knows how respected Native elders should act to give us a list. For starters, answer the questions directly above. I want to know if they're acceptable or unacceptable in a "comedy" and why.

    Oh, and don't bother telling us how I'm telling Indians how to think, showing how superior I am to them, etc. This is the exact opposite of that. I'm asking you to tell me what's acceptable for respected Native elders. Once we have a code that everyone accepts, I'll accept it too.

    Good luck with your answers, anonymous trolls...you'll need it. I've given you several issues to address explicitly. I'll be glad to delete any comments that ignore these issues and instead attack me for raising them.

    And just so you know...anyone who isn't willing to give us specific answers is, yes, a coward. If the streak down your back is as yellow as your belly, I'm talking about you.

    For more on the subject, see Valenti:  Movies Are Merely Movies and Grant Wouldn't Show Dudesons to Grandchildren.

    Below:  Presumably our ethical code for respected Native elders will permit stunts such as this one. Native elders will be free to tell worldwide audiences that Indians do indeed catch fish in their mouths.

    But only in "comedy" shows, mind you. Not in serious dramas or documentaries. Because that would be stereotypical and wrong.


    Unknown said...

    Great post. I agreed with everything except the inclusion of slurs.

    Anonymous said...

    Oh my...

    I hate the anonymous comments and trolls as much as you do. (By the way, you've been attacked a time or two on my own blog -- simply for leaving your thoughts there.) I've been attacked a few times myself -- and it's never any fun. I have mixed feelings about comment moderation -- I believe in free speech, but some people take it just a bit too far. Differences of opinion are one thing -- personal attacks are unacceptable.

    Rob said...

    I'll lay off the "cowardice" talk for now, Jennifer. I think I've made my point.

    I haven't seen anyone attacking me in your blog, but I don't check it obsessively. We both know what the idiots will say when we criticize hipster headdresses, mascots, or Dudesons.