By Carol Pomeday
One small book—“Young People’s Picture Encyclopedia of America”—that came across his desk in 1996 changed his life and sent him on a quest to learn his true heritage.
Gonzalez’s mother was American Indian, his father was Puerto Rican, and he spent much of his life denying, or at least ignoring, both cultures.
“On page 13, an unlucky number, there is a picture of an Indian warrior. The description reads ‘A savage people by nature with the least ability for civilization,’” Gonzalez said.
And this was in 1996, people, not 1896. A mere 14 years ago. How is it possible to miss this in the modern era of "political correctness"?
If you need someone to find the stupid stereotypes in your work, writers, editors, and publishers, feel free hire me. There's no way I'd overlook something like this.
For more on savage stereotypes in books, see Stereotypes in Tarzan of the Apes and Savage Maori in The Wives of Henry Oades.