By Albert Bender
The drama is permeated with crude, artless anti-Indian humor. Euro-American audiences have frolicked at this dreadful performance in its off-Broadway run, to the extent that an internationally prominent Native American literary figure, a good friend of mine who attended the play to review it, left halfway through the performance because she felt in physical jeopardy.
Some critics have pointed out in defense of this sordid drama that other groups are also lampooned—Spaniards, gays, Southerners in general and rich whites. But where are the black people? Jackson was as much pro-slavery as he was anti-Indian, and the Hermitage was maintained by African-American slaves. There are no black characters in the play at all, much less any demeaning African-American stereotypes. Can anyone imagine a white audience in this day and time evincing riotous, knee-slapping guffaws at the portrayal of demeaning stereotypes of African-Americans or any other race in this country? If there had been even one demeaning stereotype of black Americans, there would have been a national uproar.
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Again, the key point that no "spoof" defender has ever addressed: "If there had been even one demeaning stereotype of black Americans, there would have been a national uproar." Yet we not only tolerate the equivalent Native stereotypes, we defend and champion them. Why is racism against one American minority still perfectly acceptable?
For more on the play, see Stereotypes in Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson and Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson Reviewed.