By Mark TrahantThe debate about abortion rights surfaced on the University of New Mexico campus this week–and American Indians were the focus. A poster with a fetus inside of a medicine wheel read: Abortion Extinction. Then it said, “Today, an Indian boy was killed the Indian way. Hey ya hey!”
Native students organized a protest on Wednesday and the posters were removed.
“The first thing that went through my mind was pure hurt, and then I was angry,” UNM senior Paula Herbert told KOAT in Albuquerque. “I left, and I actually cried in the hallway because it hurt me. My people were represented in a negative light.”
Signs in the native protest said: “Racism is not pro-life” and “We will not be used to further your political purpose.” The Native students did not get into the abortion debate, responding instead about the negative depiction of Native Americans in the posters.Comment: You can see the poster in the video below. The blurring covers the bloody body of a fetus.
The description above is missing a few things. The fetus is wearing a headband with a single feather. It's resting in a birth control wheel--a container that helps women take the pill daily. The first caption, above "Today, an Indian boy was killed," says, "color the redman gone."
This poster is wrong in so many ways. First, in general:
Genocide means the killing of a people distinguished by their race or religion. You can call abortion "mass murder" if you want, but that doesn't make it genocide. All genocides are mass murders, but not all mass murders are genocide.
I suspect people would be apoplectic if a poster showed fetuses being gassed with Zyklon B like the Jews at Auschwitz. It would be obvious the poster-maker was using the Jews' pain and suffering for their own agenda. Well, the same applies to Indians.
Many cultures around the world, including Native and Jewish cultures, accept the practice of abortion. It's unfair to equate the historically documented suffering of Natives or Jews with the suffering imagined by conservative Christians. (When you can prove a fetus has a soul, go ahead and do so. Until then, that a fetus is a person is an opinion, not a fact.)
Equating abortion with birth control is simply stupid. I hope I don't have to explain why.
Next, on the Native elements:
Some reports called the headband with feather a "headdress." Not quite.
Even if it was meant as a benign way to identify Indians, the headband is stereotypical. Most Indians don't wear such headbands and never did.
Using the medicine wheel for a non-religious purpose against the wishes of Indians is sacrilegious.
The "redman" isn't gone, so comparing exterminated fetuses to exterminated Indians is false and stereotypical.
The phrase "Today, an Indian boy was killed the Indian way" is simply grotesque. What the hell is that supposed to mean? That Indians slaughtered their babies, either by aborting them or by killing them after they were born? Because that's what Indians do: butcher everything and leave bloody corpses behind? That alone is enough to call the poster racist.
"Hey ya hey!" is a phony, pidgin-English version of the Navajo greeting "Yah ta hey" or the Lakota greeting "Hoka hey."
I should add that the "killed the Indian way" caption sends a mixed message. Indians were the victims of genocide...but they killed babies in "the Indian way." Well, which is it?
The poster presumes you're sympathetic to the near-extermination of the Indian. But it undercuts it with the fetus in a headband and the various captions. There's an air of mockery here. "Look what happened to the savage Indians with their funny headdresses, silly chants, and murderous practices," the poster seems to say. "If you're not careful, the same thing will happen to fetuses."
The anti-abortion group 40 Days for Life has denied it was behind the poster. But this is what happens when you take an absolutist position. When you're a fanatic, you draw like-minded fanatics, even if you don't agree with them on everything. Until you denounce the hatemongers in your midst, you deserve to be lumped with them.
You realize, of course, pro-lifers invoke Godwin's law all the time.
Rob, so if someone has no soul, they are not a person? It can't find a way to read that sentence of yours any other way.
It never ceases to amaze me how conservatives in America are pro-life, but don't mind kicking in doors in third world nations to kill women and children in order to "spread freedom".
These are the same Americans that stood by clapping as native peoples were forced into boarding schools in order to steal lands, Christianize savages and molests children.
Where was God when Catholic priests raped boys and girls and Christian churches washed Indian languages out of childrens mouths?
Infanticide is a part of America's heritage no less different than the old testament god that punished man through his babies. Pro-lifers only care about protecting the white race. When and where do pro-lifers rescue homeless children and war torn nations with thousands of kids parentless due to American weapons of mass destruction and American war? I only see Angelina Jolie.
There are many "persons" without souls Dmarks, you must think a human soul comes with a complete set of moral ideals that is greedless and humane. What an idiot you are!
"Pro-lifers only care about protecting the white race."
Entirely untrue. I am pro life and lack any such racial bias, nor is there any evidence of it as a whole in the movement.
" but don't mind kicking in doors in third world nations to kill women and children in order to "spread freedom"."
Been reading the Al Quada web sites again, I see.
"hen and where do pro-lifers rescue homeless children and war torn nations with thousands of kids parentless due to American weapons of mass destruction and American war?"
Now you are writing alternate history. In the one case where the US did use WMD, in Japan, the Us provided massive aid. The US is also disproporationaly provides much of the aid for refugees: who are actually left parentless/etc by the terrorists.
"There are many "persons" without souls Dmarks"
That is your religious view. Are we now debating theology?
"What an idiot you are!"
I'm certainly more informed on the matters that you raised in your most recent comment.
"Entirely untrue. I am pro life and lack any such racial bias, nor is there any evidence of it as a whole in the movement."
You would have to be naïve to believe that, though. Maybe you don't understand dog-whistle politics, but most of us do.
It's there. Perhaps not in (say) Kansas, but certainly in South Dakota.
"Many cultures around the world, including Native and Jewish cultures, accept the practice of abortion."
You're wrong about Jewish culture accepting abortion. Jewish Law states abortion is murder except for saving the life of the mother.
There is often 'crying wolf' in mentions of 'dog whistle politics'. Sometimes there is indeed something there, but too often there is nothing racial at all involved.
Many Jews don't live by Jewish law, ZionTruth, so my statement remains correct. As you can verify by reading the entry in Wikipedia:
In Judaism, views on abortion draw primarily upon the legal and ethical teachings of the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the case-by-case decisions of responsa, and other rabbinic literature. In the modern period, moreover, Jewish thinking on abortion has responded both to liberal understandings of personal autonomy as well as much Christian opposition to abortion. Contemporarily speaking, observant Jews firmly oppose abortion, with few health-related exceptions, and liberal Jews tend to allow greater latitude for abortion.
Reform Judaism permits abortion, not only when the woman's life is at stake, but also when a pregnancy is "a result of rape or incest; when through genetic testing, it is determined that the child to be born will have a disease that will cause death or severe disability, and the parents believe that the impending birth will be an impossible situation for them," and for several other reasons.
As feminists or health professionals, Jews have been among those most active on reproductive rights advocacy in the U.S. Generally, Jews have been less involved with the pro-life movement.
In July 2012, Tablet Magazine, an online Jewish publication, quoted the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2012 Jewish Values Report: "American Jews are overwhelmingly in favor of abortion in all (49%) or most (44%) cases. There is little denominational or demographic variation on this level of overall support."
"Many Jews don't live by Jewish law, ZionTruth, so my statement remains correct."
Reform/Conservative "Judaism" isn't Judaism any more than members of the Wannabee Tribe (European pretenders to Native Americanhood) are Native Americans, Rob. Jewish Law defines what true Jewish culture is; the fact that many Jews ignore Jewish law means nothing.
"As feminists or health professionals, Jews have been among those most active on reproductive rights advocacy in the U.S."
Yeah, like I really needed another reminder of the catastrophic state of American Jewry...
Your extremist opinion is the only thing that means nothing here, ZionTruth. My opinion is different and it matches the mainstream consensus.
When you have facts, not opinions, feel free to provide them. Until then, your claim that I was wrong is wrong.
I don't believe in the soul, DMarks. But for those who do, I think someone would have to have one to be considered a full-fledged person.
Does a corpse or skeleton qualify as a "person" under the law? No, because its soul has departed, according to religious believers.
Post a Comment