April 10, 2013

Nugent "tomahawk chops" mascot critics

A Tomahawk Chop to Political Correctness

Exclusive: Ted Nugent asserts changing team names won't help his 'Indian BloodBrothers'

By Ted Nugent
Every so often some numbskull beats the politically correct war drum protesting the names of sports teams.

The terminally disconnected claim the names of the some teams and their mascots are insensitive, even offensive, to Native Americans. Classic names like the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Blackhawks.

My advice: Don’t swing at their politically correct spitballs.

If there are Native Americans whose feathers are ruffled over the names of sports teams, I submit that they are sorely focused on all the wrong things.

But that’s what too many Americans do–waste time and energy focusing on things that matter about as much as a giant ball of string.

There are many other issues that should demand our attention instead of talking about how insensitive the “Tomahawk Chop” is to Native Americans.

If we want to focus on the plight of Native Americans, call me crazy horse, but maybe we should start by addressing issues that truly matter most and would actually save Indian’s lives.

The high school dropout rates for American Indians is the highest in the nation.

How about focusing on the disastrous unemployment rate of American Indians, which is near 15 percent?

Suicide rates of American Indian males are twice that of other American males.

Alcoholism rates among American Indians are double that of other ethic groups.

The infant mortality rates among Native Americans are the highest in the nation. No one reports on that.

Abject poverty is the norm on reservations.

These brutally ugly and heartbreaking conditions are the real modern trail of tears, but what’s really disgusting is that a Motown guitar player has to shine a light on the tragedy.

According to the politically correct numbskulls, focusing on the supposedly insensitive names of sports teams somehow matters, and changing the names of the teams will somehow miraculously improve the lot of American Indians.

They are wrong as usual.

There are wafting smoke signals of real distress coming from the American Indian community that are being ignored. These are the life and death issues that actually matter, not pushing a brain-dead agenda to get sports teams to change their names.

Political correctness doesn’t fix anything. The cult of denial that is political correctness masks what matters most, which is why I refer to it as a social cancer that should be eradicated.

Because of my clean and sober, hands-on conservation bowhunting lifestyle and song “The Great White Buffalo,” Native American tribes have invited me to teach their young people how to reconnect with the land and teach them how to bow hunt the mighty American bison. It was in their midst that I learned firsthand about the terrible problems facing my Indian BloodBrothers.

We have a choice: actually doing good by focusing on real issues, or just feeling good by lobbying to get the names of sports teams changed.

Those of you who focus on feel-good issues aren’t helping one bit. More often than not, genuine quality-of-life upgrade comes from facing the painful demons and putting forth honest effort to rectify entrenched mistakes.

“Above the canyon walls, strong eyes did glow. It was the leader of the land, the Great White Buffalo! So listen everybody to what I got to say. There’s hope for tomorrow if we wake up today!”

Some comments on Indian Country Today's write-up of this column:

Ted Nugent: Don't Change Redskins and Other Native Sports Team Nicknames, Won't Help 'My Indian BloodBrothers'Why even bother giving this idiot coverage? I'm from Detroit, and he does not represent the Motor City and its citizens. He has long fought against the hunting and fishing rights guaranteed by treaty to tribes in Michigan, and is pretty well despised by many folks in the Detroit metro Native community. As long as he can get media coverage, he will continue to spout his racist bile. I, for one, would prefer NOT to see his opinions in my favorite Native newspaper.

I think nobody really wants him speaking for us...at all...no thanks...jerk!!

When will someone shut this Lunatic up?

That white guy needs to face the truth about how he came to live the life of white privilege on Native peoples lands.

More of the Republican minority outreach initiative...

Funny I didn't invite Mr. Nugent to help my oyate, nor do I have to authority to if I wanted to. He is spot on the issues facing mine and other Native Peoples, but what are his solutions beside stopping frequently outdated and dehumanizing misappropriate use of our ancestors images?

We do not need your help to "teach us" to reconnect with the land and teach us how to hunt buffalo. This is truly an insult and I would love to know which Native American tribes asked for such things. Freaking ridiculous!
Comment:  Once again, a conservative shows what he thinks of Natives and their concerns.

You gotta love how Nugent used half a dozen stupid stereotypes to explain how stupid stereotypes aren't a problem. If he knows anything about Indians beyond "Redskins," "Braves," and "Chiefs," I'd be surprised.

How stupid do you have to be not to understand the concept of multitasking? One can care about and address Indian mascots while doing the same re other issues.

No one claims Nugent stopped being a musician because he spent a few hours supporting mascots in this column. Why wouldn't the same apply to someone who spends a few hours opposing mascots?

Not to mention the fact that stereotypes are connected to all the serious issues Nugent mentions. As I've demonstrated many times.

If you're ignorant of the proven harm of stereotyping, you're too ignorant to write a column on the subject. Stick to music, Ted, and leave the deep thinking to the rest of us.

Coincidentally, Sherman Alexie explained one of the problems with Native stereotypes around the same time as Nugent's screed:

The Absence of Native American PowerIn an extended clip from this weekend’s Moyers & Company, writer Sherman Alexie, who was born on a Native American reservation, talks to Bill about feeling “lost and insignificant inside the larger culture,” and how his culture’s “lack of power” is illustrated in stereotypical sports mascots.

“At least half the country thinks the mascot issue is insignificant. But I think it’s indicative of the ways in which Indians have no cultural power. We’re still placed in the past. So we’re either in the past or we’re only viewed through casinos,” Alexie tells Bill. “I know a lot more about being white than you know about being Indian.”
One literally could find a thousand statements from Natives about the harm of stereotypes. Nugent hasn't addressed any of these claims; indeed, he's dismissed them. Once again, the Great White Father knows best.

For more on Ted Nugent, see 13 Rock Stars in Headdresses and Nugent's Implied Death Threat.

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