He and other Depp lovers are suffering an irrational obsession with their lord and master. I call it Depp Derangement Syndrome.
Here's my exchange with Ratley:
I've stated the reason for criticizing Depp many times. In case you weren't paying attention, here it is again: We want authentic Native roles for authentic Native actors. Johnny Depp's Tonto is neither. It's an affront to anyone who wants genuine Native celebs to succeed and the public to appreciate them.
Depp doesn't have a card, a proven Native ancestor, or any evidence whatsoever that he's Native. Until he does, it's a fact that he's non-Native, not an opinion. If you don't like this fact, too bad.
My name is Rob Schmidt. I'm one of the people who runs this page. And I stand behind my criticism 100%. If you don't like it, leave.
Ratley can't handle the truth
And apparently you have nothing to say about the substance of this posting. Namely, the fact that Disney is selling a costume that 1) will let kids dress up as phony Indians like minstrel performers in blackface, and 2) will further the misunderstanding of today's modern Indians.
None of this has anything to do with Depp's identity. I guess you're the one lacking in intelligence since you don't understand this and can't address it.
As for compassion, you want us to have compassion for a multi-millionaire actor? How about you have compassion for the 5 million-plus Native Americans he's stereotyping? And fairness? My criticism is perfectly fair and justified and you haven't shown otherwise. Your whining tells me you're a big baby who can't handle reasoned debate.
"Fuck you" is your response? Wow. Clearly you lack the intellect to address the issues I raised. Here they are again:
Disney is selling a costume that 1) will let kids dress up as phony Indians like minstrel performers in blackface, and 2) will further the misunderstanding of today's modern Indians.
Depp's alleged contributions to Native people in other areas don't excuse his minstrel-show performance in The Lone Ranger. Not to mention Disney's promotion of this false and stereotypical representation of Indians via a Halloween costume. They're unrelated issues. Duhhh.
My position is that I volunteer to help Annie, who owns this page. You can send her a private message about firing me if you wish.
Since this issue has come up dozens of times before and she hasn't fired me yet, I doubt anything will come of it. Presumably because she understands that criticizing Depp's Tonto means promoting authentic Native roles by authentic Native actors.
But you never know. Give it a try and see what happens.
Meanwhile, my contributions to this page outshine your whiny criticism that continues to avoid the issues I raised. What's the matter, Joe? Are you afraid to debate the authenticity of Depp's costume? Or the broader issue of dressing as fake Indians in Halloween costumes? What are you waiting for?
P.S. I'm not Native at all, so I don't have an "Indian card." But I have worked in the Native media for about 20 years. I'm a freelance writer for Indian Country Today and an editor at Pechanga.Net.
And when I began volunteering at NativeCelebs, I believe it had only 7,000 or 8,000 likes. The fact that it's now approaching 20,000 likes suggests I'm doing something right.
Ratley began soliciting people on NativeCelebs to send him info about me. That quickly got him banned from the page.
He also began sending me private messages on Facebook. I began sharing and commenting on them with my Facebook friends:
Woe is me...I'm in trouble now. Millions of Natives who revere Johnny Depp are gonna turn against me!
Ratlike apparently needs to buy a clue about such legal concepts as "public figure" and "injured party." Fanboys don't get to sue on a celebrity's behalf. And celebrities don't get to sue over criticism they don't like.
Correct me if I'm wrong, lawyers. I know it's not libel in Depp's case. But if a public figure were federally enrolled and I challenged his Indian-ness, would he have a viable libel suit against me?
I say no, obviously. It would be like saying, "I don't agree with Joe the Scientist who says global warming is real. He must be lying because his claim is false." If you sincerely disagree with the facts, I think you can say that without fear of repercussion.
As long as you're talking about a public figure or policy issue, that is. Obviously, you're at risk "disagreeing about the facts" with public comments about a private citizen. You can't say, "Joe the Scientist says he's faithful to his wife but I think he's a philanderer."
Ratley the wolf boy
Ratley finally found my phone number, called me, and left me a message. Incredibly, he demanded that I publicly apologize to Depp in the pages of Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
He also continued to send me private messages, which I continued sharing:
I look forward to meeting a thug who's willing to wait a month in a grocery store to meet me. Hope you enjoy the wait, Boo-boo!
Let's see...read me the Riot Act? Nope. Libel lawsuit? Nope. Variety apology? Nope. Now we're down to pure thuggery. Way to represent the Cherokee, wolf boy.
He found my phone number on the Internet after begging people to help him find it. That's some tracking!
Ratley turns ugly (uglier)
After I got back from the inaugural Indian Country Online conference, I posted more on Ratley Wednesday:
Boo-boo contacted several people whose tweets I retweeted, including Sherman Alexie. Yeah, because Alexie et al. really want to hear from a stranger that someone named Rob Schmidt is criticizing Johnny Depp. That's probably right up there in the top one million things they're concerned about.
Almost no one has replied to Boo-boo. Hilariously, one tweet generated 5-6 responses, but they thought he was talking about Rob Schmidt the horror director. Way to go, Boo-boo!
Unfortunately, his tweets include threats like this:
Sheesh. Someone should write about the Native fascination with Depp, who has demonstrated no more Native blood than Elizabeth Warren, Ward Churchill, or Iron Eyes Cody. It's deranged.
For more on Johnny Depp, see Inside Scoop on Lone Ranger and Depp Admires Tonto's Giant Nuts.