April 28, 2015


Deloria Many Grey Horses started a petition to change the nickname of the Biloxi High School Indians. This led Biloxi supporters to get her banned from Facebook. The reason? Because her Indian last name supposedly violated Facebook's policy against using fake names.

Bullies Can Silence Native Americans on Facebook With the Click of a MouseHere's what we're dealing with: If you disagree with an Indian activist, you can report her Facebook page as fake, get it shut down, disrupt her life and saddle her with the arduous task of proving her own identity to get reinstated. It's the rhetorical equivalent of punching someone in the mouth when you realize you're losing an argument.

Colorlines was on to this idea a month ago with the story "How White Separatists Disable Native American Facebook Accounts," although it hinges on putting credence in the statement from PLE, a very small group that is obviously seeking attention. But the events of last week support Colorlines' thesis. Around the time ICTMN was publishing Many Grey Horses' piece, her Facebook page was shut down for a second time. Activists from Not Your Mascot captured the following from a Facebook group supporting the Biloxi High School Band:
Although the capture above references "hate speech," Many Grey Horses wasn't suspended for hate speech, she was suspended as a fake profile. It's possible that this particular Biloxi supporter was not the only one who reported Many Grey Horses.

Activist and ICTMN contributor Jacqueline Keeler, who heads the group Eradicate Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM), has run into plenty of static from those who disagree with her online. To protest the actions against Many Grey Horses (who is Keeler's cousin), Keeler and EONM organized a campaign dubbed "All Natives Become Zuckerbergs! Protest FB Name Policy" (hashtagged as #IndigenizeZuckerberg) which called on Natives to change their last names to Zuckerberg (a reference to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg) and to use the following image on their profile:

For more on Biloxi High School, see Biloxi Headdresses Are "Dignified and Proper"? and Indians Protest Biloxi "Indians."

No comments: