April 13, 2016

Natives = last category on Jeopardy

A tweet from April 12 that I and many others retweeted:

Retweeted Martie Simmons (@msimmons444):
Last category on @Jeopardy b/c no one knows ‪#‎Indigenous‬ ‪#‎history‬ ‪#‎iblamethehistorybooks‬ https://t.co/Et2ISLm2X3

Someone took her photo of the TV screen and made it into a meme:

Easy questions

A Facebook friend reported on the episode, which I didn't see:I saw that episode. Too bad I was only playing from home.

None of the questions were terribly difficult. I don't remember the exact phrasing of the questions, but I do recall the answers.

One referred to the Trail of Tears (answer: the Cherokee); one referred to the largest US tribe (Navajo); another referred to a eyewitness to an 1876 event (I don't remember if they referred to it as a battle, or more properly as a massacre, but in any case it was Little Bighorn); one referred to and described the equipment used in Native stickball--so I sat there saying stickball, but the answer turned out to be "lacrosse" which annoyed me a bit; and finally a passage from Longfellow's poem, and the answer was Hiawatha.
Good to know.

As usual these days, the Jeopardy questions sound ridiculously easy. You often can boil them down to a couple of words:

1) Tears tribe.
2) Largest tribe.
3) 1876 battle.
4) Stickball.
5) Poem.

The questions aren't tough for the smart contestants the show usually has. What it shows is a sort of public fear: of looking ignorant about a minority. Or worse, of saying something stupid and looking racist. Better to avoid the category altogether.

P.S. Little Bighorn was only a massacre for Custer's troops after they foolishly attacked a camp of 10,000 Indians. Unlike Wounded Knee or Sand Creek, it was a real battle.

For more on the subject, see "Native American Foods" on Jeopardy and "Native American Tribes" on Jeopardy.

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