October 09, 2008

Political ads stereotype Colvilles

Admen owe tribes an apology

By Jeanne JerredSome recent political advertisements targeting Gov. Chris Gregoire may have missed their mark. The admen attempted to take a shot at the governor, but instead struck Indian people. Whether or not these slick television spots hurt Gov. Gregoire’s chances for re-election, they certainly encourage and perpetuate racist stereotypes and false notions about Indians.

For the record, the ads are untrue and misleading. ... What is more troubling to me, however, is the cynical appeal to racism, the not-so-subtle underlying message that all Indians have grown rich from casino revenues. The actors play Indians as insulting caricatures, with pony tails, braids, bolo ties, and earrings to telegraph their “heritage,” and tailored suits and a pickup load of money to telegraph their “wealth.” These stereotypes are not just wrong, but hurtful.
Below:  A political cartoon with the same message as the anti-Colville ads.


Anonymous said...

in which newspaper did this ad appear?

Rob said...

The column I quoted was by Jeanne Jerred, chairman of the Colville Confederated Tribes. It was published in the Wenatchee World newspaper.

Jerred refers to several "slick television spots" that appeared earlier in the media. I don't think there were any newspaper ads.