February 14, 2009

Rezkast documents American ignorance

RezKast a sort of YouTube for Native AmericansWhat do Native Americans wear on weekends? Hopeedee asked a series of white people.

Feathers, furs and buffalo skins, were the replies.

What do Native Americans do on weekends? Hopeedee, a 35-year-old Indian woman, asked.

Run buffalo off cliffs, one person offered.

The videotaped comments were from Hopeedee's recent posting on RezKast, a sort of YouTube for American Indians operated by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.
And:A regular poster to RezKast is Hope Mathews-Herrera of Oklahoma City, who said she goes there when she gets a "powwow Jones."

"I really like this site because you don't have to wade through all the clutter," the Comanche and Wichita Indian said. "There is a certain comfort zone here. It's the only truly interactive site out there that is actually for natives by natives, an actual nation."

RezKast is not alone. Other specific sites for Indians include MyTribalSpace.com and Native American Tube. But RezKast is the best for sharing videos, she said.

"I feel that just seeing ourselves online and interacting with other natives, can only strengthen our identity as Native Americans, which is important for urban Indians," Mathews-Herrera said.
And:Despite the general impression that Indians are wedded to traditional things, Fast Horse said there is no cultural resistance to technology.

"We want to use technology to preserve our culture and language," she said.

She noted that the ways of many Native American tribes changed dramatically after they acquired horses in the 1600s.

"The computer is like the horse," she said.
Comment:  The first section of this article is the most interesting one. Once again we see the ignorant things people believe about Indians. Namely, that they all lived and continue to live as savages. As Plains Indians of the distant past.

In Germans = "Only Real Indians"? I summarized how this affects Indians. I'm amazed that some naysayers still don't get it. That they still claim stereotypes don't matter.

The people in the videos don't realize that Indians still exist. Or if they do, they think Indians live just as they did hundreds of years ago. They don't realize Indians (like everyone else) have changed with the times. They think Indians are primitive, uncivilized savages.

But the naysayers think this widespread perception has no effect on Indians? People know nothing about the last hundred-plus years of their history, but it has no effect?! That's like saying, "We believe the newly emancipated slaves are like children who need our paternal guidance. But this belief of ours has no effect on our policy toward, or treatment of, blacks. We believe they're full-fledged Americans with equal and inviolable civil rights even though they're more like apes or cattle than human beings."

Does anyone actually believe that? Then why would you believe stereotyping Indians has no effect on our real-world treatment of them? The idea is ridiculous on the face of it.

I also like the final section of the article about how Indians have evolved. Again, this is something most Americans are clueless about. They proclaim how superior 21st-century America is to 15th-century Native America as if that's a valid comparison. In reality it's no more valid than comparing 21st-century Native America to 15th-century Europe--with its absolute monarchs, killer plagues, and heretic burnings.

Below:  The lead actor in a $200 million-dollar movie? A Nobel Prize-winning scientist? The next president of the United States? Hmm...probably not.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"What do Native Americans wear on weekends? Hopeedee asked a series of white people."

Yesterday, I saw a guy wearing a T shirt that said "My Indian name is Runs With Beer".

Guess what race he was...