August 06, 2009

Mercurie on Walker, Texas Ranger

Another excerpt from Mercurie's The Invisible Minority:  Native Americans on American Television Part Three:Walker, Texas Ranger featured Chuck Norris as Cordell Walker, a Texas Ranger based in Dallas. Walker himself was part Cherokee (as is Chuck Norris) and was raised by his Cherokee uncle Ray Firewalker (played by the late, great Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, who was Sioux). One would think that Chuck Norris being part Cherokee, Walker, Texas Ranger would have made an effort to portray Cherokee culture accurately. Sadly, the show is in many ways more grossly inaccurate than the portrayal of Mingo on Daniel Boone. Overall Walker, Texas Ranger portrayed the Cherokee as if they were Plains Natives, complete with powwow dancing. Worse yet, Walker, Texas Ranger freely engaged in the magical Native American stereotype, complete with a mysticism that was wholly alien to Cherokee religion and borrowed liberally from the beliefs of Western tribes. In the end I must express some surprise that more outrage has not been expressed towards Walker, Texas Ranger for its distortion of Cherokee culture.Comment:  For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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