October 02, 2010

Why no Bloody Jackson protests?

Down with ‘Jackson’

By Eric R. LocklearThe following appears on the website for “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”--bloodybloodyandrewjackson.com--“Broadway is heralding ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.’ The New York Times and Rolling Stone called it ‘the season’s best musical.’ Now, by populist demand, their bloody brilliant show is packing up its tight, tight jeans and heading to Broadway! In ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’ (BBAJ), rising star Benjamin Walker reprises his role as America’s first political maverick. A.J. kicked British butt, shafted the Indians and smacked down the Spaniards all in the name of these United States--who cares if he didn’t have permission?”

Why is this atrocity not receiving the same airplay as the mosque proposed for New York’s Ground Zero?
And:It is without question inappropriate for any effort to have been put forth to make humorous the genocide of our ancestors. I ask Indian country in full united force to bombard the media heralding the absurdity and disrespect demonstrated by this stage play. I ask Indian country to open wide your emotion (without violence) against the proposed Oct. 13, 2010 Broadway opening of this contemptuous ideal.

I would love to see funding in Indian country generated to somehow publicly dismiss this production on Broadway. Our more affluent tribal populations and organizations might consider making something happen to speak for the dead in “BBAJ” and cry “bloody, bloody” murder. My spirit cringes that an acronym is being used to reference the deliberate and systematic destruction of our people.
Comment:  I agree with Locklear's conclusion. This play sounds as bad as MTV's Dudesons episode and worse than Bloomberg's anti-Indian remarks. Yet no one except a few writers is protesting it.

As Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said, everyone should be protesting these egregious examples of stereotyping. So where is he, the AIM activists, and everyone else? Thousands of New York tastemakers are seeing this play and learning from it. A protest outside the theater in the media capital of the world would draw a huge amount of attention.

Locklear also writes:The decision to popularize the murderer Andrew Jackson is a bold move of malice and hatred.I don't know if I'd go that far, but it's definitely part of our myth-making process. Ultimately it celebrates the Euro-American conquest of the ignorant Indians.

We put Jackson on the stage and the $20 bill because he's our idea of a hero. Like Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett--the fictional versions, anyway--he tamed the West and thwart the Indians.

The play is also more evidence that people don't care about Indians. A show about a slaveowner and buffoonish slaves wouldn't get this much acclaim. But Indians--like cavemen and pirates--are "safe" targets for satire.

For more on the subject, see Racism in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Stereotypes in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

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