February 21, 2011

"Native American rejects" on KWYR-FM

Native Americans still dealing with insensitivity in media

By Vi WalnLast week I got an email from a Rosebud Sioux Tribal member. She wrote, “Good morning Vi, So just sharing a tidbit with a huge verbal implication. This morning on the Winner radio station [KWYR-FM] 93.7, the radio disc jockey Scott Schramm, was referencing a band called the [All] American Rejects and instead changed the words to say “the Native American rejects”! Really! C’mon, you would think after all these years the non-Natives would have a bit more couth when implicating anything to do with our tribe or just Native people in general."Waln contacted the station and got a perfunctory response. Then:Later in the day I received another email, this time from Scott Schramm. He wrote: “I am rather confused. I am on the air on both the AM and FM stations each day. Was this comment heard on the FM or the AM station this morning? Can I ask what the comment was about? I am the Owner of the Radio Station, and would never approve of anything such as this. Furthermore, I am one of the people on the air. I have no idea what I could have said. Could you please elaborate? This is bothering me.”

Now, the fact that “this is bothering” him should tell us something. Perhaps he knows deep down that he said something he shouldn’t have. And he had “no idea” what he “could have said.” Schramm’s email to me proves my point. The non-Indians residing in the border towns of our reservations make statements every day but they have “no idea” what they are saying or how we are going to perceive their comments.
Comment:  Radio DJs can't seem to help saying stupid things about Indians.

Calling Indians "rejects" is a shorthand version of the usual insults: that they're savages, lazy bums, or welfare moochers.

For more on the subject, see Magic FM Mocks Indian Names and DJs Learn Not to Satirize Natives.

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