March 25, 2011

Indians "win" Oppression Olympics

Three stories that appeared yesterday demonstrate America's profound racism against Indians. These stories suggest that:

Indians have no 1st Amendment rights
Indians are the biggest freeloaders
Indians are anti-American terrorists

These comments were made by the US government and two major media figures, not by anonymous bloggers or trolls. How often do you see equally significant claims against other minorities? Once every few weeks? And how often do you see three such claims in the same day? Never, in my experience.

Yet here we are with three anti-Indian claims. Any two of them might apply to blacks, Latinos, Jews, or Muslims. But all three? I've never seen a bigger one-day onslaught that applied to one minority only.

That alone is enough for me to declare a winner of the perennial "Oppression Olympics." If there was any doubt, there isn't any longer. Alas, American Indians and Alaska Natives have "won."

Millions of examples

These postings are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Every day millions of fans cheer stereotypical Indian mascots: the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, FSU Seminoles, UND Fighting Sioux, et al. Tens of thousands of corporate logos and advertisements, statues and paintings, and movies and TV shows proclaim that all Indians are "chiefs" or "braves." Thousands of children, party goers, and hipsters dress up as faux Indians for educational or entertainment purposes.

No other minority faces anything remotely like this. If you disagree, show us the evidence. Show us millions of sports fans cheering Uncle Tom or Aunt Jemima. Show us tens of thousands of corporate logos, statues and paintings, and movies and TV shows portraying blacks as grinning idiots who love watermelon. Show us thousands of children, party goers, and hipsters dressing up as minstrel-style buffoons.

And do all this not 50 years ago, not 10 years ago, but today. Because these millions of examples confront Indians today, in 2011, and every single day. Millions of examples...every single day.

Get the message yet?

For those of you who haven't gotten the point, pay attention. I'm not saying this is an actual competition with a certifiable winner. I'm commenting on the predilection of everyone--even liberal racial advocates--to ignore the plight of Indians. If you care about prejudice against blacks, Latinos, Asians, Muslims, or gays but don't see the rampant prejudice against Indians, you're missing the forest for the trees. Why ignore such blatant examples of racism and stereotyping when they only bolster your case?

Repeat: Our culture and our media broadcast literally millions of examples of anti-Indian words and images every day. If you don't care about racial issues, that's your prerogative. But if you do care, stop focusing only on black/white issues. Start addressing the oldest and arguably worst case of prejudice in America: the prejudice against Indians.

For more on the subject, see Racist Cupcakes vs. Chiefs and Rob Plays "Oppression Olympics"?


Burt said...

Until American classrooms teach actual facts about American history and offer room for debate and conclusions to what and who the Native Americans are, there will always be watered down and shallow observances to our collective American plight that fuels and feeds our racial ignorance.

Where and when did the American Indian have a say in his own lands with his own culture, religion, language, policy or very survival for which whites so gloriously and ferociously claim as sovereign rights under their god?

And where does the Indian benefit with regards to legislation(s), land resources and patriotic endeavors in trying to show allegiance fighting and dying alongside in every war since before the founding fathers with his fellow white brethren?

Do natives have strong representation with legal and economic clout in the United States of America?

The plain fact is because America's government and leadership plundered and wasted the strength and economic viability it once held not only in its concrete and material properties, but its ideals and philosophies once deemed supreme and unchallenged have become the laughing stock of the entire planet because America had gained the world, but lost its soul in the process.

Americans still do not know the land or the people they encountered over 500 years ago on this contintent and for that, they have still not dominated.

They still exhibit traits of a lost people, searching for their own identity through the demonization of another people who's legitimacy is still intact and that 500 is nothing compared to the thousands of years the indigenous people have over them.

Face it Americans, after killing off millions of natives, plundering the earths ores for profit and military might, controlling every aspect of the Indians lives which by your standards you call Communism and you sit there and can make no connection between what your forefathers and government policymakers did and do and how you benefit, your knowledge of the land is still that of a lost foreign people defining raping and pillaging as civilization.

Racism will always be here until we really learn and accept each others real and true cultures and identities, beginning with our own.

dmarks said...

"Until American classrooms teach actual facts about American history..."

I remember to well the only exposure being the making of multi-colored very bad construction paper head-dresses around Thanksgiving time. Nah, that does not cut it.

However, there are some recent improvments. Some gaming tribes are using casino moneys to find better education about Natives in the non-Native schools.

Jaine said...

dmarks said
"Some gaming tribes are using casino moneys to find better education about Natives in the non-Native schools"

it's a shame that tribes have to use their money to do the Goverments job.

dmarks said...

Not really... Not in my view.

Who would you rather trust to be in charge of education about a local tribe? The local tribe, or the Federal government? I think the local tribe would do a much better job of it.

Jaine said...

I think local tribes should be in control of the information and the Government has an obligation to fund it. The only problem I have with that is Govt criteria and the likely hood of making people jump through hoops for pitance.