Okay, y’all, I’m taking a break from paper checking to let you know WHY I HATE EVERYTHING. Theoretically this is a link round up from yours truly. We’ll see how that goes.
What’s inspiring a particularly burning, virulent passion in my most barren of hearts is… THANKSGIVING! I frikking hate this holiday… not because I don’t have anything to be thankful for, because I am truly blessed, but because of the icky icky politics involved in the portrayal of Native peoples. What specifically gets me riled up are the ways in which Natives become implicated in these conversations as the baddies, WHEN THEY’RE COMPLAINING ABOUT RACIST STEREOTYPES THAT DEMEAN THEIR VERY EXISTANCE. Oh god, the rage. It burns me.
The ever lovely Lisa gets sociological with it by pointing out that
American Indians are as modern as the rest of us, why are representations of American Indians, as they live today, so unusual? And what effect might that have on the psyche of American Indian people?
Read more of her thought-provoking post here. Racialicious picked up the post here, where there’s an interesting conversation going on that involves Rob Schmidt from Blue Corn Comics, who as you no doubt recall had some great comments on Twilight.
Now, the thing is, this is not about some tragic interior monologue. Anti-Racist Parent has set up an open thread to discuss the recent case in Claremont, CA. The children of this Cali town have become the epicenter of a LIBERAL CONSPIRACY, since some of their crazy pinko parents had the AUDACITY to complain about the public school tradition surrounding Pilgrims and Indians. Please note the way the article frames this as a brown vs brown issue:
Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca, wrote the letter upon hearing of a four-decade district tradition, where kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools take annual turns dressing up and visiting the other school for a Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.
Raheja, an English professor at UC Riverside who specializes in Native American literature, said she met with teachers and administrators in hopes that the district could hold a public forum to discuss alternatives that celebrate thankfulness without “dehumanizing” her daughter’s ancestry.
“There is nothing to be served by dressing up as a racist stereotype,” she said.
Kathleen Lucas, a Condit parent who is of Choctaw heritage, said her son — now a first-grader — still wears the vest and feathered headband he made last year to celebrate the holiday.
“My son was so proud,” she said. “In his eyes, he thinks that’s what it looks like to be Indian.”
which I think nicely picks up on some of the themes from Lisa’s earlier post.
Finally, I’m gonna conclude by (twitch) noting the framing of the recent incident at Plimoth, where a little girl was asked to change out of her Indian costume before going on to the Wampanoag Historical Site. Several conservative sites are trying to paint this as the victory of the PC over everything else, but considering that it was a heck of a lot easier for me to find websites on Indian girls’ costumes vs. actual news articles on racism, I’d say that they are FAIL and quite possibly INCORRECT. Also, please note the fun fun conflation of racism AND sexism in their criticism of Linda Coombs, the assoc. directory involved in the incident. Calling someone a cow is always a rhetorical trick made out of FAIL.
This is exactly why my butt stays over in Books. Now I am all agitated. Anyways, if you’re looking for an amazing read on Native issues, please check out Andrea Smith’s Conquest, which will, I think, be my brain bleach of choice for the next few hours. If you wanna join me in getting that oh-so-clean feeling, check out the excerpt South End press has so courteously provided. I’ll get back to those papers… eventually.