Tuesday, December 22, 2009

fetishize native americans in aspic

I came across your blog by accident this morning and read it with interest. Don't now why I'm writing to you, but I have this strange feeling inside that tells me to write. This all sounds very weird I know, and no, I haven't had too much Xmas eggnog or drunk all the brandy that was meant for the Xmas cake. 

Anyway -- I live in New Zealand and I am white, but I have this absolute passion for Native American people, their history and their culture. I have had it since I was young and it still burns inside of me. I have photos all over my office walls of chiefs, warriors and just beautiful Native American people. I collect artifacts and paintings -- anything I can that is remotely Native American -- through the internet, and I have a bookcase full of books on and about everything Native American. I have done history papers extramurally through a university in the States and I still can't quench my desire to know more. 

Why is it that I have such a passion for this race of people? Why do I feel so at peace when I gaze at pictues of them? Why is it that their wisdom and beliefs seem so natural and right to me? How is it that I feel them in my soul?

I will give you one other piece of info and that is that as a baby, I was adpoted into the family I am in. And a very loving family, to say the least. My natural father I know is a Dutchman, and who is to say that generations ago ,somewhere way back in history, someone on my father's side did not end up in early America. And as we say -- the rest is history.

Or perhaps that is just wishful thinking on my part.

I know you can't answer these questions and I don't even expect you to reply. It just seemed right to put it all down in an email.

Thanks for listening, kind regards,


Cathie


Thank you for writing, Cathie, and for letting me present your questions to this blog's many racially cognizant readers -- it's actually a great follow-up to yesterday's post. I don't know if many readers here, or even any, self-identify as Native Americans, but I do think you'll still get some thought-provoking responses in the comment section here.

Since you asked me what I think about your Native American fetish -- and I do think your extreme interest qualifies as a "fetish"-- I'll try to respond too. I don't know you, of course, so I can't know much about your motivations. I can say, though, that what I'm primarily trying to do with this blog is identify and analyze what I call "common white tendencies." Your extreme interest in Native Americans is an example of a common white interest, or tendency -- not only in the U.S., but elsewhere in the world. And like many other common white tendencies, it's widely considered problematic, at best.

As a reporter for a German newspaper notes, the extent of German interest in the "Wild West," and especially in its "Indians," is "a little astonishing":

At powwows -- there are dozens every year -- thousands of Germans with an American Indian fetish drink firewater, wear turquoise jewelry and run around Baden-Württemberg or Schleswig-Holstein dressed as Comanches and Apaches. There are clubs, magazines, trading cards, school curriculums, stupendously popular German-made Wild West films and outdoor theaters, including one high in the sandstone cliffs above the tiny medieval fortress town of Rathen, in Saxony, where cowboys fight Indians on horseback. A fake Wild West village, Eldorado, recently shot up on the outskirts of Templin, the city where Angela Merkel, the chancellor, grew up.

And on and on. The writer of this article attributes the German phenomenon to one person, "a writer named Karl May (1842-1912), virtually unknown in the United States but the most popular author in German history." May wrote dozens of enormously popular books about a fictional Apache chief named Winnetou:

A con man and Walter Mitty-like homebody who spent eight years in jail dreaming of Wild West adventures, May (the name is pronounced My) wrote dozens of tall-tale books that have sold more than 100 million copies, maybe twice that many if you count translations from the German. Kaiser Wilhelm II, like May a fantasist who loved to dress up in exotic costumes, adored May’s books. So did Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, Kafka and Fritz Lang. Hitler did too.

In New Zealand, has there been someone like May, or some other form of popular culture, that romanticized and/or sensationalized "cowboys and Indians" for you?

It's interesting that while New Zealand obviously has its own indigenous population, the Māori, you're instead fascinated with the more distant Native Americans. Also, your particular fascination is "distant" not only in geographical terms, but also historically. Native Americans still abound today, as do the Māori, and in very different guises, or modes of living, than the ones that you're fascinated with.

So, another good question arises -- why the distance? Why not instead be fascinated with indigenous people less distant, in both geographic and temporal terms?

If you do some poking around on the Net, you'll find that there's a lot of discussion out there -- and frankly, much of it is disdainful -- of white people who are fascinated with what amounts to Native Americans in aspic. I choose that gastronomic metaphor because different kinds of food -- dead food -- are suspended in aspic in such a way that eaters can still see them. The metaphor also works here because it echoes a well-known American cultural critic's analysis of the common white tendency that's exemplified by your Native American fetish.

In her essay "Eating the Other," bell hooks points out that seemingly "exotic" cultures and ethnicities often intrigue white people as a kind of escape from the norms or conventions of mainstream (that is, white) society. As hooks writes, "ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture."

There's clearly more to your longing of sorts, for bygone and dubious conceptions of Native American life, than a mere desire to spice up your life. Still, hooks does point a way here toward a probable motivation for you -- an escape from what you see as a problematic modern (and, perhaps, "white") existence. I would guess that you imagine that the ways "those people" supposedly lived are better than the ways your people currently live?

But then, as hooks points out in her essay (which I highly recommend), your desire for a fantasized, primitive, and romanticized "Other" is situated within, and influenced by, a white supremacist framework and culture. Idealized, airbrushed, and ultimately "self"-serving images, like those that adorn your walls and so on, have been handed down to you, made available by a mainstream culture that feels remorse for its theft, displacement, and genocidal treatment of indigenous peoples. Adoring those people, especially a lost and really unrealistic version of those people, is a way to emotionally and psychologically atone for that loss. You may well feel that kind of remorse yourself. (For more on why white people romanticize "Indians," you could also start here.)

Some -- actually, a lot -- of these love-struck white people even go so far as to proudly proclaim that they themselves have Native American blood. Again, this claim is based on a romanticized and unrealistic conception of what Native Americans were supposedly like; the white "wannabe" of this sort is rarely thinking about today's actual, living Native Americans when they embrace this blood (also revealing -- how very rarely whites make the same claim about something that's more likely to be swimming around inside themselves, that is, black blood).

Such "atonement" rarely has much real effect for the injured, damaged people in question (who, again, are still here). This fetishizing mode of "eating" a primitive Other is a common white tendency in that its really about, and for, the white person doing it. It's almost never instead about or for the Other; if it were, the white people reaching out to Native American-ness would be reaching out to actual, living Native American people. Or in your case, actual, living Māori people.

So that's my tentative guess for some possible motivations for your passion for "anything," as you put it, "that is remotely Native American." Does your passion extend as remotely, or actually as nearby, as actual indigenous people? If not, why not? Also, how much of this passion about an Other is instead a set of feelings and/or emotions about yourself, and about your own people? Again, I don't know you, but I'm guessing the answer is, "a lot." If so, is it really fair, or appropriate, to basically use another people this way?

Thanks for writing, Cathie, and good luck rethinking your fascination. I welcome your response, either in comments here or over email -- please let me know, especially, if you think I guessed anything wrong about you here. And as I said, I also hope that other readers of this blog will have further input for you.

166 comments:

  1. ...Huh. That's weird. I knew that some Germans were into the Wild West thing but I didn't know they were THAT into it. Whoa.

    I always am confused at why so many people are so obsessed with my culture (Japanese) when they have such an interesting heritage themselves. Perhaps it's one of the consequences of being "white", and the default race/"cultureless"? At least that explanation would work for US white folks, though I don't know about Germany.

    I know cultural appropriation is an iffy topic and I KNOW on this blog there will be dozens of white commenters going "but whyyyy can't I put on a sari? I *appreciate* Indian culture!" etc. :P

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  2. I will need Botox now... after involuntarily cringing that hard reading her email. YIKES!!!!!!!!
    Could you please ask her to insert WHITE every time she writes "Native American" and how she would feel if a Black person read that to her?
    Thanks.

    As a historian currently focusing on Eastern Europe, I would like to add something to your response though:
    The entire "dressing up as Native Americans" shtick is not only German: It is very prevalent also in all countries which were behind the Iron Curtain, which should tell you something. It is about escaping your surroundings and your situation and your life, "traveling", which in a totalitarian state was impossible. All aspects of your private life were monitored and had to be approved off by the state in some form or another. Dressing up as an oppressed minority and as "the enemy" of the enemy (the US) was okay'ed by the socialist governments.

    There are a lot of "Steal-Indian-culture-and-dress-up-like-them" clubs in Poland, the Czech Republic and in Russia.

    Here is an example from Poland:
    Polish-Wanabi-club

    And this webpage shows you that fake powwows are also held frequently in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.

    So your response is somewhat to limiting- the (in my view horrible) phenomenon is more common than that, unfortunately.

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  3. "Some -- actually, a lot -- of these love-struck white people even go so far as to proudly proclaim that they themselves have Native American blood. Again, this claim is based on a romanticized and unrealistic conception of what Native Americans were supposedly like; the white "wannabe" of this sort is rarely thinking about today's actual, living Native Americans when they embrace this blood (also revealing -- how very rarely whites make the same claim about something that's more likely to be swimming around inside themselves, that is, black blood)."

    Ooo I live this part..
    Funny I don't see a lot of whites claiming to have a smidgen of black blood. They are more apt to claim a bit from almost every other race or ethnicity except ours. Apart from maybe Cartman from South Park, when he thought his father was black. He dressed the part too!

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  4. White fetishization of Native American culture is such furious, flaming bullsh*t.

    I've found that these fetishists - who can talk a pedantic purple streak about culture - remain pathetically unaware of the lives (or even the existence of REAL Native Americans, many of whom live below the poverty line. Not so romantic now, hey?

    The systemic brutalization of Native Americans - forced sterilization, kidnapping, rape tourism - that continues to this day combined with insidious forms of exploitation from so-called "progressive" whites is enough to make a PoC's head explode.

    How DARE any white person purport to have passion and respect for a people that they romanticize out of reality?

    You know what all these white European descendants who co-opt Native American culture should do, if they really respect it so much?

    Make an actual contribution to an organization like Pretty Bird Woman House, a Native American women's shelter that - along with a tragically small number of other groups - singlehandedly combats the serial rape tourism in the US.

    Fact: any white person who steps onto Native lands and physically/sexually assaults a Native will walk free because tribal officials have no authority over non-Natives. The officials have jurisdiction and no funding, and the Federal Bureau have neither policy nor interest in dealing with this epidemic.

    The basic human rights of Native Americans are being violated every single goddamn day. And what do white people do about it? Cover their ears, then go play dress up.

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  5. I had a similar kind of fetishy fascination with "Native American culture" when I was a kid.

    When I was a kid.

    But what was scary was that the library had Boy Scout manuals from the 50s on how to put on brownface and make fake eagle feathers from turkey feathers and pretend to be a "Native American", and that some of these books are still in print and pretty easy to get. Looking back, I'm pretty horrified at how much I loved those books, and relieved I never got around to making any suede dresses or moccasins.

    Of course, I grew up to join the SCA, so the idea of dressing up as someone other than myself is still appealing to me. But I try to approach it from a respectful, educated view of history. I think playing pretend--whether it's historical reenactment or steampunk or scifi/fantasy/anime cosplay--is a fairly common human desire. But there are a lot of pitfalls to try to avoid in the process.

    @KD: I've seen a lot of photos and articles that suggest that steampunk roleplaying and European-based historical reenactment are pretty popular in Russia today. Were these "allowed" under Soviet rule or are they more recent options for escapism?

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  6. The officials have jurisdiction and no funding, and the Federal Bureau have neither policy nor interest in dealing with this epidemic.

    Mea culpa for the crucial typo - the officials have NO jurisdiction and next to no funding.

    Here, everyone should just read the Amnesty International Report - Maze of Injustice: the failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA.
    If you have a half a brain and a remotely beating heart, you will be infuriated.

    This is one of the most egregious human rights violations in North America and - I would argue - the most pressing feminist issue in the U.S. Of course, given that it doesn't affect white people, the "feminists" don't give a crap.

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  7. was wondering, how do you know that you're "feeling" an entire continent full of different cultures "in your soul?" I realize Cathie opened herself up to quite a bit of criticism here by allowing this to be posted, so I don't want to be too snarky, but really...? Do you go up to Native American and say,"Hey, I'm feeling something in my soul, and I think it's you guys. Can you confirm or deny that if I describe the feeling?"

    Anyways...

    It is quite a patronizing and objectifying sentiment to have. They are just people like everyone else. People who happen to be the survivours of a genocide; and who, if they're on reserve, live in ridiculously sub-standard conditions compared to the rest of the country; and are targets of a huge amount of prejudice. But they're still just people.

    What I consider to be hugely problematic - aboriginal peoples are fetishized, but how many people actually care so much as to write a letter to their government representative about the conditions under which actual aboriginals live? How many people resent land claims? How many people would be willing to pony up tax dollars to do something about conditions on reserves? How many people actually admit to themselves that North American Aboriginals were the target of a genocide, and actually use that term? And of the people who do, how many are willing to admit that they personally are benefitting from that genocide, and hence have some responsibility to address it - not just the descendants of those early settlers.

    I also wonder if the people who romanticize aboriginals have any notion of the ridiculous amount of hostility with which they're treated, for things as simple as exercising their treaty rights. And how many have met aboriginals without realizing it? I've actually been acquainted with only two Status Indians (its a Canadian thing), and there was nothing about them that would have indicated that they were not white, had they not brought up their identity in conversation. Not that there should be one way or the other, but my point is that there's this image among the descendants of settlers of the valourized noble savage, deeply connected to the earth, and kind of zen-like - which totally ignores the fact that aboriginals are actual people.

    I wonder if Cathie would look into the eyes of a disheveled-looking aboriginal man who's hang around the Native community and resource centre downtown, possibly panhandling, and tell him about the sense of peace that he gives her, her passion for his race, and how right and natural his wisdoms and beliefs are? How about to a young Objibwa woman going through law school, who's learning that her people are governed by an act of parliament that was designed to erase what's left of them? Would she travel to a reserve to share her feelings with someone there? I would be very much surprised if any of them did not treat her with disdain.

    About distance:
    There's distance between Native Americans and the settler population in North America to. Enough distance for a lot of people to show an utter lack of understanding of what life on a reserve is like, what the relationship is between aboriginal bands and governments, and why aboriginals don't have to pay the same kinds of taxes that everybody else does, or get to fish during the off-season, or get other kinds of "special treatment". There's just enough distance for the settler population to remain ignorant about aboriginal life, but at the same time enough proximity for that ignorance to breed resentment and the most spiteful kind of racism.

    So, yeah. My message to Cathie: Native Americans: not some mythical fairy people. Real populations with really problematic lives. Appreciate that.

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  8. wow, Commie. That is a fucking travesty. I had no idea. And that's the really despicable part. I noticed that legislation has been in the works for over a year now. What the hell is taking so long? How the hell can they deem it appropriate to forestall appropriate action to bring these women justice for an entire damn year?

    Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to try and raise awareness and donations for those shelters.

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  9. I need a shower. After reading that piece of info, I feel dirty. Fetishizing a race is disgusting? These are people with souls. They are not objects for toying, experimentation, or validation.

    Get a grip and get over yourself. You are what you are meant to be and no association with any of the "others" will change that fact. Deal.

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  10. "White fetishization of Native American culture is such furious, flaming bullsh*t."--Commie Bastard.

    THIS.

    That NA wannabe needs a serious beat down with some Vine Deloria Jr. STAT. Romanticizing Indians is so...white.

    There is no Indian version of the SCA, darling. Stop trying to create one.

    It reminds me of a NA woman I spoke to when I visited (by invitation) a reservation here in my home state. Speaking of the whites who come to gawk at Indians on CHRISTMAS EVE no less, she said, "I always want to tell them, 'Look, we don't want you here.' I don't want to be rude though because it's not part of our culture. But we don't want them here."

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  11. and it's all unnecessary...we whites have our OWN tribal heritage-ESPECIALLY germanic people. but all euros are tribal; you just have to go back a bit further-say 2500 years.

    this is what Asatru is all aabout. we have no need to appropriate the noble heritage of other races, for we have our own racial/cultural lineage.

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  12. Macon,

    You know that chick now thinks you're a unicorn-killing, squee-squashing doody-head, right?

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  13. I would never want to deny anyone their predilections by disparaging them, but 'fetishize' seems just about the right word to use in this case. Adopting yourself into a culture not of your own upbringing is a phenomenon I've seen happen with many friends - no different than any other way a person chooses to redefine themselves over time. I've known white kids who've become much more comfortable in Asian, Black, and Hispanic cultures (and for that matter, I've known non-white kids who've done similar).

    However, "fetishizing" is a good way to condense what your brave emailer describes. I would also say they are a "lifestyle hobbyist," losing themselves to a wholly mental exercise of a culture in the way Civil War re-enactors, CosPlayers, or Star Trek fans might.

    And there may be a place for that appreciation - as long as we understand it within a context. In this case a more historical (a cynic might say "mythological") than contemporary, ethnic/racial, or political context.

    The writer is brave to share her feelings so openly with a blog like this - where the conversation is moving at such a nuanced pace that naive inquiry can be subjected to informed hostility.

    By all means Cathie should be encouraged to continue developing an authentic understanding of Native American cultures (historical and contemporary). Study abroad programs from AUS to the states must exist - and she could certainly go to a university in or near Indian Country and nurture that intellectual curiosity. Just google American Indian Studies or Native American Studies. Good luck!

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  14. Commie_Bastard: Thanks for posting pretty much what I was going to say, including the link to Pretty Bird Woman House. I read the Amnesty International report shortly after it was published, but thank you also for the reminder. I am a white feminist and I agree with you 100%.

    theblanketstatement: I don't think you have to be a cynic to call it mythological. That is exactly what it is. Rewriting history as fantasy to be more romantic and exciting than it really is.

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  15. Also, at least she didn't say she believes in her soul that she might have been a Native Princess in a past life. *sigh*

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  16. ootinaboot,

    At least we were spared her claiming to be 3/237th Cherokee or something (and yes, descended from a Cherokee PRINCESS-no doubt. White folk are NEVER descended from common ancestresses of color. And it's always an ANCESTRESS of color. Gotta keep their patriarchal White inheritance intact).

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  17. Re: Rosa

    Speaking of the whites who come to gawk at Indians on CHRISTMAS EVE no less...

    WT Flying F? Who does that? Do those whites get them mixed up with historic re-enactor villages or something? I had no idea people did that type of thing.

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  18. My original reply was swallowed up by the internet...

    "I think playing pretend--whether it's historical reenactment or steampunk or scifi/fantasy/anime cosplay--is a fairly common human desire. But there are a lot of pitfalls to try to avoid in the process."

    When we were in elementary school, our school would have games during Thanksgiving where you could pretend to be a Pilgrim or an "Indian". Nobody ever wanted to be a Pilgrim, everybody wanted to be an "Indian".

    Pretend is all well and good, but to carry that sort of thing into adulthood is, quite frankly, very juvenile.

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  19. @M.:
    I had never heard about steampunk, so had to google it. I don't know for sure, but I would strongly doubt that. The Indian roleplaying was allowed cause they were supposedly an anticapitalist minority oppressed by their enemy. So allowing Steampunk and "let's go back to the monarchies" roleplaying would be subversive. It would make no sense.

    Here is a recent Bulgarian example for playing Blackfeet.

    The guy went one further, he flew over to the States to become a 'spiritual brother' (no comment) and was a real a##hole while there.
    He also speaks of the competition among various European pretendgroups:

    "The Russians raise horses in order to understand the Native Americans' educational methods, and the Belgians have buffalo. One of the guys from our [Bulgarian] organisation recently returned from a five month stay with the Crow tribe. A Bulgarian girl who studied in the United States spent a year with the Lakota. She speaks their language very well and they accepted her as one of their own."

    He talks of Adolf GutOehrlein (now Adolf Hungry Wolf), maybe one of the most extreme examples of playpretend- he's been with the Blackfeet since the 60s, he originally came as a hippie.

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  20. @ Rosa: I'll second the "W T Flying F" bit. What reasons do they give?

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  21. But I somehow can't believe that the original email was legit. Of all webpages, why would Cathie email THIS one? WTF? Why not mail a Native American webpage?

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  22. I guess I never understood why white people feel we don't have enough culture and need to pretty much steal other cultures. But not the actual culture but a white romanticized version of a culture. I mean really, most of us white people came from Europe in some fashion, they got tons of culture, appropriate that shit (or go to a renaissance festival). Even here in America down south you can go to parks that recreate farm life and how people lived before cars and pop music and such. Churning butter was fun when I was a kid. (though these reenactments often left out slavery as a topic of discussion)

    Honestly, I think the need to take other cultures and to shun white culture is based on guilt. A guilt that we, as whites, have pretty much taken everything we have from minorities. We've committed genocide for our land, we've built our entire nation on slave labor, and even today we wouldn't be able to live the lives we do if we didn't do it on the backs of undocumented workers. Whites are terrible people and have a culture that is strongly based on horrible atrocities and guilt (or at least it should be).

    It is definitely not okay to take Native culture and make it your own especially when one seems to be completely separated from the actual reality of the actual living Natives today. Has the author of the email even been to an actual reservation before? I was taken to one as a child once. I was probably around 10 or younger and even I knew how horrible that shit was. Like going to someone's house and making them do something cultural for your amusement. I can definitely understand the people who live on reservations preferring if people just gtfo and left them alone. It's hard for me to look at the typical romanticized Native American junk that gets sold in stores everywhere and not think of that trip and all that I've read about the poverty that most Natives live in and the abuse they suffer at the hands of white people even today.

    Maybe if more white people realized that if we want to claim our own culture we're gonna have to take the guilt and shame with it. And even, heaven forbid, do something about it. If a white person doesn't want to take their own culture, though, it is not okay to take someone else's. It is okay to help out, to take some responsibility and donate to non profits or volunteer, but I cannot think of a reason that it would ever bee totally hunky dory for a white person to steal someone's culture and make it their own and call it part of their "spirit." Pretty much just going "Hey, I know that we killed your people for your land and I currently benefit from your shitty lot in life and I don't plan on acknowledging that at all but man do I love these feather headdresses and I totally feel you in my soul! I totally love you guys!" with a straight face.

    Thanks for putting yourself out there but I hope the discussion here helps your realize what's wrong with what you're doing and gets you to rethink your Native American Fetish.

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  23. KD said...

    Could you please ask her to insert WHITE every time she writes "Native American" and how she would feel if a Black person read that to her?


    I think a more exact comparison would be more like inserting Celtic, Viking, Germanic or some other ancient european tribe that had white skin.

    For my own part, if a black person came to me and said they were enamored of Celtic tribes, history, and lore, I wouldn't think anything of it. I like it too, for that matter, so I would unerstand it.

    But then again, I'm just one person. Not every white person may feel the same way. I also think the perspective might be different being a white person who is not marginalized by society in any way.

    theblanketstatement said...

    By all means Cathie should be encouraged to continue developing an authentic understanding of Native American cultures (historical and contemporary).


    I agree. Having an interest in Native American culture, even from across the globe, is not a crime in and of itself. There are plenty of people all over the world who are enamored of cultures not their own. I think the extent of that adoration, however, needs to be checked. I also think having an informed interest is key.

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  24. The Usual Robin (with Cookie Issues)December 23, 2009 at 7:27 AM

    I have this absolute passion for Native American people, their history and their culture.

    I had to reread that a couple times to figure out if it was a typo. I decided it must be, because anyone who claims to have done that much research on Native Americans shouldn't think they have a monolithic "culture", rather than acknowledging that there are many different cultures under the "Native American" umbrella. But then later she refers to "their wisdom", so I guess it wasn't a typo after all.

    As for Macon's assessment, I think it's spot-on.

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  25. You know.. I guess I've been living under a rock, because before this site, I never heard White people assert Native American Heritage.

    I thought it was only Black people who said "I have Indian in my family." Hahahaa It's funny even when it's true.. cause it seems like all African Americans do (if you ask them). Of course family lore asserts that I do too.. But we've never dressed up or gone to a reservation or anything like that..

    My mom even taught us the fallacy of the term "Indian giver" and such growing up.

    I find this whole thing odd. This e-mail was difficult for me to read.. but I do think that the comments have been pretty rude, possibly negating the informative value for the reader..

    I did however learn a lot. And I think it does seem interesting that while the "history" of NA is seen in fake "powwows" and such, their current reality is hidden from view. I google'd Native American and found very little present day information.. Except them being hit hard by H1N1, which throughout this whole scare, I didn't see mentioned once on the news.

    I think if you feel passionate about the history of people, or a group of people... then your commitment should be to better them and not to gawk at or fantasize about them.

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  26. Wow Macon, that was a wonderful, nuanced, thoughtful and respectful response to her question. I think it is very giving of you to put so much work into replying to an e-mail like that.

    So many people have said such good things. I had to laugh sort of when reading about the Germans running around Saxony recreating Cowboys and Indian fights. I also agree with Randy that the Germans were hell-a tribal and I wonder if any of them do recreations of themselves as Germanic tribes fighting the Romans or something like that. If not why? Seems pretty interesting to me.

    It is intersting though how sometimes people romanticize even when they destroy. Case in point, on the Ken Burns series recently about the US National Parks, there was a story about some officer with the US Army and his unit who were the "first" to "discover" Yosemite and the guy, getting carried away with how beautiful it was decided to name it Yosemetie b/c he thought that was the name of the tribe he was about to destroy. How f-ed up is that? YOu are going to name something (that probably already had a name) after the people you want to wipe off the map? Is that some sort of sick tribute? The ironic thing is the actual name of the tribe was something else (can't remember) and the word Yosemeite means something to the effect of those who can't be trusted, or killers; seems that boyfriend was actually naming the mountain after himself and his troops without knowing it.

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  27. "You know.. I guess I've been living under a rock, because before this site, I never heard White people assert Native American Heritage."

    Spiderlgs, some actor named Taylor Lautner was portraying a Native American for a movie and some attention was paid to how, all of a sudden, he comes and says he is part Cherokee. The idea was that he plays one of many Native Americans in the movie, all of the other actors I think were confirmed Native Americans. But he played a starring role of sorts, unlike the others. So people think he just said that to give himself some credibility in the role.

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  28. @ Elsariel:

    >> "I think a more exact comparison would be more like inserting Celtic, Viking, Germanic or some other ancient european tribe that had white skin."

    Ah. But. There is one very, very big difference between ancient Celts, ancient Vikings, ancient Franks...and Native Americans. Can you guess?

    There are living Native Americans today. Who are, you know, actual human beings.

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  29. (Macon - Did you anticipate and warn Cathie that she might be getting pretty negative reactions to her post?...actually maybe it's kinda weird that I'd worry about this considering how poc guest posters get hammered too by commenters sometimes.)

    Anyway, I used to think that I was in 14th century Italy in my previous life. Up until my teenage years, that is. Try imagining that - slant eyed Asian with black hair thinks she's European royalty. Now imagine me as an adult feeling these exotic people in my soul (I don't, btw). I think it would appear weird to a white person.

    I think being infatuated or feeling a fetish for another culture is great for a start. It's often what drives people to learn another language, and thereby another culture. This is great. But at some point we need to graduate from infatuation/fetishization and enter into a stage where we think of the Other no longer as an Other, but as actual people.

    This reminds me of my Indonesian language students in Australia. They are mostly white Australians. Very dedicated in learning the language and culture. Been learning for 5-7 years. Adorable. But most didn't have a single Indonesian friend despite how the university campus is overflowing with international students from Indonesia. And when they saw pictures of high rise buildings in Indonesia they said, "Wow, they're so 'Westernized'," instead of saying "modernized". It even seemed as though they found it a pity that Indonesia was losing its 'true' identity. When they saw pictures of high school students in uniforms (pants/skirts and collared shirts), one said, "Why aren't they wearing their traditional outfit?" Their ONLY image of Indonesia was a frozen frame of "undeveloped, impoverished, tribal, exotic, etc, etc, etc" (the academic term is "essentializing/essentialism").

    Dumbfounded, I made them interview Indonesian students on campus and share their findings with the class. I mean, why the hell were they learning the language if they weren't gonna use it to talk to Indonesians? I designed the interview so it would force them to relate to these students as "fellow students" and not some objectified "Other" that needs to be "studied" and "analyzed".

    One came back and said, "It was weird coz, they were normal!...I mean, that sounds weird, but...yeah, they were like, actually...normal...like us." Another said, looking confused, "They listened to the same music as me. I actually couldn't find much difference...we were very similar." Most were quite surprised that the Indonesian students weren't all that different from themselves, that they were all just young people like themselves. The whole point of the assignment was so that they could realize this. But when they actually articulated this, I was dumbfounded and in shock just the same. I looked composed in front of them, but I wanted to slap and knock them...uh, I mean, myself to the ground.

    There is no such thing as exotic people. People are people wherever you go.

    As for additional suggestions for Cathie - you could go and teach at a school on a reservation. I know on one person who did this. He said it the conditions there were heartbreaking. But the story he shared was very moving. The experience impacted him deeply.

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  30. "She speaks their language very well and they accepted her as one of their own."

    Bullshit! Any idiot can go brag to their friends that they were "adopted" by some tribe their friends have never met.

    every time I hear the Rape stats I am appalled. I will be donating to that woman's shelter on pay day.

    the Romanticize and Destroy thing goes hand in hand and it is completely deliberate

    reminds me of that scene from Office Space where the guy is listening to rap music in his car when an actually black man walks by he gets scared and locks his doors

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  31. fromthetropics, I am completely slack jawed that anybody who wants a college education would have those sorts of assumptions.

    I am reminded of a common retort to defend having a history of slavery. Has anybody heard this before? "If it weren't for the fact our ancestors brought them over as slaves, they'd still be in primitive tribes in Africa."

    Because, man, only the western world is capable of modernizing!

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  32. KD said...

    But I somehow can't believe that the original email was legit. Of all webpages, why would Cathie email THIS one? WTF? Why not mail a Native American webpage?

    The original email does indeed exist -- I didn't make it up. But yeah, who knows, maybe someone just pretended to be "Cathie." As for why she'd email THIS blog: her basic question seems to be about her "white" self:

    Why is it that I have such a passion for this race of people? Why do I feel so at peace when I gaze at pictues of them? Why is it that their wisdom and beliefs seem so natural and right to me? How is it that I feel them in my soul?

    I think much of this thread doesn't address that question. It seems all too easy to me to condemn Cathie's NA fetish, and somewhat harder to stick to and answer her questions, which ask why it is that a lot of white folks fetishize NAs like this (in aspic, as it were).

    fromthetropics,

    No, I didn't warn Cathie. I did anticipate such responses, but I thought that reading my more tempered (?) response first might soften the blow. And then I had a second thought that was similar to yours -- why warn her? Maybe some shock, if that's what it would be, will be good for her (assuming she ever comes back).

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  33. >every time I hear the Rape stats I am appalled.

    Yeah. It's depressing. Staggering.

    >I knew how horrible that shit was. Like going to someone's house and making them do something cultural for your amusement.

    Yeaaah. One time they had an Aboriginal dance show in a park in Australia. It was the umpteenth time I had seen something like it. It was always for tourists and the like. It just felt weird watching something that's originally a ritual dance being performed for tourists and native culture tasters. My white friend wanted to watch it. I ended up watching the audience (most, if not all, were white). To me it seemed as though the audience, including my friend, thought that watching this dance made them less racist. Ugh. So I didn't want to watch it. And sure enough, because I didn't want to watch it (and because I didn't have any Aboriginal friend while she did), my white friend later tried to accuse me of being racist against Aboriginal people. Never mind the fact that it's statistically impossible for everyone to have an Aboriginal friend when they're only 2.5% of the population.

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  34. @ Kevin,

    You know.. I have a friend who is totally enamored with the New Moon/Twilight phenomenon and I am FLABBERGASTED the way that many fans (mostly white) have taken the character Jacob, a Native American, and idealized him into this light skinned.. just tan enough to maybe kinda not be white guy.. Taylor Lautner

    And for the rest of the Pack, who don't have a romantic relationship with Bella (our ever so pathetic character) to be Native American, but for them to make cast Taylor Lautner as Jacob ick... ridiculous.

    Okay.. enough.. I dont even know if that rant makes sense.. but in its loosely related way.. why can't they find a Native American to be the lead?

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  35. Well, I for one thought that people here DID dissect white fetishization of Native Americans by debunking the romantic notions whites maintain about them, then pointing out that romanticization is a condescending form of destruction.

    People of color are always expected to walk on eggshells around those who exercise white privilege - it's a form of ye olde, insufferable "tone argument" coming into play.

    So long as no one resorts to personal attacks (and so far as I can see, no one here has) and lampoons racism rather than the individual - what exactly is the problem in calling out the revolting injustice and exploitation heaped upon Native Americans for what they are? How does one sugarcoat this reality?

    You're wondering why white people specifically fetishize Native Americans (as opposed to all the other groups they fetishize)?

    Well, like other commenters have said, distance has a lot to do with it, in terms of both time and space. And of course, the ever-present desire to disavow white accountability and refusal to bear witness, thereby becoming even more complicit in the oppression of nonwhites.

    It's easier to dehumanize people as "magical" and "beautiful" when most Native Americans (unlike other racial groups) have been wiped out to such a degree, isolated to small areas and continually rendered silent and invisible by the justice system and mass media.

    I have to reference that Cherokee writer I linked to in a previous post:
    While New Agers may think that they are escaping white racism by becoming “Indian,” they are, in fact, continuing the same genocidal practices of their forefathers/foremothers. The one thing that has maintained the survival of Indian people through 500 hundred years colonialism has been the spiritual bonds that keep us together...

    The New Age movement completely trivializes the oppression that we, as Indian women face: that Indian women are forcibly sterilized and are tested with unsafe drugs such as Depo-Provera; that we have a life expectancy of forty seven years; that we generally live below poverty level and face a seventy-five percent unemployment rate. No, ignoring our realities, the New Age movement sees Indian women as cool and spiritual and therefore, available to teach white women to be cool and spiritual.

    ...Since, according to this theory, anyone can now be “Indian,” the term “Indian” no longer refers only to those groups of people who have survived five hundred years of colonization and genocide. This phenomenon furthers the goal of white supremists to abrogate treaty rights and to take away what little we have left by promoting the idea that some Indians need to have their land base protected, but even more Indians [those that are really white] have plenty of land. According to this logic, “Indians” as a whole do not need treaty rights. When everyone becomes “Indian” it is easy to lose sight of the specificity of oppression faced by those who are Indian in this life. It is no wonder we have such a difficult time getting non-Indians to support our struggles when the New Age movement has completely disguised our oppression.


    Maybe it's my literally "colored" perspective, but this white fetishization of NA culture really doesn't seem like such a gosh darn mysterious phenomenon to me... just an extreme case of the exotification targeting comparatively visible minorities.

    What do other PoC here think?

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  36. >I am completely slack jawed that anybody who wants a college education would have those sorts of assumptions.

    Oh. Those were the milder assumptions. There were more. I went to the head of department about this and was reminded that they're still pretty young and will believe whatever their parents and the media tell em. Fair enough. They are a great bunch otherwise. But I was also told that I should try to "expose" some of their subconscious racisms to them. I did. And it went well. It was actually fun and memorable for all of us in the end.

    The Question: "Why is it that I have such a passion for this race of people? Why do I feel so at peace when I gaze at pictues of them? Why is it that their wisdom and beliefs seem so natural and right to me? How is it that I feel them in my soul?"

    Uhm...because it's so far away and it's all in the imagination? It's quite common and natural for people to get infatuated. But it's easy to stay that way when it remains far and Othered. And in this case, it sounds like a way to escape almost. Like Jungle Book, Aladdin, Disney basically, and Never Ending Story. There's nothing wrong with fantasy, but it needs to be recognized as such. Or, it can also be seen as similar (sort of) to how ppl immerse themselves in Shakespeare, Romanticists, Confucius, etc.

    I'm sorry. I may sound condescending or simplistic, but I don't know how to put this in a more sophisticated way.

    Also, Cathie, you mentioned adoption and that it might be because your natural father's family has some connection with Native Americans. This is something you might want to look into. I have noticed among some international adoptees at least, that there seems to be a very strong yearning to know where they came from. I struggled immensely with (cultural) identity issues, but their yearning for identity seemed much stronger than even mine. Could it be that this loss from adoption is causing you to carry this infatuation well into adulthood?

    I'm not a psychoanalyst, but just food for thought.

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  37. @Willow

    Good point.

    Spiderlgs said...

    why can't they find a Native American to be the lead?


    I wondered the same.

    Lautner is another example of a white person who claims Native American ancestry. Apparently he claims Ottawa and Potawatomi through his mother's side.

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  38. yes Commie, telling us to "go easy" on her is another example of the tone argument as if only POC were polite enough racism would go away

    maybe the embarrassment will shock/shame her out of her horrible delusions

    Re: Lautner, he originally claimed to get his color from the French side of his family, it was only after he was cast in Twilight that he "discovered" Native American ancestry, his stated background has changed several times

    well in that case I'm 1/8 Scottish, I guess I should've been cast in Braveheart, although I doubt someone as brown as me would be allowed

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  39. Re: Rosa

    Speaking of the whites who come to gawk at Indians on CHRISTMAS EVE no less...

    WT Flying F? Who does that? Do those whites get them mixed up with historic re-enactor villages or something? I had no idea people did that type of thing.

    --Marissa

    Yep. Believe it. Just yesterday I had it out with a friend who wants to go to Taos Pueblo on Christmas to see the sacred dances that go along with the other celebrations that are held there every year at this time. But the woman to whom I was speaking was part of another tribe on another (nearby) reservation. Because of the influence of Christianity here, the mixture of NA and (Spanish/Mexican) Christian traditions on the reservation is quite unique and draws uninvited, curious whites who come to gawk at the religious celebrations and observances (yes, on Christmas Eve) which she and her tribe members consider to be extremely personal.

    Many tribe members do welcome outsiders on other occasions and are happy to share many things, but it's different on sacred days. On those days the sense of entitlement of many outsiders/non-NA is particularly offensive.

    I truly believe that the OC thinks that her curiosity is benevolent simply because she thinks her intentions are pure. But hers is an immature, offensive attitude. Common, though.

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  40. Kevin (Ket) wrote,

    I am reminded of a common retort to defend having a history of slavery. Has anybody heard this before? "If it weren't for the fact our ancestors brought them over as slaves, they'd still be in primitive tribes in Africa."

    Yes, I have heard that, and variations of it, many times before. Abagond answers that general white claim well in this post: "Go Back to Africa"

    As he also points out, Uber-conservative/disgruntled-racist Pat Buchanan spit out a particularly infamous iteration; in 2008, Patriotic Pat said,

    America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

    This tangent to Africa is actually on topic here, I think. The common white conception of "primitive" people (be they "black" or "red") is always dual -- a contradictory dualism, consisting of idealized positive attributes on one end (which serve to sooth a guilty collective white conscience), and cartoonishly negative attributes on the other (which serve to justify white abuse, and then neglect, of said "primitive" population).

    Oh the tangled, pathological webs we white conquerors weave!

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  41. @ Rosa:

    Okay, I think I get it now. Coming from a White Christian background (though Atheist myself, I'm speaking of the cultural background), I would say that it is very hard for many Whites to understand how religion can be a "don't share with outsiders" thing, cause Christianity is mostly supposed to be the opposite (proselytize as much as possible, invite everyone in to "save" their souls, as open as possible).
    I personally find it hard to relate to religion as secret, mainly due to my 'White-type of Christianity' background.

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  42. KD

    >> "I would say that it is very hard for many Whites to understand how religion can be a "don't share with outsiders" thing"

    I think that it is equally the case that WP don't imagine ourselves as outsiders. And are mightily offended by any implication that we are.

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  43. It's not about religion being "secret" but about some things being private or personal. If you have trouble relating it to religion, you might consider perhaps that some tribes have limited outsider access to reservations because whites often invited themselves into the homes of NA and expected to be fed and entertained. I'm talking perfect strangers here. Some whites in the more distant past (but not distant enough) would even help themselves to "artifacts" that they found either in the home or outside. Consider all the NA art and cultural artifacts that sit in museums all over the world. Wonder how many of those things got there?

    The continued disrespect of a culture is far more serious than just having one's religious ceremonies observed. It's more than a personal space issue.

    When someone, like the original commenter, thinks that they have the rights to colonize your SOUL? That's a problem.

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  44. I'll second Willow and Spiderlgs.

    However, Willow, their answer:

    "Most hobbyists focus on the American Indian culture of pre-1880, when the last tribes were forced onto reservations. Biber rejects the criticism that hobbyists need to be more concerned with contemporary Indian issues, such as widespread poverty or the fight to protect wild bison in Yellowstone National Park.
    "What we do has nothing to do with the Indians today," he said. "What we do has to do with a culture that is already gone, like the Romans. It's not necessary for me to go to Rome and get permission to study the Romans."

    @ thelady: I disagree. It might be likelier to convince this one individual, cause it might be generally easier to convince individuals (of something) if polite. I think that is a basic fact of communication: Your opponent just shuts done and dismisses you and turns away if you're impolite. In any discussion, no matter what the topic. Or are your experiences different?
    Re 1/8th Scottish: IMO it's a bit more complex than that... There have been NA leaders which only had a smidgin of NA ancestry in them for starts.

    Re: Rape stats... Don't... :( Huge trigger. Basically if one gets raped, one should just give up on any type of justice. Statistically too unlikely. Even more so if indigenous. So 0 chance if White and -5 if indigenous.

    @ Kevin: Unfortunately not true. The female character claims wrongly to be of First Nations heritage (she's Asian) and another cast playing a Native boy in the next movie is primarily Asian with some distant NA heritage.

    Re: Why Indian, not Black blood is claimed- easy, slavery, one drop rule. But more recently there is such a movement (although small). If you go on mulatto.org, you can find people claiming to be Octaroons (1/8 Black). It's a small minority, but it exists. Plus: Black people also 'deny' White ancestry and are upset about people who don't self-identify as Black (Tiger...). If your biracial and grew up with your White single parent (Obama, Halle Berry et al) your still supposed to be "Black". "Just Black". So the One Drop Rule is still "popular" with both sides.

    Someone asked about Germanic tribal enactment. It exists, reasonably common. I've been to some as a visitor, some in Canada, some in Europe (didn't take part myself, but picked up friends, enjoyed the awesome food). My favorite one: All the families taking part have to pretend all the time. So I was sitting there, nice summer day, eating amazing soup-like dish made with archeological recipes. Kids playing in front of me (aged 3-5). A plane above us, flying quite low, very loud. The kids stopped playing for a second and looked up and screamed "A dragon!!!" :)
    Loved it.

    Here's a European link selection.

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  45. @ Macon D & Kevin: Yes, I remember seeing a TV interview with an African American author who wrote an entire book on how grateful he was for his slavery ancestry, cause that at least "saved him" from living in Africa. Weird.

    Another (Native) viewpoint (I disagree):

    "Stories like this amuse and flatter Dick Littlebear, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and the president of Chief Dull Knife College in Lame Deer, Mont. So long as the hobbyists avoid copying the sacred ceremonies of his tribe, Littlebear said he doesn't worry about Germans fixating on his culture.

    The hobbyists might not know it, he said, but their attention to detail could help the tribe someday. As Indian elders die off and ancient languages fade, so, too, dies unrecorded knowledge. Littlebear, who holds a doctoral degree in linguistics, said he once met a group of German hobbyists who were able to teach him lost Northern Cheyenne stitching methods from the 1850s. "They know more than we do about some of these things," he said.

    If anything, Littlebear would like the Germans to spend even more time on their interest -- by attending one of the Northern Cheyenne's annual language-instruction camps, for example. Young people no longer seem to care about learning the original tongue, Littlebear said.
    "Maybe 50 years from now, if things change, a Cheyenne could go over to Germany and relearn our own language," Littlebear said."

    From a Salon article.

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  46. You guys might be interested in some of these links:

    http://www.newagefraud.org/about.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age_Frauds_and_Plastic_Shamans

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0487178/ documentary called "White Shamans and Plastic Medicine Men"

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/item_lXWolLotZomNKZ4BQg05PO (about how Twilight has spurred a Dances With Wolves-like facination with the Quileute tribe

    And the rape tourism article reminded me so much of the "rape trees" along the US-Mexican border, another topic that has gone largely ignored:

    http://www.truthout.org/article/price-admission-migrant-women

    http://mzbitca.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/rape-trees-and-immigrant-women-the-silent-victims/

    http://blogs.chron.com/txpotomac/2009/03/rape_victims_in_ice_detention.html

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  47. @KD: What the hell do you mean "Don't" regarding rape stats? Don't WHAT, exactly? Don't talk about it? Don't bring to light these systematized atrocities against Native American women and children in a thread that specifically addresses their oppression? Are you %&$*king kidding me?

    I can't believe you just tried to derail the issue of rape tourism by bringing white women into this. And before this devolves into a racist "dear god what about the white chicks" handwringing session, NO ONE IS SUGGESTING OR HAS SUGGESTED THAT RAPE IS EVER MET WITH A GREAT DEAL OF JUSTICE. But white women are insulated by their racial privilege and do NOT suffer from rape tourism in this country as Native Americans do. Don't you dare try to suggest otherise.

    And I for one am not going to give up on justice. You go ahead and do whatever you want though, I guess.

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  48. I disagree. It might be likelier to convince this one individual, cause it might be generally easier to convince individuals (of something) if polite. I think that is a basic fact of communication: Your opponent just shuts done and dismisses you and turns away if you're impolite. In any discussion, no matter what the topic.

    You are completely ignorant of the utilization of ye olde "tone argument" as it takes place within a racial context. Google it.

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  49. @ KD:

    >> (quoting from article) "'What we do has to do with a culture that is already gone'"

    I know a couple of Peoria* women who might have something to say about that.

    That dude from the article might claim he is "celebrating" a culture that has ended; instead it is a sign of willful ignorance on his part.

    *the tribe, not the city

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  50. Black people also 'deny' White ancestry and are upset about people who don't self-identify as Black (Tiger...). If your biracial and grew up with your White single parent (Obama, Halle Berry et al) your still supposed to be "Black". "Just Black". So the One Drop Rule is still "popular" with both sides.

    I don't mean to pry, but this statement makes me wonder: Are you Black?

    If you are, who is you to assume this?

    If you are not, who is you to assume this?

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  51. @ Commie Bastard: Yes, I have given up on it. So there. As a victim I also find reading about it difficult (that is what I meant by 'trigger'). And I am not sure what you mean by "White women are insulated by their White privilege" if you say in the same post "NO ONE IS SUGGESTING OR HAS SUGGESTED THAT RAPE IS EVER MET WITH A GREAT DEAL OF JUSTICE."
    I wouldn't have written the -5 bit if I hadn't meant it.

    But keep yelling at me, I'm sure you'll convince me. ;)
    (I googled the "tone argument":
    "3. Don’t expect your feelings to be a priority in a discussion about X issue. Oftentimes people get off onto the tone argument because their feelings are hurt by the way a message was delivered. If you stand on someone’s foot and they tell you to get off? The correct response is not “Ask nicely” when you were in the wrong in the first place."
    Fair enough- but then the priority is different: It's an arena for raging and venting, rather than for convincing. Which as I said is fair enough)

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  52. "Why is it that I have such a passion for this race of people? Why do I feel so at peace when I gaze at pictues of them? Why is it that their wisdom and beliefs seem so natural and right to me? How is it that I feel them in my soul?"

    Because you made them up.
    As in you, personally. Made them up, from the bits you liked in the assorted romanticized depictions you've been exposed to (and any shreds of accurate info that might have straggled across your path) over the years. The "wisdom and beliefs"? You created them. That's why they feel "so natural and right" to you. But outside of your mind, they don't exist. You feel this fictional monolithic People "in your soul" because that is where they came from. It is a crush. You like this fantasy culture because it was (and is constantly being) custom-built by you, for you. I'm not even harshing on you— you built it from a kit. But there it is.

    I mean, c'mon. Reality is right there, being, all, you know, real. But somehow— somehow!— wouldn't you know, you haven't come across anything out there on the intertubez to burst this bubble!* What are the odds.

    ___
    *Like, say... "WTF, WP? This, right here? Stop doing it." Which I guarantee is out there.

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  53. Re: Why Indian, not Black blood is claimed- easy, slavery, one drop rule. But more recently there is such a movement (although small). If you go on mulatto.org, you can find people claiming to be Octaroons (1/8 Black). It's a small minority, but it exists. Plus: Black people also 'deny' White ancestry and are upset about people who don't self-identify as Black (Tiger...). If your biracial and grew up with your White single parent (Obama, Halle Berry et al) your still supposed to be "Black". "Just Black". So the One Drop Rule is still "popular" with both sides.

    So it's not that Whites devalue Blackness to the point of being the lowest of the low. It's because we mean ol' darkies won't let y'all into our clubhouse.

    KD, if THIS is what you're saying, then please go and fuck yourself. And I could give a shit about my "tone" to you. I'm starting my New Year's resolution early: Stop cutting White people slack when they've NEVER done the same for me. Fuck me eating shit so that YOU can feel better about being White.

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  54. @Willow: I would simply retort to that guy that the Romans (present-day inhabitants of Rome) would not object to him playing Roman, but that he should stop doing it, since some Native Americans object.

    How would you respond to Littlebear though?

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  55. @Witchsistah:
    I was trying to explain why it is uncommon for White People to claim Black ancestry, but far too common to claim NA ancestry.
    I don't understand your answer in any way. Where do you get the idea that I think that is okay?! What??? I just tried to explain where it comes from, not my opinion. ????
    I think there is a misunderstanding here.
    I don't even understand the Clubhouse sentence. ????

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  56. @ KD

    >> "How would you respond to Littlebear though?"

    I actually think that the interview with Littlebear is a great response to the other dude you quoted. The stuff that guys thinks has "no relevance" to modern Native Americans? Well, not according to Littlebear.

    Of course, I doubt that other dude would care about the opinion of an actual Native American.

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  57. @ Commie Bastard:
    I read the Amnesty Report, cried; googled NA rape tourism; google asked me whether I was interested in "Free online rape videogames", cried some more and then I wrote an email to one of my favourite mags and asked them to do an article on this.

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  58. I was trying to explain why it is uncommon for White People to claim Black ancestry, but far too common to claim NA ancestry.
    I don't understand your answer in any way. Where do you get the idea that I think that is okay?! What??? I just tried to explain where it comes from, not my opinion. ????
    I think there is a misunderstanding here.
    I don't even understand the Clubhouse sentence. ????


    Your direct, fucking quote which I put up in italics right above my response. Basically, we dirty nigrahs just co-opt wholesale anyone with one drop of Black blood into our Negro Club (actually the group's name is the Worldwide Consortium of Amalgamated Negroes) and if you don't play ball, we'll banish you from Blackness. We're utterly incapable of recognizing that mixed folks (and even mixed folks who are part Black) exist.

    Basically, your whole explanation focused on pinning the blame on Black people. It mentioned nothing about Whites' anti-Black racism or how Whites despise and denigrate (interesting and ironic choice of word here) Blackness which is the REAL reason why Whites claim all sorts of fake-ass ROYAL NA heritage (because no White person could ever be descended from a common PoC-royal PoC=peasant-ass White people) before they'd claim the heritage they most likely DO have, Blackness. In fact, those "Indian" ancestors they attribute whatever ersatz non-White features they have probably came from a Black ancestor.

    And I've lost patience with your switcha-roos between anti-racist White who's shocked constantly at quotidian White racism and confused, put-upon, clueless, White damsel-in-distress who is being attacked by ravenous, rampaging darkies. Next, you'll be pulling out the White Woman's Tears(TM).

    If you do, could you bottle them? They do wonders for my skin when I rub them on and bathe in them, and this winter air has been havoc on my complexion.

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  59. 1. The romanticizing of Natives/Native culture is easy for whites because (a) there aren't that many Natives. (b) Natives, as they are portrayed in media, are seen as a "mythic" civilization.

    Furthermore, whites can claim roots in the land mass called America and not feel too guilty about the massacre of Natives in the old days.

    2. And, MgIbson17, you want to know why whites don't claim black blood? Someone on this post once suggested that whites want the perceived "coolness" of what they consider ethnic without the "baggage" and "issues." Bing blacks or expressing kinship with blacks, meaning dealing with the many political issues and racially charged realities. In other words: it's not romantic to whites.

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  60. @Witchsistah:

    Next, you'll be pulling out the White Woman's Tears(TM).

    Look at the post before yours. She already did. Hurry up and rub it on your bendy parts!

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  61. Re: Rape stats (off topic) - Yes, I understand how it feels (in terms of 'trigger'). I hate it too. It's heartbreaking. But I included it in the hopes that more people, especially men, will know how shockingly high it is. I think it's far beyond what most people, again, especially men, believe. If more people are aware that there are many around them who may have experienced it, I believe they will be more inclined to keep a look out of others' behaviors and their own, and not take things too lightly...like play stupid video games. (I don't understand why they can't outlaw rape video games. Like, WTF is wrong with society?)

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  62. Okay, this is BS. Why am I not allowed to have feelings? WTF? Why would White women not be allowed to have feelings? Why am I not allowed to cry about something that makes me sad? Why are you trying to make me non-human? What does it help your cause?

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  63. @ Witchsistah: That was a rant. However, I still don't understand how it relates to my original post.
    I can't play your game, cause I don't separate in "We" vs "Them" as much as you do. Which part of my argument do you actually disagree with? The poster above asked a question. I gave my answer to that. That's all. And no, I did not pin my whole argument on Blacks- the ODR is 'popular' among both Whites and Blacks. (Go over to mulatto.org and check it out)
    But if you've lost patience with me, fair enough, cool with me.

    ReplyDelete
  64. KD, you don't seem to realize it, but you're getting whiter and whiter the more you comment. Just the sheer number of your comments, for one thing, amounts to you making this all about you -- you're exhibiting the common white Center-stage Phenomenon. On top of that, many of your comments are off-topic because they're about you and your feelings, in ways that derail from the discussion at hand, which has to do with, you know, RACISM, and the ongoing fact of, and methods of, white supremacy.

    Of course you're "allowed to have feelings," but in the context of a discussion on race, especially one that includes non-white people, you're bringing up your own topics and feelings in ways that insist on their primacy, and thus ignore and/or trivialize non-white feelings. Witchsistah, RVCBard, fromthetropics and others are not "playing a game" here. They're experienced, informed, and very informative survivors of racism, and of all sorts of white oblivion, including the kinds you're displaying here. They're obviously really good at handling that, including here, but I've gathered that they're also really TIRED of handling that. So that's one more reason that you need to sit back and pipe down (as the white folks I know like to put it). Pull up a book, do some other reading, listenlistenlisten, and try to think more about how being white is making you ACT white.

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  65. KD,

    PS--I strongly second Willow's book recs in another thread, Ruth Frankenburg's White Women, Race Matters and bell hooks' Ain't I A Woman? Those two excellent books could teach you a LOT about how your whitened self intersects with your gendered self.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Yup, it was time to put PoC center stage. Said the White man. And started a blog, telling other White people to stop commenting. Okay. :)

    ReplyDelete
  67. KD, you're making me think of Ronnie Ray Gun: "There you go again!"

    I think you're also exhibiting another white quality, by the way -- pride. A non-white acquaintance of mine used to call that the Stiff Neck Syndrome.

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  68. RVCBard,

    I saw that after I clicked "post." Well, gimme the bottle. *rubs it on elbows and knees and around eyes* There!

    Wow, there's a lot left over. She sure did cry a frikken river. Maybe we could Ebay the rest.

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  69. Goddamnit KD, do you know why people are pissed at you? Well for one, because you were almost raped you feel that the rape and suffering and injustice that is basically a part of native women's daily lives is just too saaaaaad for you, so omg guys I don't want to hear about it because it makes me feel bad!

    Let me tell you something, I am a biracial transgendered woman (that is, I was born a man) and I was raped because of it. The police dropped my case because I'd been drinking the night it happened and they claimed it was just my word against theirs.

    It's such a white thing to expect the world to be bubble-wrapped for you. This goes right along with what Witchsista and others are telling you. Don't go bitching that we're making you feeeeeel baaaaaad, because guess what sugar? Those of us to whom stuff like rape tourism and rape trees and transphobia and bans on having any emotions at all is a part of our daily lives don't get to make the world sunshine and unicorns by shreiking "triggering!" and "be nice!!"

    Witchsistah, pass some of that over here, my elbows are awfully ashy this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  70. By the way RVCBard, could you cut the "bitch"es please? I know this is an anti-racist blog, but there's no reason to be anti-feminist too.

    ReplyDelete
  71. KD, this isn't about your feelings.

    And telling someone that this is "your cause" (meaning, theirs and not YOURS) pretty much indicates what you're really here for. To be "right" about something and to make white people feel better. You're not making me feel better. You're embarrassing me, actually that you just can't find a way to be understanding about a situation without taking a big piss on everyone else for doing something wrong as well - AND without employing every possible derailment tactic you can conjure.

    ReplyDelete
  72. The first 4/5 of this discussion is informative, sobering, appalling, and sometimes frustrating. The last fifth of this discussion is one of the most uproariously funny things I've read in a comment thread in several weeks. Kudos, everyone. WWT = always a source of humor. (and hell, I'm white too.)

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  73. You guys are hilariously crazy. All I wanted was a sample of the WWT. However, I don't know. My luxurious honey skin may become contaminated.

    I do tire of the WWT "Woe is Me" mechanism displayed by many WW. One fine example of such is Elisabeth Hasselback of The View.

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  74. Yes indeed, Missy Hasselbeck provides SO many examples, doesn't she?

    Here's some of her finer work, as a Weepy Center-stage Grabber. I think she won an Emmy for that scene alone.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Yyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhh,

    KD, you can pretty much go fuck yourself as far as I'm concerned. I'm no longer tolerating your poor, little, White girl lost antics and your White Woman's Syndrome anymore.

    Let me just say I think you're a self-serving attention-whore who uses "concern" about PoC to make herself look good, cool and progressive. And like most White folk like that, you think PoC are utterly too stupid to see what you're doing. And because you have jack worth's of experience with PoC you assume we have just as little with Whites and have not seen these behaviors a bajillion times before.

    As before, if you're going to cry at least do ONE service to PoC and bottle them. They really do wonders for our skin (and yes, they ARE the reason BW look so young for much of our lives. That's why we're so SASSY, to provoke WW to cry so we can collect the bounty).

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  76. @KD: If you do not wish to discuss rape because it is triggering to you, I totally respect and support you in that.

    HOWEVER.

    If you come into a discussion that specifically addresses the systemic brutalization and exploitation of Native Americans and expect not to encounter the issue of rape tourism, then actually DEMAND that people not talk about it?

    Then you are being obnoxiously ignorant and you can go run off to one of the white "feminist" enclaves where you can actually get away with such sanctimonious, racist idiocy.

    Here's a world-shaking bit of news: it's not all about YOU.

    Do you go around thinking that you're the only one who's been victimized? Because you're SURE as hell acting like it. Which is funny, given that you and I and everyone else live in a world where minorities (not just Native Americans) are disproportionately targeted by sexual violence. We're actually trying to shed light on this crucial issue, and you're telling us to stop for the sake of your own psyche?

    I've learned by now NOT to share my experiences with white women who pull this kind of "me first" crap, because firstly, they completely resent having to face facts that they are NOT the sole victims and secondly, they just can't handle the sheer horror of the systemic, institutionalized violence against people of color who also happen to be young, female and orphaned.

    Don't you dare imply that I'm not cognizant of rape trauma. Lady, I could show you shit that would render you catatonic.

    You are not nearly as enlightened or compassionate as you think you are. And you don't seem to be at all interested in making an effort to be, despite you coming to a place created and ran by someone who is.

    Also, your selective showcase of the "tone" argument in an attempt to bolster your horribly privileged position isn't fooling anyone.

    As for us women of color not "allowing" white women to have feelings?

    Excuse me while I bust a gut laughing.

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  77. Commie Bastard,

    I beat you to the gut-busting. Sorry, I'm so selfish being a WOC and all.

    @KD, Women of color not "allowing" white women the chance to express their feelings is really a laugh and a half. I mean, you seriously believe that. Dang, I really do need to grab a few buckets as my skin care ship is coming in. The tide's a plenty tonight!

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  78. Oh, and KD?

    And I am not sure what you mean by "White women are insulated by their White privilege" if you say in the same post "NO ONE IS SUGGESTING OR HAS SUGGESTED THAT RAPE IS EVER MET WITH A GREAT DEAL OF JUSTICE."

    Try actually reading my entire sentence this time and see if it manages to get through your mental palisades of white privilege.

    white women are insulated by their racial privilege and do NOT suffer from rape tourism in this country as Native Americans do.

    @honeybrown1976: Can't you see that I've got my hands full preventing white women from having feelings to bother with your gut-busting?!

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  79. By the way, just to be sure KD doesn't, intentionally or otherwise, think my "banned from having any emotions" was about her or white people, let me explicity state: Hell. No.

    I'm sure it's clear to all the sane people, but I mean WoC, specifically black women. A black woman is upset or angry? Oh no, Angry Black Woman! A black woman feels hurt and offended? Ooh, uppity! A black woman is fucking joyful? Loud and ghetto! KD, you want to bitch and whine about not being allowed to have any emotions? Try spending one day as a black woman.

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  80. >> "That's why we're so SASSY, to provoke WW to cry so we can collect the bounty)."

    Um...if I'm crying b/c I'm laughing so hard, do they still count as WWT? Or would they be missing that special something and thus not be, um, valuable? ^_^

    Thank you, everyone. Merry Christmas to those of you who are celebrating, and happy Friday to the rest.

    KD, if you're still reading this thread, my offer of an e-mail conversation still stands.

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  81. Honeybrown,

    I'm tellin' ya, gurl! You betta stock up! Collect them tears by the rain barrel and bathe in them like Cleopatra did in ass' milk. I'm a 41 year old BW that most Whites mistake for a 25 year old. My secret? WWT!

    But you can't just collect any cryin' WW's lacrimae. You can't crash a funeral and just start squeegeeing for example. No, you gotta get the special White Woman Syndrome tears. Those contain the special ingredient "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!" which is so beneficial to the skin of PoC.

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  82. Um...if I'm crying b/c I'm laughing so hard, do they still count as WWT? Or would they be missing that special something and thus not be, um, valuable?

    There's a certain . . . something about the flavor of White Women's Tears shed because of Women of Color being mean to them that adds a kind of richness that really works itself down to the deeper levels of our epidermis. Guess it penetrates the melanin better or something.

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  83. Weird. Anyway... maybe she's trying to say she feels a connection to Earth... you know, being an Earthling and all. Or maybe... it's NOT the actual existing Native Americans she's fascinated by... maybe it's the narrative created by herself in her own mind that she's infatuated with. People can get pretty obsessed with their own creations y'know.

    I am fascinated by ALL cultures, both ancient and contempory. African, American (both continents and surrounds), European, Asian/Aust-area... if it's on Earth heck the universe even, then I'm interested... even the ocean bed.

    Does that mean... I believe I have multiple personalities or something? Seriously, people here can be so mean.

    And KD is totally entitled to her feelings just as anyone else here and elsewhere is... no more no less. How is ganging up on her making you a better person? Because someone else does something bad to you, it makes it ok to do it back to them?

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  84. Because someone else does something bad to you, it makes it ok to do it back to them?

    Yup, because I'm sick of White folks using the "two wrongs don't make a right" trope to straight-jacket PoC from retaliating when Whites make sure they get that first wrong in. Basically, it's telling us to eat shit and ask for seconds and making sure Whites experience as few negative consequences (especially immediate ones) for their shitty acts as possible.

    Why don't you go and shake your finger in White folks' faces for a change?

    Oh, and KD can have all the feelings she wants. She can be fuckin' Sybil if she so wishes. But she does not get to privilege them over those of PoC nor make them the center of attention and concern when we're talking about wrongs done to PoC in a space meant to talk about that.

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  85. @Witchsistah - well, actually... two wrongs DON'T make a right... just so you know.

    Why don't you go and shake your finger in White folks' faces for a change?

    I do. And I'll shake them at asshat PoC too. Stupidity does not discriminate.

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  86. This is the whole "PoC had better always take the moral high-ground even as their spirits are being smashed into the ground" trope.

    Sorry, but I prefer a non-shit diet.

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  87. FYI shit from PoC is still shit

    I prefer to be better than white people and asshat PoC. If you wanna be the same as white then go for it. Your skin colour may not be white but you sure have the same attitude.

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  88. @gobblyglob:

    And where do you get this tremendous insight into Witchsistah's psychology?

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  89. If you wanna be the same as white then go for it. Your skin colour may not be white but you sure have the same attitude.

    No, I prefer to be HUMAN and not some unrealistic paragon of everlasting patience and ever-giving care especially to those who've shown me they deserve neither from me.

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  90. Folks here want to think that RVCBard and I are just being mean to be mean or Angry Black Bitches because actually having to DEAL with real negative fallout for their bullshit is not what they want. It's one thing to have the abstract idea that your jacked-up actions hurt PoC. It's another to actually SEE that hurt in front of you. It's another to get that hurt smack in the gob because of what you did. The latter is what people don't want to deal with. They want to keep all of this as hypothetical and abstract as possible otherwise they may actually have to DO something about it or change themselves in some way and that's utterly too inconvenient.

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  91. Witchsistah,

    I implore you to understand that I feel where you're coming from. But, I've also seen when a certain reaction is expected and the discourse fails. You gave them the sick ammunition he/she/it wanted, so that they can say "See I told you".

    We will disagree on things. That's inevitable. But, believe or not, we are all in the same game. We're just fighting differently and looking out for each other by varied means.

    (But, I must say that it still hurts being called a "good darkie" for having a different outlook. I've dealt with terms like this all my life by my so-called community.)

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  92. You gave them the sick ammunition he/she/it wanted, so that they can say "See I told you".

    *rolls eyes*

    Guess what, they already HAD that ammo and were gonna use it anyway! They had no intention of changing no matter how nice any of us were to them.

    I LOVE how you uber scrutinize ME and not the motives and actions of "them!" Why not question their so-called White objectivity when only TWO self-admitted PoC here used language you objected to in engaging them but they pull an "I tolja so" our their ass. Can't they read? Couldn't they see that other PoC here did NOT do that? That other PoC DID try to nicely explain to them using neutral terms. Hell, can't they see that some of the PoC are savaging what the first ones did to the point of casting aspersions on our psychological make-up? Why not question THAT instead of trying to make me communicate the way YOU want me too (which is going to be as futile as the Borg Queen trying to get Picard's goodies)?

    (But, I must say that it still hurts being called a "good darkie" for having a different outlook. I've dealt with terms like this all my life by my so-called community.)

    It hurts being dismissed as an Angry Black Bitch because you choose not to mammy the fuck out of everyone and dare privilege YOUR own feelings above others.

    But hey, you won't have to worry about ME addressing anything to YOU after this post anyway!

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  93. WhichSista, I for one appreciate your commentary and your insights, I think you bring great value to this board.

    It's kinda of curious to me that those that criticize the Sista, rarely if ever criticize the veracity of her comments, but instead get offended or squeamish about word choice. WTF? On an anti-racist blog, the unvarnished truth should be encouraged, and that unvarnished truth will seek it's own expression. So Whichsista, do your thing!

    I don’t know who came up with this idea of the angry Black woman, but that is some seriously racist shit, and a slap in the face to Black women. The sole purpose of such a label is to render the Black woman mute, and ignore her voice. In my opinion, damn near every Black person have good reason to be angry. The sooner white folks understand that we have good reason to be angry, the sooner we’ll be able to make some progress. Not holding breath.

    Seems to me that Black folks have tried that civil approach, and we still catching hell, so if we need to get profane to get our point across, then so be it!

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  94. @RVCBard said...
    And where do you get this tremendous insight into Witchsistah's psychology?

    Simple, I've been reading hir comments. The comments might only be ONE part of hir psychology but it's pretty easy to read? Why? Are you having difficulty?

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  95. @Witchsistah and @RVCBard

    I need to apologize to you. I'm sorry for not counting your feelings in this discourse. My intent was to give my perspective; however, somehow it got lost in the translation. You were absolutely correct in maintaining your right in feeling the way that you did. I was, on the other hand, wrong for not giving you the room you deserved to express said feelings.

    I do enjoy conversing with the both of you on this blog. Maybe in the last posts I've put a lot of my personal drama (e.g. losing my insurance in the past few days that has cost me the chance of obtaining my BPD medication that has made me an "uber-bitch" to some in my life lately).

    I am extending my olive branch. Hopefully, you will accept it.

    Peace,
    HB (I think I'll step away from the blog until I can get my emotions in order).

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  96. @Witchsistah & @RVCBard- I understand your rage but I can't excuse some of your words - Honouring The Rage by Renee of Womanist Musings... it is hard to not get angry at a system that works to hold PoC down and it is easy to react angrily to it but putting others down will not work to hold us up. It is the Arab Slave Trade argument all over again... doing wrong just because someone else did it already doesn't work to make it ok.

    @honeybrown1976 - please don't go. I know that even me and you have had disagreements but generally you have insightful thoughts and I feel that I can and do learn from them even if it sometimes makes ME angry too. That said, real life always takes priority over arguing over the internet everyday. Take care!

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  97. gooblyglob,
    I really appreciate the article you linked to, but I'm not sure I understand your take on the article at all.

    Renee writes about (paraphrasing here) "condemning the violence but supporting the rage."

    Where is the violence in Witchsistah or RVCBard's posts?

    And how are you "supporting the rage," if you suggest that Witchsistah and RVCBard should have responded differently?

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  98. @oooblyglob:

    I'm gonna let someone else tear you a new one for that dumb shit you just said to me. I'm not dealing with it or you anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  99. @oooblyglob

    I'm really not following you on Renee's article and how it pertains to KD, RVCBard, and Witchsista's disagreements. So a Black man's argument with a White woman about Race that escalated into physical violence is equivalent to KD, RVCBard, and Witchsista's argument? LMAO c'mon son! It's not that serious. I'm laughing at you pscyhoanalyzing Witchsista as well. I'm also laughing on how you are using Renee's article as an example, because Renee's style of writing is quite similar to Witchsista's style of commenting. Renee's approach is not all peaches and cream neither. She is very tough but I like her writing. However, I don't see you psychoanalyzing her on her own site. I wonder why?

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  100. Gooblyglob,

    I'm done with you and your bullshit attempts to head-shrink me.

    Enjoy your White folks' shit sandwich.

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  101. At first I thought "gobblyglob" was a troll, but now I see s/he's simply uneducated and in dire need of some instruction in Racism 101:

    Predictable as the sunrise, some white person somewhere in a discussion on race will say, "But you'd get progress on racism/more allies/more sympathy/whatever if only you didn't speak so angrily!" Surprise, being the object of racism makes people pissed off. Dealing with clueless white folks trying on their new brilliant argument that POC have only heard for the 5,675th time this week is annoying and tiring. And when you, the white person, demand that POC modulate their tone to you when they are talking about how racism makes them feel, you are asserting your privileged "right" to control the conversation about racism. And you are making it their responsibility to make sure you are comfortable. Think about that for a second.

    You are asking people of color to cater to your wishes. In a discussion of racism. What is that if not white supremacist?

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  102. Yes, I am a troll.

    Yes, I am white.

    Macon, your readers are... *sigh*

    This is why I haven't been commenting regularly here. Your readers are... a special bunch.

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  103. So, basically gooblyglob MAKES the White folks' shit sandwiches for PoC to nosh on endlessly.

    Ze can still gitdafuckouttaheahwiddatbullshit.

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  104. @Julia - the violence that @Witchsistah or @RVCBard used came in the form of words - White Women's Tears. How is basking in another's pain helping anyone? HOW?

    @RVCBard - CTRL+v & then CTRL+c = spell my name right at least

    @Lady Dani Mo - I'm laughing because Renee is a dear friend of mine and @Witchsistah is well, NOT.

    @Witchsistah - you and your "shit-sandwiches"... just because you enjoy them, don't force them on anyone else.

    @Commie Bastard - oh yes, I'm a white supremacist *NOM NOM NOM* how could you tell? is it because I'm a woman of color and you find it easy to step on me? Because I won't ever let you.

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  105. @gooblyglob

    Most of the time what white people need to do here is read anyway - not comment. So continue to go with that.

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  106. @Victoria - so? what does white people reading here gotta do with me?

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  107. @Witchsistah - er no, you do... I am very very very against "shit sandwiches" for everyone and anyone - you're the only one going on and on about them like you're obsessed with them.

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  108. Sorry globby, I refuse to eat them. Like I said, I'm on a shit-free diet. I'll leave those delicacies to the likes of you.

    ReplyDelete
  109. please note that I am neither white NOR a troll for those who didn't catch the sarcasm. as I have repeated here. again and again. no, I am not black either because ya know, the world is made up of more than just white and black people. as I have noted. again and again.

    that's whole thing about fighting racism isn't it? beating a dead horse, repeating things again and again with no one actually hearing anything anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Yes, gooblyglob, you really are beating a dead horse. And every time you hit it, the strangest sound comes out: "Me! Me! Me! Me!"

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  111. Oh Macon, goobly is trying soooo hard for that pat on the head from you White folks, even routinely showing she can shit on another PoC just like y'all. And you all are denying her prize.

    And folks think I'm the meanie here!

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  112. @whateverthefuckyournameis

    I don't feel like sharing how I came to the conclusion that you're white. So let's skip that and get to the part where you shut your ass up already. That was what I was politely trying to say before. Oh, but since you're not white, why you can continue to derail, do a song and dance at center stage, and not make a lick of sense. Go crazy. We're all watching, princess.

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  113. I don't mean to hurt you, gooblyglob. I do wish that you'd stop taking everything so personally, and try to understand how some of what you've written hurts other people (including some of the comments from you that I'm not publishing tonight -- do you really think, for instance, that it's EVER appropriate in a forum on race to refer to black participants as "house slaves"?!). I don't think you've written those kinds of things because you're a "mean person" -- I don't even know you. And others haven't said what you wrote sounded like it came from a "white troll" because they necessarily think you are one -- they don't even know you. Like I wrote before, it's about written words, not "you," so there's no reason to make this all about you.

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  114. Macon, I meant exactly what I meant with the words [REDACTED ~macon]. They are PoC who collude with the white system. Many don't even realise it. They think they fight against a system that they are working for.

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  115. @Macon:

    Why are you doing this to us?

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  116. You know, gooblyglob, I'm all for allowing different modes of communication from what I myself consider polite and respectable here, but you're getting out of hand. I've never banned anyone, but that's it from you tonight -- take a rest, please.

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  117. RVCBard,

    I think we were typing at the same time on the same wave-length there. Do let me know please if we weren't.

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  118. *waves bye to blathertyblaggetybloop*

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  119. Um, I am a "house slave?!"

    BWAAAAAHAHAAAAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Yeah, I don't think that phrase means what ze thinks it does.

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  120. C'mon, Massa Macon, you ain't gotta be so mean to dat ol' Globbyglob. They jus' come out da field and don't know no betta.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Though house slaves are in prime position to burn that bitch down.

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  122. may I ask when is it ever appropriate for a person who identifies as 'yellow' (or accepts that identity which goobly.. allows her friend to address her as, on twitter) to refer to a black person as a house slave?.

    Seriously, when?

    I read through and this has to be the longest, most entitled nonsensical antagonistic and aggressive ME'hood I've witnessed this year.

    I'm still laughing at the hilarity and obtuseness of her pov. Oh and the attempt to teach. SMDH. sigh.

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  123. soul,

    I think your question is rhetorical (that is, i think you agree with macon that g-glob's reference of bp as house slaves is NEVER appropriate; i agree too), but I'm wondering what identifying g-glob as "yellow" has to do with it. Do you mean yellow as in Af-Am concept of "high yellow," or instead the Asian/Asian American sense of yellow? (fwiw, i think I remember that g-glob has identified as Asian Australian).

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  124. Macon,
    I am really bothered by your response to gooblyglob in which you reference an unpublished comment and quote her insult. The comment was banned, but the insult was still delivered, albeit indirectly. Why did you include it in your post? It seems to me to be very rude to RVCBard and Witchsistah, to whom the insult was obviously directed, to post it.

    RVCBard and Witchsistah - Am I wrong about this?

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  125. @ chthonic:

    I would have preferred not to have dealt with it, true. And there is something sort of weird about letting me and Witchsistah "duke it out" with trolls, which we touch on over here.

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  126. Okay, my apologies then for publishing it. I did "redact" the second iteration, but yes, the nastiness was already out of the bag at that point.

    As for letting RVCBard and Witchsistah duke it out with a troll, I gather you mean your having to do that alone, as opposed to not "letting you," by refusing to publish your comments? If the former, I actually was tempted to join the subsequent round of sarcastic derision, but it didn't seem like the right thing for me to do. (And I did write with incredulity, "do you really think, for instance, that it's EVER appropriate in a forum on race to refer to black participants as," etc. Oops, there I go again, trying to explain another of my common white actions. Full stop.) So yes, I can see that I never should have published the term in the first place, and so again, I apologize for doing so.

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  127. gooblyglob,
    if renee really is your best friend, why not ask her if she would agree that WWT is equivalent to the violence she addressed in her post?

    and you didn't (tellingly) answer the second part of my question: how are you "supporting the rage," if you suggest that Witchsistah and RVCBard should have responded differently?

    i'll answer for you: you're not. So why you think you can use that article to claim the moral high ground is completely beyond me...

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  128. That seems like a good question to me, Julia, but just so you and others know, gooblyglob wrote in her last unpublished comment that it was hir last comment, and hir last reading of swpd, for "a few months."

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  129. Re: Having me and RVCBard duke it out with trolls.

    It's beginning to feel like I am providing entertainment to spectators. "Come watch the Sassy, Black Chicks take another idiot down a peg or two!"

    Yeah, the reference to the insult without publishing the direct quote seems a bit passive-aggressive to me. Macon, I've been using that term with you a LOT lately. You may want to look into your actions and why someone may come away with that impression of you. I feel like you were manipulating me and RVCBard (and yes, I'm a bit miffed at myself that I took the bait so readily) to keep the fight going.

    But we are not pit bulls nor fighting cocks. We're actual people. You seem to encounter a huge stumbling block regarding seeing me and RVCBard AS people. You definitely need to examine the hell out of that.

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  130. I have faith that your diagnosis is correct. If some unconscious part of me led me to manipulate you that way, beyond my conscious and countervailing intentions, then another part of me sincerely apologizes. And yes, I am examining the hell out of my huge stumbling block regarding seeing black women, and other POC, AS people. After all, I'm a white guy, trying to figure out what that means. Especially the "white" part. Thank you for your continued encouragement in that effort.

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  131. AE...
    It would have been a tad bit better to ask me whether I was intended to ask a rhetorical question.

    The answer is NO.

    As a black African woman who has dealt with a heck of a lot of racism from other Non-white cultures, it has never been acceptable for other people to address black people with slavery references. Or to indeed refer to them as slaves of any kind.

    I asked, because she said it repeatedly. Here and on Twitter (yep I checked her link).
    If you think having an asian person refer to a black woman as a house slave is not beyond offensive then I'll just back away from this convo right about now.

    been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, heard the same questions, sidelines, derails e.t.c. and I simply don't seem to have much patience for it anymore.

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  132. Macon, why the fuck don't you just ban all posts containing ad hominems? It's a pretty simple rule that any mature person knows how to follow. It doesn't stifle dissent in any way and it would get rid of a good deal of the bullshit from trolls. And instead of addressing individuals whose posts you block, just write "X, your post was blocked due to TOS violation." clarify that ad hominems and derailing are banned, and post a link to derailing for dummies. Stop basically paraphrasing blocked posts.

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  133. It's beginning to feel like I am providing entertainment to spectators. "Come watch the Sassy, Black Chicks take another idiot down a peg or two!"

    It's also pretty draining. While the levity some of my responses provide may be amusing, what gets ignored is that it's as much for my own sanity as to "attack" people who say stupid things.

    Like I keep saying over and over and over again, I'd prefer for my more thoughtful comments to get more attention.

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  134. It's also pretty draining. While the levity some of my responses provide may be amusing, what gets ignored is that it's as much for my own sanity as to "attack" people who say stupid things.

    It is. And after a while, it's not so damn funny anymore. I mean, this is draining for me and it's on the INTERNET fergawdzsake! No wonder I'm such a hermiting introvert in real life. I've been asking myself why I keep doing this when there's been no appreciable gain I've witnessed. I'm wondering whether this is even worth my time and energy anymore and what I AM getting out of this to continue engaging. And if what I'm getting is at all healthy for me.

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  135. RVCBard wrote,

    draining

    The more I hear about what it's like to live as a black woman (not that it's the same for all), the more that word comes to mind for me.

    Here's hoping that your more insightful comments get more attention.


    @Cloudy:

    SIR, YES SIR!

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  136. And after a while, it's not so damn funny anymore. I mean, this is draining for me and it's on the INTERNET fergawdzsake!

    Word. Although in my case, this has something to do with it.

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  137. My god, people get so vehement over the vapourings of some silly twerp who wishes she was something more ‘interesting’ than she is. I’m not finger-wagging at PoC that they should be ‘nicer’ about this sort of thing, nor am I going to castigate white folk for either being too snarky or not snarky enough. But all these highly intelligent, articulate and – I’m presuming here – relatively educated people ripping into this poor dopey twit – it’s a bit of a soft target, isn’t it? A bit of a waste of talent and energy, too.
    It’s easy to get distracted by the minutiae of cultural skirmishes; raging over the appropriation of another’s culture, and the power of white privilege to put on and take off the signifiers of the marginalised, ‘exotic’ or ‘cool’ Other as they see fit. But these culture wars and the grief they give us are just that – distractions.
    (I wish that that we had the luxury to get huffy about people ‘appropriating our culture’ with bad didgeridoo-playing and crappy dot-paintings, but Aboriginal Australia is too busy trying to stay ALIVE to be too snarky about sad lost souls like our kiwi friend here.)
    This poor mixed-up kid isn’t the enemy. Neither is that whiny Australian woman (Gooblysomethin?). They’re just a distraction, just background noise. Keep your eyes on the prize, people. Where does the real power lie? Where are the real abuses of power perpetrated? Where are the real battles located? Don’t burn yourselves out over this pissy stuff.

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  138. "Like I keep saying over and over and over again, I'd prefer for my more thoughtful comments to get more attention."

    Me, too.

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  139. And on that topic, I cannot for the life of my find RVCBard's thoughtful comment on black women having to suffer before white people see them as human. Can anyone help me out? I really wanted to talk about it more, but I've lost track of it...

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  140. @Possumistic – Well, gooblyglob’s been with us for awhile. And it was kinda ironic that the argument ended up pitting pocs against other pocs.

    @gooblyglob – it’s unfortunate for me that you don’t seem to want to offer your insights on other posts as it’s always nice to have a fellow Asian Australian on this site (not that I identify as ‘Australian’, but I’m based there).

    As for what happened here – Yeah, I get that you’re upset at how people reacted to KD. I was too. It did make the place feel unsafe for a bit and I worried about the same things as Spiderlgs. But I think that’s just one aspect of the exchange. The other aspect is that I’m not convinced that KD wasn’t partly reacting the way she did because she wanted to (probably unintentionally and subconsciously) make it all about her. I didn’t think so before, but now I do. Once I saw that, I realized that this is still a safe place as long as we don’t try to make things all about ourselves personally. Also, I don’t think anyone is taking the issue of rape lightly. (I think you were angry about this too.)

    As for your most recent use of the word ‘slave’ on black people living in North America – that’s pretty loaded…beyond loaded, really, considering their history. Might as well have used the n-word. I wonder, did you perhaps end up doing to Witchsistah and RVCBard what you were initially accusing them of doing to KD? Like you said, two wrongs don’t make a right, and neither do two insults make a compliment. Food for thought.

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  141. My reading of Cathie's email and the comments that follow about fetishising First Nations culture. (I'm from the US, but prefer the Canadian usage of First Nation over Native American) make me want to explore her adoption issues. My interest and knowledge is 2nd hand since it is my sister who was adopted from Korea into a white American family. No matter how good, kind, or dysfunctional, the adopting family is, it's common for the adoptee to want to find birth parents and find out about birth culture.

    I have no idea what the situation in New Zealand is regarding adoption privacy laws. If you have nothing to go on, it may be that you are using your fixation on First Nations culture and imagery to fill your imagination. (and I agree with Karinova, your version is make believe)Your age is unclear from your email, but my sister did not go through her adoption identity crisis until she was in college. Our family is dysfunctional and functional enough that she felt comfortable going through a birth parent search with the support of her mother. You can look up adoptions groups online and find other folks with comparable life stories who are real.

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  142. @ Possumistic: It's always a gas whenever attention-starved trolls like you attempt such sanctimonious posturing of "YOU SHOULD DO SOMETHING BETTER WITH YOUR TIME LIKE ME" by leaving idiotic comments in the same thread that they take such issue with.

    Fail better.

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  143. Oooo – looks like a touched a nerve, ‘comrade’?
    By the pitch of your outraged squealing, maybe you’ve thought you’re wasting your time here too? Probably a tough thing to admit to yourself when you’ve invested so much ego in it, by the looks of your contributions. If you think screeching over the internet in an intellectual parlour-game for middle-class white folks constitutes activism, then you’ve got a cheek calling yourself Commie anything, except perhaps ‘Commie Try-hard’. Get some politics to go with your posing, and you might be of better use to us.
    You’ve (sort of) summed it up nicely though. If PoC are getting some sense of support out of participating in this forum then great. But if this little exercise in whitefella navel-gazing is burning out smart, articulate PoC like Witchsistah then yeah, they should do something better with their time, because we need them happy and whole.
    Here's a little tip if you want to live your life in the far left lane, little comrade. Put your efforts toward building solidarity with your brothers and sisters, and not toward spewing bile. You might think you're striking a mightly blow for 'the cause', but you're just serving as entertainment for the elites.I'm sure they're finding you very amusing.

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  144. @RVCBard:
    Oh shit The Lair. I've been working on that for months (... it is hard).Chapter 13, and then 17, and then sit down and fucking think.

    For months, if necessary.

    And maybe some of the whiteminded who come here, too.

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  145. APOLOGY

    Re my previous response to CB:
    Where I come from, the worst thing you can do is walk onto another’s country and desecrate it, and that’s what I’ve done here. I’ve walked in and pissed all over the good thing you are all trying to do here. I’ve insulted you all and for that I’m ashamed. I’m sorry.
    I went for a long walk to think about why I behaved like that, and I realised it's coming from envy. Here in Australia, my people are dying. Not in a metaphorical sense – literally. We’re fucking dying here, and this country – my home – just wants us to hurry up and disappear. And all my education that I was so ‘lucky’ to get isn’t worth shit, because nothing I’m doing makes the slightest bit of difference. And we’re so fucked up: our girls are having babies when they’re just kids themselves, and the adults are all messed up or in gaol, and the elders are so fucking worn out, and sick, and sad that there’s no-one to look after anyone, and soon there’ll be no-one to look after country and then we might as well be dead because country is our LIFE. And the people running this joint just want us to hurry up and get white or piss off and die. And I wish we had more Aboriginal Witchsistas, RVCBards, fromthetropics and yes, even a goddamn Commie Bastard, but we don’t. I wish we could talk to each other as Koori, and Murri, and Yolngu, and Noongar, and all the other people of this country, the way you mob are talking to each other, about the sort of things you mob are talking about. But we’re too fucked up, too scattered, too alienated, too sick, too incarcerated or too busy dying. And it messes me up - and then I behave like an asshole.
    This has been a shaming experience; I let my ego get the better of me and I forgot my culture. If I forget my culture, and forget to behave like a Koori should, then I might as well be white. Yes, Commie Bastard, I will try to ‘fail better’ from now on.

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  146. @Possumistic: You obviously know nothing about transracial and transnational adoption, because the references in my chosen moniker went clear, clear over your head.

    To be fair, it is kind of funny seeing you project your insecurities on the pot-kettle construct of your own neurotic, blank misconceptions - the other misconception being that you actually touched a nerve. Given that you're trolling, haven't you seen how those who behave like you do get treated? Hint: it doesn't take much energy.

    Responding because if what you say is actually true, then you are indeed in painful need of some help and recognition, and I would feel guilty writing off someone who is in that much pain.

    So, no worries - you really didn't behave like an asshole so much as an obtuse newbie with an embarrassing lack of awareness of the inherent absurdity of lecturing people to do things you've been egregiously contradicting.

    Hope that helps. Good luck to you.

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  147. Whew! Good thing this joint has a self-appointed gun-totin' blog cop in Commie Bastard around to slam the Obtuse Newbies down to size, even when they apologize and explain that they're POC whose regrettable actions could well have had something to do with an especially grinding, everything-crushing form of white supremacy. Otherwise, we might have actually heard more from that victim of an especially grinding form of everything-crushing white supremacy.

    That's a VERY shiny badge you've got there, you must be proud! Please do keep chasing away the Inevitably Clumsy Newbies (hell, why not even shoot a few? the only good one is a dead one, eh!), so us veteran members of the choir can continue sweetly singing to each other, without the dissonant fuss and bother of their Obtuse Newbie Whinings.

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  148. @AE: I could tell you a thing or two about life under an "especially grinding form of everything-crushing white supremacy" myself, but I certainly wouldn't want to get in the way of your prancing Center Stage act! Way to go, rushing to save one POC via the attempted dressing down of another! Should I wait til Possumistic has thrown hirself at your feet to do the same, or should be both do it together?

    In all seriousness, I don't go around belittling other POC's antiracist efforts, and I DON'T need you to police my language. So check your goddamn badge yourself.

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  149. AE,
    Did you miss that whole long conversation the other day about NOT telling POC how to express themselves? Come on now! Enough.

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  150. You know, macon and AE, you don't actually have to say the words to make a tone argument.

    And macon, your approving troll comments (not just in this thread, all over) but then giving a snarky reply to those of us who are fed up with it begs the question... whose side are you on?

    The more angry and upset we get, the more I see your comments get snippy and passive-aggressive, like you're ready to toss your hands in the air and be done with it. From all your comments these past few days, it's clear that there is a "What the hell do you people* want??" subtext to the way you interpret PoC anger. It's such a typical white (WIWL) reaction when the fight no longer serves to make them look enlightened, martyred, and special.

    *yes, I do mean the White's "you people"

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  151. My apologies to Cloudy, Commie Bastard, and Julia. I disapprove a good 10-20% of submitted comments for trollage, but I'm still working on my rejection standards, and I can see that I should have rejected AE's bit of smarmy snark.

    AE, you've had some worthwhile things to say here in the past (which may have swayed me toward approval of this comment), but you need to get with the program better -- policing discussions between POC is indeed none of your white business (and your tone is ironically obnoxious).

    Cloudy wrote,

    And macon, your approving troll comments (not just in this thread, all over) but then giving a snarky reply to those of us who are fed up with it begs the question... whose side are you on?

    I'm on the victims' side, obviously, and I didn't realize that my recent comments have been coming across that way. If you could point me to some examples for me to contemplate, I'd appreciate it. In the meantime, I'll search for them on my own.

    It's such a typical white (WIWL) reaction when the fight no longer serves to make them look enlightened, martyred, and special.

    No, those are not my motivations, and I regret that my comments and poorly modulated moderation make it seem as if they are.

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  152. macon,
    i really just want to get down on my knees and beg for a new moderation policy. please? and no more trolls. i understand that people want to watch others take them down a peg and practice taking them down a peg themselves but good conversations are getting lost in the shuffle.

    finally, i'm just guessing, but this [on the admantium and teflon thread] may be the comment at issue: "I thought racism/white supremacy was the target here, not white people."
    A bit snippy, don't you think? And as if it's that easy to separate the two... it's white people [mostly] who perpetuate white supremacy, right?

    And, please god, macon, with respect, don't explain what you meant. just please don't.

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  153. I hear you, Julia.

    And yes, I agree, a bit snippy (so apologies also to hb1976), and I also agree that it is [mostly] white people.

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  154. I wonder how it's possible for a white person to moderate a blog about race at all when the ground rules for discussion between WP and POC are as follows:

    1. Do not question POC knowledge or authority (i.e. it is wrong to disagree with a POC)

    2. To post a comment POC disagree with is to take the side of white supremacy

    3. Do not question the appropriateness of any POC's language

    4. If a POC happens to misread what you type, it means you've done something wrong and must immediately apologize but not explain

    And most importantly:

    5. To express one's point of view as a white person is by definition to derail

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  155. I'm beginning to wonder if PoC should even BE on so-called anti-racist White sites anymore.

    First, off it seems that we are doing nothing more than continually repeating ourselves. To me, this means that either White folk are just really fucking stupid and therefore should quit believing in White intellectual supremacy since they can't grasp the concept of our simple, colored lives and beings or that they are willfully obtuse which, if that's the case, why even bother? White folks on these sites SAY that they want PoC speak our truth to power, but how can we really believe that when it falls constantly on deaf ears?

    Secondly, too many of these places end up being a strutting ground for so-called "enlightened" Whites to show off how much they "get it" over other White people. PoC's presence only serves to validate this.

    Thirdly, maybe PoC would be best served by starting or going to sites like Restructure's which are about empowering us and leave WIWL to their sites to REALLY engage in anti-racism or not as their choice dictates. Then we can discuss intra-PoC racism and racio-misogyny without it being derailing or a dodge tactic.

    We could also give support and guidance for fighting White supremacy because I'm thinking more and more that this "let's all be rational and talk things out as neutrally as possible" is not working. Honestly, what keeps Whites in America off PoC's backs as much as is happening now is straight up fear of real, substantial negative consequences. Not, engaging our humanity, not seeing us as people, not after hours and hours of rational discussion. Simple fear of punishment is what does it.

    For example, White men used to have carte blanche sexual access to Black women. And White men often used it. This constant sexual terrorizing of BW by WM has often been explained to be WM's rampant desire for BW gone amok. Well, if that's the case then why aren't WM damn near falling over themselves now to get to BW if they have such a love/lust for us? Now, it's LEGAL for them to form non-coercive, consensual, sexual/romantic relationships with us. So why isn't that happening?

    It's because WM's couplings with BW were not about love or even lust. They were about POWER and the wielding of it. Rape as a terror tactic is as old as conflict. What better way to demoralize a people than to show them you can get to their women anytime you wish and even leave human proof that you have in the form of mixed babies. But as soon as WM were shown they'd be PUNISHED (arrested, charged with rape, have to go through a trial and maybe go to prison) for such actions, suddenly damn near all sexual interaction between BW and WM stopped. The punishments didn't even have to be commensurate to those meted out for violating WW. They just had to exist in enough severity for WM to decide suddenly that BW were too ugly, loud, ghetto, fat or whatever for his dick's attentions.

    I've said on a few blogs that maybe PoC should just start meting out punishments to White folk since they don't seem to get it any other way. That they shouldn't go around touching Black folks' hair because that body does not belong to them is obviously too complex an idea for them to absorb. However, not touching Black folks' hair cuz them Negroes'll steal on you (old slang for beat yo' ass) seems to be a concept they can more easily digest.

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  156. I've said on a few blogs that maybe PoC should just start meting out punishments to White folk since they don't seem to get it any other way. That they shouldn't go around touching Black folks' hair because that body does not belong to them is obviously too complex an idea for them to absorb. However, not touching Black folks' hair cuz them Negroes'll steal on you (old slang for beat yo' ass) seems to be a concept they can more easily digest.

    How's about you and me go to the sporting goods store, buy a Louisville slugger, and etch "CLUE" on it? Then go walking around with it in public to, y'know, educate people.

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  157. Damn – I messed up my apology. I’ll try again, then I’ll get out of here.
    To be honest, most of the content of CB’s shrill foaming is going over my head, which suggests that perhaps I am far too stupid to participate in this forum. Which is a relief, really – it’s more than a bit toxic in here. Just to clarify, CB, I wasn’t apologising to you as such, but to the forum in general for calling it an intellectual parlour-game for middle-class white folks. It wasn’t a nice thing to say.

    … Ah, screw it – if I’m a troll then I’ll troll away, one last time, here goes:
    What’s with the howling outrage from PoC in this forum that ‘white people don’t understand us’? Of COURSE they don’t, and they can’t, ‘cos they’re white. It’s a white moral vanity that they think they can understand our lived experience through like, y’know, dialogue and stuff… All us ‘Others’ are knowable if the mighty white intellect applies itself enough to the task. Why the hell would you waste your energy indulging them in this vanity? Why jump through these hoops to render yourself ‘knowable’ – a nice simple text for the white folk to read and say ‘Ah! I get them now!’ You think that will lead to any shift in power? You’ve just handed yourself to them on a plate, a willing participant in your own vivisection. All these ‘please help us understand what it’s like to be you’ keeps us narking and foaming away at them and each other. Result? Status quo maintained.
    Why does it matter so much to you that white folk ‘understand’ you? Is their ‘understanding’ such a prize, really? Here in Australia, Aboriginal people are some of the most researched, dissected, scrutinised and monitored people on the planet – their ‘understanding’ of us fills libraries. Doesn’t seem to have done us many favours. But maybe you can see a point in it that I can’t, since I’m so dumb and you’re all so very, very clever…
    And just to really annoy CB: I’ll preach again that a bit of perspective wouldn’t go astray. Boo-Hooing over whether white people are nicer to each other on internet forums than they are to PoC? Agonising over Shakira’s ethnicity? Is the chauvinism towards BW the same the flavour as that towards WW? Who has the right to bitch about black men’s behaviour? If this is the extent of the problems you’re playing with here kids, then there’s no excuse for not playing a bit nicer with each other.

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  158. Regarding M's comments last month about Boy Scout manuals in the 1950's: they do something similar still. The Order of the Arrow is a Native American-themed honor society within the Boy Scouts: http://oa-bsa.org

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  159. In October 2005, in the village of Nunam Iqua in Alaska, an Alaska Native man became violent, beating his wife with a shotgun and attempting to fire it at her and striking a friend in the head with the butt of another gun. He then barricaded himself in a house with four children. As the village had no law enforcement presence, residents called State Troopers (state police officers) in Bethel, 150 miles away, at 5.30am to report the violence. Troopers had to charter a plane to get to the village because their own was being serviced and arrived at approximately 10am. A Trooper reported that, in the more than four hours it took them to reach the village, the man had raped a 13-year-old Alaska Native girl on a bed with an infant crying beside her and her five-year-old brother and seven-year-old cousin watching. After raping the girl, the man fired a shotgun, reportedly missing her by inches. The man faced 19 charges, including three counts of attempted murder, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. In September 2006 he was convicted and sentenced to 27 years’ imprisonment, with 18 to be served and nine suspended.
    "Village Man Arrested After Eight-Hour Rampage", Anchorage Daily News, 25 October 2005


    Dear. Holy. God.* Thank you, Commie Bastard, for the Amnesty International link. I'm still reading the Amnesty report but the jurisdictional cluster reminds me of similar experiences native Zimbabwean women (and attorney advocates) ran into when I was there, with the two systems ("tribal" vs. european) and the underreporting as a result of systemic biases (including having more traditional parity between the sexes -and respect for girls/women- until colonialist/missionary impositions created a gross disparity that continues today).

    Thank you also, Commie Bastard, for the link to the Pretty Bird Woman House. Time to put my money where my mouth is.
    _____________________________
    *BTW, since indigenous/First Nations men seem to share similar dehumanizing stereotypes with black men (violent, animalistic, savage, etc.), I don't want this to seem an indictment of Native men, as if only they're capable of such horrific actions. It does make me wonder, though, how the scenario may have differed if (white) Alaska hadn't removed "tribal" jurisdiction over criminal offenses:
    In 1959, when Alaska became a US state, reportedly virtually every Village Council was actively engaged in law enforcement and dispute resolution. Upon statehood, Alaska was included as one of the original states in Public Law 280, which gave the state (in place of federal authorities) concurrent criminal jurisdiction with tribes to prosecute crimes committed by and against Alaska Natives on tribal land throughout much of Alaska. The State of Alaska, however, took the position that statehood had extinguished the Alaska Native village’s criminal law enforcement authority and reportedly threatened Councils with criminal prosecution "should they attempt to enforce their village laws."

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  160. "[State Troopers] value moose more than Alaska Native women."
    Eleanor David, former co-chair of the Alaska Native Women’s Coalition, May
    2005

    Alaska Native service providers contrasted the response of State Troopers to a report in 2004 of out-of-season moose hunting — where three Troopers were sent to a village in north-west Alaska to investigate — to the response to a report of rape from a 15-year-old Alaska Native girl in 2003. State Troopers contacted the girl’s aunt but reportedly decided not to fly out to the village to investigate.


    Well, I suppose this quote answers my previous question about a different police scenario.

    Hopefully, Attorney General Eric Holder's efforts will amount to tangible improvements. He's set out a DOJ-wide initiative "to improve public safety in tribal communities by setting forth new policy for U.S. Attorneys’ Offices [...] with Indian Country jurisdiction, and by identifying as a Justice Department priority the goal of combating violence against women and children in tribal communities."

    This apparently includes a $6M boost in additional funding for prosecutions, at least 35 additional Assistant U.S. Attorneys and 12 additional FBI victim specialists for offices with an Indian Country caseload, and community prosecution pilot projects (in development), all in an effort to make the federal justice system more accessible (although the federal government notably retains exclusive jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native criminals).

    US DOJ.

    Pretty Bird Woman House.

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  161. I have never posted on any sort of forum before so I apologize if I am off topic or rough.
    I wanted to thank you all for your very thoughtfull and very intelligent responces, it has helped me understand a great deal about my frustration toward white folk. Btw I'm white. I live in a very white area, though we have very strong Hispanic, asian, Indian(not native American) and Asian population and my son is going to a school that is teaching all about various cultures, and very little of it is current, they sing African songs and have drum circles, they recreate India markets with white parents dressed in turbans etc etc. I have such a difficult time with this because there is not one person of any other ethnicity at this school, it's 100% white except for the occasional adopted child. It is a very upper class public school but it stinks of "class" segregation, being that most people there are the upper class, I'm lower income and my son is there because of a voluntary school lottery that allows children to enroll there, it is a good school but it drives me nuts that the parents will preach to there children about peace, love and equality but won't look you in the eye or speak a kind word let alone share a moment with people that are the living, breathing testaments to a culture they are worshiping.
    We study religions that aren't ours, we adorn our houses with symbols that aren't ours and we know little about the meanings of, we eat the foods of these cultures without sharing a moment with the person who prepared it, and yeas this is a lesson we could learn from regardless of race or ethnicity.

    I am wondering why and maybe I need to read more on this forum,

    I'll leave you with one final example of my sons lessons from school.
    During the last election his teachers were talking to the kids in a first grade class about the importance of the possibility of having a black president, my son came home and told me he wanted "Obama" to when and when asked why, he said "cause he's brown". Now why would educated aparently forward thinking adult talk to kid about these sort of things, I heard nothing about talking to the kids about the hope for change and the wonderful charisma the man had, no the greatest thing about this man was that he was going to be our first African American president.
    Have we so cleverly hidden our racism and segregation by glorifying and romanticing "desirable" traits of other cultures and ethnicities.

    And I've been guilty of it and only realized it when it pissed me off seeing other folks doing the same.

    Thank you in advance for any responces kind or otherwise

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