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Jaine *
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Actively listening about Native American Mascots

My last post on "The Indians" Irish Showband drew some comments that I must respectfully disagree with.

Challenging Native American sports teams/mascots and changing names is not silly and/or absurd.

How is it respectful to tell people you are 'honouring' them whilst ignoring their experiences?  To me this smacks of white privilege, as does the assertion that I am sensitive to Native issues because I live it.  Though I understand the intent of the statement was to be understanding of my position, I have to point out that although my friends and daughter are indigenous (New Zealand, which is not automatically interchangable with other indigenous people), and I see and challenge racism, I also benefit from white privilege.  To to say "I live it" insults Native people in all countries living with the ugly stereotypes and legacy of colonisation.  

My comment regarding searching on google wasn't for finding scholarly articles, because as Flagday rightly suggests, there are scholarly articles for all opinions.  I had hoped that by looking online those interested in social justice would find and listen to the experience of Native American's who find mascots offensive.  I understand that because of the demography of the States it may not always be possible to have Native friends or colleagues.   Here are some good places to start:

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/mascots.htm

http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/

http://iamnotamascot.blogspot.com/

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/

http://mycultureisnotatrend.tumblr.com/

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/stharm.htm

http://newspaperrock.bluecorncomics.com/

Some documentaries that should be essential viewing (not just on stereotypes/mascots but much of the horror of US history which is still largely unknown):

" Reel Injun ", " The Canary Effect" (though be aware Ward Churchill is a 'wannabe' and you'll seriously need a box of tissues to watch this) and " A good Die to Day, The Dennis Banks Documentary ".  All trailers can be seen on youtube. 

Please look at this issue with an open heart and really listen to what our Native American brothers and sisters are telling us.

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o5A0VGvnXg

 

over 9 years ago 0 likes  4 comments  0 shares
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I certainly meant no disrespect to you Jaine. But you also act like I've lived under a rock. Don't assume, it's condescending. I've taken Native American studies courses, regularly watch a lot of documentaries on Native American issues and histories and find that part of our history most disgraceful. That's also from a modern perspective. Despite that, I still don't agree with you or the tribes' objections about sports' teams' names. I think that complaining about that trivializes the position of Native Americans serious complaints. I guess not agreeing is my privilege, my white privilege. Oh right, everyone has that privilege here. Or maybe I'm just not evolved enough and fifty years from now my descendants will say great grandmom was such a bigot. I wish could agree on this but that's unlikely. Again, no disrespect to you or your family but you cannot possibly deny that it is human nature to feel much more passionately about things that hit home. Or maybe that's another thing we'll disagree about.
over 9 years ago
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Thanks for your considered response Flagday, like you I mean no disrespect and certainly don't mean to be condescending. I appreciate many people may educate themselves on issues facing Native American's but I cannot assume so and you are not (well maybe) the only person reading and commenting on my blogs. I take your point though and I should have stated that the information I provided is for those who are unfamiliar with the issues at hand. Regarding white privilege, again you are not the only one who comments on my blogs, and I do benefit from it. As much as it pains me to see my loved ones deal with indigenous stereotypes (some particular to NZ, some not) and as much as I empathise, I can never 'live it' because I benefit from white privilege (I don't agree with it, it appalls me to my bones). This is one of the reasons I don't address the specific points you make - honouring the brave and noble, and trivilising other issues - but rather provide links to blogs of Native people - they can state their own case better than I could. Of course I agree about that we all feel passionately about things that hit close to home, the reality for some of us is that this is a fine line. You, like me, are strong in your opinions and I respect that, this is just something we are not going to agree on.
over 9 years ago
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Jaine.....the Graham Greene videos and comics are GREAT. Thanks for sharing. I have a tiny amount of Native American heritage, but do not use it as a rationale for appropriating a culture I don't belong to. Another thought-provoking couple of reads: Vine Deloria's "Custer Died for Your Sins" and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (I think the author is Dee Brown, but I'm not positive.
over 9 years ago
Photo 35692
Jaine.....the Graham Greene videos and comics are GREAT. Thanks for sharing. I have a tiny amount of Native American heritage, but do not use it as a rationale for appropriating a culture I don't belong to. Another thought-provoking couple of reads: Vine Deloria's "Custer Died for Your Sins" and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (I think the author is Dee Brown, but I'm not positive.
over 9 years ago

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