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Racism

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I've questioned the same. Within the Boy Scouts, there's an honor society that is based on a lot of Native American tradition. Part of the ceremonies includes actors portraying the roles of different historical characters, including an Indian chieftain, in accurate dress. They also participate in traditional Native American dance competitions. To my knowledge, no one has ever been offended by the mixed membership (white guys dancing alongside people with actual native heritage), but I could be wrong.

As I understand it, plenty of Native Americans are offended by the use of regalia in order of the arrow ceremonies. Whose traditions do they use for their ceremonies, and what 'chieftan' do they dress up as? A Hopi is different from a Sioux is different from a Tlingit. Do they dance at powwows by invitation?

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To add to St. Jimmy's answer (on behalf of my girlfriend, who's First Nations, but sleeping right now), it's offensive because white people murdered First Nations people, took their land, screwed them with treaties, put them on reservations, shoved them into residential schools specifically designed to erase their 'primitive culture' by indoctrinating children (many of whom were also abducted and forced to live with white families who abused them), and now feel entitled to sacred, personal, religious and culturally significant acts and items 'because it looks cool'. A lot of those people combine said acts and items with horrible stereotypes (the alcoholic indian, the savage indian, etc.), or oversexualize/exoticize First Nations women.

 

Buying jewellery, moccasins, clothing, etc. from real First Nations artisans is okay, but the line must be drawn at sacred and culturally important symbols. Some tribes even have copyright on their name, in order to prevent corporations from abusing their identity (and for good reason).

Thanks. I guess it's sorta like how every Asian clothing gets called a "kimono"-the homogenization of culture, fetishization of women, and such. I actually feel worse now because I feel that we have perpetuated stereotypes in this part of the world rather than doing independent research, looking up people, and such. Thank you for the thoughtful and informational reply.

 

*Hug*

 

And philpot-I don't think you guys should do that...

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I actually read a paper today about the appropriation of Native American culture and their thoughts on it. You can read it here. It should be accessible to everyone and I found it interesting.

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I actually read a paper today about the appropriation of Native American culture and their thoughts on it. You can read it here. It should be accessible to everyone and I found it interesting.

Thanks. Dunno why people don't stop doing it though. I mean, if it's obviously wrong, you shouldn't do it, right?..

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Thanks. Dunno why people don't stop doing it though. I mean, if it's obviously wrong, you shouldn't do it, right?..

I think a lot of people just legitimately don't realize that it's wrong or don't ever think about it.

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Honestly, a lot of people in America don't seem to realize there ARE Native Americans anymore. There's such a divide between reserves and cities that it's easy to ignore or forget that there are whole nations of people who are being insulted by this game of cultural-appropriation-grabby hands. Most tribes don't run casinos, and those aren't exactly a great place to learn about history and culture anyway. Here in Canada, I like to think we're more aware of First Nations people, but I can't state that for certain. It's easy not to care when you don't have to see the consequences.

 

Storytime!

 

I was in a training group for a new job a few years ago, and one of our trainers was an American (Texan, specifically, and a very sweet lady most of the time). We were sitting around talking, waiting for our training session time to be officially up, when she moved in close to the group and asked in a hushed voice if "Indians were still real up here, or did y'all kill them all too?"

 

Everyone in the room surreptitiously glanced at the four very-definitely-First-Nations men from the Sioux reserve just outside of town. Nobody could find words to tell her how horrible what she'd just said was. Then one of the First Nations men kicked back in his chair and answered, "Nah, they're all dead, only place you can see 'em is in museums." I don't think she caught why we all burst out laughing, but I'm glad he was able to keep his cool.

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I was in a training group for a new job a few years ago, and one of our trainers was an American (Texan, specifically, and a very sweet lady most of the time). We were sitting around talking, waiting for our training session time to be officially up, when she moved in close to the group and asked in a hushed voice if "Indians were still real up here, or did y'all kill them all too?"

 

Everyone in the room surreptitiously glanced at the four very-definitely-First-Nations men from the Sioux reserve just outside of town. Nobody could find words to tell her how horrible what she'd just said was. Then one of the First Nations men kicked back in his chair and answered, "Nah, they're all dead, only place you can see 'em is in museums." I don't think she caught why we all burst out laughing, but I'm glad he was able to keep his cool.

Oh god. *Wince* did you tell the woman what was wrong with her comments? I hope you did..but then again I doubt she'd understand...

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Wah! It's always surprising how many stupid people are out there!

I still remember the first time I met a Native American. She was a waitress in a restaurant in Salt Lake City. I was still a child and I asked her, if she is a Native and she was really happy about that. She told me that she is a Hopi but all the customers think she's Mexican and that she hates that. She didn't have much time to talk (of course she had to work). But I was happy meeting a real Native American (I had read a big book about them a short time before).

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Nascha is pretty laid back about most appropriation of the Navajo issues. She's okay with it as long as it's being treated reverently. The boy scouts is one of those places where she finds it very offensive, actually.

 

I on the other hand, tend to flip out over appropriation issues. I have to grind my teeth everytime someone does trick or treating and dresses up a six year old as a married Roma choovihni, or does stupid things like lets them walk around wearing make-up with coin jewelery and their heads covered. The fortune-teller schtick makes it worse.

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Nascha is pretty laid back about most appropriation of the Navajo issues. She's okay with it as long as it's being treated reverently. The boy scouts is one of those places where she finds it very offensive, actually.

So do I - BECAUSE - I don't know how it is in the US - but in Canada, and in the UK, I have offered to be a Brown Owl and an - what is it now - Assistant Guider - and was refused because I could not (and would not lie and) say I was Christian. That being so, the Scouts (and Guides !) have no business dressing up like that, when they are effectively part of what ruined First Nation lives and culture. I will ask my First Nation friends at some point....

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Oh god. *Wince* did you tell the woman what was wrong with her comments? I hope you did..but then again I doubt she'd understand...

I specifically didn't approach her, but I did see her speaking with a couple of the guys afterwards, so I hope they laid some truth on her.

 

My girlfriend gets very furious at most appropriation because she's the daughter of a residential school survivor. Not only did her father lose his culture by force, but she's grown up disconnected as well, and it makes her very angry to see other people treating her own and other First Nations people's faith and culture as a fashion grab bag. She got a little spitting mad about the Order of the Arrow stuff we were able to read last night.

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I don't know about that. I don't know who they are and I wouldn't have assumed that. It's a tad too specific for that sort of message.

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Yeah, when I saw that I figured that they were members of a gang or robbed a bank or did something terrible. I didn't even think about the race part of it. I think that some people think that too many non-racist things are racist, and it just keeps feeding the fire.

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I don't think it's racist because they all happen to be black. It gives their names, it's not hard to see what they did if you don't already know.

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Doesn't seem racist to me either. Like a posters above me I assumed they had killed someone or something. Just because they're all black doesn't mean that that image is saying all black people are bad.

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I agree with what others are saying. Had they not listed the names, then it would have been different.

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Just because they're all black doesn't mean that that image is saying all black people are bad.

I'd have to agree with that. Just because something displays people of certain race or having some other trait, it does not mean it's their race as the target unless it has been explicitly stated so. For some reason I doubt that if these people had been white, and on a similar poster, it would have been perceived as racist, despite the fact that racism against white people is existent too, if maybe not that common in predominantly white communities.

(The poster would probably do it's job better if there was a mention of the crime, though, so anyone wouldn't jump to conclusions rashly.)

 

On one hand, I wholeheartedly disagree with any racism; on the second hand I think political correctness is going a bit overboard in places and people frequently jump the gun for things which weren't meant as offensive in the first place. Soon, we'll run out of words we can safely use for people who naturally have very dark skin tone. The Latin word for black and its derivates have been shunned (I grew up with it being used as a completely inoffensive term), the English word 'black' is already becoming doubtable...

(The term 'colored' brings to mind articles of clothing, not people, and 'African-American' ... for someone who might not be from America (over here probably isn't) and who might have not had anything to do with Africa for generations... I know fair-skinned people over here who *will* become offended and correct 'Caucasian' for instance.)

 

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(The term 'colored' brings to mind articles of clothing, not people, and 'African-American' ... for someone who might not be from America (over here probably isn't) and who might have not had anything to do with Africa for generations... I know fair-skinned people over here who *will* become offended and correct 'Caucasian' for instance.)

Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't the term "colored" used in the time of slavery? If it was, I can't imagine anybody wanting to return to it.

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On one hand, I wholeheartedly disagree with any racism; on the second hand I think political correctness is going a bit overboard in places and people frequently jump the gun for things which weren't meant as offensive in the first place. Soon, we'll run out of words we can safely use for people who naturally have very dark skin tone. The Latin word for black and its derivates have been shunned (I grew up with it being used as a completely inoffensive term), the English word 'black' is already becoming doubtable...

(The term 'colored' brings to mind articles of clothing, not people, and 'African-American' ... for someone who might not be from America (over here probably isn't) and who might have not had anything to do with Africa for generations... I know fair-skinned people over here who *will* become offended and correct 'Caucasian' for instance.)

Perhaps we don't need those words, though? Aren't people of different skin tone just humans as well? If racism didn't exist at all we would have no need to describe them in terms of their skin tone.

 

That being said, it is rather stupid how words become "not politically correct" like they do. If a word isn't being used as an insult, why treat it like an insult? I personally see no issue with those of dark skin tone being "black" and those of light skin tone being "white". Perhaps we need to label those of medium skin tone "gray" as well though :P.

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Perhaps we need to label those of medium skin tone "gray" as well though tongue.gif.

We reserve 'grey' for people having heart attacks :~P

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Perhaps we don't need those words, though? Aren't people of different skin tone just humans as well? If racism didn't exist at all we would have no need to describe them in terms of their skin tone.

I typically see skin color (or race in general) as simply a part of the person's visual description, nothing more. - Not at all different from saying that a person has green eyes or long light brown hair or a narrow nose or even that the one usually wears a blue jacket.

Edited by Shienvien

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I typically see skin color (or race in general) as simply a part of the person's visual description, nothing more. - Not at all different from saying that a person has green eyes or long light brown hair or a narrow nose or even that the one usually wears a blue jacket.

Ditto. Whatever is the most obvious feature (including clothing) is how I'd describe a person. Simply because it's the easiest way to recognise them. And, to be honest, I've done the same since I was a small child. Whilst I don't remember it, I'm told that I confused my Mum slightly by describing a person on telly to her as "The lady in the blue dress" when it turned out the lady in question was the only coloured woman in the show.

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In our country racism is very high. Mostly because the older people keep reminding the younger generation about what happened and all that blah blah.

Its sad to see how some people can cause so much trouble just because of the color of their skin.

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I'm totally live and let live. I don't care what color people are, a person's character is what I look at.

 

Losers and undesireables come in every color of the rainbow, so there's no sense to me in people pointing fingers when everyone's own race has it's fair share of idiots.

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I am REALLY against racism, but when I think of a rapper or DJ, i think of a black person, and when i think of a country singer, i think of a white person. Is that racist? sad.gif

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