May 10th may as well have been an anti-holiday for Native Americans because they received two massive “who cares” from the rednecks that live around them. First Cliven Bundy and his crew of post-apocalyptic freedom warriors set sail across federal land that’s home to protected Navajo burial grounds and ancient homes, interrupting a warrior ceremony for returning Native veterans in the process, then a bunch University of North Dakota students thought it would be a great idea to make a play on the “Drunken Indian” cliche. What both groups have in common is that they don’t seem to understand that Native Americans actually exist in the actual world.
In case you can’t see what I’m talking about from that group pic here’s a closeup of the offending textile. It’s a stereotypical Chief head getting totally blasted.
Immature kids, right? Sure, I believe it was probably thoughtlessness combined with a bit of “let’s be edgy.”
Here’s where @Sioux_Sam gets his pizza. @Sioux_Sam is your basic douche.
But, @Sioux_Sam is totally right. It DID make the news. Still though, they’re college kids and they’re probably trying to be edgy because their clearly offensive Fighting Sioux logo has been retired.
The UND Fighting Sioux logo was retired after 68 percent of North Dakota voters voted to drop the nickname deemed “hostile and abusive” by the NCAA. The University of North Dakota cannot select a new nickname until 2015.
But what about Cliven Bundy and his crew? These are adults that supposedly value freedom above all other things no matter whether anyone agrees with them or not. But what did they do?
If there’s one thing that will get your point across and persuade the general public to support your cause, it’s driving a bunch of ATVs through Native American ruins and burials.
That seems to be the logic used by anti-Bureau of Land Management, pro-Cliven Bundy protestors who drove ATVs through a Utah canyon trail where motorized vehicles are banned. The rally was organized by Phil Lyman who, believe it or not, is actually a commissioner of San Juan county, home of Recapture Canyon. Hundreds of years ago, it was also home to the Puebloans, as evidenced by the ruins of their homes dug into the canyon rock. It is currently on federal land.
I’m not even going to get into the milita vs. government stuff. My point in putting these two things together is that even out West where Native American culture is visible almost everywhere, people still don’t seem to actually see Native Americans. It’s like they don’t exist anymore at all except in movies about noble savages that people can learn lessons from. It’s like they’re a living Discovery Channel special and while some of that invisibility is at least understandable (East Coast cities aren’t exactly jumping with Native peoples) nowhere was this invisibility more prevalent than during the NBA Don Sterling scandal. Compare the reaction to Sterling’s racist remarks to the on again off again outrage over the completely obviously racist Washington Redskins icon.
Never mind, someone did it for us.
Look, I don’t have some huge point to make here about what to do or how this all ends or what you personally should do. This isn’t a guilt trip about how you’re not “doing your part” or something like that. I’ve got zero solutions and this article is about pure awareness and nothing else. But what I do know is that unless people start seeing Native people in the mental picture they have of a modern America then it’s unlikely to get better soon and that would be a terrible shame.
Oh, and change the name and icon of your football team, Washington. Shit’s ridiculous.