Saturday, October 28, 2006

Indian racism on television shows

America pays lip-service to equality, but in the privacy of the voting booths, most Americans remain racist, and I'm sure that I'll not live to see a minority President. More disturbing, it's unlikely that the candidate would survive either!

This under representation of minorities is especially true in the area of Information Technology. Read my report on the empirical evidence of racism in the high-tech Information Technology industry.

Indian Racism on television

In my Review of the Historical Accuracy of Thirteen Moons , I note that Thirteen Moons (the best book of the decade, IMHO) delves into great detail on the laws of races in the 1800's, and I was surprised to discover, that, had I been born 150 years earlier, I would be legally prohibited from marrying any white woman (and I’m only a small-part Cherokee).

People with Cherokee blood tend to have dense mops of thick hair, as that’s not lost on the bigots. I wonder how other Cherokee people felt when they saw this offensive South Park racist video "Cherokee Hair Tampons", featuring Cheech and Chong:

Racist Cherokee Hair Tampon Video Clip

Thirteen Moons reminded me of my family’s personal brushes with institutional racism and our efforts to “hide” both our religion and diverse bloodlines. Frazier notes in “Thirteen Moons” that North Carolina State law forbade anyone with even the tiniest drop of Indian blood from marrying a white woman.

These Miscegenation laws were in-force in my own father’s lifetime, strict laws which spelled out stiff prison terms, and were Indian-specific. Interestingly, the North Carolina law says suggests that Indians were held in much lower status than slaves, as one-eight Negro blood is OK, but the tinest drop of Indian Blood is illegal:

"Prohibits marriage between whites and anyone having 1/8th or more Negro or American Indian blood"

“All marriages between an Indian and a Negro or between an Indian and a person of Negro descent to the third generation inclusive shall be utterly void. Provided, this act shall only apply to the Croatan Indians.”

As further evidence, this NC statute suggests that Indians were held in such low esteem as to be considered inferior to Blacks:

“A later statute, mentioned in this article (see Note 78, page 446), provides that intermarriage between a Cherokee Indian of Robeson County and a Negro or person of Negro descent to the third generation is prohibited (North Carolina General Statutes section 51-3 (1960)).”

But in this age of "free speech", hate runs rampant and folks are free to mock people of all races. Be sure to check-out these offensive Indian t-shirts on the web:

Indian Racism in the US Armed Forces

My own father was forced to hide his religion and Indian heritage. Recall the popular sayings of the day:

“the Jews to Jerusalem, the Ni**ers to Africa, and the Catholics to Hell”

and my personal fav:

“The only good Indian is a Dead Indian”.

Back in the 1930’s, one single drop of Indian blood was all it took to be relegated into the segregated Army Air Corp:

Indian Racism in the 21st Century

While I’m only a tiny fraction Indian, many Indian features persist (Indian teeth, high cheekbones, my “healthy tan” and gobs of bushy hair), and sadly, I believed that people with Indian blood were no longer mocked, and I made no secret of my mongrel heritage, and at one time we were even are proud of our classification as a minority-owned corporation.

Now, racism is a very difficult charge to prove, but I’m convinced that I’ve had my own personal brushes with racism, especially when one of the world’s largest companies published that I looked like an “Oompah Loompah”. Now that you mention it, Oompha Loompa's do have Native American features. Judge for yourself:

Sadly, this company did not find the mocking of my appearance to be at-all offensive, and the only way to have the racist comment removed from their web site was to "come-out" and admit my heritage. To this day, this corporation hosts web pages with defamatory information about me, and hosts hyperlinks to horrible lies about my wife.

Unfortunately, institutional racism is almost impossible to prove, and I'm sure that their web page mocking my Indian features and the subsequent defamation and abuse was purely coincidental. After all, it could be that I got this abuse because I’m just a dumb Indian . . . .

I’ve learned that even in the alleged age of racial enlightenment, exposing my Indian heritage was not a good idea.

South Park in the News Again

South Park made the national news again yesterday, as viewers were upset abut the appearance of the dead Steve Irwin, the stingray still protruding from his chest:

How outrageous. I tivo’ed the episode, and sure enough, Irwin appears at a Halloween party hosted by Satan at the W hotel in Los Angles. However, it should be noted that Satan himself chastises Irwin, thinking that he is in costume, stating "It's too soon"

My oh my, how offensive. I’ll have to check all upcoming episodes to report on this horrible and tasteless TV cartoon ; ).