/tagged/indigenous+peeps/page/2

esmeweatherwax:

wtfwhiteprivilege:

The Native American one.

This is going straight up on Facebook. Cue angry comments from privilege fuckheads!

(via fyeahcap)

People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs.
The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs, & Reminiscences by Malcolm Margolin

fyeahcap:

A play on the cracker thing and the white people who say they’re “[non-white group] on the inside!”

Okay this is my favorite one.  *ded*

fyeahcap:

that’s an interesting blood quantum there, friend

So this is another one of those Advice-Dog-esque meme blogs and it’s called Cultural Appropriation Cracker.

I KINDA FUCKING LOVE IT, GUYS.  IT IS THE GREATEST.

Well okay, it’s funny in that half-laughing half-facepalming because oh god there are people out there who say this shit unironically sobs but still, pretty great stuff.

roxanneritchi:

arya-stark | newly-poly-nyc | mycultureisnotatrend | adailyriot | svnoyi | christinalower:

Meet my self-portrait sculpture assignment. 

BAM. 

Today I got an email from my sculpture professor about it. To get to the point it said that a student had complained about it, claiming it was racist, and that it needed to be taken down immediately.

Okay, okay, I get it. The head dress… But really? Everything in this sculpture was hand made or found object either by me or someone else and pieced together in an attempt to put together something that resembles me. Already at 19 years old, it is hard for me to make a self portrait. How the hell am I supposed to know who I am? And if I do know who I am, how am I suppose to compose it in a piece with out being too vague, or too much to the point?  

 So, to NOT be racially insensitive, lets get technical for a second. What people usually know as a HEAD DRESS is actually called a WAR BONNET. A war bonnet was used usually ONLY in times of war and during war, or for ceremonial practices in war. To be even more technical, women did NOT wear war bonnets. Even if they went to war, which some did. 

 Back to what matters. 

This piece is not about Native Americans. This piece is not about racism. This piece is not about hate, and to be blunt, I’m offended. And I’m pissed off. In what way is this piece (showed how it is supposed to be viewed) offensive? Having a piece taken out of context by a viewer happens, and that is art. But for it to be taken down because of ONE student’s complaint who took it in a way that shouldn’t have been taken is RIDICULOUS. 

It’s just not fair. For one, it’s art school. Seriously. I could have plastered my goddamn lady bits and hung that shit up. Secondly, WHAT IF I WAS NATIVE AMERICAN- they didn’t even bother to ask, so all I’m going to say is they’re lucky I’m a German. If anything, the peaceful expression on the face should counteract the meaning behind the head dress and make a more powerful statement then ‘who is this white girl wearing a native american war bonnet?’. Or you know, make a homage where in my most peaceful state, I feel spiritually connected to their beliefs. I’m not disgracing it in any visible way!  (Okay, it’s being held up with a forty bottle, but that’s because I’m an art student with limited funds and it’s heavy enough to do so- not to mention YOU CANT SEE IT UNLESS YOU PHYSICALLY MOVED THE PIECE FROM THE WALL AND LOOKED BEHIND AND UP INTO THE SCULPTURE. Which, so you know, makes it not notable as it’s not part of the viewers eyesight). For fuck’s sake. 

I’m sorry I offended someone, I really, really am- but when it comes to MY artistic expression, you’re opinion is NOT valid unless you’re buying my goddamn art work or I value your opinion. Pulling the racist card is a fucking CHEAP shot. 

Just letting the world know.

But…why would you want a sacred Native object in your self portrait? Whoever said something could probably tell you weren’t Native, since women have never been given warbonnets. In a lot of tribes, they can’t even earn feathers like that. I understand that your art is important to you, but please understand that our culture, and our sacred things, are important to US. It’s only through the brutal history of non-Natives, especially Europeans, in our lands that allows non-Natives to flippantly take what they want from us and use it without consideration for the meanings behind what they take, and the effects that their appropriation has.

Christina, I’m glad that you apparently know some aspects of the war bonnet. I’m  sad to see that you 

  1. trivialize racism to a game when you say someone has pulled the “race card.”
  2. continue to perpetuate old stereotype about Native Americans, specifically the romanticized Native American, even when you try to write out your defense. Is it not enough to perpetuate those stereotypes through your statue?
  3. you do not realize that it’s even more fucked that you chose to put a war bonnet on your statue since you knew what was up about cultural appropriation, recognized that you are a non-native person and preceded to do it anyway out of your own selfishness and did not consider the real repercussions shit like this has Native communities. 
  4. I’m also sad that you do not see that when you use Native items, identities, spirituality’s, and cultures, it IS about Natives. By very definition and by the way that our society has been “raised” and socialized, by this alone you should realize that when they see anyone, no matter their race/heritage, in Native American regalia/attire/representations, they no longer see the person underneath it, they see the image of Native Americans.
  5. If you don’t want your works to be called out as racist, or culturally appropriative, then stop using shit from other people’s cultures; particularly when they’ve been quite open about them not wanting people to use their things, identity, culture, and spirituality’s. From one artist to another, and as a Native person to a non-native person, you have a responsibility in this. We as artist play a big role in the shaping of the dominate culture, our work reflects our culture. Produce works that are committed to the real advancement of the culture. One which works towards a society where there is no longer stereotypes that continue to affect people’s consciousness  where they internalize them and oppress individuals on a individual basis or go on to create policies with these stereotypes in mind that will go to lead to oppression on a mass scale. 

I don’t think that you should feel offended. Realize that you’ve been put in an uncomfortable place. Being called out by definition should put you in an uncomfortable place. Realize that this can be a loving act. This could be a key place where you look back and realize that this was a moment that moved you towards the right direction in your work. To a place where you didn’t submit to creating the same old BULL SHIT that everyone does, and has little to say except for the same old offensive shit. Let this be a place where you decide to create work that SAYS SOMETHING, that doesn’t get lost in the crowds of art school/hipster cliché, but begins to say something positive… that is thought provoking, that makes people actually want to sit and contemplate your work rather than pass it up cuz it’s the same shit that’s been said since the 1490 when Columbus arrived back in Europe giving false descriptions of what he saw in the “Americas.” You’re a better person and artist than what you’ve produced in that statue. Live up to that. 

Reblogged for on-point commentary

Ok… I gotta side with the OP… Also, times like this I really get mad at people on tumblr…

I would explain further, but I’m actually too angry to. So i’ll sum it up in a few words and you can extrapolate the rest:

ART! IT’S ART DAMN IT! AND SHE FUCKING PUT THOUGHT INTO IT! ART! I JUST…LET ME REPEAT ART!

ALSO, WTF? NO! CENSORSHIP IS BAD

I don’t care if I get hate for this. I just…

LOL ABSOLUTELY NOT. Sorry, Justine. You are wrong, and your white privilege and ignorance are both showing.

This piece is ridiculous. Everyone prior to me said it far better than I could (except Justine, with whom I could not disagree more). 

Reblogging for @svnoyi and @adailyriot’s commentary, and in response to @newly-poly-nyc’s comment: art does not get a free pass from criticism by virtue of being art. Racism is racism. Cultural appropriation is cultural appropriation. These things do not cease to apply—to exist—simply because it’s ~art.~ Like all things, art can contribute to and criticize culture, and by appropriating Native headdress for her piece, the non-Native OP has contributed to an existing culture which simultaneously exoticizes and erases Native American peoples, cultures, and histories. This is unacceptable.

Additionally, and I would hope this would go without saying but evidently not, you can put a great deal of thought and care and energy into something and it can still turn out racist and culturally appropriative. Intention does not negate execution.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE:

PUT DOWN THE WAR BONNETS AND STEP THE FUCK BACK.

To the OP: What you did is what Philip Deloria would call “playing Indian.”  You are the pretentious artiste equivalent of some dumbass white kid wearing a feathered headband made of construction paper, prancing around making war whoops, and shouting “How!”  The fact that you felt the need to steal from an oppressed minority’s culture in order to make a self-portrait speaks volumes about your staggering level of white privilege.

Native people have fought for hundreds of years for the right to practice their religions, celebrate their culture, raise their own children, speak their languages, perform their sacred dances, wear their traditional clothing, have access to their sacred lands, and even their basic right to simply live.  Only in the last few decades have they started to gain some of those basic rights.  And you think you can just waltz in, casually stick one of their sacred items on your sculpture, and claim that it’s part of your identity?  It is not yours to take.

To Ms. HTML Capslock: Saying that “It’s art!” doesn’t magically make it all better.

Putting something in a museum doesn’t magically make one immune to criticism.  Part of being an artist is being responsible with one’s artistic endeavors.  Cultural appropriation is irresponsible.  Casual thoughtless racism is irresponsible.  Perpetuating centuries-old oppression is irresponsible.  Wallowing in white privilege is irresponsible.

Besides, there is nothing edgy or original or innovative about stealing shit from Indians. It’s one of the oldest and least imaginative ones in the book.  If you’ve been reduced to sticking a war bonnet on your self-portrait, that’s a sign that you are well and truly bankrupt of artistic authenticity.

(via formerlyroxy)

fuckyeahethnicwomen:

Kristy Yuzicappi, she is a Champion Jingle Dancer out of Canada.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE

This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.

For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:

By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.

By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk

* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.

Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*

Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.

Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

The Pocahontas Myth

mycultureisnotatrend:

Dirty Redskin Devils

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to Disney. I think it would be difficult to have been a child of my generation and not been, considering I spent all of my pre-adolescent years in the company’s “Renaissance” period. For every year of my childhood, from my toddler years well into my early teens, there is a Disney memory there. And like most people, especially women, and especially people of color, the relationship I have with Disney is… complicated. I don’t know how many of you have written hateful essays about Disney and contacted them about Song of the South, but– oh! Just me? Hahahahaha! Wacky. So maybe I’ve got a few issues with Disney. Maybe. I’ll try not to be too biased against them for not returning my calls. I think I’m pretty fair here.

My biggest bone to pick is with Pocahontas. My relationship with Pocahontas has been complicated as well, thanks to my childhood urge to inform clearly confused people, who I truly, truly believed, deep in my heart of hearts, had just made a mistake with their histories! Picture me, at six years old: “Do you wand me do dell you aboud da real Pocahondas?” (I was congested a lot as a kid.) Cue semi-informed speech that the audience tuned out halfway through. It’s like I was going door to door in a Girl Scout uniform without any cookies. Yet still, I maintained hope. LOL OPTIMISM!! That’s why my sisters and I have a long series of inside jokes that specifically reference this movie. “Wingapo, bitch!” I have a whole Thanksgiving Pocahontas skit.

In any case, Pocahontas, released the summer of 1995, is Disney’s 33rd feature-length animated picture, and one of some significance when Disney’s handling of race is brought up. It’s, um, a… flawed movie. There’s several reasons for this, the least of which is that Mel Gibson’s casting as John Smith, is, in retrospect, a bit cringe-worthy. The big, main, monster issue– the elephant in the room– is that Pocahontas was a real person.

CliffNotes time! In the Disney version, Pocahontas, the adult daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan tribe, finds herself reunited with her absent father, due to be married to a man she does not love (Kocoum), and set to be tied down to a life she does not want. Then the Virginia Company shows up, and Captain John Smith and Pocahontas get to talking aided by, presumably, tree-spirit Grandmother Willow’s advice to Pocahontas to “listen to her heart,” which works out for them way better than Google Translate ever has for me. Just saying. Through the power of song and, giving credit where credit is due, some absolutely gorgeous animation, Pocahontas demonstrates to the very blond, white-toothed John Smith that cultural differences don’t have to be a pissing contest between SUPER SPIRITUAL and have-I-mentioned NATURE LOVING indigenous groups and the city-boy Brits.

Meanwhile, Governor Ratcliffe (one of the more subtly named Disney villains) and the British settlers, after declaring that everything they’re willing to build on top of is now called Jamestown, proceed to dig the shit out of everything looking for gold. While Smith was away, a Newsies-era Christian Bale (no, really– and this movie was actually released the same weekend as Batman Forever) accidentally shoots at some Powhatan scouts (no, really) who want to check out these funny hairy guys with the guns, and kills one of Kocoum’s comrades. The scouts retreat, and Ratcliffe plans an epic showdown.

Pocahontas gets back to her village just in time to sneak back out again when John Smith follows her home. Nakoma, her BFF, covers for her by lying to Kocoum even though she’s really worried about this whole interracial relationship thing. During the secret rendesvous, Pocahontas reveals “Gold? Um, we’ve got maize, I guess?” (oops) to John Smith before he and Pocahontas have to sneak back to their respective homes, only for reals this time. However, the Chief and Kocoum have been planning an epic showdown of their own, and in desperation, Pocahontas tries to convince her father to talk things out with the English. Which doesn’t work. And a suddenly self-righteous, holier-than-thou John Smith declares to Ratcliffe, “[b]ut this is their land!” …Which also doesn’t work. Um, spoiler alert?

Pocahontas sneaks out AGAIN, and meets John Smith, but both of them have been tailed by Kocoum (per Nakoma’s request) and Christian Bale (per Ratcliffe’s request), who shoots at Kocoum, but on purpose this time, and kills him. John Smith is captured and set to be executed ritualistically at sunrise, but Pocahontas meets him in the POW tent, where they declare their love for each other. The rest of the night is spent alternating between shots of the Native Americans and the English preparing for battle and both singing the (incredibly triggering) “Savages”. (Starting at the third song from the bottom. The one with the raccoon.)

Come morning, Pocahontas throws herself in front of a bound John Smith just as her father is about to deliver the killing blow, convincing him to free John Smith. The settlers are actually pretty cool with this plan, except for Ratcliffe, who has decided to shoot Chief Powhatan anyway. Smith jumps out and takes a bullet for the Chief and Ratcliffe is sort-of arrested by the other settlers, and everybody present learns a Lesson about Differences. John Smith goes back to London, along with the chained up Ratcliffe and some cargo that I think might be slapping the whole “stealing resources from Native peoples is wrong” message right in the face. Pocahontas says she will always be with John Smith in her heart and watches the ship sail away.

…Until 1998, when Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World was released (direct to VHS!), and Pocahontas and John Rolfe (who OMG hate each other! due to being a crappy romantic plotline where they are SO ALIKE and LEARN TO RESPECT EACH OTHER, etc.) meet up when she stows away on his ship to be an ambassador to England, since King James is going to send out an a war armada otherwise. She dresses up in English clothes and makeup, and meets the King, who thinks she’s the bee’s-knees until she criticizes his hobby of bear-baiting. She and her bodyguard are arrested on Ratcliffe’s recommendation, then busted out of jail by Rolfe and… presumed-dead John Smith! Awkwaaaard. Pocahontas goes before the Queen and explains that Ratcliffe is a lying liar who lies, then goes with Bodyguard, Smith, and Rolfe to crash some English ships together, have a swordfight, and get Ratcliffe arrested again.

Everybody has to choose to stay in England (Pocahontas’s bodyguard, for some reason) or leave England (everybody else), but Pocahontas also has to choose between John Smith and worldwide travel and adventure, and politician John Rolfe. She picks Rolfe, who wasn’t around for that news, I guess, but reveals he’s snuck aboard Pocahontas’s ship sailing back for America! Sort of a ballsy move if you didn’t know she wouldn’t be going with Smith, huh? According to Wikipedia, they proceeded to “kiss as the ship sail[ed] into the sunset.” Blech.

Okay. Now for some music-devoid facts. It’s been a long time since I read a book about Matoaka, the real name of the child called Pocahontas, so I’ve refreshed my memory with Wikipedia and a response to the film that was issued by the Powhatan Renape Nation.

Not-Captain John Smith, mercenary, one-time slave, colonist, and kind of shitty settler (yeah, they did actually NEED that corn) would have been in his late twenties to early thirties when he came to America, and apparently was such a dick that if the Actual-Captain Christopher Newport had gotten his way, John Smith wouldn’t have gotten any older. Also, when John Smith went back to England from getting shot? It was because a spark from his own gun landed in his powder keg. John Smith accidentally shot himself. This is the man we’re talking about. Pocahontas (a nickname essentially meaning “brat”) would have been around 12 years old in the winter of 1607, when John Smith & Co. met the Powhatans. Smith’s writings are the major source of information on Pocahontas, and she’s definitely mentioned as “a child of tenne years old” who apparently hung around Jamestown a lot to play with the kids there and bring the starving settlers all manner of tasty goodies. What’s that? Kids, you say? Yes, when a country is being colonized, you bring the women and children with you, because you’re moving in. Didn’t you know that?

Some more different English settlers and some Patawomecks kidnapped Matoaka a few years later around 1611 and held her for ransom. Chief Powhatan didn’t pay up to the English settlers’ liking, so they kept Pocahontas until 1614– when she had been converted to Christianity, taken on a Christian name (Rebecca), and allegedly told Powhatan off for not paying up in full, saying she was going to stay with the English. Presumably this is because she met John Rolfe, tobacco man. He is said to have loved her very much, despite his “agoniz[ing] over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen,” though Rebecca-formerly-Matoaka’s feelings are unknown, and she may have done it to form a political alliance; in 1615, the same year her son, Thomas, was born, Ralph Hamor wrote that there were no further troubles with the Powhatans since the marriage of John and Rebecca Rolfe. In favor of this logic is the evidence that she had not only turned her back on her father and tribe, but also on her own family– a husband, Kocoum, who she married in 1610, and potentially (though it is unknown) children from that first marriage, to live with the people who kidnapped her. That, or Stockholm Syndrome.

The children might have been erased because Virginia Colony sponsors decided Pocahontas would be a great mascot for their tourism department and a nice way to hook new investors to boot. She was paraded around England from 1616-1617, meeting the King and Queen and generally being the good-PR poster girl the English wanted her to be. In 1617, the Rolfes boarded a ship to return to Virginia, but the ship didn’t even make it beyond the Thames before Matoaka-now-Rebecca grew sick and died.

Additionally, the whole “saved John Smith from being clubbed to death” incident wasn’t brought up at all until John Smith wrote a letter to Queen Anne asking her to be nice to “Rebecca” when she visited. Some historians theorize that Smith just hadn’t written anything about how “at the minute of [Smith’s] execution, she hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save [his]; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that [he] was safely conducted to Jamestown” before because it was irrelevant, while others theorize that Smith was generally full of shit, but at least he might have been trying to help a sister out. Also, it was pretty convenient to make the “Civilized Savage” look that much more awesome to English people at the same time as promoting your book. Smith met with Pocahontas once more in the last few months before she died.

Defenders of the Disney Pocahontas films (including Russell Means, who starred in it as Powhatan, and Irene Bedard, Pocahontas) say they are stories for children. Their argument is that the world is ugly and harsh enough as it is, and telling children a romantic story where the characters do what is right and good is harmless, and actually beneficial to children’s morality. While I can understand the mindset of wanting to preserve a child’s ignorance (which has been placed on a pedestal as “innocence,” and is a whole other issue)– and even understand the viewpoint, for Means and Bedard in particular, that they need to keep their employers happy– I do not empathize with it, nor do I agree with it. Showing a child a story set in the real world that does not reflect the real world is deliberately misinforming them and blinding them to a reality that they have to live in and deal with every day, just like everybody else does. The only thing is, a child doesn’t have a frame of reference for the world around them like an adult does– they don’t have experiences to draw on.

Not to mention that the history of marginalized peoples was hardly brought up that often in the history/social studies classes I attended when I went through K-12. I can’t speak for what’s being taught now, but as of this time 4 years ago, I went to a high school history class where the students were being taught the Civil War wasn’t actually fought over slavery. I’ve only once heard Pocahontas referenced in a history class, or even as a real, historical figure, when it wasn’t me bringing her up. What children are told and shown may well be what they believe, and when they can’t separate reality from fiction because they’re not dealing with fiction, you end up with a generation of children whose only experience with Native American history is Pocahontas until they’re old enough for Dances With Wolves.

What about my reality? What about being the only kid in your class who doesn’t want to be part of the Thanksgiving play? What about having to watch Peter Pan over and over and over again at friends’ houses, or at school? What about my great-grandfather, who went through Indian school? What about my grandmother, on terrorist watch lists for her involvement in the American Indian Movement? What about getting tired of drums and chanting and recycling (and drinking and gambling) every time a Native character or storyline is introduced in any popular media?

Or how every other girl in pigtail braids is a little “Pocahontas”? What about knowing your own history, and knowing not only will it never be acknowledged in school, but knowing it’s possible no one you know will ever be told by the adults whose job it is to tell them? What about growing up listening to non-Native people claim partial “Indian princess” heritage– and enforcing their legal rights to do so and still remain “white”?? All when my family can’t even get CDIBs.

Is my reality too tough for you to handle? Am I too real for you?

Roy Disney himself said, at the same link as the above Means quote, “We went and did our research,” adding, “[t]his is our version, our interpretation of what we see to be the really important points about what this legend told.” (Emphasis mine.)

There is a fundamental difference between reinterpreting a legend, a fairy tale, or a myth to suit you, and reinterpreting history, because you’re reinterpreting people. You erase their existence to replace it with one that you prefer. You edit and cut and trim the celluloid, and pretend it’s a real life and a true story. This is an issue with most historical movies, it’s true. But for 12 years of public school education, American children have the state-approved “truth” shoved at them, too, and as they say, history is written by the winners. When a group of people is systematically pushed out of the history books, treated as a “campy”/”kitschy” cultural phenomenon, and regarded collectively as something for consumption, that can be bought and sold and used to play dress-up– and that same group, historically, has rarely even been portrayed by themselves in the mainstream media– there’s something wrong with pretending everything worked out okay in a “historical” film. There’s something wrong with that if anyone does it, but especially a company like Disney, the trusted, go-to name for quality children’s entertainment. That’s not okay. It undermines history, it undermines the people involved, and it undermines the real messages and stories that these people have by presenting a backdrop of falsehoods that looks too much like what people have been trained to think is “real” for them to tell the wolf from the sheep.

It’s not okay.

The original article can be found here.

I just wanted to spread this around; I know it’s self-pimping, but I’m not trying to be internet famous, I’m just trying to have this reach a wider audience, seeing as people seem to still love the Pocahontas myth so much. *gag*

(via pseudo-tsuga)

Washington Independent: Abortion Ban for American Indians Only (March 5, 2008)

Following scant debate, the Senate last week approved an amendment to an Indian health care bill that would permanently prohibit the use of federal dollars to fund abortions for Native Americans except in rare cases. The move has prompted an outcry from women’s health advocates — who point out that a similar ban has existed on a temporary basis for years — and from tribal groups, who are asking why Native American women should be subject to restrictions not applicable to other ethnic groups. Some charge that the Senate proposal is overtly racist.

The issue is a sensitive one in American Indian communities, where women are statistically more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault than other American women — but also where victims very rarely use the exceptions to the current federally funded abortion ban in the wake of those crimes. In the face of that discrepancy, advocates say, Congress should encourage victims to take advantage of the available services, not impose tighter restrictions.

(Source: blackraincloud, via formerlyroxy)

esquinitasdemishuesos:

The Canary Effect trailer

WATCH WATCH WATCH!

It’s all on youtube.com in parts.

(Source: suenosdesirena, via pseudo-tsuga)

John Smith is such a bandwagoner.

(via pseudo-tsuga)

At least one in three American Indian women will be raped (PDF) in their lifetimes. Yet just 3,000 tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officers—the only kinds of cops with jurisdiction on Indian land—patrol 56 million acres. In 2008, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas had nine officers for 9,000 people in an area twice the size of Delaware. (A typical town with the same population has three times that number.) Tribal courts can only prosecute misdemeanors such as petty theft and public intoxication. They can’t issue sentences longer than one year without meeting special criteria, and even then, three years is the maximum. More serious crimes must be handled by federal prosecutors, who turn down 65 percent (PDF) of the reservation cases referred to them. Non-Indians commit two-thirds of violent crimes against Indians, including 86 percent of rapes and sexual assaults. Yet thanks to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling, tribes can not prosecute outsiders who commit crimes on their land.

A Fistful of Dollars | Mother Jones

A portion of this article went made the rounds a couple of weeks ago, but a real life something just reminded me of it. I need this on my page.

(via thetart)

The Tribal Law and Order Act (which I’ve had open in a tab for about a solid month while I try to wade through the technical jargon) is an act signed into law last summer that made it possible for tribes to prosecute non-native offenders at all and even then, as mentioned above, the maximum sentence they can hand out for ANY crime is three years. This includes rape. Prior to this, the only rapes that tribal police could prosecute were ones committed by native offenders, on native land. Anything else had to be deferred to federal/state police who often times did not pursue the cases. At all.

As I understand it (still reading through the law to confirm), tribes must also provide “protections” to defendants in the form of footing the bill for much of the proceedings. So the chance of a native woman seeing her case go to court at all are significantly reduced if the tribe doesn’t have the money to pay for the proceedings, which is often the case. Thus, the maximum sentence a native woman living on a reservation could hope to see handed down to her rapist, assuming her case goes to tribal court at all, which in many, many cases it will not, is three years.

If you are living outside of a reservation, google the maximum sentence for rape in your area. In mine, it’s 20 years. And even though the sentence served by rapists of non-reservation women is usually only a quarter of that, this is a clear and irrefutable disparity in the value that the law places on the safety of women on and off reservations. Three years for the rapist of a native woman living on a reservation, 20 for the rapist of any woman living off a reservation. This right here? This is institutional racism. In a law that was signed in on July, 2010.

So tell me again how discrimination against native people is in the oh-so-distant past.

(via fiercelynative)

Bolding added by me.

(via pseudo-tsuga)

pinchechango:

Chevron Fined $8 Billion for Polluting the Amazon in History-Making Case |

This week, Chevron was fined $8 billion for dumping over 18 billion gallons of toxic, carcinogenic materials into both Amazon rivers and unlined pits between 1972 and 1992.The 18 year-old lawsuit, brought on by 30,000 Ecuadorians, charged Chevron with destroying parts of the rainforest, increasing cancer rates among locals, destroying crops, and killing animals.

This case is historic and unprecedented. It is the first time Indigenous people have sued a multinational corporation in the country where the crime was committed and won.

On the one hand, I’m horrified by the careless abuses that Chevron heaped upon these people.  On the other hand, FUCK YEAH they nailed the bastards!

(via formerlyroxy)

esmeweatherwax:

wtfwhiteprivilege:

The Native American one.

This is going straight up on Facebook. Cue angry comments from privilege fuckheads!

esmeweatherwax:

wtfwhiteprivilege:

The Native American one.

This is going straight up on Facebook. Cue angry comments from privilege fuckheads!

(via fyeahcap)

*snerk*

*snerk*

(Source: fuckyeahnativeamericans)

People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs.
The Way We Lived: California Indian Stories, Songs, & Reminiscences by Malcolm Margolin
fyeahcap:

A play on the cracker thing and the white people who say they’re “[non-white group] on the inside!”

Okay this is my favorite one.  *ded*

fyeahcap:

A play on the cracker thing and the white people who say they’re “[non-white group] on the inside!”

Okay this is my favorite one.  *ded*

fyeahcap:

that’s an interesting blood quantum there, friend

So this is another one of those Advice-Dog-esque meme blogs and it’s called Cultural Appropriation Cracker.
I KINDA FUCKING LOVE IT, GUYS.  IT IS THE GREATEST.
Well okay, it’s funny in that half-laughing half-facepalming because oh god there are people out there who say this shit unironically sobs but still, pretty great stuff.

fyeahcap:

that’s an interesting blood quantum there, friend

So this is another one of those Advice-Dog-esque meme blogs and it’s called Cultural Appropriation Cracker.

I KINDA FUCKING LOVE IT, GUYS.  IT IS THE GREATEST.

Well okay, it’s funny in that half-laughing half-facepalming because oh god there are people out there who say this shit unironically sobs but still, pretty great stuff.

roxanneritchi:

arya-stark | newly-poly-nyc | mycultureisnotatrend | adailyriot | svnoyi | christinalower:






Meet my self-portrait sculpture assignment. 
BAM. 
Today I got an email from my sculpture professor about it. To get to the point it said that a student had complained about it, claiming it was racist, and that it needed to be taken down immediately.
Okay, okay, I get it. The head dress… But really? Everything in this sculpture was hand made or found object either by me or someone else and pieced together in an attempt to put together something that resembles me. Already at 19 years old, it is hard for me to make a self portrait. How the hell am I supposed to know who I am? And if I do know who I am, how am I suppose to compose it in a piece with out being too vague, or too much to the point?  
 So, to NOT be racially insensitive, lets get technical for a second. What people usually know as a HEAD DRESS is actually called a WAR BONNET. A war bonnet was used usually ONLY in times of war and during war, or for ceremonial practices in war. To be even more technical, women did NOT wear war bonnets. Even if they went to war, which some did. 
 Back to what matters. 
This piece is not about Native Americans. This piece is not about racism. This piece is not about hate, and to be blunt, I’m offended. And I’m pissed off. In what way is this piece (showed how it is supposed to be viewed) offensive? Having a piece taken out of context by a viewer happens, and that is art. But for it to be taken down because of ONE student’s complaint who took it in a way that shouldn’t have been taken is RIDICULOUS. 
It’s just not fair. For one, it’s art school. Seriously. I could have plastered my goddamn lady bits and hung that shit up. Secondly, WHAT IF I WAS NATIVE AMERICAN- they didn’t even bother to ask, so all I’m going to say is they’re lucky I’m a German. If anything, the peaceful expression on the face should counteract the meaning behind the head dress and make a more powerful statement then ‘who is this white girl wearing a native american war bonnet?’. Or you know, make a homage where in my most peaceful state, I feel spiritually connected to their beliefs. I’m not disgracing it in any visible way!  (Okay, it’s being held up with a forty bottle, but that’s because I’m an art student with limited funds and it’s heavy enough to do so- not to mention YOU CANT SEE IT UNLESS YOU PHYSICALLY MOVED THE PIECE FROM THE WALL AND LOOKED BEHIND AND UP INTO THE SCULPTURE. Which, so you know, makes it not notable as it’s not part of the viewers eyesight). For fuck’s sake. 
I’m sorry I offended someone, I really, really am- but when it comes to MY artistic expression, you’re opinion is NOT valid unless you’re buying my goddamn art work or I value your opinion. Pulling the racist card is a fucking CHEAP shot. 
Just letting the world know.

But…why would you want a sacred Native object in your self portrait? Whoever said something could probably tell you weren’t Native, since women have never been given warbonnets. In a lot of tribes, they can’t even earn feathers like that. I understand that your art is important to you, but please understand that our culture, and our sacred things, are important to US. It’s only through the brutal history of non-Natives, especially Europeans, in our lands that allows non-Natives to flippantly take what they want from us and use it without consideration for the meanings behind what they take, and the effects that their appropriation has.

Christina, I’m glad that you apparently know some aspects of the war bonnet. I’m  sad to see that you 
trivialize racism to a game when you say someone has pulled the “race card.”
continue to perpetuate old stereotype about Native Americans, specifically the romanticized Native American, even when you try to write out your defense. Is it not enough to perpetuate those stereotypes through your statue?
you do not realize that it’s even more fucked that you chose to put a war bonnet on your statue since you knew what was up about cultural appropriation, recognized that you are a non-native person and preceded to do it anyway out of your own selfishness and did not consider the real repercussions shit like this has Native communities. 
I’m also sad that you do not see that when you use Native items, identities, spirituality’s, and cultures, it IS about Natives. By very definition and by the way that our society has been “raised” and socialized, by this alone you should realize that when they see anyone, no matter their race/heritage, in Native American regalia/attire/representations, they no longer see the person underneath it, they see the image of Native Americans.
If you don’t want your works to be called out as racist, or culturally appropriative, then stop using shit from other people’s cultures; particularly when they’ve been quite open about them not wanting people to use their things, identity, culture, and spirituality’s. From one artist to another, and as a Native person to a non-native person, you have a responsibility in this. We as artist play a big role in the shaping of the dominate culture, our work reflects our culture. Produce works that are committed to the real advancement of the culture. One which works towards a society where there is no longer stereotypes that continue to affect people’s consciousness  where they internalize them and oppress individuals on a individual basis or go on to create policies with these stereotypes in mind that will go to lead to oppression on a mass scale. 
I don’t think that you should feel offended. Realize that you’ve been put in an uncomfortable place. Being called out by definition should put you in an uncomfortable place. Realize that this can be a loving act. This could be a key place where you look back and realize that this was a moment that moved you towards the right direction in your work. To a place where you didn’t submit to creating the same old BULL SHIT that everyone does, and has little to say except for the same old offensive shit. Let this be a place where you decide to create work that SAYS SOMETHING, that doesn’t get lost in the crowds of art school/hipster cliché, but begins to say something positive… that is thought provoking, that makes people actually want to sit and contemplate your work rather than pass it up cuz it’s the same shit that’s been said since the 1490 when Columbus arrived back in Europe giving false descriptions of what he saw in the “Americas.” You’re a better person and artist than what you’ve produced in that statue. Live up to that. 

Reblogged for on-point commentary

Ok… I gotta side with the OP… Also, times like this I really get mad at people on tumblr…
I would explain further, but I’m actually too angry to. So i’ll sum it up in a few words and you can extrapolate the rest:
ART! IT’S ART DAMN IT! AND SHE FUCKING PUT THOUGHT INTO IT! ART! I JUST…LET ME REPEAT ART!
ALSO, WTF? NO! CENSORSHIP IS BAD
I don’t care if I get hate for this. I just…


LOL ABSOLUTELY NOT. Sorry, Justine. You are wrong, and your white privilege and ignorance are both showing.
This piece is ridiculous. Everyone prior to me said it far better than I could (except Justine, with whom I could not disagree more). 

Reblogging for @svnoyi and @adailyriot’s commentary, and in response to @newly-poly-nyc’s comment: art does not get a free pass from criticism by virtue of being art. Racism is racism. Cultural appropriation is cultural appropriation. These things do not cease to apply—to exist—simply because it’s ~art.~ Like all things, art can contribute to and criticize culture, and by appropriating Native headdress for her piece, the non-Native OP has contributed to an existing culture which simultaneously exoticizes and erases Native American peoples, cultures, and histories. This is unacceptable.
Additionally, and I would hope this would go without saying but evidently not, you can put a great deal of thought and care and energy into something and it can still turn out racist and culturally appropriative. Intention does not negate execution.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE:
PUT DOWN THE WAR BONNETS AND STEP THE FUCK BACK.
To the OP: What you did is what Philip Deloria would call “playing Indian.”  You  are the pretentious artiste equivalent of some dumbass white kid wearing  a feathered headband made of construction paper, prancing around making  war whoops, and shouting “How!”  The fact that you felt the need to  steal from an oppressed minority’s culture in order to make a  self-portrait speaks volumes about your staggering level of white  privilege.
Native people have fought for hundreds of years for the  right to practice their religions, celebrate their culture, raise their  own children, speak their languages, perform their sacred dances, wear  their traditional clothing, have access to their sacred lands, and even  their basic right to simply live.  Only in the last few decades have  they started to gain some of those basic rights.  And you think you can  just waltz in, casually stick one of their sacred items on your  sculpture, and claim that it’s part of your identity?  It is not yours to take.
To Ms. HTML Capslock: Saying that “It’s art!” doesn’t magically make it all better.
Putting something in a museum doesn’t magically make one immune to criticism.  Part of being an artist is being responsible with  one’s artistic endeavors.  Cultural appropriation is irresponsible.   Casual thoughtless racism is irresponsible.  Perpetuating centuries-old  oppression is irresponsible.  Wallowing in white privilege is  irresponsible.
Besides, there is nothing edgy or original or  innovative about stealing shit from Indians. It’s one of the oldest and  least imaginative ones in the book.  If you’ve been reduced to sticking a  war bonnet on your self-portrait, that’s a sign that you are well and  truly bankrupt of artistic authenticity.

roxanneritchi:

arya-stark | newly-poly-nyc | mycultureisnotatrend | adailyriot | svnoyi | christinalower:

Meet my self-portrait sculpture assignment. 

BAM. 

Today I got an email from my sculpture professor about it. To get to the point it said that a student had complained about it, claiming it was racist, and that it needed to be taken down immediately.

Okay, okay, I get it. The head dress… But really? Everything in this sculpture was hand made or found object either by me or someone else and pieced together in an attempt to put together something that resembles me. Already at 19 years old, it is hard for me to make a self portrait. How the hell am I supposed to know who I am? And if I do know who I am, how am I suppose to compose it in a piece with out being too vague, or too much to the point?  

 So, to NOT be racially insensitive, lets get technical for a second. What people usually know as a HEAD DRESS is actually called a WAR BONNET. A war bonnet was used usually ONLY in times of war and during war, or for ceremonial practices in war. To be even more technical, women did NOT wear war bonnets. Even if they went to war, which some did. 

 Back to what matters. 

This piece is not about Native Americans. This piece is not about racism. This piece is not about hate, and to be blunt, I’m offended. And I’m pissed off. In what way is this piece (showed how it is supposed to be viewed) offensive? Having a piece taken out of context by a viewer happens, and that is art. But for it to be taken down because of ONE student’s complaint who took it in a way that shouldn’t have been taken is RIDICULOUS. 

It’s just not fair. For one, it’s art school. Seriously. I could have plastered my goddamn lady bits and hung that shit up. Secondly, WHAT IF I WAS NATIVE AMERICAN- they didn’t even bother to ask, so all I’m going to say is they’re lucky I’m a German. If anything, the peaceful expression on the face should counteract the meaning behind the head dress and make a more powerful statement then ‘who is this white girl wearing a native american war bonnet?’. Or you know, make a homage where in my most peaceful state, I feel spiritually connected to their beliefs. I’m not disgracing it in any visible way!  (Okay, it’s being held up with a forty bottle, but that’s because I’m an art student with limited funds and it’s heavy enough to do so- not to mention YOU CANT SEE IT UNLESS YOU PHYSICALLY MOVED THE PIECE FROM THE WALL AND LOOKED BEHIND AND UP INTO THE SCULPTURE. Which, so you know, makes it not notable as it’s not part of the viewers eyesight). For fuck’s sake. 

I’m sorry I offended someone, I really, really am- but when it comes to MY artistic expression, you’re opinion is NOT valid unless you’re buying my goddamn art work or I value your opinion. Pulling the racist card is a fucking CHEAP shot. 

Just letting the world know.

But…why would you want a sacred Native object in your self portrait? Whoever said something could probably tell you weren’t Native, since women have never been given warbonnets. In a lot of tribes, they can’t even earn feathers like that. I understand that your art is important to you, but please understand that our culture, and our sacred things, are important to US. It’s only through the brutal history of non-Natives, especially Europeans, in our lands that allows non-Natives to flippantly take what they want from us and use it without consideration for the meanings behind what they take, and the effects that their appropriation has.

Christina, I’m glad that you apparently know some aspects of the war bonnet. I’m  sad to see that you 

  1. trivialize racism to a game when you say someone has pulled the “race card.”
  2. continue to perpetuate old stereotype about Native Americans, specifically the romanticized Native American, even when you try to write out your defense. Is it not enough to perpetuate those stereotypes through your statue?
  3. you do not realize that it’s even more fucked that you chose to put a war bonnet on your statue since you knew what was up about cultural appropriation, recognized that you are a non-native person and preceded to do it anyway out of your own selfishness and did not consider the real repercussions shit like this has Native communities. 
  4. I’m also sad that you do not see that when you use Native items, identities, spirituality’s, and cultures, it IS about Natives. By very definition and by the way that our society has been “raised” and socialized, by this alone you should realize that when they see anyone, no matter their race/heritage, in Native American regalia/attire/representations, they no longer see the person underneath it, they see the image of Native Americans.
  5. If you don’t want your works to be called out as racist, or culturally appropriative, then stop using shit from other people’s cultures; particularly when they’ve been quite open about them not wanting people to use their things, identity, culture, and spirituality’s. From one artist to another, and as a Native person to a non-native person, you have a responsibility in this. We as artist play a big role in the shaping of the dominate culture, our work reflects our culture. Produce works that are committed to the real advancement of the culture. One which works towards a society where there is no longer stereotypes that continue to affect people’s consciousness  where they internalize them and oppress individuals on a individual basis or go on to create policies with these stereotypes in mind that will go to lead to oppression on a mass scale. 

I don’t think that you should feel offended. Realize that you’ve been put in an uncomfortable place. Being called out by definition should put you in an uncomfortable place. Realize that this can be a loving act. This could be a key place where you look back and realize that this was a moment that moved you towards the right direction in your work. To a place where you didn’t submit to creating the same old BULL SHIT that everyone does, and has little to say except for the same old offensive shit. Let this be a place where you decide to create work that SAYS SOMETHING, that doesn’t get lost in the crowds of art school/hipster cliché, but begins to say something positive… that is thought provoking, that makes people actually want to sit and contemplate your work rather than pass it up cuz it’s the same shit that’s been said since the 1490 when Columbus arrived back in Europe giving false descriptions of what he saw in the “Americas.” You’re a better person and artist than what you’ve produced in that statue. Live up to that. 

Reblogged for on-point commentary

Ok… I gotta side with the OP… Also, times like this I really get mad at people on tumblr…

I would explain further, but I’m actually too angry to. So i’ll sum it up in a few words and you can extrapolate the rest:

ART! IT’S ART DAMN IT! AND SHE FUCKING PUT THOUGHT INTO IT! ART! I JUST…LET ME REPEAT ART!

ALSO, WTF? NO! CENSORSHIP IS BAD

I don’t care if I get hate for this. I just…

LOL ABSOLUTELY NOT. Sorry, Justine. You are wrong, and your white privilege and ignorance are both showing.

This piece is ridiculous. Everyone prior to me said it far better than I could (except Justine, with whom I could not disagree more). 

Reblogging for @svnoyi and @adailyriot’s commentary, and in response to @newly-poly-nyc’s comment: art does not get a free pass from criticism by virtue of being art. Racism is racism. Cultural appropriation is cultural appropriation. These things do not cease to apply—to exist—simply because it’s ~art.~ Like all things, art can contribute to and criticize culture, and by appropriating Native headdress for her piece, the non-Native OP has contributed to an existing culture which simultaneously exoticizes and erases Native American peoples, cultures, and histories. This is unacceptable.

Additionally, and I would hope this would go without saying but evidently not, you can put a great deal of thought and care and energy into something and it can still turn out racist and culturally appropriative. Intention does not negate execution.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE:

PUT DOWN THE WAR BONNETS AND STEP THE FUCK BACK.

To the OP: What you did is what Philip Deloria would call “playing Indian.”  You are the pretentious artiste equivalent of some dumbass white kid wearing a feathered headband made of construction paper, prancing around making war whoops, and shouting “How!”  The fact that you felt the need to steal from an oppressed minority’s culture in order to make a self-portrait speaks volumes about your staggering level of white privilege.

Native people have fought for hundreds of years for the right to practice their religions, celebrate their culture, raise their own children, speak their languages, perform their sacred dances, wear their traditional clothing, have access to their sacred lands, and even their basic right to simply live.  Only in the last few decades have they started to gain some of those basic rights.  And you think you can just waltz in, casually stick one of their sacred items on your sculpture, and claim that it’s part of your identity?  It is not yours to take.

To Ms. HTML Capslock: Saying that “It’s art!” doesn’t magically make it all better.

Putting something in a museum doesn’t magically make one immune to criticism.  Part of being an artist is being responsible with one’s artistic endeavors.  Cultural appropriation is irresponsible.  Casual thoughtless racism is irresponsible.  Perpetuating centuries-old oppression is irresponsible.  Wallowing in white privilege is irresponsible.

Besides, there is nothing edgy or original or innovative about stealing shit from Indians. It’s one of the oldest and least imaginative ones in the book.  If you’ve been reduced to sticking a war bonnet on your self-portrait, that’s a sign that you are well and truly bankrupt of artistic authenticity.

(via formerlyroxy)

fuckyeahethnicwomen:

Kristy Yuzicappi, she is a Champion Jingle Dancer out of Canada.

fuckyeahethnicwomen:

Kristy Yuzicappi, she is a Champion Jingle Dancer out of Canada.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE
This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.
For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:





By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.
By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.





—In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk
* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.
Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*
Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.
Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE IMAGE

This is a series of maps charting the shrinkage of Native American lands over time, from 1784 to the present day.  Made because I was having trouble visualizing the sheer scale of the land loss, and reading numbers like “blah blah million acres” wasn’t really doing it for me.  The gif is based on a collection of maps by Sam B. Hilliard of Louisiana State University.  You can see the original map here.

For those who do prefer dealing in numbers, here are some:

By 1881, Indian landholdings in the United States had plummeted to 156 million acres. By 1934, only about 50 million acres remained (an area the size of Idaho and Washington) as a result of the General Allotment Act* of 1887. During World War II, the government took 500,000 more acres for military use. Over one hundred tribes, bands, and Rancherias relinquished their lands under various acts of Congress during the termination era of the 1950s.

By 1955, the indigenous land base had shrunk to just 2.3 percent of its original size.

In the Courts of the Conqueror by Walter Echo-Hawk

* The General Allotment Act is also known as the Dawes Act.

Edit: Got rid of some of the fold lines and discoloration on the gif.  *is anal*

Edit 2: I can’t believe I didn’t think to mention this until now, but the “Present Day” map is actually from c. 1972. You can find a more recent map of Indian Reservations here, although as you can see, things haven’t changed much.

Edit 10/4/13: As you can see, the gif was deleted for… copyright violation, I assume? Since when does Tumblr care about copyright? Whatever, you can still see the gif by clicking the link up top.

The Pocahontas Myth

mycultureisnotatrend:

Dirty Redskin Devils

I have a confession to make: I am addicted to Disney. I think it would be difficult to have been a child of my generation and not been, considering I spent all of my pre-adolescent years in the company’s “Renaissance” period. For every year of my childhood, from my toddler years well into my early teens, there is a Disney memory there. And like most people, especially women, and especially people of color, the relationship I have with Disney is… complicated. I don’t know how many of you have written hateful essays about Disney and contacted them about Song of the South, but– oh! Just me? Hahahahaha! Wacky. So maybe I’ve got a few issues with Disney. Maybe. I’ll try not to be too biased against them for not returning my calls. I think I’m pretty fair here.

My biggest bone to pick is with Pocahontas. My relationship with Pocahontas has been complicated as well, thanks to my childhood urge to inform clearly confused people, who I truly, truly believed, deep in my heart of hearts, had just made a mistake with their histories! Picture me, at six years old: “Do you wand me do dell you aboud da real Pocahondas?” (I was congested a lot as a kid.) Cue semi-informed speech that the audience tuned out halfway through. It’s like I was going door to door in a Girl Scout uniform without any cookies. Yet still, I maintained hope. LOL OPTIMISM!! That’s why my sisters and I have a long series of inside jokes that specifically reference this movie. “Wingapo, bitch!” I have a whole Thanksgiving Pocahontas skit.

In any case, Pocahontas, released the summer of 1995, is Disney’s 33rd feature-length animated picture, and one of some significance when Disney’s handling of race is brought up. It’s, um, a… flawed movie. There’s several reasons for this, the least of which is that Mel Gibson’s casting as John Smith, is, in retrospect, a bit cringe-worthy. The big, main, monster issue– the elephant in the room– is that Pocahontas was a real person.

CliffNotes time! In the Disney version, Pocahontas, the adult daughter of the Chief of the Powhatan tribe, finds herself reunited with her absent father, due to be married to a man she does not love (Kocoum), and set to be tied down to a life she does not want. Then the Virginia Company shows up, and Captain John Smith and Pocahontas get to talking aided by, presumably, tree-spirit Grandmother Willow’s advice to Pocahontas to “listen to her heart,” which works out for them way better than Google Translate ever has for me. Just saying. Through the power of song and, giving credit where credit is due, some absolutely gorgeous animation, Pocahontas demonstrates to the very blond, white-toothed John Smith that cultural differences don’t have to be a pissing contest between SUPER SPIRITUAL and have-I-mentioned NATURE LOVING indigenous groups and the city-boy Brits.

Meanwhile, Governor Ratcliffe (one of the more subtly named Disney villains) and the British settlers, after declaring that everything they’re willing to build on top of is now called Jamestown, proceed to dig the shit out of everything looking for gold. While Smith was away, a Newsies-era Christian Bale (no, really– and this movie was actually released the same weekend as Batman Forever) accidentally shoots at some Powhatan scouts (no, really) who want to check out these funny hairy guys with the guns, and kills one of Kocoum’s comrades. The scouts retreat, and Ratcliffe plans an epic showdown.

Pocahontas gets back to her village just in time to sneak back out again when John Smith follows her home. Nakoma, her BFF, covers for her by lying to Kocoum even though she’s really worried about this whole interracial relationship thing. During the secret rendesvous, Pocahontas reveals “Gold? Um, we’ve got maize, I guess?” (oops) to John Smith before he and Pocahontas have to sneak back to their respective homes, only for reals this time. However, the Chief and Kocoum have been planning an epic showdown of their own, and in desperation, Pocahontas tries to convince her father to talk things out with the English. Which doesn’t work. And a suddenly self-righteous, holier-than-thou John Smith declares to Ratcliffe, “[b]ut this is their land!” …Which also doesn’t work. Um, spoiler alert?

Pocahontas sneaks out AGAIN, and meets John Smith, but both of them have been tailed by Kocoum (per Nakoma’s request) and Christian Bale (per Ratcliffe’s request), who shoots at Kocoum, but on purpose this time, and kills him. John Smith is captured and set to be executed ritualistically at sunrise, but Pocahontas meets him in the POW tent, where they declare their love for each other. The rest of the night is spent alternating between shots of the Native Americans and the English preparing for battle and both singing the (incredibly triggering) “Savages”. (Starting at the third song from the bottom. The one with the raccoon.)

Come morning, Pocahontas throws herself in front of a bound John Smith just as her father is about to deliver the killing blow, convincing him to free John Smith. The settlers are actually pretty cool with this plan, except for Ratcliffe, who has decided to shoot Chief Powhatan anyway. Smith jumps out and takes a bullet for the Chief and Ratcliffe is sort-of arrested by the other settlers, and everybody present learns a Lesson about Differences. John Smith goes back to London, along with the chained up Ratcliffe and some cargo that I think might be slapping the whole “stealing resources from Native peoples is wrong” message right in the face. Pocahontas says she will always be with John Smith in her heart and watches the ship sail away.

…Until 1998, when Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World was released (direct to VHS!), and Pocahontas and John Rolfe (who OMG hate each other! due to being a crappy romantic plotline where they are SO ALIKE and LEARN TO RESPECT EACH OTHER, etc.) meet up when she stows away on his ship to be an ambassador to England, since King James is going to send out an a war armada otherwise. She dresses up in English clothes and makeup, and meets the King, who thinks she’s the bee’s-knees until she criticizes his hobby of bear-baiting. She and her bodyguard are arrested on Ratcliffe’s recommendation, then busted out of jail by Rolfe and… presumed-dead John Smith! Awkwaaaard. Pocahontas goes before the Queen and explains that Ratcliffe is a lying liar who lies, then goes with Bodyguard, Smith, and Rolfe to crash some English ships together, have a swordfight, and get Ratcliffe arrested again.

Everybody has to choose to stay in England (Pocahontas’s bodyguard, for some reason) or leave England (everybody else), but Pocahontas also has to choose between John Smith and worldwide travel and adventure, and politician John Rolfe. She picks Rolfe, who wasn’t around for that news, I guess, but reveals he’s snuck aboard Pocahontas’s ship sailing back for America! Sort of a ballsy move if you didn’t know she wouldn’t be going with Smith, huh? According to Wikipedia, they proceeded to “kiss as the ship sail[ed] into the sunset.” Blech.

Okay. Now for some music-devoid facts. It’s been a long time since I read a book about Matoaka, the real name of the child called Pocahontas, so I’ve refreshed my memory with Wikipedia and a response to the film that was issued by the Powhatan Renape Nation.

Not-Captain John Smith, mercenary, one-time slave, colonist, and kind of shitty settler (yeah, they did actually NEED that corn) would have been in his late twenties to early thirties when he came to America, and apparently was such a dick that if the Actual-Captain Christopher Newport had gotten his way, John Smith wouldn’t have gotten any older. Also, when John Smith went back to England from getting shot? It was because a spark from his own gun landed in his powder keg. John Smith accidentally shot himself. This is the man we’re talking about. Pocahontas (a nickname essentially meaning “brat”) would have been around 12 years old in the winter of 1607, when John Smith & Co. met the Powhatans. Smith’s writings are the major source of information on Pocahontas, and she’s definitely mentioned as “a child of tenne years old” who apparently hung around Jamestown a lot to play with the kids there and bring the starving settlers all manner of tasty goodies. What’s that? Kids, you say? Yes, when a country is being colonized, you bring the women and children with you, because you’re moving in. Didn’t you know that?

Some more different English settlers and some Patawomecks kidnapped Matoaka a few years later around 1611 and held her for ransom. Chief Powhatan didn’t pay up to the English settlers’ liking, so they kept Pocahontas until 1614– when she had been converted to Christianity, taken on a Christian name (Rebecca), and allegedly told Powhatan off for not paying up in full, saying she was going to stay with the English. Presumably this is because she met John Rolfe, tobacco man. He is said to have loved her very much, despite his “agoniz[ing] over the potential moral repercussions of marrying a heathen,” though Rebecca-formerly-Matoaka’s feelings are unknown, and she may have done it to form a political alliance; in 1615, the same year her son, Thomas, was born, Ralph Hamor wrote that there were no further troubles with the Powhatans since the marriage of John and Rebecca Rolfe. In favor of this logic is the evidence that she had not only turned her back on her father and tribe, but also on her own family– a husband, Kocoum, who she married in 1610, and potentially (though it is unknown) children from that first marriage, to live with the people who kidnapped her. That, or Stockholm Syndrome.

The children might have been erased because Virginia Colony sponsors decided Pocahontas would be a great mascot for their tourism department and a nice way to hook new investors to boot. She was paraded around England from 1616-1617, meeting the King and Queen and generally being the good-PR poster girl the English wanted her to be. In 1617, the Rolfes boarded a ship to return to Virginia, but the ship didn’t even make it beyond the Thames before Matoaka-now-Rebecca grew sick and died.

Additionally, the whole “saved John Smith from being clubbed to death” incident wasn’t brought up at all until John Smith wrote a letter to Queen Anne asking her to be nice to “Rebecca” when she visited. Some historians theorize that Smith just hadn’t written anything about how “at the minute of [Smith’s] execution, she hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save [his]; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that [he] was safely conducted to Jamestown” before because it was irrelevant, while others theorize that Smith was generally full of shit, but at least he might have been trying to help a sister out. Also, it was pretty convenient to make the “Civilized Savage” look that much more awesome to English people at the same time as promoting your book. Smith met with Pocahontas once more in the last few months before she died.

Defenders of the Disney Pocahontas films (including Russell Means, who starred in it as Powhatan, and Irene Bedard, Pocahontas) say they are stories for children. Their argument is that the world is ugly and harsh enough as it is, and telling children a romantic story where the characters do what is right and good is harmless, and actually beneficial to children’s morality. While I can understand the mindset of wanting to preserve a child’s ignorance (which has been placed on a pedestal as “innocence,” and is a whole other issue)– and even understand the viewpoint, for Means and Bedard in particular, that they need to keep their employers happy– I do not empathize with it, nor do I agree with it. Showing a child a story set in the real world that does not reflect the real world is deliberately misinforming them and blinding them to a reality that they have to live in and deal with every day, just like everybody else does. The only thing is, a child doesn’t have a frame of reference for the world around them like an adult does– they don’t have experiences to draw on.

Not to mention that the history of marginalized peoples was hardly brought up that often in the history/social studies classes I attended when I went through K-12. I can’t speak for what’s being taught now, but as of this time 4 years ago, I went to a high school history class where the students were being taught the Civil War wasn’t actually fought over slavery. I’ve only once heard Pocahontas referenced in a history class, or even as a real, historical figure, when it wasn’t me bringing her up. What children are told and shown may well be what they believe, and when they can’t separate reality from fiction because they’re not dealing with fiction, you end up with a generation of children whose only experience with Native American history is Pocahontas until they’re old enough for Dances With Wolves.

What about my reality? What about being the only kid in your class who doesn’t want to be part of the Thanksgiving play? What about having to watch Peter Pan over and over and over again at friends’ houses, or at school? What about my great-grandfather, who went through Indian school? What about my grandmother, on terrorist watch lists for her involvement in the American Indian Movement? What about getting tired of drums and chanting and recycling (and drinking and gambling) every time a Native character or storyline is introduced in any popular media?

Or how every other girl in pigtail braids is a little “Pocahontas”? What about knowing your own history, and knowing not only will it never be acknowledged in school, but knowing it’s possible no one you know will ever be told by the adults whose job it is to tell them? What about growing up listening to non-Native people claim partial “Indian princess” heritage– and enforcing their legal rights to do so and still remain “white”?? All when my family can’t even get CDIBs.

Is my reality too tough for you to handle? Am I too real for you?

Roy Disney himself said, at the same link as the above Means quote, “We went and did our research,” adding, “[t]his is our version, our interpretation of what we see to be the really important points about what this legend told.” (Emphasis mine.)

There is a fundamental difference between reinterpreting a legend, a fairy tale, or a myth to suit you, and reinterpreting history, because you’re reinterpreting people. You erase their existence to replace it with one that you prefer. You edit and cut and trim the celluloid, and pretend it’s a real life and a true story. This is an issue with most historical movies, it’s true. But for 12 years of public school education, American children have the state-approved “truth” shoved at them, too, and as they say, history is written by the winners. When a group of people is systematically pushed out of the history books, treated as a “campy”/”kitschy” cultural phenomenon, and regarded collectively as something for consumption, that can be bought and sold and used to play dress-up– and that same group, historically, has rarely even been portrayed by themselves in the mainstream media– there’s something wrong with pretending everything worked out okay in a “historical” film. There’s something wrong with that if anyone does it, but especially a company like Disney, the trusted, go-to name for quality children’s entertainment. That’s not okay. It undermines history, it undermines the people involved, and it undermines the real messages and stories that these people have by presenting a backdrop of falsehoods that looks too much like what people have been trained to think is “real” for them to tell the wolf from the sheep.

It’s not okay.

The original article can be found here.

I just wanted to spread this around; I know it’s self-pimping, but I’m not trying to be internet famous, I’m just trying to have this reach a wider audience, seeing as people seem to still love the Pocahontas myth so much. *gag*

(via pseudo-tsuga)

Washington Independent: Abortion Ban for American Indians Only (March 5, 2008)

Following scant debate, the Senate last week approved an amendment to an Indian health care bill that would permanently prohibit the use of federal dollars to fund abortions for Native Americans except in rare cases. The move has prompted an outcry from women’s health advocates — who point out that a similar ban has existed on a temporary basis for years — and from tribal groups, who are asking why Native American women should be subject to restrictions not applicable to other ethnic groups. Some charge that the Senate proposal is overtly racist.

The issue is a sensitive one in American Indian communities, where women are statistically more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault than other American women — but also where victims very rarely use the exceptions to the current federally funded abortion ban in the wake of those crimes. In the face of that discrepancy, advocates say, Congress should encourage victims to take advantage of the available services, not impose tighter restrictions.

(Source: blackraincloud, via formerlyroxy)

esquinitasdemishuesos:

The Canary Effect trailer

WATCH WATCH WATCH!

It’s all on youtube.com in parts.

(Source: suenosdesirena, via pseudo-tsuga)

John Smith is such a bandwagoner.

John Smith is such a bandwagoner.

(via pseudo-tsuga)

At least one in three American Indian women will be raped (PDF) in their lifetimes. Yet just 3,000 tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officers—the only kinds of cops with jurisdiction on Indian land—patrol 56 million acres. In 2008, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas had nine officers for 9,000 people in an area twice the size of Delaware. (A typical town with the same population has three times that number.) Tribal courts can only prosecute misdemeanors such as petty theft and public intoxication. They can’t issue sentences longer than one year without meeting special criteria, and even then, three years is the maximum. More serious crimes must be handled by federal prosecutors, who turn down 65 percent (PDF) of the reservation cases referred to them. Non-Indians commit two-thirds of violent crimes against Indians, including 86 percent of rapes and sexual assaults. Yet thanks to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling, tribes can not prosecute outsiders who commit crimes on their land.

A Fistful of Dollars | Mother Jones

A portion of this article went made the rounds a couple of weeks ago, but a real life something just reminded me of it. I need this on my page.

(via thetart)

The Tribal Law and Order Act (which I’ve had open in a tab for about a solid month while I try to wade through the technical jargon) is an act signed into law last summer that made it possible for tribes to prosecute non-native offenders at all and even then, as mentioned above, the maximum sentence they can hand out for ANY crime is three years. This includes rape. Prior to this, the only rapes that tribal police could prosecute were ones committed by native offenders, on native land. Anything else had to be deferred to federal/state police who often times did not pursue the cases. At all.

As I understand it (still reading through the law to confirm), tribes must also provide “protections” to defendants in the form of footing the bill for much of the proceedings. So the chance of a native woman seeing her case go to court at all are significantly reduced if the tribe doesn’t have the money to pay for the proceedings, which is often the case. Thus, the maximum sentence a native woman living on a reservation could hope to see handed down to her rapist, assuming her case goes to tribal court at all, which in many, many cases it will not, is three years.

If you are living outside of a reservation, google the maximum sentence for rape in your area. In mine, it’s 20 years. And even though the sentence served by rapists of non-reservation women is usually only a quarter of that, this is a clear and irrefutable disparity in the value that the law places on the safety of women on and off reservations. Three years for the rapist of a native woman living on a reservation, 20 for the rapist of any woman living off a reservation. This right here? This is institutional racism. In a law that was signed in on July, 2010.

So tell me again how discrimination against native people is in the oh-so-distant past.

(via fiercelynative)

Bolding added by me.

(via pseudo-tsuga)

pinchechango:

Chevron Fined $8 Billion for Polluting the Amazon in History-Making Case | 
This week, Chevron was fined $8 billion for dumping over 18 billion gallons of toxic, carcinogenic materials into both Amazon rivers and unlined pits between 1972 and 1992.The 18 year-old lawsuit, brought on by 30,000 Ecuadorians, charged Chevron with destroying parts of the rainforest, increasing cancer rates among locals, destroying crops, and killing animals.
This case is historic and unprecedented. It is the first time Indigenous people have sued a multinational corporation in the country where the crime was committed and won.

On the one hand, I’m horrified by the careless abuses that Chevron heaped upon these people.  On the other hand, FUCK YEAH they nailed the bastards!

pinchechango:

Chevron Fined $8 Billion for Polluting the Amazon in History-Making Case |

This week, Chevron was fined $8 billion for dumping over 18 billion gallons of toxic, carcinogenic materials into both Amazon rivers and unlined pits between 1972 and 1992.The 18 year-old lawsuit, brought on by 30,000 Ecuadorians, charged Chevron with destroying parts of the rainforest, increasing cancer rates among locals, destroying crops, and killing animals.

This case is historic and unprecedented. It is the first time Indigenous people have sued a multinational corporation in the country where the crime was committed and won.

On the one hand, I’m horrified by the careless abuses that Chevron heaped upon these people.  On the other hand, FUCK YEAH they nailed the bastards!

(via formerlyroxy)

"People throughout California regularly burned their land. By doing so they created an environment very much to their liking — one that provided the best habitat for game, one that encouraged the growth of favored food and basketry plants. The landscape of old California, in other words — meadows, oak savannahs, “park-like” areas of great boled oaks and clear understory — was not a “natural” landscape. It was a landscape created by people, in many ways as “artificial” as the farmlands of Europe. Thus, when Spaniards and then others first arrived in California a couple of centuries ago, they did not find (as they fondly imagined) a “pristine wilderness.” They found what was in many ways a garden, a land very much shaped by thousands of years of human history and adapted to human needs."
The Pocahontas Myth
"

The protection of our land and water and other natural resources are of utmost importance to us. Our culture not only exists in time but in space as well. If we lose our land we are adrift like a leaf on a lake, which will float aimlessly and then dissolve and disappear.

Our land is more than the ground upon which we stand and sleep, and in which we bury our dead. The land is our spiritual mother whom we can no easier sell than our physical mother. We will resist, to the death if necessary, any more or our mother being sold into slavery.

We are the products of the poverty, despair, and discrimination pushed on our people from the outside. We are the products of chaos. Chaos in our tribes. Chaos in our personal lives.

We are also products of a rich and ancient culture which supersedes and makes bearable any oppressions we are forced to bear. We believe that one’s basic identity should be with his tribe. We believe in tribalism, we believe that tribalism is what has caused us to endure.

"
"At least one in three American Indian women will be raped (PDF) in their lifetimes. Yet just 3,000 tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) officers—the only kinds of cops with jurisdiction on Indian land—patrol 56 million acres. In 2008, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the Dakotas had nine officers for 9,000 people in an area twice the size of Delaware. (A typical town with the same population has three times that number.) Tribal courts can only prosecute misdemeanors such as petty theft and public intoxication. They can’t issue sentences longer than one year without meeting special criteria, and even then, three years is the maximum. More serious crimes must be handled by federal prosecutors, who turn down 65 percent (PDF) of the reservation cases referred to them. Non-Indians commit two-thirds of violent crimes against Indians, including 86 percent of rapes and sexual assaults. Yet thanks to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling, tribes can not prosecute outsiders who commit crimes on their land."

About:

Female, bi, cis, white, USAmerican, recent college grad, animu/mango fangirl. Posts an odd mixture of social justice srs bizness, incoherent fandom squee, and Zero Punctuation screencaps. See also: the_sun_is_up@LJ.

Also runs @fuckyeahfemslash and @magicalgirlproject. *self-pimp self-pimp*

Fanart credits: If an artist's name is all numbers (e.g. 186384) then that artist is on Pixiv. If an artist's name is letters and/or numbers (e.g. Gabzillaz, Nami86) then that artist is on DeviantArt.

Some of my less intuitive tags:
girls who top = femdom
lesbians! = femslash, yuri, etc
homo homo ghei ghei = slash, yaoi, boysex, etc
bizarre love triangle = OT3, threesomes, etc
PRAISE GAGA = Lady Gaga
BeaBato = Beatrice/Battler
Twilol = funny Twilight things