This is a real exchange that took place this morning on Facebook. The only thing that will be omitted are revealing names and information.
I am friends with generally progressive-minded people (some conservatives from high-school. One or two tea-party fans, and a D.C. and Bakersfield-born Republican or two). This person is white and also very progressive.
I had posted a flyer for an Inter-Tribal Powwow. "powwow [is at such and such times on such and such dates and certan place]. Stop by; it's free to all." First comment.
Mr. A: Do they count quechua or aymara, or only "indians" from within the united states's borders? Apparently they don't matter much in Latin America
about an hour ago · Like
Nulwee: Who's "they?" Inter-tribal powwows are open to all tribal peoples. [As for] Latin America [it's] ruled by those of European descent.
52 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Well i guess you don't count Evo morales, Hugo Chavez, etc.. What about those of Japanese descent? Alberto fujimori?
47 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: I think Bolivia is the only nation with a native American majority
46 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: And "they" was obviously referring to the organizers of the event
45 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Again, doy. I was merely referring to the u.s. Government. you must seem white to [people there]
38 minutes ago · Like
Nulwee: American Indians/First Nations are the native people of the Americas. America is not just the US. And I think you're missing the implication of the poster and the name.
38 minutes ago · Like
Nulwee: Did you really need to perpetrate the power of prejudice based on one's appearance with that comment?
32 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Well Yeah. Just messing with you because you always Facebook emo. B) youv
31 minutes ago · Like
Nulwee: The hell? An invitation to an inter-tribal (hint, hint: pan-racial) powwow is not the place to cast prejudice about me or my ethnicity [and people here]
28 minutes ago · Like · 1 person
Mr. A: Lol you Are always so angry. Are you ever going to find peace? Housm
28 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: You even
28 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Moved where there aren't many white people.
27 minutes ago · Like
Nulwee ...I wonder why. And I'm not angry, but thanks for playing the "angry Indian" card. Your behavior is totally inappropriate, though
23 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Ahem. Almost every post you make is angry. I agree with you nearly 100% on everything but realize Facebook is a joke.
20 minutes ago · Like
Mr. A: Oh, and does my Jewish tribe count since they were genocided too?
19 minutes ago · Like
Mr. W: WOW! Did all of that really just happen?! All my loving thoughts to indigenous peoples whom have been ripped from the land, so that consumerist possessionist (pretty sure that is not a word) could breed cattle to feed to RICH WHITE PEOPLE! Nulwee peace will come one day, when all of humanity can see that under all of this bullshit we just need the same thing! Eachother, and this Earth.
18 minutes ago · Like
Nulwee: @Mr. A Funny, my recent updates don't look that angry.
This is what can happen when people in other time zone's drinking hours can see your Facebook. Were you to judge Mr. A based on his routine behavior and his ostensible beliefs, you wouldn't think of him as especially bigoted, at all.
However, this situation is a microcosm of the American Indian experience.
- 1) The Indian is judged superficially, based on appearance. ("You look white [or black]" or "You look Mexican/Filipino/Asian/Various brown ethnicity.") What matters is how the perception of the individual fits with the perceivers mental assortment of archetypes, stereotypes, and recallable images. An example of how this happened to Meteor Blades is here; backtrack to see the hidden comment. I've known people with very classic Indian looks who are asked if they're Italian or Mexican or Filipino, in spite of the braids, jewelry or other hints.
- 2) The Indian is labelled as angry. This presents a Catch-22 with stereotyping and prejudice, because to protest one's offense will further fuel the "angry" label.
- 3) The Indian is assumed to be hostile to non-Indians, especially whites.
- 4) The Indian's suffering, his heritage of ethnocide is chalked up to the Holocaust or other genocides as a way of diminishing or disputing the reality, or else, laying claim against the Indian's unique role in human history.
I was subtle, but inter-tribal powwows are, by the very nature of the term "inter-tribal" open to all races. I've never actually seen a powwow, inter-tribal or not, that excludes. Inter-tribal powwows even welcome non-Indian dancers. Mr. A. was just too drunk to pick up on it, probably. The mentor who taught me also pointed out how Jewish and Arab peoples are tribal peoples, and how that means we have some commonality. Way back, most if not all peoples have tribal heritage.
Terra shares some insightful thoughts:
I had a hard time following it too until he (2+ / 0-)
got into the swing of things. You see, some people just really fucking hate the idea of marginalized groups coming together to support each other. They always try to poke holes in it for not being 'inclusive' enough, because they personally don't feel included.
This happens all the time on threads about, for example, women's rights...I once saw a news article comments section about domestic abuse in Afghanistan turn into an argument about how American men are oppressed in child custody situations -- and it only took THREE comments on the news article for it to happen. There's a huge "yes, but what about ME???" component to this. Some people are used to being the center of attention and are extremely uncomfortable with the idea that not every discussion is going to be about them and their issues. So this Mr. A guy, who from what I gather is not even Native American at all, was trying to find ways to discredit this gathering of Native Americans just because he is uncomfortable with the whole idea of a gathering of Native Americans. There must be "SOMETHING" wrong with it, and by golly, he's going to figure it out! It doesn't even matter if the holes he pokes in it wouldn't fit him anyway -- the fact that he's able to find what he thinks is a general problem with the gathering is enough to make him feel comfortable again.
Also, cacamp has a must-read comment on anti-Indian hate speech and civil rights history, below.