Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

What Makes the Red Man Red? by naivete

A discussion on another board really got me thinking about this.

In today's day and age where racism is only acceptable if it's subtle or hidden, everyone insists that there is no blatant racism any more, people have moved on from that.

But there is an instance in which blatant and outright racism is totally acceptable, and that is if it is against the indigenous people of this land.

This is shown with offensive mascots, inaccurate teachings of a genocide hidden by propaganda controlled by the government, police brutality, environmental racism, popular locations named after what is the equivalent to our N word.

This wouldn't fly if it were another race. Elementary students don't get together once a year to paint their faces black and act out stereotypes like they paint their faces with war paint and make fake headdresses to 'celebrate' Thanksgiving (an actual day of mourning for many Native Americans), there aren't logos of schools openly dipicting wrongful images of black people and the stereotypes they assign to them, advertising teams like the "Washington N*'s".

I was reminded of it recently. I had hoped that in today's day and age, where people at least pretend to not be racist and not accept racism, that a huge corporate giant like Walt Disney would at least have the balls and the corporate responsibility to edit out or remove portions of their re-release of Peter Pan.

I will not be buying this movie, and I urge whoever reads this not to as well. I do not want my son, who is Native American, to sit and watch inaccurate and racist portrayals of himself, of his people, his family, being made fun of and thrown about, with the word SQUAW sprinkled throughout his CHILDREN'S MOVIE, which is the absolute equivalent to our N word. I do not want my son to be exposed to that, to ingrain that he is a joke, his people are a joke, and he should hate himself, the same way I ingrained those messages when I was a child, and grew up thinking that because I was a "red skin" that I was worthless.

This if anything should be a reminder of white privilege to those who have it and ID as white.

Because you have a choice.

You can recall the fuzzy warm memories of your childhood associated with this movie and buy it anyways, and ignore the blatant racism against my people in it. You have that right, you have that privilege, because it's not you being attacked. It's not your people being the butt of the joke, it's not your people being called racist terms.

Or you can be angry that this bullshit which should NOT BE FOUND in today's day and age was even included in a movie directed to your 3 year old.

You don't think children absorb these messages? They do. The native children who deny their heritage and their culture and hate themselves inside because, they did. I did. The white children who grow up to be the ones to spit at native americans and jump around them doing a war cry, the ones who call them savages, they did too.

Because I don't have a choice. I cannot let my son see this, because it is against him, it is against his mother, it his against his grandparents and aunts and uncles who he loves dearly who do not deserve to be stereotyped and portrayed in such a racist and offensive manner, who do not deserve children growing up thinking it's okay to call them Squaws. It is for all the native american 3 year old boys and girls out there, who will go through their lives like I did being called Squaws or Brownies or Redskins or having children dance around them doing war cries, because a film taught white kids it was okay, and well meaning white parents who didn't think it was a necessary thing to address, never told them otherwise.

I know the history of the film, I know that these "Natives" are not the way the producers of the movie viewed Native Americans but rather were to represent what a young child's imagination would view Native Americans as in their little make believe world.

This movie was made in 1953, and I admit, in 1953 I bet you this was one of the only portrayals of Native Americans you could even find on mainstream media.

The children of 1953 probably did think of Native Americans and automatically think of Squaws, redskins, an uncivilized people who are savage to the bone, the war cries and dances, the face paint, THIS is probably what they viewed Native Americans as.

But now you have that choice. Ask yourself, should the children of 2007 have learned NOTHING, should the children of 2007 hold the same automatically racist viewpoints and images of an entire group of people the same way they did 54 YEARS ago?

Will you boycott this film, and stand up for your child's right to not be exposed to racism, and my child's right to not have it thrown in his face?

Because the answer, my dear friends?

The Red Man is Red

Because You
Are Fucking
Pissing Him Off.