I am constantly amazed, though I probably shouldn't be, at how casually racist attitudes and stereotypical portrayals of Native Americans are publicly displayed, with apparently no social stigma at all. In fact, I had a personal experience with this attitude recently, though it doesn't compare to this loathesome video game "Gun" where one of your missions is to "scalp" Apache. The family and I went out to eat at a Joe's Crab Shack in Fort Worth. Like most soul-less chain restaurants, this one was covered with kitsch decorations. One of them was a sign featuring a Native American (with a feathered headdress because, you know, ALL Indians wear feathered headdresses) and the caption "Me Like Buffalo." Gosh, how clever! I probably wouldn't have even noticed the thing, except my five-year-old pointed it out to me, which really made me feel good. I bit my tongue and didn't say anything, but I couldn't help but think how offended EVERYONE would be if the sign had shown an African American dressed like a Zulu warrior with the caption, "Me Like Watermelon." That wouldn't have lasted five minutes. So why is it that whatever corporate moron mass-purchased these signs thought this was okay? And if you scroll down to the comments on the Gamespot article I linked to, you notice that the vast majority of them are of the "stop whining!" and "don't be so PC" variety common to snotty white boys who are outraged that anyone would ever dare to be offended.
Now, it's true that I have never been, and probably never will be, discriminated against based on my heritage. And I don't want speech codes, I don't want a law passed banning "Chief Wahoo" or the Washington, DC professional football team named for a racist slur. As I have often said, there is no "Freedom from being offended" clause in the Constitution. In fact, the First Amendment virtually GUARANTEES that you are going to be offended, and on a regular basis. But is it too much to hope that these idiots will give some thought to what they are doing before they plaster crap like that sign up where I have to explain it to my kids?
Labels: Native American