December 7, 2016
This society is mainly based on stereotypes. People having false accusation on other people’s genders, sexuality, race, and anything that really makes someone who they are and their qualities. It’s something that we have dealt with for such a long time, and many racial groups of people have dealt with being victims of stereotypes. Blacks being accused of being “ghetto” and having thick lips. Hispanics having broken English and eating rice and beans with every meal. White people are known for loving Starbucks and having thin lips. We are all very aware of these stereotypes, but one racial group that are victims of stereotypes but not many people see it as stereotypes or discrimination towards them, is Native Americans.
Native Americans are a racial group that is not really talked about in our society. We all have these false accusations about Native Americans. In our past history, people believe Native Americans were “savages” and “un-human.” Many people have these thoughts because of people like Andrew Jackson and Christopher Columbus. Both of these “iconic” people in history are negative people in Native American people’s mind and several other people. Christopher Columbus labeled Native Americans as Indians because we wasn’t smart enough to realize he was on the wrong side of the planet, si he just decided to label them as whatever he wanted to. Pretty kind of him, right? People really believe they know so much about other people’s race and their history, but in reality they don’t know anything. Someone who is an example of this People really do not have that much information in Native Americans, but we do have all these stereotypes based on them. For example, the ones Andrew Jackson and Christopher Columbus has influenced on people, and other people who created other stereotypes such as Native Americans having red skin, making fun of their way of dancing, and using them as figures/mascots.
In the University of Illinois there was a sports team and the face of the sports team was a Native American. Many people didn’t think of it, but during the game there would be a halftime show and in the show a mascot would start doing Native American “dance moves,” or in other words just danced very randomly. “Mascots were an exciting addition to football games that represented both the savage, capable of barley restrained violence, as well the noble savage, a reminder of the frighting spirit extinguished by America.” According to the Wall Street Journal this was the reason for the mascots, but why would they use a racial figure as a mascot? It obviously wouldn’t affect them (anyone who created the idea) but it would affect others. Ms. Teters is an example of someone who got offended by these mascots. She decided to bring her children to a game and once the mascots came out, her children felt embarrassed to even be there. It’s really upsetting to hear someone being embarrassed to be who they are. Ms. Teters decided to protest for her and her kids. People’s reactions were disgusting. “People would spit on me, throw things on me.” That is so disrespectful, someone feels offended on your actions and you decide them to disrespect them even more. Someone said, “you can’t control the action of college students.” This reply is so close minded.
This doesn’t only affects colleges, but it’s a problem that affects Native American nationwide. For example, the Dakota Access Pipeline. “The Standing Rock Sloux Tribe has sued the federal government, saying Native American tribe was not properly consulted over the project to construct a 1.168-mile crude oil pipeline that extends over four states.” This meant that the government wanted to take a piece of a Native American tribe away from them because of a pipeline. Native Americans had gotten most of their land gotten taking away from them, and now they want to take more? It’s upsetting that even our own government doesn’t care about people’s history. Recently, the government decided to place the pipeline in a different place but that’s because of protest and the controversy this started. To even have the thought to take someone’s piece of land for an equipment is terrible, and unnecessary. These stereotypes on Native American are downgrading, and our own government not caring about it should tell people so much.
People have a misconception on Native American and their identity. They aren’t treated correctly, and are just paid dust. This has to stop and we need to start informing each other on others race. Hopefully one day we can step all the misconceptions on Native Americans and respect their history.