Author: Amanda Lara
Native American Stereotypes
Native American, it is a race and it is a culture that has be tormented and brought down in the past. It is a culture and an ethnicity that the United States does not respect and some humans here, do not understand them. We’ve all heard the true story of Christopher Columbus’ sail of getting lost at sea, thought he was at India, hence why Native Americans are called “Indians” when they’re not. Came to Native land, took over, they were murdered and raped. Since then, Native Americans have faced many difficult hardships in their lives.
During the Presidency of Andrew Jackson, he created the Indian Removal Act which was passed by Congress in 1830. What this did was place all Native Americans into “reservations” away from their homes and put away for society. These reservations made them poor and brought down their spirits. Since that, a stereotype of a Native American has been formed. Stereotypes are always negative and annoying for those that it is portraying. People were making them seem as if they were animalistic. Warriors, mean, vicious and very masculine are among some of the words to describe the past stereotype. There has been movies made by white people that had these actions. A popular movie of this is called “Lone Ranger”, this has a fictional character named “Tonto” that stirred up some controversy some some him as degrading because he spoke with a broke/ slang language. Native Americans were on drawings, and old stories that they were the ones who were capturing white women and tormenting them. Ironically. That is only a one sided story, which adds on to their negative false image. Following that media story, an article called “I hate Tonto & Still Do” an article created by a Native American, he thoroughly describes the buffoonery remarks that the show made about his people, and how that character made him upset because it was so not true.
Fast forwarding to the present. Not many people speak about Native Americans, their culture has been lost and forgotten. Halloween costumes, fashion accessories, and mascots are some things that have a Native American inspired style. Mascots are the biggest problem, private universities and colleges in states such as Indiana and Mississippi have chosen a Native American as their school mascotry. Often, they are called the “chief” but actually, no Native called anyone that before, that never existed in their past culture. So that’s one thing that makes no sense. The University of Illinois, had the biggest mascotry using a Native American, called the chief. The school selected a new male or female each year that would dress up wearing suede, the sacred headpiece, feathers on their head and painting their bodies with red, blue and white stripes. They would perform at their school games, doing dances that were supposedly mimicking a tribal dance as a chief would do in the past. The state of Illinois was home to a Native woman, she noticed how that spreading across the city. Everything was about the “chief’ The dance made by these white people at the university was awful. It had no sense of rhythm and tribal dances were not even a thing in the past! The local Natives viewed this as something was extremely disrespectful. Protests were made to remove Native American mascots from everywhere. This sucessfully did work and many schools across the nation changed their false Native American mascotry.
It questions me that how come we are so quick to know that saying something racist about black people, Jewish people, Hispanics, etc but when it’s on a Native American we’re often ignorant to it. A sports team could be called the “Redskins” which is a football league and that is not a big deal to us, but if they were to be called the “Jews” or the “Niggers” an uproar would occur. This is a perfect example on how we were so unconsciously aware of the treatment given the Native Americans.
Native American above killing a woman and child.
Native American headpiece.