"Chief Joyi railed against the white man, who he believed had deliberately sundered the Xhosa tribe, dividing brother from brother. The white man had told the Thembus that their true chief was the great white queen across the ocean and that they were her subjects. But the white queen brought nothing but misery and perfidy to the black people, and if she was a chief she was an evil chief. Chief Joyi’s war stories and his indictment of the British made me feel angry and cheated, as though I had already been robbed of my own birthright.
Chief Joyi said that the African people lived in relative peace until the coming of the abelungu, the white people, who arrived from across the sea with fire-breathing weapons. Once, he said, the Thembu, the Mpondo, the Xhosa, and the Zulu were all children of one father, and lived as brothers. The white man shattered the abantu, the fellowship, of the various tribes. The white man was hungry and greedy for land, and the black man shared the land with him as they shared the air and water; land was not for man to possess. But the white man took the land as you might seize another man’s horse.
I did not yet know that the real history of our country was not to be found in standard British textbooks, which claimed South Africa began with the landing of Jan Van Riebeeck at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. It was from Chief Joyi that I began to discover that the history of the Bantu-speaking peoples began far to the north, in a country of lakes and green plains and valleys, and that slowly over the millennia we made our way down to the very tip of this great continent."
Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
… sounds super familiar.(via adailyriot)
I keep having discussions about Disney films and how racist many of the classics are, but the subject that I most fall upon is the 1953 version of Peter Pan, which holds an absurd breadth of racial stereotypes that there are musical numbers and plot sequences directly the product of such racial stereotypes of Native Americans. Certainly, the film’s portrayal undoubtedly permeated into the pretend games of children and their perception of how Native Americans behaved - I know this movie influenced me to wear feathers in my hair, pretend to do Indian tribal dances, and say “how” over and over.
The defense I hear most often from people is that films like Peter Pan “were not racist at the time they were made.”
What they really mean is that white people didn’t think it was racist at the time they were made. The film is just as racist then just as it is now. The fact that people can say movies like Peter Pan were “products of their time” negate that actual Native Americans have been vocal about their objections to the homogenization and stereotypical portrayal of their cultures and their race for literally centuries, but white people just didn’t listen to them. The constant apologism that something “wasn’t racist back then” implies that it is white society that deems what is racist, rather than the people of color directly affected and portrayed. Again, if it is racist now, it was racist then.
Also, children buy into these stereotypes, but children didn’t make this film; grown men did. It was a grown man who wrote the original Peter Pan story and its stereotypical portrayals of Natives. People talk about white creators back then as if they were little kids who didn’t know better. We shouldn’t give them an easy reprieve because a bunch of grown men “didn’t know better” to consider that Native Americans were people and not caricatures. If you like Peter Pan, you can like it, but we shouldn’t downplay its racism nor make excuses.
"And the hippies are jingling, jangling, blowing smoke all over Haight Ashbury, and they were letting their hair grow long. To the male Indian, this was a phenomenon, because for an Indian to grow his hair long was a violation of federal policy of 1906. According to the 1906 policy, food was withheld until compliance—in other words (by terms of this policy), we could be starved to death until we cut our hair."
Adam Fortunate Eagle (Red Lake Chippewa)
‘Cause there are some people who need reminding of the huge disparity between the disenfranchised natives and the hippies who continue to appropriate native cultures without a care.(via neetainari)
THIS is where I rose out of. Like a phoenix.
BLEHHHHH ON AARON HUEY. But Yay for Oglala Lakota’s, because we’re teh shit.
http://www.du.edu/tedxdu/video/huey.html - talk by Aaron Huey
http://www.aaronhuey.com/ - his legit website, with AMAZING photos. One of my favourite series is his work done in the Pine Ridge reservation for the Lakota people - it looks at the nobility, and the poverty. The work is incredible beautiful :).
He says, “The Lakota are one of many people who were moved off their land to prisoner of war camps - now called reservations. The Pine Ridge Reservation…is sometimes referred to as Prisoner of War Camp #334, and it is where the Lakota now live.
“I’m white, and that is a huge barrier on an Indian Reservation…On Pine Ridge, I will always be called washichu - a Lakota word that means “non-Indian”. But, another version of this word means, “one who takes the best meat for himself”…It means greedy…If we look at our lives, we have indeed, taken the best part of the meat. Let us look today, at a set of photographs of people who lost, so that we could gain…These photographs are not just of the Lakota, they stand for all indigenous people.
“The last chapter in any successful genocide, is one in which the oppressor can remove their hands and say, ‘My God! What are these people doing to themselves? They’re killing each other, they’re killing themselves, while we watch them die.” Prisoners are still born into prisoner of war camps, long after the guards are gone. These are the bones left, after the best meat has been taken.
“As removed as we, the dominant society, may feel, from a massacre in 1890, or a series of broken treaties a hundred and fifty years ago, I still have to ask you the question, how should you feel about the statistics of today? …the suffering of indigenous people is not something simple to fix. The fix, as it’s called, may be more difficult to the dominant society, than a $50 cheque, or a church trip to paint some graffiti covered houses, or a suburban family donating a box of clothes they don’t even want any more. Honour the treaties, give back the black hills.”
It’s so powerful, so ignored, the significance of the indigenous people. Peace cannot come while this remains so.