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Uploaded on Jul 19, 2006
Graham Greene provides a humorous commentary on the type of stereotypes that still abound regarding American Indians
In response to some of the negativity that has popped up in the comments section: I typically try to leave my editing hand out of the comments sections for the videos I post. Occasionally I will respond to a question or a comment but, even if I disagree with a message someone has left, I generally try to leave everything up. It's part of my belief that open communication is one of the best ways of addressing and working through problems in our society. That being said...I've noticed, of late, even more hostility being aimed at the posters of comments. Names and allegations are being slung back and forth, specifically in reference to certain individuals' "right" to consider themselves Native. I want to be clear that I do not buy into the belief that an individual's blood quantum is all that makes that person Native. Historically, as long as the tribe accepted you as one of them you were considered part of that tribe. This went on to include other Natives who married into other tribes, as well as white settlers who came to live with the People. Only with the legislations and regulations set forth by the government about who can be considered "indigenous" has the subject of blood quantum come into play. I, for one, do not subscribe to the way of thinking that a person's percentage of blood defines who they are. I have known many people who are enrolled as full members of a tribe who know next to nothing about their history and culture. I have also known people who would not be allowed a place on the legal rolls but who, none the less, are considered members of their respective Native communities. At the moment, we are the only people (that I know of, at least) who constantly hear the question "What percentage Indian are you?" Personally, I find this question kind of insulting - as though by being a "half-blood" an individual is somehow less worthy of respect or less knowledgeable about who they are and where they come from. Until we stop asking each other this question, however, I feel we are doomed to hear it asked of us.
Those of us who are lucky enough to have grown up in families where our Native heritage was not hidden away undoubtedly know that there is still a great deal of hatred and intolerance out there. However, that does not entitle us to look look down upon those who were not able to grow up with this knowledge. Those who are just now finding out about it should not have to feel like they are being penalized for something they had no control over. They did not choose to have cultural information kept from them. They have just as much right to try to find a place for themselves within Native culture as those who were raised within it in the first place.
I received this video in an email from my aunt up on the rez a while ago and posted it here because I thought it was entertaining. I found it a tongue-in-cheek response to all of the attention on Native mysticism, medicine, etc that sometimes gets a little old. I did not post it in order to bash other races. I do not condone hatred and prejudice - I don't like the results of it. The world is a harsh enough place as it is without adding more hostility. I will not deny that horrible things have been done in the past (and, in some cases, continue to be done today). However, I strongly believe that, by holding on to the hatred and by clinging to the arguements of who-did-what-to-whom, we make ourselves sicker as a people, and can not hope to move forward and improve ourselves until we can at least entertain the thought of letting our animosity go.
Please try to keep your posts and comments pleasant. I welcome polite debate, but if negative comments continue to dominate the board, I will disable the comments feature for this video.
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