HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » 6 Dr. Seuss books won't b... » Reply #51

Response to ExTex (Reply #50)

Wed Mar 3, 2021, 03:57 AM

51. Yes you were receiving a lecture.

You say that having your teacher read Little Black Sambo repeatedly to your classroom did not turn you and your classmates into "slobbering white supremacists" in one post and in the next you say it is strange that I might think you would object to retiring Little Black Sambo. I find that turnaround in tone strange.

You ask and then answer that maybe some of your classmates became virulent racists. I am not talking about virulent racism. I am talking about the more subtle type of racism that portrays people of other cultures as exotic "others" or caricatures instead of showing them as real people. That subtler kind of racism becomes a social undercurrent of the kind that sees others as "less than" because they are only caricatures.

I remember when Little Black Sambo was retired. It was read to me as a child, too. When I heard that it was retired I remember thinking that was a good idea.

I come from a biracial family. Both of my father's parents were mixed, European and Native American. When my father's family got together at my grandfather's - all 8 of his siblings and their spouses and chilldren - they told stories of ancestors with pride and humor. They specificallly told me to take pride in both sides of my heritage. When I was 5, and a relative from the rez passed away, another relative came to my grandfather's later where we had gathered so she could show us some treasured family items and tell us stories from the past that were associated with the people who had made and owned them.

A few years later, when my grade school class was learning about Native Americans from our region, we were told that they were gone now, a thing of the past. I remember thinking, hey, my father's family is still around. We lived a couple hours from the rez (which today the people prefer to call a territory, for historical reasons), but to me, they obviously had not disappeared. So I asked about the rez and the teacher said they were not "real Indians" any more because they lived in modern homes instead of longhouses, and wore cloth instead of deerskin.

So I naively thought I could explain modern Indians with examples from my family. I got my parents' permission to bring in some of the items we had received so I could tell the stories about the cloth sample with European designs done in Native dyed quills and beads as an example of the "transition period" when Native and European styles blended for a while. There was also a metal bracelet with a Native snake design. The teacher totally dismissed them as not Indian because "Indians of this region did not have cloth or metal jewelry." (I did not know then that samples identical to my items exist in a Native cultural museum in Rochester, NY.)

She dismissed the idea that my grandparents could be that closely related to Indians because I did not "look Indian" so what I had to say was not relevant. (My mother's heritage was northern European and I had medium blond hair until it turned dark brown in my teens. Only my eyes 'look Native.')

She wanted so much to cling to and pass on caricatures and stereotypes of an "exotic, long lost past" that she refused to acknowledge authentic people, history, and present day Native culture.

Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
packman Mar 2021 OP
Beacool Mar 2021 #1
Miguelito Loveless Mar 2021 #5
Deminpenn Mar 2021 #6
thesquanderer Mar 2021 #19
wnylib Mar 2021 #30
TxGuitar Mar 2021 #32
thesquanderer Mar 2021 #38
Martin68 Mar 2021 #25
erpowers Mar 2021 #48
Politicub Mar 2021 #35
moose65 Mar 2021 #49
Beacool Mar 2021 #2
kimbutgar Mar 2021 #3
Miguelito Loveless Mar 2021 #7
kimbutgar Mar 2021 #8
Miguelito Loveless Mar 2021 #9
Martin68 Mar 2021 #27
Martin68 Mar 2021 #52
underpants Mar 2021 #4
edhopper Mar 2021 #16
Silver1 Mar 2021 #28
Silver1 Mar 2021 #26
IronLionZion Mar 2021 #37
Silver1 Mar 2021 #43
IronLionZion Mar 2021 #44
Silver1 Mar 2021 #47
rockfordfile Mar 2021 #57
RevBrotherThomas Mar 2021 #10
Happy Hoosier Mar 2021 #17
Skittles Mar 2021 #55
DashOneBravo Mar 2021 #56
phandancer917 Mar 2021 #11
wnylib Mar 2021 #31
JohnnyRingo Mar 2021 #12
cab67 Mar 2021 #13
ExTex Mar 2021 #14
Happy Hoosier Mar 2021 #21
Lunabell Mar 2021 #22
wnylib Mar 2021 #33
ExTex Mar 2021 #50
LineLineLineLineNew Reply Yes you were receiving a lecture.
wnylib Mar 2021 #51
Devil Child Mar 2021 #15
Amishman Mar 2021 #24
bucolic_frolic Mar 2021 #18
Bayard Mar 2021 #20
Bucky Mar 2021 #41
Liberty Belle Mar 2021 #23
C Moon Mar 2021 #29
TxGuitar Mar 2021 #34
Cozmo Mar 2021 #36
Polybius Mar 2021 #39
Roy Rolling Mar 2021 #40
Bucky Mar 2021 #42
LanternWaste Mar 2021 #45
msfiddlestix Mar 2021 #46
GulfCoast66 Mar 2021 #53
pfitz59 Mar 2021 #54
Please login to view edit histories.