Sh*t People Say to Native Americans

ICTMN Staff
1/23/12

The "Shit People Say to..." YouTube meme gets an entry for American Indians. This was created by Ali—her online home is ihavethisblog.tumblr.com and the "Tumblr NDN Community" she refers to is at tumblr.com/tagged/ndn.

(She's also collecting suggestions for a sequel to this video; if you'd like to contribute your ideas see her Tumblr blog for instructions.)

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

softbreeze's picture
softbreeze
Submitted by softbreeze on
I assume this video is a satire of what non-natives often say to native people, and is sticking up for native people and not trying to offend native people. It's really accurate in terms of the lack of respect native peoples' cultures and perspectives are often shown by non-natives. A lot of this is due to an incredible amount of ignorance and a total lack of empathy to native people as equal human beings. I recently was involved in a debate with someone who is definitely non-native, about him harassing me about identifying as native, even though my genetics is 97% non-native. I mentioned that in my tribe, membership is determined by proof of lineage, not percentage of blood quantum. His response was, "Well, that's not much of a standard", in a sarcastic tone of voice. I said back, "well, it's more of a stringent standard than U.S. citizenship, where anyone can come and apply for citizenship, even if there weren't born here." He said, "well, that's different." I said, "Why is it different?" He said back in so many words, "because we make the rules." I was like well, that's really special. (With lots of sarcasm back). I think in order for non-natives to have respect for natives, they first must learn to have respect for themselves. Even though I feel an incredible amount of empathy and concern for the conditions many native americans and metis americans are having to endure today, in some ways, I think I feel even more sadness for ignorant non-natives. At least native people have the wealth of being highly evolved in their consciousness and spirituality, and possess the knowledge of harmony with our Creator, and with all of life. It seems many non-natives think they have wealth, but live in such emotional and spiritual poverty, that I think their suffering is even more so. It's so sad. But, I guess in some ways it's not their fault. How can they know things they have never been taught?

member's picture
member
Submitted by member on
this is pretty racist. shameful.

craigdixon's picture
craigdixon
Submitted by craigdixon on
funny thing is.....she is right..

fshearer's picture
fshearer
Submitted by fshearer on
She's funny. Obviously, she is not trying to offend us Native people. In fact she is trying to offend non-Native people by impersonating one and using that bimbo tone of voice. I identify as Native yet I have people tell me, "You're white, get over it." Even people in my own family have told me that "Native Americans should just assimilate already. It has been long enough, and reservations should be seceded to the US." The way they see it, if someone does not like America, they should go back to their home country. I tell them this is my home country! The reason they don't understand is because in the US, children are not taught true History. They are taught Social Studies, a program designed to promote "Good Citizenship," not to teach an accurate accounting of history. And now Arizona is banning books that teach from Native American perspectives because they fear these books do not teach children to be good citizens who will do as they are told [by a government that has robbed them of their homeland.] I was not raised on a reservation or with my family's native culture. I was raised in public schools and spoon-fed the same lies as all the other children. However, I am no longer a child. I have learned truths that will not be unlearned. I am re-discovering my native culture so I can reconnect the circle by teaching and raising my own children in ancestral truths.

laura's picture
laura
Submitted by laura on
I think this girl is Native (Anishanaabe)so she made this video to represent her own experiences as well as all Natives'. the comments she recorded are all very common comments we hear from non-Natives. The most pathetic part is that so many Natives dont recognize their own intertribal brothers & sisters if they dont have the "right" hair or skin. Softbreeze's quote, "I think in order for non-natives to have respect for natives, Natives first must learn to have respect for themselves," is RIGHT ON! So very true!

hontasfarmer's picture
hontasfarmer
Submitted by hontasfarmer on
I have one "Hontas that's a pretty name. .... What country is it from?" :/ Seriously 1/3 times I introduce myself that's what I get.

Chuck Williams
Chuck Williams
Submitted by Chuck Williams on
It's a spoof on what the uneducated White Anglo-Saxton Protestant (WASP) people say. The one I hear a lot: "Boy it's sure hot around here, can you do a rain dance?"

Phillip W Zoller
Phillip W Zoller
Submitted by Phillip W Zoller on
Oh! This so hilarious as she's taken almost all the dumb @$$ things that have been said to me when someone finds out I'm Native American. One exception, but it's my favorite, a person will start talking to me in Spanish when they find out I'm Inupiat.

Siobhra's picture
Siobhra
Submitted by Siobhra on
A lot of us were raised in a time when the bad guy on TV was a savage injun attacking the peaceful wagon train. Show after show on the TV was that way. But times have changed some what. The bad guy is more than likely be an space alien, robot or zombie today. But with all the talk of the Illegal aliens coming to America I have heard more about "What if my ancestors had assimilated into the local culture, what tribe would I have been"? And "I wonder what tribe I would belong to"? I think a lot of people would like to know more about true Native American culture coming from a real Native American but are afraid to ask. If they bump into someone who is Native American they might jump at the chance to talk to them and come across as rude or to offend.

Leather Sammie
Leather Sammie
Submitted by Leather Sammie on
Nearly every day when meeting the public people hear my name and say "Oh are you a REAL Indian?

Leather Sammie
Leather Sammie
Submitted by Leather Sammie on
I have actually heard about 80% of these myself! Most of the time it is prefaced with the words "I don't mean to be offensive BUT." Here's a clue for the world-at-large IF you have to preface your sentence or statement with the disclaimer "I don't mean to be offensive BUT" then you should probably NOT say it since you already know it will be offensive.

David M Lister Bryant
David M Lister ...
Submitted by David M Lister ... on
It really makes me sad to hear people talk that way.I have Cherokee in me and proud of it.Love learning about the real history of my ancestors.I teach my kids to respect every one no matter the color of their skin.I wish I knew where my great great grandmother where she was from.

sancho's picture
sancho
Submitted by sancho on
The definition of racism tends to change depending on context. Ethnic and cross-cultural misunderstandings are standard features of naive intercultural communication but might not comprise racist intentions. Racism is the belief that a group should not enjoy equal protection under the law because of their race. Collated as a collage, the statements expressed in the video do represent typical expressions of misunderstanding among some individuals who lack cosmopolitan sensibilities and prior exposure to some aspects of native culture. Some may be more offensive than others. "What is frybread" might be no more racist than someone from a distant land asking a United Statsian "What is a hamburger." Indigenous heritage in the Western Hemsiphere does not exempt a person from integrating into the prevailing culture in so far as they hope to participate in that culture. We could as easily write posts about women asking men "Does that tie around your neck feel tight" or "Does it get boring wearing the same three-piece costume everyday" or men asking women "Why do you get to wear whatever costume you want to the office while we have to wear a three-piece suit" or "How do you walk on those heels." Such comments either way are not particularly sexist - they are merely demonstrative of human curiosity in the presence of diverse behaviors. As for "white" people being racist for thinking native cultures have a closer connection with nature, Anglos or dominant society types are not the only ones complicate in maintaining that belief. Many native advocates advance a claim that they have a more sacred view of nature. I would concur with a claim that some long-standing native cultures have some practices better integrated with the natural world than other cultures, and would consider it appropriate for anyone to respect, admire and inquire about those practices in so far as practitioners welcome inquiry. On the other hand, anybody who claims their birthright, bloodline or national identity per se gives them a superior appreciation of the natural world might be seeking to shore up a wounded ego. Any person who wants to better understand who they are will look both inside and outside to find the source and results of wounds to the ego.

Per Åstrup Olsen
Per Åstrup Olsen
Submitted by Per Åstrup Olsen on
LOL! - Bright & precise ... BUT: What can your average Black, White or Oriental fellow American then say when meeting a Native American??? I've speculated on the following 3 things - correct me if I still do not get it: 1. Oh you're Native American does that mean anything to you? (Or what does that mean to you?) .. & we'll talk ... 2. May I be so curious as to ask about the tribe you come from? ... & I will listen & learn ... 3. Oh I see, I first read about the American Indian Movement back in 1968 and have tried to follow up on their great work ever since, what do you think about the ongoing war with those ruffian Redskins?' ... & we'll talk .... - Would this kind of response do??? As a non-American, a Dane, I know I get away with saying: "Oh your Native American! I'm Native Dane, I might look assimilated, but I'm not at all, and if you want to, we can go to the "Blot" (Native Scandinavian Ritual) together and Hail the Red-Bearded One, you know Thor, father of Magne (the Mighty One)! But then when he/she looks me straight in the eye saying: "Thor has no beard and he's blonde, I saw that in the movies!" Then I wonder will that person call me racist, when I control my frustration and anger over those mockers at Marvel who changed the Thor my people have known for 1000s of years as a red-bearded, red-haired and rather funny kind of true friend into that lean Blonde fiend of the box-office racket. Will he or she call me an offending racist, if I look straight back into those eyes saying: "Well as an Indian you should know, that not everything you see about Indians in the movies is true!" Hail Regin (the Powers that Leonard Peltier calls "Creator") :-)
16