2013, the Year in WTF? Part II: Miss 'Murca, Race-O-Ween and Bad Signs
2013 -- what a year for idiocy and racism! Yesterday we took you through the low-lights from the first six months; here's the follow-up. The Lone Ranger finally opened in July, and flopped hard, thus bringing one of the year's controversial stories to an end, but come fall the double-whammy of Halloween and Thanksgiving provided more than a few WTF moments -- as always.
Sometimes, Kemosabe, Man Must Offer Unbeatable Deal on All New 2014 Nissan Maxima
Charlie Clark Nissan of Brownsville, Texas, ran a fairly racist commercial in which Clark played a version of Johnny Depp's Tonto.
Savaged by Critics
The Lone Ranger finally hit theaters, and when critics had the chance to look past all the controversy and hullabaloo and finally watch the thing, they came to the conclusion that it really was not a good movie. At all.
Thanks But No Thanks
Native DJ trio A Tribe Called Red had to ask their hipster fans to "please stop" wearing makeup and faux regalia at concerts.
Nothing racist or stupid happened in August! Nothing at all! Unless you count Miley Cyrus' minstrel show at the VMAs. Oh yeah, there was that.
Famous Dave's barbecue restaurant fired a server who was photographed holding a sign complaining of bad tips during a pow wow weekend in Bismarck, ND. Famous Dave's founder Dave Anderson is Ojibwe.
Be Careful What You Say About Immigrants, Pilgrim
A new Miss America was crowned: Nina Davuluri of Syracuse, NY, who is Indian-American (not, to be clear, American Indian). The Twitterverse exploded with objections from racists complaining she is not American -- those who really went the extra ignorant mile commented that she is Muslim, or a terrorist.
As if the Thanksgiving Story Wasn't Convoluted Enough
Commercials started airing for Free Birds, an animated kids' movie that poses the question: If you could go back in time for a do-over of European arrival in North America, how would you rectify the injustices done to the... turkeys?
Who You Callin' White?
Neo-nazi leader Craig Cobb tried -- but failed miserably -- to make the small town of Leith, North Dakota, an enclave for white supremacists. Cobb would later take a DNA test for a daytime talk show that found his genetic makeup to be 14% sub-Saharan African.
Such a Dick Thing to Say
At a roast, Dick Cheney told a joke about an "antelope hunting contest in Wyoming in which the loser had to dance with an Indian squaw." This man was Vice President.
More Trick Than Treat
Halloween happened, as usual, with sexualized racial costumes such as Chief Wansum Tail and Pocahottie.
Old-Timey Halloween Racism
We did not think that in the year 2013 we would be writing an article on the popularity of blackface.
Yeezy Does It
Kanye West did his best to offend with Yeezus tour merchandise featuring Confederate flags and a skull wearing a feather headdress.
Wait, Don't Tell Us -- You're "Honoring" Them, Right?
The debate about demeaning sports mascots took another turn when a California high school's snarling, hook-nosed "Arab" mascot drew criticism from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Tell Us Who You're Wearing Tonight, Katy
Katy Perry's geisha-themed performance at the American Music Awards was condemned as "yellowface."
At Least They Didn't Call Them Redskins
At a football game, McAdory High School in Alabama taunted its opponents, the Pinson Valley High Indians, with a banner warning them to "get ready to leave in a trail of tears."
Actually, the Navajo Live Pretty Far From the... Oh, Never Mind
An off-campus fraternity party at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo had as its theme "Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos."
Thanks For Nothing
Metal band Mastodon sold a Thanksgiving-themed t-shirt featuring a cheesecakey Indian woman held at gunpoint by a smiling Pilgrim. The band attempted to defend the shirt as an image that exposed the hypocrisy of Thanksgiving.
Poverty Porn, or Not?
A British drum-n-bass duo's music video depicting poverty, violence, drug use, and a sundance ceremony, shot by a Welsh director on the Blackfeet Reservation using Indian actors, drew both praise and criticism in Indian country.
If it Walks Like Van Dunk and Talks Like Van Dunk...
The New Jersey-based Ramapough Lenape Tribe criticized the film Out of the Furnace as a negative and stereotypical depiction of their people, although the filmmakers said that wasn't the case. A lawsuit brought by tribal members says that "Jackson Whites," the hillbilly gang in the film, is a well known derogatory term for the Ramapough, and the last names De Groat and Van Dunk, also used in the film, are common among the tribe.
History Class: Awkward!
Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, will be getting a new name. Yeah, maybe it's best not to educate kids -- more than half of whom are black -- in a building that memorializes a Confederate General who went on to be the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.
At Least Throw in Some Cheese Tots and a Cherry Limeade
A Sonic burger joint in Belton, Missouri, chose to support the Kansas City Chiefs with a sign promising to "scalp the Redskins, feed them whiskey, send 2 reservation." The racist sign was taken down and replaced with another racist sign.
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