Red Haircrow

An award-winning author/poet, freelance news correspondent, chef and former law enforcement officer of mixed Native American descent (Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee) who lives in Berlin, Germany. Red Haircrow holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology, and is a Graduate Student at Montana State University Bozeman. Flying With Red Haircrow, is Red’s multi-media entertainment company. All comments, feedback and inquiries can be directed to theredhairedcrow at gmail.com. Unless noted, all photos were taken by and are the property of Red Haircrow ©2010-2015. All rights reserved.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Native American, Writing and Writers

“Pretendians”: Why Offensive to Indigenous As A Whole

motherjonespic

A brief reference, but a reference, in the July/August edition of Mother Jones Magazine article “Last of the Munichans” with photos by a colleague, Canadian photographer Jen Osborne.

On the topic of Indian hobbyists, cultural appropriation and why these people do it and vehemently feel they have the right to be “Indian hobbyists” or some even make up “native sounding” names, choose a tribe, gather a following by saying they’re native (when they’re really German, etc.). Most ignore or simply do not care what their lies and playacting take away from true natives, negatively influencing their next generation of with “half-truths”.

One of the most important things they dismiss or won’t acknowledge, and what causes us so much anger for natives when anyone does this (and its a huge problem) is the way any minority might feel when someone is pretending to be them: They have not lived with the centuries of oppression, racism and genocide, part of which is still on-going for Native Americans, and the others we are still trying to recover from.

Truly, they are simply Pretendians no matter how authentic they try to be or if a comparative few natives facilitate their play, or the ones who think its just fun to do sometimes to fantasize. Fantasize about being raped, murdered or having your family, your children raped and murdered in front of you. Losing your homes, your land. Being taken away from your family, (historical and still on-going Lakota People’s Law Project). Forced sterilization. Denial services, mockery, being spit at or having things thrown at you (Lakota 57)…just for being Indian. I could go on. The rejection of such playacting and our angry, though dignified, is justified though we ever strive to concentrate on progress and revitalization.

Red Haircrow

Also on topic:
“Native Americans have commented on the bitter irony of these plastic shamans profiting from the degrading, twisted versions of Native American rituals while many indigenous people still live below the poverty level. New Age interest in Native American cultures appears more concerned with exoticized images and romanticized rituals revolving around a distorted view of Native American spirituality than with the indigenous peoples themselves and the very real (and often ugly) socio-economic and political problems they face as colonized peoples.”

Plastic Shamans and Astroturf Sun Dances: New Age Commercialization of Native American Spirituality, by Lisa Aldred

(via echtrai)https://www.facebook.com/pages/Exploring-Our-Native-Ancestors/291741691008048?fref=nf

Leave a comment

Filed under Germany, Native American

Stop Making Excuses: Why Parodies Like the “#RidiculousSix” Must Be Rejected

loren-anthony-adam-sandler
Photo source: instagram.com/lorenanthony

 Updated 9 May 2015: the reality is, Sandler and Netflix are not going to stop filming this movie or not release it when its finished despite the protests. Editing out the most strongly offensive by majority is probably the best reality of what might/is happening. We can make it a learning experience and work on our solidarity so there would be far less of this divide between natives where some stay and take the BS.  Personally, I’m tired of “being agreeable” and understanding and admonishing when its gets you nothing but payoff money. No selling out out cultures!
 

After reading some of the comments of native actors who stayed on set after almost a dozen others walked out of Adam Sandler’s and Netflix production of comedy/satire film, “Ridiculous Six“, one in particular caught my eye because it was so reasonable on one hand, yet it showed two particular notes for me. One, evidence of the deep indoctrination/tactics the US government of mostly European settlers have utilized successfully through the centuries: divide and conquer. Two, the actor used his feelings of being well treated on-set and  Mr. Sandler’s friendly interaction with native actors as a reason to excuse the insulting nature and offensive messages of the satire directed toward natives as a whole, but particularly against native women and elders. Finally, the inevitable “We have bigger problems to battle…” and “Lighten up…” phrases were used. You can find the entire message at the Rez Media Facebook page, as of this moment.

I appreciated that actors may have signed a contract for working, such as (well-known Saginaw Grant pointed out when asked in interview on the American Indian Movement radio broadcast this past week), is it more important than dignity and the betterment of your people as a whole? While I certainly appreciated the actor’s insight into the “behind the scenes” aspect, as well as an explanation on contracts, crew interaction, etc., is personal comfort more important than honest humor instead of derogatory insults?

I have done consultant work in films on native or native themed topics though not in the US, but more often worked as a freelance new correspondent on location in Europe for Indian Country Today Media Network, and a writer and psychologist otherwise. Yes, one might sign a contract to work on a film presented as “comedy/satire” BUT the strong majority of the time unless they are the main actors, they do not have the script for the entire film (or at all until their scenes are immediately uncoming during production). Also, the script can be revised over the time of filming.

I walked out of a film released here in Germany in 2014, where I had been contacted to work as a consultant (The White Comanche) which started out in good agreement as being an accurate depiction (by their admission) but when unacceptable revisions and decisions were made? It became unacceptable. You have to stand up for what you believe in. Should these actors have stayed if they objected to material once they learned of what was being said?

My point is, sure we have many other battles of a serious nature which absolutely should have as much or more vehement protest as natives have shown towards this movie. That would really help us as a whole, but just because that may be so, doesn’t mean we should let ignorant stereotypical representations that do reinforce negativity and inspire negative actions towards natives in real life, especially our children (the Lakota 57 incident comes to mind). Just like the mascot issue (#ChangeTheName, #NotYourMascots).

No, we do not need to lighten up! When you tell other people how they should feel just because you don’t feel a certain way, you minimize their feelings unfairly and unjustly. You are helping divide natives despite the unity you spoke of as being needed, as well as serving as the example whites hold up to excuse this kind of cultural and ethnic idiocy. This isn’t funny! Native American women suffer a disproportionately higher rate of violence, rape, murder and sexual abuse and its at the hands of non-natives, than any other group.  Here’s the violence against native women Fact Sheet. Sexual jokes in film towards native women aren’t funny!

Films such as these, use of native mascots, etc. have also been considered as being a battle not worth fighting by people who think similarly DESPITE such having been concretely shown to harmfully affect our youths. Native youth suicide is at epidemic proportions and by majority based on racism. Racism and prejudice fueled by people acting on native stereotypes such as presented in and perpetuatedby Sandler’s film. These things are shown to be causal factors, interconnected to suicide, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, those big problems previously mentioned.

There are always many battles in a war. Some may just be skirmishes, others might be full-blown battles, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fought.

No, I don’t agree in wholesale bashing of someone trying to give natives work but when there are natives who don’t want to still be the latter day equivalent of sideshow freaks displayed by white people, don’t bash them either. Salute their courage instead because they are helping natives overcoming centuries of lies and injustice. In the past it brought wholesale death, today it can bring derision and mockery, all the while producers and directors are laughing all the way to bank.

***************

A great article by Noel Altaha on topic, “An Open Letter to the Native American Actors Who Walked Off the Adam Sandler Film” set. At Rez Group Media, among other notes:

  • The fact that boundaries were violated.  Boundaries are set to keep people and parities safe and respected based on agreed upon conditions.  The terms in this contract were breached once the film crew violated and disregarded the boundaries.
  • The fact that the film crew ignorantly hid behind the film category of “comedy” to justify their disrespect of Native women and elders and a culture.  There are a lot of modern day comedy films that do not violate the boundaries of respecting another culture so that argument falls flat on its face.

Leave a comment

Filed under Activism, Native American

Healing Relationships 2

Originally posted on Awakening the Horse People:

relationships2

Though we may experience intense feelings of loneliness that are very real, We are never actually “alone”.

Though it may feel like we are isolated without relationships in the world, the reality is very different.

View original 170 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized