Generokees

Prompted by Bethany’s post. Linkage aboundage.

I read an article recently on Slate.com. Written by Native author David Treuer, he ponders why so many writers pretend to be Indian*. He suggests that it might be because anyone can be an Indian these days as the stereotypical Indian look: long black hair, black eyes, reddish-brown skin, prominent nose…is no longer the norm. Treuer compares himself to Opie Taylor, and when I look him up and view his picture on his website, I note that he is indeed a pale fella. One of the people he references in his article is Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, a writer who claimed to be the son of a Blackfoot chief, but turned out to be the son of a black man (who was part Cherokee). He ended up killing himself when the truth came out.

*The man told some tall ass tales, but I don’t see how he’s not an Indian, as he had Cherokee blood and was even adopted into the Kainai Nation (Blackfoot). *slaps forehead* Oh right! I forgot about the one drop rule. If you have one drop of black blood, you’re black. And if you’re white and have one drop of Native American blood, then you’re rich.

Then there’s Margaret B Jones. This story is just delicious. White woman lies about her heritage (claimed that she was Native, natch) and her childhood, truth comes out, her “memoir” Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival, is pulled from the shelves. Her own sister was the whistle blower. Hi! Don’t post pictures of yourself with a red bandana (courtesy of a fallen homie) trying to look gansta and not think that someone from your REAL life is going to pull the rug out from under your ass.

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5 Comments

Filed under Opinion, Race, Rant

5 responses to “Generokees

  1. meg

    1. i love the name of this post.
    2. he is a white fella – and cute!
    3. I agree with your last sentence whole heartedly.
    4. do you still think i might have a drop in me?

  2. I just love it. The Chief Pants-on-Fire story does bring up the question (yet again) of how we determine our identities. Who still thinks races can be broken down by percentages in our bodies? My Filipino right foot, for one. If you have something in your blood, you are that, just as honestly as you are anything else in your make-up. And also… why isn’t that enough? A) Because of the shame associated with what others demand you identify with and B) because of the novelty now associated with the concept of being Native. (I don’t think anyone who’s been to a reservation or seen the statistics on alcoholism and other addictions and the inaccessibility of education would envy the reality. Hey, wait, that sounds like the Black experience…)

  3. Jen

    M: You have TWO drops. 🙂
    B: That’s funny. My LEFT foot is Filipino. But seriously, I agree. I can’t count the number of times that someone has tried to tell me who or what I am.

  4. Kate

    My mom was the faculty adviser to the Native American student assoc. at a small Montana college, years ago. She got adopted into the Crow nation, but that doesn’t make me or my kids Crow. Just sayin’.

  5. Jen

    Kate, I’m not quite sure what your point is. I mentioned that Long Lance had been adopted into the Kainai nation (as a SIDE NOTE, after stating that he had Cherokee blood). I would assume that he would have been considered a member of the nation (could be wrong here, but then…why “adopt” him?), not sure what that would mean for his children or grandchildren. I wasn’t thinking that far ahead, probably because it has no relevance to my point. Just sayin’.

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