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View Diary: Breaking News: American Indian Trust Case Settled (145 comments)

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  •  NPR still doesn't get it, re: racism. (9+ / 0-)

    Just overheard radio interview w/Elouise Cobell.  At the conclusion, NPR interviewer said (paraphrase)

    "Pardon me, but you're sitting here in a very sharp suit, with some nice jewelry... yet, your tribe considers you a warrior.  Tell me about that..."

    I realize radio is an early 20th century technology, but does a radio interviewer need to sustain stereotypes from that age?

    "The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."

    by yojimbo on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 05:24:05 PM PST

    •  Stereotypes (8+ / 0-)

      When I do presentations to schools and public lectures, I never wear my powwow outfit, but instead do the jacket-and-tie routine. I try to stay away from the "drums-and-feathers" stereotype.

      •  "Pardon me, but you're President of the USA (7+ / 0-)

        but I hear you still enjoy watermelon and banjo music..."

        "Pardon me, but you're ______, but I hear you still ___________."

        It like bad MAD libs.  I couldn't believe it when I heard it; like NPR woman was surprised she didn't have to conduct the interview with smoke signals or something...

        I would say more, but have to go pick my jaw off the floor.

        "The lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."

        by yojimbo on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 05:34:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  a bit unfair to NPR (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It's the TRIBES that still do use terms like "warrior."  The reporter was merely asking for an explanation. And since it was radio, the audience could not see how the man was dressed.

          Give the reporter a break. The question was enlightening for the radio listeners.

          •  what the "tribes" ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... say or don't say, what we talk about amongst ourselves, our language and our culture, aren't common fodder for yak on NPR or any other broadcast outlet. Where I come from, these sorts of questions are considered extremely rude. Fortunately, I expect nothing more from NPR.

            As for quizzing Indians on such things for "enlightenment," I'll leave it to others to insert the appropriate punchline.

            •  You're confusing the general and the particular (1+ / 0-)
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              Yes, sure, there's a general problem with this. In this particular case, however, I think the reporter was faced with an individual who publicly carried the title of "warrior."  In that case, it was certainly fair game to ask about it.  Blame the people who advertised that title if you think it should have been guarded.

              As a journalist, if someone presents me with an incongruity, it is my job to inquire about it.

              •  and it would be my duty ... (0+ / 0-)

                ... as an Indian who takes shit off no one to stuff your words back down your throat and explain to you what that taste is all about.

                Perhaps that would help such a "journalist" focus more on the issue and less on the feathers.

                That is what I have to say about that.

                •  What words? (1+ / 0-)
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                  According to the post, the journalist only said "Tell me about that..."   Somehow you are reading some kind of offensive statement into that.

                  Did it not occur to you that the reporter was giving the subject an opportunity to combat the stereotypes of listeners in his own words?

                  I'm all for fighting the good fight, but not inventing fights that don't exist.

      •  Here is the transcript of what was actually said (1+ / 0-)
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        NPR: Plaintiff in Indian Case on Settlement

        NORRIS: You are sitting here in the studio right now and you're wearing a, pardon me for saying this, but you're wearing a sharp suit. You are dressed with some beautiful jewelry, but back home the Blackfeet Indian tribe considers you to be a warrior. Is that how you see yourself?

        Ms. COBELL: Well I think it's - I felt in this case - and the reason that I'm here today is because the elders constantly came to me and asked me could you help me, could you help me, could you write letters for me, could you do this, could you do that. And I did and with no results and no success. And so I just had to fight on. And I think maybe it's in my genes. My great, great grandfather was mountain chief. He was the last hereditary chief and he would not give in when the governments would tell him, oh, you're going to live your lifestyle like this. And he did not. He fought for his people and I think that's very important that we do all contribute to help individual Indian people that really need other peoples to assist them.

        A listener has commented on this at NPR's website as well:

        I guess I don't understand what Cobell's professional comportment (which one would expect, given the occasion) had to do with whether or not she's a warrior. Michele should know as well as anyone, as a black woman in a traditionally white male-dominated profession: true warriors wear their colors on the inside. Fortunately Cobell handled the awkward question most graciously and gave a quite thoughtful answer.

    •  What, they weren't wearing the customary (4+ / 0-)
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      capelza, yojimbo, megisi, Ojibwa

      headdress?!!? Imposter


      "Sir, you look like the piss boy."

      by ranger995 on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 05:30:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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