If you can't have one, be one

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by nutmeg, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Dang this internet. I was looking for a joke and I found this. Reminded me of Elizabeth Warren.


    What about non-Indians who claim to be descended from Indian princesses? In an excerpt from Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, Vine Deloria Jr. explains the phenomenon:

    During my three years as Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians it was a rare day when some white didn't visit my office and proudly proclaim that he or she was of Indian descent.

    Cherokee was the most popular tribe of their choice and many people placed the Cherokees anywhere from Maine to Washington State. Mohawk, Sioux, and Chippewa were next in popularity. Occasionally, I would be told about some mythical tribe from lower Pennsylvania, Virginia, or Massachusetts which had spawned the white standing before me.

    At times I became quite defensive about being a Sioux when these white people had a pedigree that was so much more respectable than mine. But eventually I came to understand their need to identify as partially Indian and did not resent them. I would confirm their wildest stories about their Indian ancestry and would add a few tales of my own hoping that they would be able to accept themselves someday and leave us alone.

    Whites claiming Indian blood generally tend to reinforce mythical beliefs about Indians. All but one person I met who claimed Indian blood claimed it on their grandmother's side. I once did a projection backward and discovered that evidently most tribes were entirely female for the first three hundred years of white occupation. No one, it seemed, wanted to claim a male Indian as a forebear.

    It doesn't take much insight into racial attitudes to understand the real meaning of the Indian grandmother complex that plagues certain whites. A male ancestor has too much of the aura of the savage warrior, the unknown primitive, the instinctive animal, to make him a respectable member of the family tree. But a young Indian princess? Ah, there was royalty for the taking. Somehow the white was linked with a noble house of gentility and culture if his grandmother was an Indian princess who ran away with an intrepid pioneer. And royalty has always been an unconscious but all-consuming goal of the European immigrant.

    The early colonists, accustomed to life under benevolent despots, projected their understanding of the European political structure onto the Indian tribe in trying to explain its political and social structure. European royal houses were closed to ex-convicts and indentured servants, so the colonists made all Indian maidens princesses, then proceeded to climb a social ladder of their own creation. Within the next generation, if the trend continues, a large portion of the American population will eventually be related to Powhattan.

    While a real Indian grandmother is probably the nicest thing that could happen to a child, why is a remote Indian princess grandmother so necessary for many whites? Is it because they are afraid of being classed as foreigners? Do they need some blood tie with the frontier and its dangers in order to experience what it means to be an American? Or is it an attempt to avoid facing the guilt they bear for the treatment of the Indian?
  2. maxpi


    Whites feel inadequate. They defeated us Indians by using guns and massive waves of immigration essentially. No way were they going to go after us with bows and arrows and stone spears and stuff like that.

    I'm part Indian, on my maternal grandfathers' side. I just feel more adequate when I think of myself as an Indian because I knew my grandfathers on both sides of the family and the Indian one was just... more adequate, I can't find better words to describe it.
  3. Hooti


    I have a simdgin of native american heritage. Not enough for casino winnings. But I never heard if it was male or female initially.

    Grew up near a reservation. In sixth grade one of the quiet reservation kids piped up with a comment when we were discussing what european royal was. He said he was royal and a prince to boot. At recess about 12 white kids beat the snot out of him for saying he was better than them. I watched, then walked up while he was laying on the ground after, and asked if it was real. And Believed him. I won't say we became friends, but we certainly had a connection after that.

    Later he graduated as one of the first native americans from our law school. Told me once he was in the group of native americans who devised the legal/cultural concept of all ground being sacred, etc... to get leverage with our government. He was amazed though... said that only maybe one in a thousand native americans had a sense of spirituality that included that to start with. So he says that he and a couple of others in essence created this religion, and the young native american kids now actually belive it! He would just shake his head.
    Gullible people all around.
  4. I worked closely with a vendor when I was going in for work. I had the chance to get to know quite a few of their employees. Two guys always joked about their Indian bloodline. Why did they joke? Because they would receive a check every year for their share of gambling profits for the tribe. It was literally free money for them. It varied, but was a couple thousand on average. One was 1/5th, and the other never actually said how much his claim was, and I had the idea he figured out how to game the system and probably wasn't Indian at all. I have to get one of these gigs. A check to cover my utility bills or cell phone, or internet? Too sweet, let me in.
  5. The costliest regular expenditures were the annual dividends of at least $100,000 given to each adult member of the tribe. Cumulatively, they amounted to as much as $500 million over nearly two decades. They were called incentive payments, though for many they were actually disincentives to work. Children began getting the disbursements when they turned 18. Luxury automobiles abounded.

    cont on link..