Friday, February 21, 2014

Imaginary Indian Fails

This is the almost-final-draft of a section from a book about social justice warriors, identitarianism, and mobbing. For more information and links to other chapters, see How to Make a Social Justice Warrior.

Imaginary Indian Fails
• Mammothfail
• Graveyardfail
• American Indian or Native American?
• Real Indians and Wah-na-bes
• In support of race traitor stories—regarding Avatar and District 9
• Was Deep Space Nine racist? or, More on Avatar
• Watching Avatar While Human, and a note about John Carter of Mars
• Dances With Wolves
• A Jewish Dances With Wolves
• The Education of Little Tree: where is the racism?
• Is Little House on the Prairie racist?
• Whiteknightfail, or The Education of K. Tempest Bradford

9. Imaginary Indian Fails

• Mammothfail

On June 19, 2009, Debbie Reese launched Mammothfail at American Indians in Children’s Literature with “Patricia Wrede's thinking as she wrote THE THIRTEENTH CHILD”. Reese is a tribally-enrolled Pueblo whose fondness for identitarian rhetoric comes from her background in academia. For her post, she had visited rec.arts.sf.composition, found things Wrede had said as she was writing the book, and interpreted them in the least charitable light.

The Thirteenth Child is a fantasy set in a world where there were no early human migrations to the Americas, so creatures like mammoths still exist. To Reese, this was “erasing” the first Americans, even though in Wrede’s alternate Earth, the descendants of those people thrive in Asia and the Pacific islands. If anything can be said to have been erased in the world of The Thirteenth Child, it is the near-genocide of those people caused by European diseases and wars.

Wrede’s most criticized comment about writing her book was “The *plan* is for it to be a “settling the frontier” book, only without Indians (because I really hate both the older Indians-as-savages viewpoint that was common in that sort of book, *and* the modern Indians-as-gentle-ecologists viewpoint that seems to be so popular lately, and this seems the best way of eliminating the problem, plus it’ll let me play with all sorts of cool megafauna). I’m not looking for wildly divergent history, because if it goes too far afield I won’t get the right feel.”

Instead of appreciating that Wrede did not want to write Indians as clichĂ©s, Reese thought Wrede wanted to expunge them from history. At a basic level, Reese simply doesn’t understand alternate history. Wrede had said, “I don't want to nudge European history until 1492. It's going to be enough trouble to figure out four centuries of alternate history; backing up *another* 500 years or so is more than I really want to do.”

Reese commented, “Hmmm.... note the use of word "trouble" --- what does that mean? She's willing to mess with our history, but not hers.” In fact, Wrede messed with everyone’s history. But in that timeline, the change didn’t affect Europeans until Columbus returned from his voyage. (I haven’t read the books, so I have no idea whether Wrede says anything about earlier European and Asian explorers.) It would be no different than creating a timeline in which Charles Martel was defeated; the peoples of the Americas wouldn’t learn about that until explorers from the altered continent came to theirs.

• Graveyardfail

The next year, Reese launched Graveyardfail in “What Neil Gaiman said…”

Gaiman had said about The Graveyard Book, “The great thing about having an English cemetery is I could go back a very, very, very long way. And in America, you go back 250 years (in a cemetery), and then suddenly you’ve got a few dead Indians, and then you don’t have anybody at all, unless you decide to set it up in Maine or somewhere and sneak in some Vikings.”

If you think “a cemetery” implies a small piece of land rather than two continents, you don’t think like a warrior. Reese concluded, “‘and then you don't have anybody at all’ suggests the continent was an empty land.”

Kynn Bradford boosted Reese’s article with a post titled “Neil Gaiman’s racist fail”. Other warriors leapt in to fan the flames. Some deemed Gaiman’s “dead Indians” racist because it reminded them of the saying, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

In the comments at Reese’s post, Gaiman explained:

I was replying to a specific question about European-style graveyards in the US and who you’d find in them and why I didn’t set THE GRAVEYARD BOOK in America, which was that they didn’t go back far enough, and they didn’t give me the dead people I wanted for the story to work. Obviously (or obviously to me) I wasn’t saying or implying that the country was uninhabited prior to the arrival of Europeans, or trying to somehow render invisible hundreds of millions of people who had inhabited this content for tens of thousands of years—especially after having very specifically written about them, and about that timespan in American Gods.

(And, of course, European Graveyards in the US go back much further than 250 years.)

A more sensible answer to why I didn’t set The Graveyard Book in America was that I didn’t want to, but I had a microphone stuck in front of my face by the Hornbook in front of a crowd of people at Book Expo or ALA, and I babbled.

Also apologies to any Icelandic or Norwegian readers who are offended by my imprecision. Obviously none of the Newfoundland settlers were Vikings.

• American Indian or Native American?

When I lived by an Ojibwa reservation in northern Ontario in the early ‘80s, the question of “Indian” or “Native American” never came up. People would refer to someone as Ojibwa or Cree if it seemed useful. I don’t remember anyone using “First Nations” then, though they might’ve used it when dealing with the Canadian government.

In “I Am An American Indian, Not A Native American!” Russell Means of the American Indian Movement said, “I abhor the term Native American” and explained:

It is a generic government term used to describe all the indigenous prisoners of the United States. These are the American Samoans, the Micronesians, the Aleuts, the original Hawaiians, and the erroneously termed Eskimos, who are actually Upiks and Inupiaqs. And, of course, the American Indian.

I prefer the term American Indian because I know its origins. ... As an added distinction the American Indian is the only ethnic group in the United States with the American before our ethnicity.

In “What’s in a Name? Indians and Political Correctness”, Christina Berry of All Things Cherokee wrote, “The recommended method is to refer to a person by their tribe, if that information is known. The reason is that the Native peoples of North America are incredibly diverse. It would be like referring to both a Romanian and an Irishman as European. It’s true that they are both from Europe, but their people have very different histories, cultures, and languages. The same is true of Indians.”

• Real Indians and Wah-na-bes

Reese was the first actual Indian I noticed in any of fandom’s social justice fails, but there are at at least two warriors who remind me of an old joke Indians tell about white people who fetishize them—they’re full members of the Wah-na-be tribe.

Like many Americans, I grew up believing I was part Indian. I’ve never tested that. All I know is that when my family lived by an Ojibwa band, one of the local women looked exactly like my Dad’s mother.

Frankly, I don’t want to get tested for two reasons:

1. I’d rather not be disappointed if Dad was wrong.

2. I’ve always loved that historically, Indians saw people in tribal terms, not racial ones—being genetically Indian was irrelevant to being Indian. If a tribe recognizes you as a member because you know the culture or have helped the people, you belong, no matter what your genes may say.

Sadly, some tribes have adopted the US’s racial models of membership to exclude people who culturally belong. The worst example are the Cherokees who, to keep from sharing their casino profits, expelled the descendants of their slaves, including people who had grown up with the language and culture.

Though I hate the racial model for deciding who is Indian, if I was Indian, Indian wannabes would annoy me. I know that because I’m not Indian and wannabes bug me. If you meet someone whose Indian cred seems suspect, ask what tribe they’re from. Real Indians like to be known by their tribe, so asking is polite.

But the definition of tribe and membership can be tricky, so pay attention to their answer. For example, genetic testing has shown the Seaconke Wampanoag have almost no Native American genetic lineages. The tribe is recognized by the state of Massachusetts, but not by the federal government. The Cherokee Nation’s Fraudulent Indians Task Force criticizes state-recognized tribes as having insufficient requirements for membership. The Seaconke Wampanoag have been especially criticized because they have several ways to join. From their tribal requirements:

What is the difference between a Citizen and a Member 

A Citizen is someone who has a genealogical connection to an approved clan in the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe. A member is someone who may or may not have native genealogy but in no genealogical way has a connection to the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe.

A few decades ago, you could tell a real Indian from a Wah-na-be by whether they used “Native American” or “Indian”, but that rule isn’t as firm as it used to be.

• In support of race traitor stories—regarding Avatar and District 9

Roz Kaveny’s review of James Cameron’s Avatar made me want to see it. She reminded me that while I hated Titanic and True Lies, I enjoyed Terminator 1 and 2 enormously. My only quibble with her review is she mentions District 9 and says it’s racist. Is it racist to depict all the members of a criminal gang as having no redeeming qualities? Simplistic, yes, but racist? The person who is arguably the hero of the story, the one who gets the truth out, is black. Where District 9 is tricky is the heroes are South African and the gang is Nigerian, so the movie might be nationalistic.

Hollywood sometimes depicts urban gangs as white or multi-cultural for fear of being called racist. The result is a lie about the geography of class and race: Gangs reflect the regional nature of poverty. The Nigerian gang in District 9 is troubling to Americans who focus on race. But the writer was telling a truth: gangs exploit whatever they can, and if the new market is space aliens addicted to cat food, they’ll supply that need. If you remade District Nine with an American setting, the gang should be black or Hispanic if the ship stops over a city, but if it stops in the country, the gang could be whites who found a more profitable product than meth or marijuana.

I was a bit depressed after seeing Avatar because it could’ve been great if Cameron had worked with a smart friend. The human clothes all look like they were bought in 2008, there’s dialogue where silence would’ve been more powerful, and there’s one of my monster peeves, gratuitous voice-over.

On the other hand, he didn’t make it for me. He made it for people who are new to science fiction.

It is sexist and racist, but anti-racists exaggerate the white guy’s role (he’s plucky and lucky, but not superior) while missing the bigger lie about the nature of power. Cameron said he conceived of this decades ago. Since then, we’ve had Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Barack Obama, and a number of black Fortune 500 CEOs, including Herman Cain and Ursula Burns, the first Fortune 500 black female CEO, yet all the villains in Avatar are white and male. That does not reflect the way corporations value diversity today.

As for Sully being the great savior, my hopes took a dive when he earned his Na’vi title. I wanted him to stay the equal of the blue folk, riding the same critters, etc. The story moves into Tarzan and the Phantom territory when the white guy is the only person who can do the special thing to unite the tribes. Given the movie’s explicit race traitor theme, I forgive it for that, because telling more white men to oppose imperialism is still an important message.

Anti-racist critics of Avatar should note that Palestinian protesters at the village of Bilin dressed as Na’vi in at least one protest.  They know who the anti-imperialists are.

• Was Deep Space Nine racist? or, More on Avatar

I agreed Avatar took a racist turn when Sully became the savior of the Na’vi by doing something no Na’vi could do, but now I’m remembering Sisko becoming the Special One in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Was that racist? Imperialist? Speciesist? If so, are all stories about outsiders becoming leaders inherently racist? Are the stories of Benjamin Disraeli and Barack Obama racist?

All stories have implications, but anyone who says Avatar is the story of the superior white man is missing the point. It’s the story of a person finding himself by joining another culture.

Another point for anti-racists: Avatar’s romantic plot is not Pocahontas. That story ended with the Europeans and the Indians making peace, not war. Avatar’s romance is the story underlying Pocahontas, a Romeo and Juliet story, the story of people from competing tribes who fall in love.

Since I’ve been poking at both sides of “Is Avatar racist?”, I should make this clear: I would’ve been happier if Sully hadn’t been a white guy. But asking “Is Avatar racist?” sidesteps another question: “Is Avatar stupid science fiction?” The answer is yes, and you can see that right at the beginning: robotics are cheap in that future, yet Sully has to use a wheelchair instead of robolegs?

• Watching Avatar While Human, and a note about John Carter of Mars

In “Watching Avatar While White”, Cynthia Ward says, “In the worlds of Pandora and the imaginary Dances “Wild West” and Burroughs’ Mars and Tarzan, a white man doesn’t just find himself redeemed from his impure, inharmonious, and sinful state. He finds himself redeemed specifically from the evils of colonialism, slavery, and the other forms of oppression that whites have imposed upon people of color for centuries.”

The redemption theory only makes sense if you buy into the fundamentally Christian redemption concepts of contemporary anti-racism. If you don’t—if, for example, you’re a working class soldier who has been following bad orders—joining the other side has nothing to do with redemption. It’s just about doing the right thing, no matter which side you started on.

A point often missed about John Carter of Mars: he didn’t own slaves. He wasn’t one of the 300,000 rich people who controlled the Confederacy. Being an officer suggests he had some money, but not enough to buy himself a generalship. Based on the text, he was like Robert E. Lee, someone opposed to slavery in principle who thought his state was more important than his nation. It should be significant that Carter sees nothing inferior in the red people of Mars and falls in love with one of them, and the series’ villains include white Martians.

Anyone writing about race and stories should remember that white people are not the only ones who tell stories about outsiders who become champions. It’s a common element of folktales everywhere. It’s about belonging.

• Dances With Wolves

I saw Dances With Wolves when it was released and enjoyed it. What’s not to like in a race traitor story? I’ve been a sucker for them since I saw Little Big Man and A Man Called Horse.

Then I noticed warriors dissing Dances With Wolves while complaining about Avatar, which made me wonder if I’d missed something. After Ta-Nahisi Coates said he was fond of the movie, I watched it again.

Quick reactions:

Black Shawl is a great character played by a great actress, Tantoo Cardinal. I wish she’d had a lot more screen time. She reminded me of Ojibwa women I’ve known: funny, capable, and unwilling to take any shit from men.

Kicking Bird, played by Graham Greene, is perfect. I would love to see a movie that was all about Kicking Bird and Black Shawl.

All of the Lakota characters and actors are mighty, mighty fine.

The first part of the movie is too slow. If I was the editor, I might run the opening credits over the Civil War battle scene, then cut to Dunbar’s arrival at the abandoned fort.

Kevin Costner, as Dunbar, gives a fine performance. The character is surprisingly inept. The only thing he manages to do to help the Indians is provide them with rifles, and he’s only able to do that because a Lakota boy helps him.

Mary McDonnell gives a great performance as Stands With A Fist, but her hair is wrong. She grew up Lakota. Her hair should’ve reflected that. I’ve heard that in times of mourning, Lakota men and women would cut their hair, so maybe her hair would’ve been loose for part of the movie, but she should’ve braided it when her mourning ended. Getting her hair wrong is not racist, though—Hollywood rarely has accurate hairstyles for female stars in historical films.)

When McDonnell gives Costner a big welcome-home kiss and embrace in front of others, it felt too Hollywood. Maybe I’m wrong (I should ask a Lakota someday), but my suspicion is a Lakota woman’s welcome would’ve been much more controlled. The director undoubtedly felt the actors had to be passionate so the audience would know they loved each other madly. Americans have trouble reading reserved passion.

There’s a scene that should’ve been in the movie: the Lakota attack on the buffalo hunters. When Dunbar is able to accept the killing of Americans, he’s truly changed sides.

There is a smidgen of class prejudice: the only sympathetic white characters are Dunbar, a lieutenant, and the officer who shows up at the end is troubled by the way his men treat Indians. But historically, it was more likely that lower-class whites would go native than officers.

Quibbles aside, it’s a damn fine movie. Will-Bob gives it 4.5 stars.

• A Jewish Dances With Wolves

Anyone who thinks white people were never adopted by tribes should read about “white Indians” like Simon Girty and Quanah Parker, the great chief of the Comanches who is seen as half-white by racists and racialists, but simply as Comanche by tribalists and nationalists.

I learned about one more for the list when I read “Don Solomono, Jewish Indian Chief”: “In 1888, “Don Solomono,” as he was known to the Acomas, became governor of the Aroma Pueblo, the equivalent of chief of the tribe. Remarkably, the Acomas asked the United States to recognize Bibo as their leader. Even more remarkable is that Bibo was a Jew.”

• The Education of Little Tree: where is the racism?

I’d heard about The Education of Little Tree for ages. First everyone said it was wonderful, so I avoided it—I have little stomach for “wonderful” books when I was young. Then I heard it was racist and Oprah had disowned it, so I got curious: How could a racist write a book that many people of many races had loved? Writers can write from perspectives that are not their own, but that calls for empathy, and racists have no empathy for people they do not identify with.

The book stayed low on my priorities until I saw it on someone’s “Do not read! Racist!” list. So I read it.

I looked hard for the racism. Most of the characters are Cherokee. They’re good people. Only one black shows up in a very minor role, but he’s good people. A Jew shows up, and he’s good people. Some of the whites are not good people, and some of them are. The book isn’t racist in its depictions of races.

It’s true the book has no good people who identify as Christian and several bad ones who do, so the book may be racist against the Christian race. But some of the good people seem to be Christian. Given the setting, it’s extremely likely they are. I don’t think any Christian who understands Christianity would be upset by the inclusion of a few Christian hypocrites.

But the book may be racist in one way: none of the greedy people are good people. The store owner is decent, but there’s a general sense that the race of the greedy screw up life for the rest of us. Which may be why Oprah disavowed the book. If you’re a Christian living in a fifty million dollar mansion, you might leap at the opportunity to denounce a book that suggests rich people are part of the problem.

I don’t know how accurate the book is. I’ve lived in the South, and I’ve lived by an Ojibwa reservation, and I didn’t see anything that was insulting to Southerners or Indians. If you’re hoping to learn about Cherokee ways, this is not a good book to start—it’s about a kid and his grandparents who live in the mountains, far from other people. But if you’re hoping to learn that Indians are good people who were horribly treated by whites, this is a fine book. I can’t do better than the Atlantic’s reviewer: “Some of it is sad, some of it is hilarious, some of it is unbelievable, and all of it is charming.”

Sherman Alexie said, “Little Tree is a lovely little book, and I sometimes wonder if it is an act of romantic atonement by a guilt-ridden White supremacist, but ultimately I think it is the racial hypocrisy of a White supremacist.” Alexie’s a great writer, but he over-estimates the literary abilities of white supremacists. It’s true the characters are idealized, but the list of books with idealized characters is long. Some stories are realistic, and some are romanticized. The Education of Little Tree is drawn with broad strokes, but so is The Boondocks.

I recommend Christina Berry’s “The Story Behind The Education of Little Tree.” She concludes, “I would argue that the book has actually made an incredibly positive impact. It wasn’t long ago that books and films filled with blatant stereotypes of savage Indians (played by white actors in red paint) was the norm. The mere fact that this title has generated so much debate and discussion regarding the plight of Indians in American popular culture is a positive step forward. Personally, I think that this is a great book, both for the themes of culture and life that the author himself addresses, and for the heated historical and cultural debate which has grown out of it.”

• Is Little House on the Prairie racist?

People who say Little House on the Prairie is racist and cite this paragraph:

Mrs. Scott said she hoped to goodness they would have no trouble with Indians. Mr. Scott had heard rumors of trouble. She said, “Land knows, they’d never do anything with this country themselves. All they do is roam around over it like wild animals. Treaties or no treaties, the land belongs to folks that’ll farm it. That’s only common sense and justice.” She did not know why the government made treaties with Indians. The only good Indian was a dead Indian. The very thought of Indians made her blood run cold.

They ignore this paragraph:

Pa said he didn’t know about that. He figured that Indians would be as peaceable as anyone else if they were left alone. On the other hand, they had been moved west so many times that naturally they hated white folks.

They miss the fact that Pa is a voice of moral authority in the book. He not only says Indians are the same as whites, he says the hatred of whites by some Indians is perfectly natural given the way whites treated them.

• Whiteknightfail, or The Education of K. Tempest Bradford

When Wil Wheaton said someone he admired was his spirit animal, Cosmicbreaker told him, “Using 'spirit animal' is kinda uncool. Different forms of it belong to specific cultures that are already having a hard time with erasure/delegitimization, partially through appropriation. I've heard suggestions of using 'patronus', or 'daemon' (from His Dark Materials trilogy) as alternatives. Cheers!”

Wheaton replied:

I got a lot of messages like yours that were bordering on antagonizing, but I’ll respond to you: this was entirely news to me, and I never meant to be offensive.

I’ll be honest: I think it’s a little much to get upset about this, but I am fully aware that I’m living life on Scalzi’s Lowest Difficulty Setting, with the Celebrity Cheat enabled, so I’ll own that reality up front. My ancestors murdered untold numbers of Native Americans, and I hate that my country was built on their blood, and I hate that the worst poverty in America exists on Tribal lands. What I hate the most is how many Americans don’t know or care. Those issues are, in my opinion, more important than words. Having said that, I see the point you make, that so much has already been taken from native people, and when a White Guy takes something more, it’s uncool.

I never meant to take anything from anyone. I think Spirit Animals are really cool, and I love everything I’ve ever learned about native or aboriginal culture. I’m not trying to appropriate or lessen anything by expressing how much Kelly Sue inspires me, and how I try to be more like her.

K. Tempest Bradford said:

It’s amazing how problematic this apology is. I don’t even think Wil gets that he’s whitesplaining.

For the education of those who might find themselves in this situation, here’s a primer on what’s wrong with this response.

First: “I got a lot of messages like yours that were bordering on antagonizing, but I’ll respond to you”

I didn’t like the Tone those other people used. Yours was appropriate! I’ll talk to you.

Second: “I think it’s a little much to get upset about this, but…”

This doesn’t affect me and I’ve never given it two seconds worth of thought. And even though I’m about to launch into a whole explanation of how I get it, I need you to know that my first reaction is that everyone is oversensitive.

Third: “My ancestors murdered untold numbers of Native Americans, and I hate that my country was built on their blood”

This outpouring of white guilt somehow brings it all back to me and how I feel. Curious that.

Fourth: “I never meant to take anything from anyone. I think Spirit Animals are really cool”

THIS WOULD BE THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM, SIR. SIR? SIR.

Fifth: “I’m not trying to appropriate or lessen anything by expressing how much Kelly Sue inspires me, and how I try to be more like her.”

The point is not what you were or were not trying to do, it’s how what you did affects others. Why don’t you express your admiration for Kelly Sue in ways that are not appropriative? Why MUST you express admiration in this exact way?

Also, how fucking hard is it to say: “Oh, I did not realize that invoking Spirit Animals like that is a problem. I won’t do it again." ? That’s really all you needed to say. You didn’t need to whitesplain or get defensive AT ALL.

Let Wil Wheaton serve as an example of What Not To Do! Trust me on this, y’all.

Wheaton replied:

I didn’t realize that invoking Spirit Animals was a problem, and I won’t do it again. I thought that was clear from my reply, and I regret that I didn’t make that explicitly clear.

Also, would you please excuse the fuck out of me for explaining my thought process, and attempting to share my admittedly complicated and uncertain reasoning. Please excuse me for acknowledging that I’m a privileged heterosexual white male in a manner that was not to your liking. Please excuse me for admitting that I haven’t thought about something that doesn’t affect me, because it does not affect me.Excuse me for — wait. I’m sorry. That’s not what I mean. I don’t mean that I need you to excuse me for anything. What I mean is: you’ve shown us all a spectacular way to alienate a potential ally with your self-righteous anger and indignation.

Here’s a pro tip for you, incredibly angry person: when someone is polite and respectful, reasonable adults ten to reply to them a lot faster and with more thought than we do to someone who is a condescending, angry, belligerent asshole. I sincerely hope that you are able to find peace and happiness in your life, and that you’ll continue to speak out about issues that affect you. As I said, you have to have the courage of your convictions and you can’t just sit down and shut up.

You can also not be a dick about it.

At which point, Doli K said:

Wil, I’m a Native American woman who grew up on a rez. I’m currently a social services caseworker who still spends a lot of time on Native lands. Somebody sent me a link to your tumblr asking for my opinion on the “spirit animal” thing. I don’t know much about you, but if I have to give you a piece of advice it would be this; don’t back down next time. These people don’t listen to things like “logic” and “reason” when they are in one of their social justice tizzies. It’s not even worth trying to be kind or polite to them. 

If I had a dollar for every time a middle class, white, lesbian with a Women’s Studies degree tried to tell ME how to appropriately respect MY OWN CULTURE AND HERITAGE, I could probably buy a goddamn reservation and turn it into a theme park. 

Mr. Wil, you aren’t disrespecting Natives like me by using the term “spirit animal”. We WANT to share our cultural heritage with white people! I gave a friend from another country a ceremonial headdress just a few months ago because he thought it was “cool”. You know what? That shit IS cool! I want everyone to know about it!

Native Americans of all tribes pride themselves on being generous with out cultural iconography. We love having friends in our homes, of all colors! We love sharing what makes our nations so great and unique. We love giving and receiving gifts (except for blankets….you white fuckers can keep those. Ours are prettier and have less smallpox.) Yet our cultural traditions, our languages…they are all dying out. Our own children don’t want to learn Navajo. Our numbers are small and our elders are dying. Nobody wants our traditions to die with them, so we share with everyone we can! So long as somebody isn’t actively trying to make fun of us, we want to give the gift of a culture that transcends generations and skin color. In modern America, there are actually a pretty large number of “white” people who have Native blood. Their skin may not be brown like mine, but their blood is the same. 

To the social justice warriors on Tumblr. You know what’s racist? PEOPLE WHO AREN’T NATIVE AMERICAN TRYING TO WHITE KNIGHT FOR MY FUCKING CULTURE. If something offends me or “appropriates” my culture, leave it to ME to stand up for what’s right. I’m not an ignorant heathen savage who needs educated white folk to save me from OTHER white folk. For the love of God, do you not see that your bullshit tirades on Tumblr about spirit animals and hairfeathers are the SAME MOTHERFUCKING THING that Europeans tried to do to my nation YEARS AGO? 

If you are a social justice warrior, go play in traffic. I don’t want your help defending a culture you know nothing about.