Tag Archives: american indians

Johnny Depp and the Dialogue within Indian Country

It seems to me that Johnny Depp’s name is being invoked regularly by various people in relations to Indian Country and I am curious to see how much traffic it draws as opposed to dialogues about the many pressing major issues in Indian Country as well as dialogues about the amazing things going on in Indian Country by it’s best and brightest. I guess I’ll see in a few days about how the traffic to this post compares with my others. I’ll keep you posted but also a lot of those commentators obsessing about Depp for months in some respect are continuing to validate that sad old state of affairs which is what those outside Indian Country are doing in relation to Indian Country is what gets the attention.

If these commentators were spending the same time highlighting the work of Ryan Red Corn, the 1491’s, Steven Paul Judd, Virgil Ortiz etc etc etc, they’d be helping them all take their profiles to new levels as well as sharing their inspirational work with a community that needs these role models to inspire youth.

My feeling is that Depp is as worthy of conversation as anything else but it’s become so disproportionate in the dialogues from some that it takes away from their credibility in terms of focusing on the more serious issues of the day.

The lack of support for the positive within Indian Country is highlighted in my previous blog http://rezbomb.com/blog/?p=714

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RACISM IN AMERICA

You know when it comes to the history of racism in America the more I hear the more it blows my mind and the more it disgusts me how little people discuss the breadth of it beyond the black and white thing.

Within that is how little people know about the racism towards the Chinese. The fact the for 65 years they were the only race banned from emigrating to the USA. The fact that people enacted massacres on groups of them without being sent to jail the list goes on and on. The fact that half of the women in Chinatown in San Francisco were prostitutes in part because men unless merchants were banned from bringing their wives into the country. Read early versions of the constitution of California and much is detailed in black and white. It is a great tribute to the strength of Chinese identity and culture that their is not a great scar evident today in the community drawn from this combined experience. Many of these laws were in place till 1943 and only changed then because of the second world war and China being allies.

Also until the early sixties there was legislation in Los Angeles that prevented certain races living in most areas, this was to enforce segregation though this mostly affected the black community.

I won’t get started about the treatment of the American Indian as I’ll be here all day.

I had a little gathering of a few friends in LA a few years back. About 14 people and I was the only one in the room who would have been given a fair deal in this country a hundred years before. It was a mix of women, non-white, gay, Irish and one white guy who was of a working class background. So much for the American myth.

Steve