I Will Not Be QuietTweet
By : Linda Tioleu
There have been a lot of incidences lately in which major corporations, businesses, or famous people have exploited Native Americans (Native women in particular), and the cultures on which we plant our foundations. This usually involves the use of a “slutty Indian Princess” costume of some sort, as evidenced by Victoria’s Secret, the band No Doubt, and even the Hooter’s restaurant franchise. Other stereotypes, such as alcoholism, are also exploited.
What you may not realize is that thousands of people have done incredible research on the impact of these images- on both the Native American community and the “dominant culture,” as anthros put it. There is a preponderance of data to suggest that these stereotypes lead to self esteem issues in Native children, which can manifest themselves through the various social pathologies for which we are so famous (alcoholism, suicide, etc.). The social science term “stereotype threat” refers to the impact of negative assumptions on individuals within commonly stereotyped or racially profiled cultures, and it “has been shown to reduce the performance of individuals who belong to these negatively stereotyped groups.”
Most of all, as a proud, strong, educated American Indian woman, I feel that it is my duty to stand up for future generations- to stand up for my sons- whom I am trying to raise as proud, strong, educated Lakotas. I WILL NOT sit idle while they are told that they will become diabetic alcoholics, or that they will probably end up in prison, or that their mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers have a 1 in 3 chance being sexually assaulted by the viral, genocidal people who tried to exterminate them. No. I will not be quiet. No. I will not let this abuse continue. Yes. I will scalp you with my words. Yes. I will destroy you with the sharp-pointed arrows of my love for my people. Test me.