Saturday, August 09, 2014

Do Native Americans Have The Right To Be Offended?

I posted a picture of a Kansas City Chiefs fan dressed to mimic a Native American alongside of a couple of pictures featuring black face.  I said that they are all equally shameful.

An old friend commented, "My grandmother on my dads side was full blooded Indian. I have a lot of Indian blood in me. I am not offended one bit by the Indian costumes. Maybe I'm not the norm."

I think a person has to have more than Native American ancestry. According to my DNA analysis my mother and father come from Irish ancestors but I'm not personally offended if a Brit demeans an Irishman but I disapprove of such comments. My wife is as Italian as Trevi Fountain but she often refers to things uniquely Italian as "quinea" this or that. I don't like it when she uses that word in that way but it means nothing to her. That's not true of all Italians. If an Italian is offended when she says guinea it is not the Italian's fault, it is her fault.

Just because the offender doesn’t see the problem with his demeaning language doesn't disqualify the feelings of the person offended.

Too many of us act and speak without any consideration of the impact they have on the people around them. They claim that they are exercising their personal freedom. But doing so without considering others is irresponsible and a violation of the rights of others. Operating a motorcycle or a car with inadequate exhaust muffling or, worse yet, a muffler designed to accentuate exhaust noise is considered a personal liberty by some but most people are annoyed by the unnecessary noise and feel that their rights are being violated. I think such noise is illegal and I think an adult that takes pleasure in making excessive noise is immature and offensive.

If you were a Native American that observed Native American traditions and practiced one of the many Native American religions, you would be a Native American in spirit, which you would not be simply because one of your grandmothers was a Native American. Then you might very well be offended when someone said "redskin" or wore makeup and a costume to mimic the appearance of a Native American just as "black
face and big white lips" mimicked African Americans.

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