I grew up as a not-exactly-white girl in Oklahoma, so naturally it was always assumed I must be Native American. No seriously, I had to explain to my second grade teacher** that Filipino* is, in fact, not a tribe. Still, I was assigned to wear the feathers in the school plays. They were very authentic, you know. Dark hair, olive complexion, kinda slanted eyes, no nose bridge-totally pass for one of them Red Men that call this state home. *eye roll*
The only thing worse than terrible stereotypes is being incorrectly cast as a pawn for someone else’s terrible stereotype. Close enough, right? Terrible stereotypes aside, they were at least making some effort at paying respect to the culture. I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Don’t feel sorry for me here. I got to be on stage***. I wasn’t feeling especially ‘discriminated against’ at the time. The attention! It’s Mine! Precious….
Where was I going again?
Oh right! I was meandering around to find a tie into LabRat’s excellent piece on the brouhaha over some sportball team and their lamentable name and mascot. (And I got an excuse to work ‘brouhaha’ into a blog post.) She’s absolutely right, and I agree with every word. You’re going to have to go over there to read them for yourself.
No, there is no ‘white guilt’ at play here. Just an expectation that although people should have every right to be assholes, more would choose not to be.
*Yes, I do have a very little Native American heritage mixed into my proudly mutt pedigree, but it is far less than my red-haired, pale-skinned hubby has in his.
**She gave me a packet for my parents to fill out so I could ‘get on the rolls’ .
***I also once played a squirrel with a speaking part. I said, “Look! Here come the ducks!” I lacked shame from an early age.