Native Americans are varied and versatile; they’re resourceful and poised. From Diné to Lakota to Ute, check out these 10 things Native Americans can do better than you.
1.Piss off Dan Snyder
Six federally protected trademarks go bye-bye? Aw. Poor you.
2.Turn the President of the United States into a babysitter
President Barack Obama is the fourth sitting president to ever visit an Indian reservation, and possibly the first to ever be made babysitter while the rest of us go get fry bread.
3.Make a “Happy” Pharrell a bit bummed out, and notice that even he can’t tell what’s offensive to Native Americans
Funny hat man and “Happy” singer Pharrell’s faux pas on the cover of Elle UK Magazine where he was photographed wearing a Native American headdress recently prompted a surge of opposition on Twitter. He later apologized for his behavior and probably got a hug from Gwen Stefani, another celeb to declare she just didn’t know that Native Americans are still alive to be offended by this foul form of cultural co-opting.
4.Make Khloe Kardashian apologize for being a complete ass – again
Khloe Kardashian faced criticism recently when she, again, was photographed donning a Native American headdress for her niece, North West. This is the second time Khloe has been seen culturally appropriating Native American culture by wearing a faux headdress. Third time’s a charm? Wait for it.
Spike Lee spoke last year to a room of students about the gentrification in his neighborhood of Harlem, New York, and likened the new-comers of his father’s neighborhood to Christopher Columbus taking over what he claimed to discover, but did not discover, i.e. the North American continent, because people were already living there long before the newcomers invaded. That’s right – invaded.
6.Actually show you the pictures of our Native American grandmother who we claim to get our Native American heritage from
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the congresswoman from Massachusetts, has been frequently grilled about her alleged Cherokee heritage. In a TV interview, she was asked about the photos of a great, great, great grandmother Warren claims to be a descendant of. “I have plenty of pictures,” she said to the reporter. “They’re not for you.” Warren has frequently refused to unearth the alleged photos, which she says is evidence of her indigenous lineage.
7.Play Tiger Lily (well, maybe not)
It’s a hackneyed, stereotypical role of a Native American “princess,” and, surprise! It’s been given to a non-Native American actor. While actor Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who isn’t Native American, has been cast to play “Tiger Lily” in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Peter Pan, Native American actors and scholars alike are scratching their heads pondering how this culturally appropriated car crash will play out once the film hits the silver screen. “What Makes The Red Man Red,” anyone?
8.Convince the U.S. patent office that a racial slur is, you guessed it, a racial slur
Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, was one of five plaintiffs to take on Dan Snyder and the Washington Redskins concerning the team’s federally protected trademarks of the team name. The U.S. patent office agreed with Blackhorse, et al, and ruled the name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” Well. Done.
9.Make the world notice in a single moment, with a single photograph, the absolute, incontrovertible buffoonery, dipshittery and outright arrogance of the Cleveland Indians fanatic
A die-hard Cleveland Indians fan in red face and faux feathers encountered a bona fide Native American (an American Indian Movement member, no less) outside Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this year further illustrating how deeply embedded racism and cultural appropriation of Native Americans is within the American psyche.
10.Make friends out of old enemies
The Cowboy and Indian Alliance comes courtesy of the Reject and Protect campaign to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from polluting the earth through destructible fracking practices. The effort comprises of both Native Americans and non-Native Americans who oppose the pipeline. The enemy of my enemy isn’t always your friend. Sometimes we’ve got to go all Armageddon and align with old adversaries to take out the fantastic meteor headed our way. That said, #NoKeystoneXL.