A dozen Native American actors walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s “comedy”, The Ridiculous Six, earlier this week. Sadly, the script was riddled with insults to the Native American Community. Native female characters were given sexually objectifying names like “Never Wears Bra” and “Beaver’s Breath”.
Allison Young, Navajo, confronted producers about her concerns. “They just told us, ‘If you guys are so sensitive, you should leave.’…Nothing has changed. We are still just Hollywood Indians.”
In addition to the offensive character names, the costumes are highly stereotypical and inaccurate. Once of the twelve to walk away was the film’s Native consultant, who was hired to ensure respectful and historical accuracy. Characters were dressed in a way that didn’t resemble the Apache tribe at all.
Our law enforcement commits atrocities against the African American Community (as well as many other minorities) daily. Recently, George Takei had to intervene to prevent a terrible auction of personal items belonging to and art works made by Japanese Americans while they were imprisoned in American internment camps. We cheer on the “Redskins” in stadiums. We tell minorities to look “more white” to be “more beautiful”. Profiling, offensive stereotypes, objectification, murder, sexual assault, unbalanced/racist incarceration rates, etc, are all weapons of the systematic oppression minorities face in this country. Racism isn’t even “just alive”. It’s thriving, consuming, and blood-thirsty. The problem isn’t just a hand-full of racist employers, police officers, and politicians. This is intensely wide-spread, rooted, and promoted. Our media, judicial systems, and expectations are tainted.
Everyone has the responsibility to change this system.
How do you participate and perpetuate a racist society? In what ways do you call out others (or yourself) on racist assumptions, comments, “jokes”, microaggressions, etc?
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