What's Offensive?

This topic contains 120 replies, has 20,126 voices, and was last updated by  1_optimistic 13 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 121 total)
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  • #19400

    Deirdre
    Participant

    Funny that you all are talking about this. I have three full-blooded sisters and we all look different. People are always asking if we are full or half sisters. My oldest is 11 years older and we look almost exactly alike. Some days in the humid summer the pencil stays in and during the cold, dry winter, the pencil falls right to the floor!!:p But the two middle sisters look dramatically different. One looks really African-American, the other looks really Asian. She is an anchorwoman and folks always wonder is she is Asian and Black. People (white folks really) trip off of us. They say “No way you could all be from the same mom and pop. We all use different hair products for our varying grades of hair. So funny. I buy white products for my daughter’s hair because it’s like wavy/straight. It won’t even stay braided without a rubberband to hold it. I ask her what she is and shae says “A free child of God” Go head sista!

    -Deirdre

    aka Golden Swallow

    #19401

    Deirdre
    Participant

    Lewis,

    Love it all. Frizz and all! Even though I know I’m vain, the outwardly appearance doesn’t much matter. You really have to use what is best for the health of your hair. Your hair is your crown and glory-whatever the texture. Deep condition it. Did’nt some natives use bear or buffalo fat/oil on their hair? We all have to use something.

    Lynne,

    YES. Other NDNS area going to have to get used to the idea of mixed bloods. We are a part of this American tapestry. It is so sad that tribes are denying people of mixed heritage. Like in the case of Miss Navajo, the black navajo of 1997. She is simply beautiful!! It’s crazy to hold on to these bad feelings about black people when we all descended from the original woman in Africa. So Sad.

    #19402

    quest for facts
    Participant

    my hair is straight as a board and I can do nothing with it except let it hang down my back. A friend of mine says you have that ndn hair like me. So genetics go

    Linda

    #19404

    1_optimistic
    Participant

    This is a very sensitive topic….especially in the Black community. For those of you who listen to R&B music, India Aire has a new single called, “I Am Not My Hair.”

    Basically, Black Children and others (Non-Black People) are brainwashed to believe that if you have loose curls or straight hair, then you have “Good Hair” but if you have kinky or unmanageble hair, then you have “Bad Hair”. That is why so many Black people spend so much money putting chemicals (Poison) in their hair and wonder why it falls out.

    Yes, I used to put relaxers in my hair but I’ve been chemical free for six months now and I am loving it!!!!

    Yes, I do have curly hair depending on the weather of course because on some days….watch out LOL!!! But my hair was passed down to me from generation to generation……..my hair texture is the same as past Kings and Queens!

    Both my older sister and I have the same parents but my little sister has a different father. My little sister always comments on her hair saying that she wished that her hair was like my hair and my older sister’s. I have to stop and tell her that regardless of her hair texture….she’s God’s property…his Princess and if she wants straighter hair then there are hair products to do that but she should love herself regardless because she is not her hair but “the soul that lives within” (India Aire):)

    Erica Lewis

    #19422

    Red Metis
    Participant

    Yes, physical characteristics have become major tags to what someone is supposed to be. You cannot be such-and-such race if you have this, that or the other feature.

    My pet peeve is when we have a feature or features that are outside the typical features that race is supposed to have and it’s a source of wonder. Even when I was a child, people assumed that my mother dyed my hair red!!!! “Where did she get it from?” Where in Hades do they think? In all honesty, I think that there is still a belief that has trickled down from the late 19th pseudo-science that says that if you are not caucasian, you are a little less human or a very inferior sort of

    human. Racial mixing is often likened to cross-breeding. When it’s not, it’s often denied all together and the person of mixed blood lumped with the race of lower(est) status.

    I will never understand why the crossing of these imaginary borders of race cannot be seen as a brave act of love. That our ancestors (well, most of them) loved and cared about one another and their family to defy ‘how things are supposed to be’. I think we all have our blood in them in more ways than one by coming home to this site and all acknowledging, respecting, and accepting wherever we came from and how we look.

    I have never said thank you but I say it now to all of you in Saponi Town–thank you for this home. It means more than I can really say…I think everyone knows what I mean.

    Back to the java cup…:D

    #19432

    Dreaminghawk
    Moderator

    I have spent much of my life as a loner, never quite fitting in wherever I was. I’ve never felt as welcome anywhere as I do in the Saponitown community. I’m proud to call you all family 😉

    Ken

    #19442

    Deirdre
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    I have to be cautious about my words just now because I don’t want to offend anyone.

    Sometimes mixed bloods have a hard time being recognized as Native

    Sometimes?!! Try always. I’ve never been accepted. Not really. If I say I’m native, I have to prove it. But why don’t I have to prove being African? When I went to Africa I didn’t have to prove it. Here, I get treated like an outsider trying to get a “tourists” view into NDN culture. But that’s not what I want. I want to know more about who I am more fully; about customs and traditions that can really only come from living the culture. But I feel like they don’t want me around. That’s worse than teh treatment of the whiteman. I want the culture shared with me freely. I don’t want the text book version.

    On another note, I have patches of different texture hair. Straight in areas, wavy in others. I always say, my African roots are in the center of my head. The white is in the back, and NDN is all around the perimeter (ha, ha, ha!)

    Lewis,

    I was raised African American and told of the Native on both sides and because of not knowing or being free to acknowledge all of me as a kid, I understand the claim of NAtive now in your life. In many ways I feel the same way, but I keep getting this response by Natives “Everyone is trying to claim Native.” ANd that is really hurtful because right away it implies doubt of authenticity and that’s really not fair. I should not be denied or told that I am trying to claim something I am not just because of my “mixed” appearance. Anyway, NAtives don’t know who I could be. WHo are they to doubt what I am saying? Or what my ancestors told me before departing this world? I have honored the African in me by living that life for 40 yrs. Now I just want to acknowledge the other. People don’t really come out and ask me what I am anymore, they just stare. It’s o.k. I say to myself, “That’s right, I’m in my prime and I’m the finest thing you ‘ve seen all day;) “

    Lewis, why did you cut your ‘fro? My brother went through something similar years ago. His hair is jet black – thick and wavy/straight. People are always saying “Hola, como estas?” He just smiles back. He works for the department of defense and now wears it long-pulled back in a pony tail. He was going to cut it too for an interview. I said NO WAY. It’s your glory. Plus, you can do good work with it long or short. MAkes no difference. Turns out-it really makes no difference. He got a raise:p BTW, it’d be nice if folks could ask me what’s offensive, because I’ve been really offended throughout the years, but not too bitter.

    – Deirdre

    #19445

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Originally posted by Red Metis

    Hey Lynne! You are right–we are what we are. However, there are too many people that will try to catagorize our ‘race’ as ______ based on our appearance. Ambiguity is frowned upon. It’s unpleasant, to be sure, but we are who we SAY we are and what we know our people to be. But the prejudice is there–folks get treated on what their race is perceived to be; not what it truly is. BTW, cousin, I luuuv your posts!

    Me:

    Thanks for the compliment Red Metis. I am humbled by your kind words.

    I’d like to go right to your statement “Ambiguity is frowned upon”

    This cuts right to the heart of the whole problem. Every level of American society seems to abhor the notion of ambiguity. Sadly, even among other Indians, some of us will never be dark enough, or have straight enough hair, or they may find SOMETHING that trips that trigger that puts us in the ambigious category. The only way to try to help to end this….is to be upfront about what we are. …..heh, I have yet to find anyone who will look me in my black eyes and tell me that I’m not really an Indian….though I am sure that they think it. They may even try to figure out what angle I’m working. For people like us, there is no angle. In that respect, we live in purity of motive.

    Red Metis:

    Lewis, I got frizzy, ‘coily’ hair, too. There are plenty of non-African-American folk with some majorly kinky hair–just check out some of the sights like curlygirl.com. If they do ask you why do buy that stuff if you’re ndn then tell them it’s because you hair likes it. It’s really none of their business what you put on your hair, eat off your plate, or anything else. You might be asked anyway even if your hair was straight. I think Spirit said her hair was straight and she still gets questioned.

    Me:

    There’s nothing wrong with a new look! I think you should do what pleases you. If you like what you see in the mirror, it could be a good look for you.

    Besides…….just being asked why you are buying a certain kind of hair product, when youare “supposed” be be another certain kind of person, …….besides being insulting….why shouldn’t you get the best product for your money? Who gives a flying canoe who made it, and who the target market is for? You might just turn around and ask them why they are such poor consumers.

    Lynne

    #19446

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Originally posted by Dreaminghawk

    I have spent much of my life as a loner, never quite fitting in wherever I was. I’ve never felt as welcome anywhere as I do in the Saponitown community. I’m proud to call you all family 😉

    Ken

    Dreaminghawk, allow me to congratulate you on your marriage, and to apologize for the lateness of it. I don’t have much time to read the group.

    May you have long and lasting happiness. I know you will.

    Warm regards,

    Lynne

    #19447

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Its very common for mixed race individuals to have siblings, and first cousins who look very different from you.

    Its even common to go through “stages” of appearance YOUSELF, as you age.

    A lot of mixed race people will have darker skin in their youth, and actually have it fade as they age. My father and all of his siblings went through this. They went from pale olive to whitey-yellow with dark circles around the eyes as they got old.

    My father had white hair until he was three, and then it went jet black.

    My daughter was born with black hair, and it started growing out blonde at the roots at the age of one. It stayed blonde until she was eight, now its medium brown.

    My hair was black until I was 7, then it turned honey brown and stayed that way until I was 30. It was very straight until I hit 50, and then it waved as it greyed. I even had my hair cut when I was 26 by Suga ( this oriental guy who cut Dorethy Hammil’s hair) in NYC, as a birthday present. He told me I had VERY straight hair. I don’t think the guy would recognize me now. ( Lord, I wish I had a third set of teeth coming in!)

    There’s a lot of genetic stuff in all of us. None of us are dolls. Public consciousness just has to step into the 21st century.

    Lynne

    #19448

    Linda
    Keymaster

    What did east coast Indians originally look like? Most likely, they looked pretty much like Central or South Americans. Unless there’s something to the theory that Ice Age Europeans related to modern Mediterraneans made it over here 10,000 years ago.

    But most likely, it was the former more than the latter. I don’t think it’s possible to travel down the Red Road for very long without taking a long hard look at American paradigms about “Mexicans,” using the word generically to mean mostly Indian, Central and South Americans. Think about how disparagingly most people use that word, how little they value “those” people, how common we see them as being, how little we value their labour, how much we rely on them to do the work we don’t want to do ourselves. Then realize that’s how we see Indians.

    However far we want to go down the road romanticizing our lost Ancestors, the truth is that when we do find them what will be there will be a “bunch of Mexicans.” There’s a hard core of unrepentant racism in American thought processes we probably don’t really want to see, but this is the truth. We can’t really even begin to see what it is we’re reaching for until we clean out these nasty cobwebs.

    #19463

    1_optimistic
    Participant

    Good Morning,

    Thank you for your input, especially about being accepted by other Native Americans. I too feel uncomfortable about publicly claiming my Native ancestry (basically, I do not brag or insist that everyone I meet know that I am a descendent) because I was raised in the Black community and I do not know enough about Native American culture, customs and issues.

    Do not get me wrong, some people do ask me where I am from….as if I am from another country or Island…..there was one person who thought I was from the Dominican Republic and there was one Latino man who asked me if I was Hispanic.

    Also, I’ve been researching this part of my history since Nov. 04′ and I do not feel comfortable wearing Native American clothes, hair pieces, etc. because of what other Native Americans may say or think…..I know that is sad but I guess I have to learn their ways and be apart of a Native American community (in my hometown) before I step out for the world to see.

    I have to say that I am making progress……I’ve met some great people from my hometown and on Saponitown and I feel good about that…..put this process will take time and I am up for the challenge.:)

    Erica Lewis

    #19479

    Red Metis
    Participant

    Lynne:

    Thanks for the compliment Red Metis. I am humbled by your kind words.

    I’d like to go right to your statement “Ambiguity is frowned upon”

    This cuts right to the heart of the whole problem. Every level of American society seems to abhor the notion of ambiguity. Sadly, even among other Indians, some of us will never be dark enough, or have straight enough hair, or they may find SOMETHING that trips that trigger that puts us in the ambigious category. The only way to try to help to end this….is to be upfront about what we are. …..heh, I have yet to find anyone who will look me in my black eyes and tell me that I’m not really an Indian….though I am sure that they think it. They may even try to figure out what angle I’m working. For people like us, there is no angle. In that respect, we live in purity of motive.

    Ah, you are welcome, Lynne. I love your way of getting to the ‘marrow’ of things. You also sound like a person kind of heart, too. To me, knowledge and understanding is all.

    As far as ambiguity is concerned–it goes even further. “Who are you so that I may know how to deal with you.” It seems to me that many would first like to know which rung you are at on the ladder rather than just taking you as a person first. I think people can have such closed minds that they find it easier and more acceptable to deal with the stereotypes and imagined castes of a group of people rather than look beneath the physical characteristics.

    For example, look at all the so-called ‘racial’ medicine that’s being practiced–claiming that a particular drug works better for one race than another or that some groups have poorer outcomes from a particular disease than others. It is easier to blame it on racial factors–something that cannot be changed–rather than truly look at what’s going on–socioeconomic status and access to medical care! Ever been to a grocery store in a bad area of town and look at the produce section vs. a haute-courtire market in a better area? I know everyone has seen the price of food skyrocket–it’s easier to buy soda and that imitation fruit punch (you know, that red one in the milk jug!!) than real fruit juice. I’m not saying that it is impossible to have a good diet when you don’t have much but it takes much planning, education, and support–something that poorer folks just don’t have much access to.

    Just so much easier to blame it on race than to acknowledge unfairness and the deep need for elitism.

    Ok, sorry about that–getting off topic here but I think it’s a good example of one of the reasons that there is this NEED to avoid ambiguity in race.

    Lewis and Erica: Can understand your background. I was raised a black, too. This is the South–one bit of black muddies whatever else you have. There were a lot of people in my family who pass for white but knew better than to do that. If your cover was blown that was, at best, grounds for a severe beating, or at worst, grounds for lynching. When I was a child, my grandfather would walk to the school to pick me up b/c I stayed with him and my grandmother after school. The other kids would whisper and the teachers would certainly stare at this Indian man coming to pick up this red-headed granddaughter. I got asked all the time was my grandmother white (when I was older). When I questioned this—wow–you wouldn’t believe the response I got–pinches on the arm and the “we’re black; you got that? Don’t you dare say otherwise!” So, there you go–raised as black and robbed of the culture of my ancestors.

    I get asked if I’m from the islands, too, Erica.

    Why, Lewis, surely we are kin!!

    😀 😀 My grandfather’s mother’s people were Choctaws who migrated into the Florida panhandle (which made him Choctaw, too, even though his father’s people were Siouan–still not sure 100% sure where from where in Va.)

    Linda, you are truly right when you say that there is hardcore, unrepented racism in this country. I am always amazed that many white people say that racial relations have improved but minorities say, ‘yeah, right’. It’s real hard to notice racism when you’re not on the receiving end of it. I think attitudes will not improve to where they should be as long as it’s not somthing directly felt.

    #19480

    1_optimistic
    Participant

    I also agree with your comment:

    “I am always amazed that many white people say that racial relations have improved but minorities say, ‘yeah, right’. It’s real hard to notice racism when you’re not on the receiving end of it.”

    Unless, the “Majority” is affected by a horrible event, then it doesn’t matter………..to the “Majority”.

    Unfortunately, that is true……..which every group of people have power at the White House or other countries, have the upper-hand…..and we all know which groups of people they are……those who have conquered nations/countries for centuries.

    Personally, it is offensive when someone outside of my culture/ethnic background tell me how we should feel or tell me/us what’s true when they don’t know and never will know unless they separate themselves from their comfort zone but I doubt it very much.

    😡

    Erica

    #19485

    quest for facts
    Participant

    I want to say something here but I will probably open a major can of worms but in race relations I feel all sides should be looked at objectively. I am indian and white. As I learn more and more about indian culture and beliefs it is becoming more and more apparent quite alot was passed down in my family. From fry bread to you walk lightly on mother earth to you try to live peacefully with ALL of the Creators creatures. My father was a white man and to this day the absolute BEST man I have ever known. So in defense of the white man I say this: What if you go for a job interview and you are clearly the best person for the job and the job goes to a black man because he is a person of color. Is this right? I say no….I believe many of the programs our government has set up to “help” have done nothing but harm. Affirmative action in this case continues to allow racism to grow. Until the government gets out of our affairs then there will be problems. As long as the government tells indians who is an indian and who isn’t there will be problems. The mixed blood population outnumbers all races in this country and it is time for us to stand up and say NO MORE. But the major part of the population is just so passive that it will never be. There are good points in every race and there are bad points in every race. I also say this…..The African American race had their freedom taken but it has been restored….The American Indian had land and their entire way of life taken for God’s sake it was illegal to speak native languages for many years…if any people have a grievance with our government it would have to be the FIRST PEOPLE. Just 3 weeks ago the Nottoway People were denied state recognition is that right……not just no but HELL no! Since when does any white man or black man for that fact have the right to deny us what is rightly ours. Both white and blacks encroached on us we didn’t ask any of them to come over here and take our lands and our way of life but we greeted them kindly until we knew what they were after. We even helped them survive were is the justice in what they did to us but do we s the First People seek justice? No we don’t, we seek what is ours…we seek that they recognize us for who we are. We seek to be restored our rights as The First People…the real conquerors of the vast wilderness called America. This is my country and has been for thousands upon thousands of years not a mere 400 years. Stand up and tell everyone who you are (who cares what they think) let racism stop with you teach your children the proper way this is the only way racism will die…remember we outnumber them we are mixed bloods we have the ability to change this country how about we start doing it?

    Linda

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