south american indians

Person: What are you?

Me: Indian

Person: Ohhhh….Feather or Dot? 

Me:

Me: *Internally* Its 2015, you should know the difference between Native American and Indian. And if you don’t, then you should know that there is a better way to ask this question rather than demeaning both races down to two objects. Two objects that you happen to love to appropriate. “Feather and Dot” mean more to each respective culture, and are not a means of classification for our individual ethnicity. 

I have this developing theory that desi Trump voters, esp. Christians and Hindus who were so keen on fucking over Muslims, don’t have white people in their intimate social circles. 

If you’ve ever been close to a white person, it would be crystal clear to you when Trump talks about getting rid of Muslims they mean everyone who looks Muslim, including your dumb hateful brown ass. Joe from Fucknutsville, America, isn’t putting in the brain power to distinguish Hindus or Indian Christians from Muslims, ‘kay? 

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vimeo

Did you recently learn that getting a Chinese symbol tattoo or wearing the bindi offends some Asian folks, but don’t know why? You want to be sensitive to other cultures but at the same time want to know what’s wrong if you’re just appreciating it?

This documentary is a good starting point for you.

In a nutshell, the same thing that you ‘appreciate’ for aesthetics, is same thing Asian Americans were ridiculed (at best) and killed (at worst) for. When you commodify an aspect of someone’s heritage you are devaluing its meaning that took centuries of generations to develop.

yellow apparel: when the coolie becomes cool — is produced by a group of undergraduates at UC-Berkeley in 2000. It interviews Asian activists, people on the street, show owners and others who feel passionate about the topic.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
—  these famous words were found scribbled in Jim Elliot’s journal, after he and four other men were speared to death by South American Indians. He gave his life for the sake of the gospel and for the salvation of a remote tribal people. Later, the Auca Indian tribe in Ecuador did receive salvation in Jesus Christ, through the continued efforts of missionaries, including Jim Elliot’s wife, Elisabeth.
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Cody Pedersen and his wife, Inyan, know that in an emergency they will have to wait for help to arrive.

Cody, 29, and his family live in Cherry Creek, a Native American settlement within the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in north central South Dakota.

The reservation is bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined. But Cherry Creek has no general store, no gas station and few jobs.

When Inyan, 34, was preparing to give birth to her two youngest children, doctors scheduled her to have cesarean sections in a hospital rather than having her wait until she was in labor to come in.

In January, Cody was stabbed in the neck. It took an ambulance two hours to arrive.

For Native Americans, Health Care Is A Long, Hard Road Away

Photos: Misha Friedman for KHN and NPR

The negative stereotypes that STILL plague Native Americans are outrageous. Natives are not “savage” people and should not be treated as second class citizens. Indigenous people are the closest to the Earth, and prosper in the open plains not cramped onto a reservation. In addition to being relocated to reservations, Natives have been subjected to the illegal kidnappings of their children by the DSS.

Sign the Petition: lakotalaw.org/action

Choreographer Aakomon Jones Talks About Working With Aaliyah


Q: How did you first hook up with Aaliyah?

AJ: I first hooked up with Aaliyah around her last album. I was the assistant choreographer for “We Need A Resolution”, “More Than A Woman”, and “Rock the Boat”. Fatima was of course the lead choreographer.

Q: Where you excited to work with Aaliyah?

AJ: First and foremost I was a huge fan of Aaliyah’s. Watching the way Aaliyah and Fatima put their choreography together was always phenomenal. So to work with Fatima and Aaliyah was a dream.

Q: What was it like working with Aaliyah?

AJ: Aaliyah was a pleasure to work with. Aaliyah was ever the perfectionist. She always showed up on time ready and willing to learn routines even if we totally changed the direction of the choreography. For instance, when we were creating choreography for the “Rock The Boat” video we must have gone through 5 different instances of Asian, Indian, South American dance styles. Aaliyah never complained once. She was willing to change and explore with me and Fatima until we got everything right. Like I said, ever the perfectionist.

Q: Can you give us any off hand stories about Aaliyah?

AJ: Aaliyah always found time to enjoy herself while working. What I can tell you about are good times we had going out to lunch after a long day of routines and rehearsals.  Even though we were at times working 12 to 13 hour days Aaliyah and her crew found time to laugh. She was a real practical joker.  

#Reclaim the bindi

I just became aware of this happening and wow it’s making me emotional. Not only does everyone look beautiful and amazing, it really strikes something in me. Growing up in a mostly white society, I was always the weird one, not white, not black. My eyebrows and hair and body hair was always thicker than anyone else’s. I was told for a time that I spoke funny and worked hard to stomp it out. On the occasions that my family would actually cook food strong smelling enough to absorb onto my clothes, it would be commented on as a weird smell. And my churidars couldn’t really be worn anywhere without seeming weird so they were forgotten.

So I just came to stomp down something that was a part of my identity. I avoided sunlight to make myself be lighter, tried to dress “normally”, and try to fit into western beauty standards (and for a time, hated myself because I couldn’t).

And honestly I didn’t even have it as bad as some. Thankfully, I wasn’t bullied outright. And I’m sorry for those who weren’t as lucky.

But seeing this movement, seeing all my desi sisters embracing and reclaiming their culture and fighting back inspires me. To stop being quiet when people who pick and chose parts of my culture to make fashionable. To stop being quiet to avoid becoming the “other” again. To stop the impulse of shame and shyness that comes with showing a part of my identity. 

Because you are not allowed to make us be embarrassed of our culture for years, to group us into a silly stereotype, and make fun of us for who we are and then turn the very things you laughed at into some kind of fashion trend.