“The same mentality that ignores Indigenous rights to self-representation are often those who also stereotype and gaslight GLBTIIQ people, women (of all kinds), the disabled or economically challenged, especially people of color just for desiring change and equality. It is basically saying, ‘My gratification is more important than your dignity, your rights or even your life.’ This is a main facet of rape culture. It is intersecting oppression.”
We see this with the persistent and willful use of Native mascots by teams like the Kansas City Ch*efs, and the support of R*wling or anyone who perpetuates and uses anti-Semitic, racist, and misogynistic stereotypes in their work or words, and/or who advocates transphobia and hatred under the privileged and extremely twisted and misleading claim of feminism.
The same type of people and demographic who whine and rage about cancel culture, politic correctness and having their “culture” taken away, besides admitting their “cultures” are sexist, racist and/or hatemongering in the first place, they are centering and comparing their privileged lives to those widely vilified, discriminated against, treated with violence or killed simply for daring to exist and live their lives.
The latest article by Kristina Kielblock at kino.de details the timeline of R*wling’s transphobia and hatemongering, while also examining her work’s history of anti-Semitism, racism and stereotyping. It’s in German but a simple click in your browser can translate it to most other languages.
While it’s anyone’s choice to play the new HP game or watch and cheer on their favorite sports team, real human beings who care for others, for human rights, for anti-discrimination etc. would not show support through apathy OR by ignoring the sexism, racism, misogyny and hatemongering by their actions or words, blithely claiming it’s “no big deal” or “doesn’t really doesn’t matter.” Whether they wish it or not, whether they think so or not, their participation WILL BE USED by the racists, the sexists, the misogynists and transphobes to further perpetrate acts of violence, discrimination and cruelty to marginalized and minoritized groups and peoples.
Remember: whenever Native Americans, transgender people and allies, or anyone dare to speak up against the violence, misrepresentation and discrimination they face, greater attacks and aggression are ALWAYS the result. So more clearly than ever, if you are not part of the solution, you ARE part of the problem. If you remain silent, you join the oppressor.
(In German below). A new article on some of the current and upcoming shows centering Native American, First Nations and Indigenous peoples that (most importantly) were made by Natives for everyone. Natives also working in healthy cooperation and collaborations with other peoples and groups to produce work both, fiction and non-fiction, that include or focus on Native characters stories….without the Eurocentrism, misrepresentation and stereotyping.
Understand what that means because inevitably (and we see it constantly) there are comments from non-Natives who say, “But they sometimes do stereotypes! Why is it so different or bad if we do it?” or even more exasperating, “We love Natives, and just want to create characters and stories, too! Where’s the harm in that?” Besides our documentary, there are MANY resources that explain how, why and when racism and Eurocentrism continues to work in our societies, what it’s symptoms and effects are. There are MANY resources that explain and clearly demonstrate the harm that results, and the cycles of erasure, silencing and replacing Native peoples, voices and self-determination that continue the purposes of colonialism and Indigenous genocide.
The only time Germany and the western world seems to really consider these topics as a nation or societies is during a controversy, such as climaxed in August 2022 following the release of children’s books no less, that sought to revive and defend the use of racist, sexist terms used for Natives that are strongly condemned, which they were made well aware of long before going to press. What is especially frustrating about such behavior and societal practices, is that like Indian hobbyists of all kinds, they overshadow or completely obscure the many Europeans who have long been allies, colleagues and partners to Indigenous peoples, working to undo centuries of Eurocentrism and colonialism through healthy relationships and cooperation of all kinds with Native peoples. We get dozens of articles about hobbyists, books and reports by so-called “Indian experts” and ad nauseum novels, shows and films romanticizing Native stereotypes or misrepresenting/skewing current events, but few or NONE about good collaborations.
Stereotypes are oversimplifications of other peoples, groups and individuals of which one is not a part, often based on historical fears and ignorance. In the case of Europeans doing this to ethnic and racial groups, this has an overwhelmingly negative effect because of the violently gained and held structural power to control all narratives, which the targeted groups have little or no opportunity to correct or change, all while being subjected to discrimination, compartmentalization and dehumanization. In the case of Native American peoples, cultures and traditions, in Germany especially, decades of moneymaking exploitation of all kinds, from museums, to media studios, to tobacco products.
Simply put: When we as Native peoples talk about ourselves, our communities, our histories, our cultures, our traditions, our idiosyncrasies, we are not stereotyping because it is coming from a place of intimate, personal knowledge about ourselves, our communities, our histories, our cultures, our traditions, our idiosyncrasies. That is not hard to understand although it takes humility, often absent in western society, and realize, too, in that sentence you can substitute any other marginalized or minoritized groups for “Native peoples”. Look around you in western society, just like our documentary’s premise, the same attitude and treatment of Natives is done to others, and even to the environment, our Earth, our home. Destruction, pain and harm are ignored, minimized or defended for self-gratification and/or profit.
That’s why we continue say, no shout and yell, that it is well past time to symbolically #ForgetWinnetou! and the harmful practices, behaviors and mentalities that continue colonial, genocidal systems that encourage the stereotyping, erasure and silencing of certain “others”.
Ein neuer Artikel über einige der aktuellen und kommenden Serien, die sich mit Native Americans, First Nations und indigenen Gruppen befassen und (vor allem) von Natives für alle gemacht wurden. Eingeborene arbeiten auch in gesunder Kooperation und Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Völkern und Gruppen, um Werke zu produzieren, sowohl Belletristik als auch Sachbücher, die Geschichten von indigenen Charakteren enthalten oder sich auf diese konzentrieren…., ohne den Eurozentrismus, die falsche Darstellung und Stereotypisierung.
Verstehen Sie, was das bedeutet, denn unweigerlich (und wir sehen es ständig) gibt es Kommentare von Nicht-Natives, die sagen: “Aber sie machen manchmal Stereotypen! Warum ist es so anders oder schlecht, wenn wir es auch tun?” oder noch ärgerlicher: “Wir lieben die Eingeborenen und wollen auch Figuren und Geschichten erschaffen! Was ist daran so schlimm?” Neben unserem Dokumentarfilm gibt es VIELE Quellen, die erklären, wie, warum und wann Rassismus und Eurozentrismus in unserer Gesellschaft weiter wirken, was seine Symptome und Auswirkungen sind. Es gibt VIELE Quellen, die den Schaden, der daraus resultiert, und die Zyklen der Auslöschung, des Schweigens und der Verdrängung von indigenen Völkern, Stimmen und Selbstbestimmung, die die Ziele des Kolonialismus und des indigenen Völkermordes fortsetzen, erklären und klar aufzeigen.
Das einzige Mal, dass sich Deutschland und die westliche Welt als Nation oder Gesellschaft wirklich mit diesen Themen auseinandersetzen, ist während einer Kontroverse, wie sie im August 2022 nach der Veröffentlichung von Kinderbüchern ihren Höhepunkt erreichte, in der versucht wurde, die Verwendung rassistischer und sexistischer Bezeichnungen für indigene Gruppen wiederzubeleben und zu verteidigen, die aufs Schärfste verurteilt werden und über die sie lange vor der Veröffentlichung informiert wurden. Besonders frustrierend an solchen Verhaltensweisen und gesellschaftlichen Praktiken ist, dass sie – wie indianische Bastler aller Art – die vielen Europäer in den Schatten stellen oder völlig ausblenden, die seit langem Verbündete, Kollegen und Partner der indigenen Völker sind und daran arbeiten, Jahrhunderte des Eurozentrismus und Kolonialismus durch gesunde Beziehungen und Kooperationen aller Art mit den indigenen Volksgruppen zu überwinden. Es gibt Dutzende von Artikeln über Hobbyisten, Bücher und Berichte von so genannten “Indianerexperten” und bis zum Überdruss Romane, Serien und Filme, in denen indigene Stereotypen romantisiert oder aktuelle Ereignisse falsch dargestellt oder verdreht werden, aber nur wenige oder KEINE über gute Zusammenarbeit.
Stereotypen sind vereinfachte Darstellungen anderer Völker, Gruppen und Individuen, denen man nicht angehört, und beruhen oft auf historischen Ängsten und Unwissenheit. Im Falle der Europäer, die dies bei ethnischen und rassischen Gruppen tun, hat dies eine überwältigend negative Wirkung, da sie gewaltsam die strukturelle Macht erlangen und behalten, alle Narrative zu kontrollieren, die die Zielgruppen kaum oder gar nicht korrigieren oder ändern können, während sie gleichzeitig Diskriminierung, Abschottung und Entmenschlichung ausgesetzt sind. Im Fall der indianischen Völker, Kulturen und Traditionen, insbesondere in Deutschland, ist dies eine jahrzehntelange Ausbeutung zu Geldzwecken aller Art, von Museen über Medienstudios bis hin zu Tabakprodukten.
Einfach ausgedrückt: Wenn wir als Native Nations über uns selbst, unsere Gemeinschaften, unsere Geschichte, unsere Kulturen, unsere Traditionen, unsere Eigenheiten sprechen, dann tun wir das nicht stereotyp, denn es kommt von einem Ort intimer, persönlicher Kenntnis über uns selbst, unsere Gemeinschaften, unsere Geschichte, unsere Kulturen, unsere Traditionen, unsere Eigenheiten. Das ist nicht schwer zu verstehen, auch wenn man dazu Demut braucht, die in der westlichen Gesellschaft oft nicht vorhanden ist, und man sollte sich auch darüber im Klaren sein, dass man in diesem Satz ” Native Peoples” durch jede andere marginalisierte oder minorisierte Gruppe ersetzen kann. Schauen Sie sich in der westlichen Gesellschaft um, genau wie die Prämisse unseres Dokumentarfilms, die gleiche Einstellung und Behandlung der “Natives” wird anderen angetan, und sogar der Umwelt, unserer Erde, unserem Zuhause. Zerstörung, Schmerz und Schaden werden ignoriert, verharmlost oder aus Gründen der Selbstbefriedigung und/oder des Profits verteidigt.
Deshalb sagen wir weiterhin, nein, wir brüllen, dass es längst an der Zeit ist, symbolisch #ForgetWinnetou! und die schädlichen Praktiken, Verhaltensweisen und Mentalitäten zu vergessen, die koloniale, völkermörderische Systeme fortsetzen, die die Stereotypisierung, Auslöschung und das Verstummen bestimmter “Anderer” fördern.
My essay “Terming Us into New Obscurity” was included, with perspectives on the usage and evolution/deevolution of the terms BIPOC and POC. My contribution and the brochure is in German.
Shared from the xart splitta website:
“#CommunitiesSolidarischDenken ist nun im dritten Jahr einer der thematischen Schwerpunkte bei xart splitta. Wir haben über Solidaritäten gesprochen, geschrieben und uns ausgetauscht – über gute und schlechte, gescheiterte und gelungene, schwierige und einfache, Solidaritäten, aufgrund von Gemeinsamkeiten oder trotz Differenzen. Ziel ist hier der Versuch, community-übergreifend zu arbeiten und dabei bewusst Community-Verbindungen zu schaffen. Dazu gehört, Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten in unseren Communitys zu thematisieren, um dadurch Handlungsstrategien für community-übergreifende Zusammenarbeit und Solidaritäten (weiter) zu entwickeln und zu stärken.
Doch wen bezieht diese Solidarität mit ein? Wer zeigt sich hier solidarisch mit wem? Es ist sicherlich kein Geheimnis, dass diese Communitys mehrheitlich (intersektionale) BIPoC-Communitys sind. Mit unseren Forderungen von 2021 im Gepäck ist es nun an der Zeit, sich tatsächlich mit den Basics auseinanderzusetzen.
Dies haben wir wieder für euch in unserer Broschüre #CommunitiesSolidarischDenken – Überlegungen zu nachhaltiger Community-Zusammenarbeit III mit dem Titel “Zusammen als People of Color?!” zusammengefasst, welche hier als download verfügbar ist.
A huge thanks to Birgit Bachler and participating students at FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria for the invitation to speak yesterday, 10 November, in their lecture series, Beyond the Bubble.
It was an opportunity to share different perspectives, realities & insights cross- and interculturally showing in educational, hands-on ways Natives/Indigenous persons are more than “bubblefied” stereotypes.
That we can, do & even excel in many different fields, disciples, and have a variety of interests and skills. We can and often do talk about, enjoy & do things that are not directly Euro-assigned “Native/Indigenous” things. That practice is in itself stereotyping, limiting, compartmentalization.
My Title: Beyond the Bubble – The Need for Variance. “Recognizing and fulfilling the needs of adaptability and variance in harm free ways.”
There continues to be a lot of misinformation being shared about what “Two-Spirit” means, and Natives saying “No” are ignored just like when we say, stop cultural appropriation and misuse. Here’s the fact: if you are not Native/Indigenous, you are cannot be a Two-Spirit person and you should not be using the term to describe yourself or anyone else. It was a term created by Natives for Natives, and most Native nations and peoples have their terms in their languages also. The Dinéh (Navaho) refer to them as nàdleehé or ‘one who is ‘transformed’, the Lakota (Sioux) as winkte, the Mohave as alyha, the Zuni as lhamana, the Omaha as mexoga, the Aleut and Kodiak as achnucek, the Zapotec as ira’ muxe, etc.
My original post on the topic at redhaircrow.com was way back in 2010, “Two-Spirit-Tradition, History & Future”, so I wanted to do an updated version because my knowledge expanded also, from the wisdom of Native/Indigenous scholars, elders and elders-to-be. This is information I share and include in some workshops or presentations if applicable, or if someone asks about the term and its usage. Please recall all information on this and my personal website are our intellectual property, and require a written request for permission to reprint or use.
Recently, I shared links to the free manuscript proof of forthcoming, “Suicide Prevention in Indigenous Communities”, which I worked on with others this past summer for (NASEM), National Sciences Engineering Medicines Academies. It was almost totally ignored even by those who say they want to learn more about Natives. It’s a collection of firsthand information, data and knowledge from some of the hard-working Natives today, elders, academicians, psychologists, doctors. One of the greatest sections was on Two-Spirit people from Sadie Heart of the Hawk Ali, their presentation “Being Two-Spirit” can be downloaded from this online source.
Sadie sharing important knowledge, “Two-Spirit people are not only trans-identified, gender or sexually variant, gender queer, asexual or other terms. We are all of those and none of those because Two-Spirit is a **spiritual term** that reflects back on the roles our Two-Spirit ancestors used to have in relation to their Nations. Natives who identify as Two-Spirit know we have a responsibility to our Nations, to learn our languages, to keep our ceremonies and protect our children. This was the main work of Two-Spirit people prior to colonization.
Two-Spirit people understand the roles Two-Spirit ancestors had, and how when a child was born into a nation and there was evidence this child had an affinity for work that didn’t align with the gender they were identified with at birth, there was a celebration. There was a big celebration and a feast, it was not the negative response seen in parents today, that they will now never have grandchildren. In fact, if something happened to the parents of a child, the child was given to the Two-Spirit people to raise because rather than reducing that person to someone with a male and female spirit living in one body, there was a spiritual aspect as well. Many Native nations believe Two-Spirit people have one foot in the spirit world and one in the physical, being able to see things that others cannot. Two-Spirit people were considered sacred.
Contrary to stereotypes and pop culture, all Native people are not people of medicine, pipe carriers, lodge keepers and sun dancers, and medicine is more than sage, tobacco, sweetgrass, cedar and corn pollen. Today, Two-Spirit people are engaged in the work of our Two-Spirit ancestors working in medicine, in the arts, in psychology, in law, and other fields that lift our people up. Many are in behavioral health fields, and this is not a coincidence. Not all have completed their “coming-in” processes, but Two-Spirit people are around, they are in your communities trying to recreate the ways of our ancestors in every field.”
Reality: Even for Native/Indigenous persons, just because they are LGBTIIQ, non-binary etc. it doesn’t automatically make them Two-Spirit. Native/Indigenous LGBTIIQ people can BECOME Two-Spirits, but it is not an automatic thing. Indigenous people from other continents and places ALSO had their terms and words for such persons, which they should be using also. For example, in Pasifika, Mahu (Hawai’i and Tahiti), Vaka sa lewa lewa (Fiji), Palopa (Papua New Guinea), Fa’afafine (Samoa), Akava’ine (Rarotonga).
Solutions: If you are “white”, European, etc. research your peoples culture and history and find the original terms for persons like yourself, or work together with your people or “adopted” peers to create a term for yourselves. Stop appropriating and misusing Native/Indigenous terms, cultures and traditions. Why does this keep needing to be said? Why are the collective voices of Native peoples being ignored? The answers to those questions goes straight back to Eurocentrism, privilege and learned behaviors that excuse ignoring someone’s “No”, for one’s own gratification, even if its violating their rights, dignity and life. That’s why we say symbolically to #ForgetWinnetou, which helped spread that practice against Native peoples.
Description: “We live in societies designed to crush our bodies and spirits, that seek to compartmentalize and confine us in every way, especially into heteronormative roles and bodies although gender, sexuality, even intelligence are naturally on a spectrum.
Variance, the state of being varied, is often seen as negative. Yet skills such as adaptability and variability helped our ancestors survive, and today are essential in gaining and maintaining balance, well-being and mindfulness. Being trans and/or also part of other minoritized or marginalized groups adds extras challenges for being accepted as who you are, of just living your life, of feeling safe in society, in your home, in your body.”
Bitte lesen Sie die vollständige Erklärung auf ihrer Website, die ich mit dieser zusätzlichen Anerkennung voll unterstütze: In Deutschland bezieht sich der Begriff “Natives” zwar in erster Linie auf die Native Nordamerikaner, insbesondere auf die Plains Nations, aber auch auf alle indigenen Gruppen in “Amerikas”. Eine von den Europäern geschaffene und durchgesetzte Bezeichnung, die die Namen der Kontinente durch ihre tatsächlichen Originalbewohner, die Natives, die immer noch hier sind, ignoriert.
Please read the full statement on their website, which I fully endorse with this additional acknowledgement: In Germany, while the term “Native” refers primarily to Native North Americans, especially the Plains Nations, it also refers to all indigenous groups in “the Americas.” A term created and enforced by Europeans that ignores the names of the continents by their actual original inhabitants, the Natives, who are still here. The NAAoG statement will be translated to English in the next days.
The protests and demand for removal and banning of the term “squ*w began decades ago in North America, supported by many Native nations, peoples, non-Natives and objective researchers on the etymology of the term, its origin, historic and contemporary usage, which was deemed racist, sexist exploitive and reductive.
“The word itself is a constant reminder of the unjust treatment of the Native people, of the Washoe people,” said Darrel Cruz of the Washoe Tribe Historic Preservation Office. “It’s a constant reminder of those time periods when it was not good for us. It’s a term that was inflicted upon us by somebody else and we don’t agree with it.”
RAVENSBURGER WAS FULLY MADE AWARE OF THIS AND OTHER OFFENSIVE PRACTICES AND TERMS FOR YEARS. THEY DELIBERATELY CHOSE TO CONTINUE PRODUCTION THIS YEAR AND ONLY AFTER PROTEST ISSUED A NON-APOLOGY, WHICH HAS GENERATED ANGRY BACKLASH DUE TO WIDESPREAD DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION CIRCULATED BY GERMAN MEDIA.
von Carmen Kwasny (Vorsitzende):
“Am 23.08.2022 fing morgens das Telefon an zu klingeln und hörte bis in die Abendstunden hinein nicht mehr auf. Parallel dazu landeten weitere Interviewanfragen in unserem E-Mail-Postfach. Was war geschehen?
Note: Never forget random attacks, antagonism and racism against Native/Indigenous peoples, especially to our young people, have increased since this new “controversy” began, driven by many in German media’s and other’s misinformation, outright mendacity & white supremacist rhetoric. While many think of this as just a societal debate, just like stereotypes, such behaviors have daily life effects, often violent and discriminatory, for Native peoples. We already often felt unsafe and endured regular bullying and misuse, but this added a new level of venom and arrogance in how we are treated. It’s all demonstrated exactly how harmful stereotypes and appropriation really are. – 1 September 2022.
This is my official statement and sharing of information and situation I’ve experienced due to the on-going controversy of Ravensburger, Winnetou and the “bad faith” arguments, “strawman” examples and false equivalents on Native American stereotypes, cultural appropriation and misrepresentation, and the inherent racism and Eurocentrism at the root of those behaviors and practices. This is what our documentary is about, by the way, not an analysis of May’s work as yet another writer erroneously reported, the latest was in David Baum’s interview of myself at Stern.de.
I believe this continues to be a deliberate escalation of discrimination and hatred of anyone rejecting the contemporary cultural abuse and misuse of Native American cultures & peoples, which many in German media has exacerbated through subjectivity and the spread of misinformation, incendiary unfounded assertions, and race/ethnicity assumptions. And more specifically, the situation has been used to forward so-called, “White Rights”, especially white CIS men, which in actuality means the discrimination, oppression and/or silencing of all other ethnicities and groups except (in this case especially) Natives who fit Eurocentric stereotypes and support anti-Blackness, homo- and transphobia and Eurocentrism. etc.
I have recently met with members of “Natives in Germany”, a quite new group of persons of Native and Indigenous heritage here in Germany, which is entirely different and unassociated with the Native American Association of Germany. (Read NAAoG’s statement here, which I fully support.) First Tagesschau in the interview with Tyrone White (Lakota) misattributed his association with NAAoG, which error was duplicated by SternTV in its 28 August 2022 broadcast, which myself, Tyrone White and others refused to participate in, due to its adversarial format, which indeed resulted in what might be term a show of white male privilege, arrogance and condescension.
I also am not a member of NAAoG, but have worked in cooperation with its chairperson on several projects in the last decade and will continue to do so. While the “Natives in Germany” may overtly have a different style and method than NAAoG and partially than my own, I support their joining the important resistance and fight against racism, cultural appropriation, and stereotypes, which has been ongoing for decades in Germany. To fight such a pervasive historic and social crime as racism, it takes many types, methods and solutions by both Natives and non-Natives, and any human beings to end this plague. To reject the structural white supremacist ideology and patriarchy who believe it is their right to violate and/or control other peoples rights, narratives, histories and bodies, this includes everyone, including their own peers, past and present. It’s all connected: Reproductive rights, racism, sexism, ableism, etc.
I believe this is an important time in Germany’s perspective on “accepted” forms of racism and sexism, such as that against Natives and Indigenous peoples. As my documentary, work record and other material showed and shared from a variety of sources, both Native and non-Native, its critically important for all of us to move forward together in a spirit of restorative justice, and not the continued fetishization, fake ownership of and misrepresentation, misuse and misattribution of Native cultures, traditions and peoples. This also applies to and supports emancipation and self-representation by any marginalized or minoritized peoples and groups, to a help heal our world and create a better future for all our children.
It is time to symbolically #ForgetWinnetou, and work together with Native and Indigenous people with a spirit of cultural humility so that respect can develop in healthy ways mutually beneficial, and not in the culturally abusive, Eurocentric way much of Germany has perpetrated for decades.
Violence & Hypersexualization of Native Girls and Women
In particular, those who claim wrongly that stereotypes are harmless, that “playing Indian” and stories are just fairytales that have no impact on real life, and that it’s all just a part of German culture. They say, “How dare anyone protest?” “How dare this be taken away because of being overly Politically Correct?” Being PC is something I do not believe in and not just because it is an activity and idea created by white people to cover up the structural racism that has never gone away since colonialism and the first invasions of the renamed Americas. Mostly only white people were deceived by the PC control device, which I discussed the long term effects of actually increasing white dismissal of POC challenges to racism, exclusion, stereotyping, etc., find that article here, “Today’s Cultural Appropriation and the Long Term Effects of Politically Correct.”
I have never called for or supported the banning of Karl May’s books, but the Ravensburger books should NEVER have been produced. YEARS AGO they and other publishers were advised and pressed to discontinue usage of stereotypes, and other cultural appropriative and misrepresentative material not only by Natives and POC, but many other organizations and individuals working in cooperation to reduce Germany’s societal crime of racism that absolutely goes beyond the oversimplification of the White/Black binary. Ravensburger’s ignored that.
Ravensburger was advised BEFORE production of these books that including racist, sexist slurs like squ*w was absolutely unacceptable, besides the stereotypes and misuse of Native cultures. They ignored that, too. So this is not “cancel culture” or about banning a book instead of using it to educate. Obviously, they are not only refuse respectful education but believe reproducing or introducing racist, sexist slurs is acceptable. This just an excuse to use slurs and say, “Oh its just historic!” It wasn’t right then, and it isn’t right now. And all the terrible coverage done by #Tagesschau especially and #SternTV only exacerbated the situation, NOT our challenging racism and sexism.
The willful usage and defense of such indefensible decision to use the term in a children’s book no less, is interconnected with other examples of contemporary racism, misrepresentation and erasure of the genocide, ethnocide and mass sexual assaults, rape and abuse of Native young girls and woman (and Two-Spirits) since Europeans first invaded. Ravensburger’s non-apology and excuse is reprehensible, and the attempt to introduce usage of the slur to a new generation. Deliberate misinformation has been circulated by German media, which has escalated antagonism, misunderstanding and hatred against anyone rejecting the continued cultural abuse and misuse of Native cultures and peoples.
The Flood of Requests to Native Americans on the Winnetou/Ravensburger Controversy
In the last days, Natives mostly, but also other POC experienced a flood of requests to mostly answer the same questions, but “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” documentary, completely ignored by German film distributors, funders, studios and agents despite it winning awards answered those and MORE. Ask yourself why is that? Our documentary still doesn’t have a German or European distributor, and never had backing to broadcast on TV etc. while those by white male directors and producers especially, are quickly accepted and shown such as at 3sat. Structural racism indeed!
How do you feel about the portrayal of Native Americans in Karl May’s Winnetou book?
What are the consequences of this portrayal for Native Americans in real life?
What would art (books, movies, etc.) have to look like that adequately represents Native Americans?
What do you think about Germans wearing indigenous jewelry or children dressing up as Native Americans for Mardi Gras?
ALL of these questions have been answered repeatedly last month, last year, 2 years ago, 5 years, even 10 and 20 years ago! This is a waste of time and energy at this point, especially for Natives & POC, and shows clearly that by majority, Germany has not listened or pointedly ignored what Natives, other POC and allies have said for decades. The education system, the film studios, the writers etc. have ignored them in very Eurocentric, white privileged ways that are covertly/overtly white supremacist in ideology. How so? Because they pointedly place “white” needs, feelings, thoughts and beliefs (white male especially) as the most important, penultimate deciding factor on behaviors, whether it continues hurt or harm others and themselves.
There has been few exceptions in the past years besides these. Notice the type of writers/journalists?
There is distinct, deafening COGNITIVE DISSONANCE and/or deliberate misdirection. Conversations are not moving forward because of such bad faith, circular discussions, aka “debates” wherein Natives and other POC are asked to “debate” with those who are apathetic “devil’s advocates”, who try to downplay or “good people on both sides” the issue or outright defenders of racism. In all of it, it is seeking to continue control over all narratives relating to Native Americans, whether fictional or non-fictional, which continues to cause discrimination against Natives in society.
Just one example is the fact Germany believes other cultures should have a center and support to share their cultures and history with others in German society. Good, right? However, Native Americans have been many times rejected when applying for funding for this and told, “There are enough such places about Natives in Germany already, another is not needed.” When every one of those is WHITE created and led, and are overwhelmingly misrepresentative and reliant on stereotypes and Eurocentric interpretations of Native peoples and histories. There are NO Native American cultural centers in Germany, by Natives for Natives and everyone. This is blatantly and egregiously discriminatory, Eurocentric and structurally racist in method and effect, demonstratively proving Native “fairytales” and white supremacist ideology can and do affect society in the worst ways.
Appropriation vs. Appreciation Falseness + “There’s more important things Natives should focus on!”
This nicely summarizes many points BIPOC like myself and other Natives & POC have said and shared for decades.
For those who wish to progress & create positive change? I’m for it but….
My response to the request I mentioned and to others using the same retreaded rhetoric:
“From personal and professional experiences I know these are highly complex issues, and no one individual or group is exactly the same in why they accept or reject the continued misuse of Native cultures, fictitiously or in daily life. In my writing, my lectures and psychological counseling, I always include that fact and am very well aware of the spectrum of experiences. Therefore, I respectfully decline to repeat and share the same information I’ve been asked dozens of times in the last two days (Tagesspiegel, Stern, ) and the past twenty years (my bibliography). This is a personal choice, and in no way is intended nor should be taken as a negative opinion on anyone who does choose to participate. You are welcome to share this statement in part in the correct context or as a whole.
Instead, I will continue to move conversations forward on how to stop perpetuating stereotypes, how to make interculturally positive changes now and in the future, and work together with like-minded others to make a better, more respectful society for all ethnicities, cultures and peoples, especially for all children. If at any time in the future (the company) has a question(s) or is interested in cultural consultation, education and cooperation, I am available for inquiry. https://flyingwithredhaircrow.com/.”
A helpful FAQ list about the documentary, and other resources on these topics can be found here.
24 August 2022 von David Baum – @STERN.DE: “Die Debatte um die Neuauflage des Winnetou-Stoffs geht weiter. Uschi Glas, die Karl May-Gesellschaft und Franz Josef Wagner haben sich geäußert. Im stern kommen die Betroffenen zu Wort: Red Haircrow ist Mitglied der Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee und kritisiert die Winnetou-Bücher und -Filme bereits seit Jahren – unter anderem in einem Dokumentarfilm.”
Der Titel und die Informationen über unseren Dokumentarfilm sind völlig unwahr, wie die Filmbeschreibung eindeutig besagt, und die Sie auf unserer FAQ-Seite nachlesen können.
Ist der Film eine Analyse von Karl Mays Werk oder der Figur des Winnetou?
NEIN. Wie unsere Filmsynopse besagt, geht es in diesem Film um:
a) Rassismus, weiße Vorherrschaftsideologie und/oder Eurozentrismus beim Missbrauch von Natives und anderen Gruppen und ihren Kulturen, ob gut gemeint oder nicht b) die Auswirkungen solcher Verhaltensweisen und die Verbindung zu anderen zeitgenössischen Themen, und c) die Korrektur weit verbreiteter Stereotypen durch die Vermittlung korrekter Kenntnisse über indigene Völker in erster Linie durch indigene Personen.
Und…. Wer ist noch der Meinung, dass man die Fotos der jungen Schauspieler nicht mehr zeigen sollte, sondern stattdessen den Regisseur, den Produzenten oder die Geldgeber des Films? Ich denke, das ist unfair gegenüber den Schauspielern. Sie haben den Film nicht geschrieben. Sie waren keine Redakteure beim Ravensburger Verlag.
Aus dem Jahr 2017, mein der Freitag Interview mit Matthias Dell über unseren Dokumentarfilm und die Stereotypen der indigenen Gruppen. Aber…es geht nicht darum, dass es langweilig ist. Außerdem wird in diesem Film eine scheinbar queere Figur als etwas Böses dargestellt. Dies ist ein weiteres schädliches Stereotyp und eine Troupe einer marginalisierten oder minorisierten Gruppe. Deutschland fördert weiterhin schamlos die Stereotypen der indigenen Gruppen. Rassismus und Stereotypen.
Deutsche wie diese indoktrinieren Kinder weiterhin mit rassistischen, kolonialen Praktiken. Praktiken und Verhaltensweisen, die in der Ideologie der weißen Vorherrschaft und des Eurozentrismus wurzeln.
Sie lehren auch Vergewaltigungskultur und -mentalität. Das bedeutet, zu ignorieren, wenn jemand sagt: “Nein, bitte hör auf, du tust mir/uns weh”.
Und man bringt ihnen bei, mit “Ja, das werde ich/wir! Weil es sich für mich gut anfühlt.”
Was für eine schreckliche Sache, die man Kindern beibringt! Und wie wir in der Welt um uns herum sehen, sind die Stereotypen von Geschlecht, sexueller Orientierung, ethnischer Zugehörigkeit usw. All das ist schädlich und unnötig, aber Regisseure und Autoren wie diese werden weiterhin finanziert. Wer finanziert solchen Rassismus?
Kürzlich habe ich den Film PREY rezensiert, der sich positiv auf die Arbeit mit indigenen Nationen und Völkern bezieht und ihre Kulturen und Geschichten auf nicht rassistische Weise darstellt. Natürlich PREY nicht für Kinder geeignet, aber meine pädagogische Rezension enthält viele Informationen, die jedem helfen, sich gegen hartnäckige, vorsätzlich rassistische Filme zu informieren.
#FORGETWINNETOU! LOVING IN THE WRONG WAY
Zusammenfassung unseres Doku-Film: “Dieselbe Haltung, die das Recht indigener Völker auf Selbstdarstellung ignoriert, ist es auch, die GLBTIIQ-Menschen, Frauen, Behinderte oder wirtschaftlich Benachteiligte, insbesondere People of Color, stereotypisiert und gaslighted, d.h. ihnen die Realität ihrer Erfahrungen abspricht, nur weil sie sich Veränderungen und Gleichberechtigung wünschen. Im Grunde heißt das: “Meine Freiheit und meine Bedürfnisse sind wichtiger als deine Würde, deine Rechte oder sogar dein Leben.” Es ist eine sich überschneidende Unterdrückung.
Die meisten Filme über Native Americans konzentrieren sich auf europäische Erzählungen oder indigene Erfahrungen in Nordamerika, aber es gibt auch Native Americans im Ausland, und im “indianerverrückten” Deutschland – “auf die falsche Art geliebt” zu werden, hat viele Formen. Deutschland ist ein Mikrokosmos der Kämpfe, die überall auf der Welt stattfinden, sowohl gegen als auch für die Dekolonialisierung; für die Überwindung der weißen Vorherrschaft und des Imperialismus, die unsere Welt gespalten und zerstört haben.
Wir erforschen die Wurzeln von Rassismus, Kolonialismus und Kultureller Aneignung in Deutschland aus einer selten beachteten Perspektive: dem Stereotyp der indigenen Amerikaner, die sie zu verehren vorgeben.
Warum diese ” Charaktere ” so rassistisch und schädlich sind
Von der APA:
“Solche Aussagen wurden nach Forschungen über Maskottchen, Karikaturen und Vorurteile zum Thema Natives im Rahmen einer Resolution der American Psychological Association aus dem Jahr 2005 bestätigt. Die Organisation forderte ein sofortiges Ende solcher Darstellungen auf Grund der negativen Auswirkungen, die diese nicht nur auf die Natives, sondern auf alle Menschen und insbesondere auf Kinder haben.
Die Forschung hat gezeigt, dass die fortgesetzte Nutzung von amerikanisch-indianischen Maskottchen, Symbolen, Bildern und Persönlichkeiten auf Grund folgender Punkte nicht nur eine negative Auswirkung auf die Schüler amerikanisch-indianischer Wurzeln, sondern auf alle Schüler hat:
• Sie untergräbt die Bildungserfahrung aller Gemeinschaften – insbesondere bei solchen, die wenig oder gar keinen Kontakt zu indigenen Völkern hatten. • Sie lehrt Kinder nicht-indianischer Herkunft, dass es in Ordnung ist, an kulturell missbräuchlichem Verhalten teilzuhaben und Ungenauigkeiten über die Kultur der Indianer Amerikas zu verbreiten. • Sie bestätigt negative Bilder/Vorurteile, die durch den Mainstream befördert werden • Sie vermindert die Fähigkeit der indianischen Nationen Amerikas, akkurate und respektvolle Bilder ihrer Kultur, ihrer Spiritualität und ihrer Traditionen zu vermitteln. Viele Indianer Amerikas beschreiben die Vorurteile als respektlos und als Beleidigung gegenüber ihren spirituellen Überzeugungen. • Stereotype Wahrnehmungen von Natives sind ein zeitgenössisches Beispiel für Vorurteile und eine Form der Diskriminierung einer ethnischen Minderheit durch eine herrschende Kultur.”
Don’t look away at any moment. Prey is a beautifully shot and realized film strategically different than its predecessors, arguably far outshining them in depth of story and character. Other reviews will take you through the cinematography, direction or dissection of fight scenes, symbolism and the new Predator appearance, and inevitably to Eurocentric based criticisms.
While never forgetting the range of emotions experienced watching PREY as any viewer might, this spoiler free review will provide resourced knowledge and facts on certain intercultural, European and Native topics relating to the film and its production, for those wanting to expand their minds beyond the stereotypes and mis/disinformation still being taught about Native cultures, peoples and history. Note, references and resources follow the main review.
Traditions vs. Stereotypes
Set in 1719, in what was renamed North America by European colonizers despite Indigenous peoples having their own names for it, the story centers on a young Comanche woman named Naru who is played by Amber Midthunder. Naru wishes to be more than a gatherer and caregiver, she wishes to also be recognized as a hunter, which some viewers have surmised to suggest she was a “Two-spirit” person (1). Not necessarily. To my understanding, the characters in film never say this about Naru, but unlike European interpretation and stereotypes of Native life (and even their own pre-colonialization millenia), each member of the community needed a wide range of skills, for example, sewing, gathering and knowing healing items, finding and cooking food, to building and animal husbandry. Tasks were not gender-specific/only, a practice of labeling to support patriarchy, hierarchies and discrimination shared and enforced by Christians first in Europe, then in the Americas (2).
In PREY, Naru goes beyond the new troupish practice in film (or video games) of centering a (usually white) female character able to fight and defeat even the toughest opponent, singly or in groups. Naru is beyond the practice of simply replacing the typically white male lead with a woman, without changing the way the story is written, and how the characters and their experiences are portrayed or exaggeratedly representing “empowerment” through adoption of the self-same, most problematic characteristics of toxic masculinity. With her loyal dog companion at her side, in Naru we see a young woman who wasn’t required to be scantily-clad “Pocahantas” style, (who was a child during the events portrayed by Disney, who was subjected to child rape, kidnapping & an early death at barely 20yrs old), and who is vulnerable at times, yet also brilliantly shows resilience, ingenuity and intelligence rarely accorded women of color in film, especially Native American or Indigenous women. If included at all in films or TV series, Native American women are stereotypically and overwhelmingly portrayed as drug addicts, rape victims and/or are subjected to violence, often very graphically and in ways (also rarely done) to female actors of primarily European heritage (3).
In the film, some objectors to Naru’s official recognition as a hunter, as she was obviously proficient and known for her prowess, were due to fears for her safety (and maybe not from animals), but others showed active resentment, which may or may not have been influenced by the changing social dynamics influenced by contact with white men. By 1719, even this far west there would have been news or contact, some extensive, with European explorers, traders and trappers and the priests/historians often accompanying them. From the beginning, both Natives and Europeans recorded the refusal of most Europeans to respect, and in some cases, even acknowledge Native women’s important roles in their communities, voicing derision and shock at how they were leaders, commerce heads and spiritual guides. Such ones were relegated to a perpetual subservient role, in print and in practice, which some ill-disposed Native men (past and present) decided to accept against traditional Native values and worldviews (4).
For the first time in watching Predator films, even since the first movie headed by Arnold Schwarzenegger (and perhaps still my favorite), it occurred to me the wastefulness of the Predator’s way, as was perhaps intended, as compared to a similar prideful colonizer way, the “take & waste” for sport and without anything resembling true respect. However, this particular Predator was different than we’ve seen in such films as 2004’s, “Alien vs. Predator” or read about in novels like “Predator: Hunter’s Planet” (1994), they have their own personalities and differences, too. Their own interpretation of the Predator code.
Very early in the film, viewers may not have been surprised to see a trap, but that is metal and secured by hammered metal links in what first appears unspoiled nature, its silent presence might introduce dread in anyone, but especially Indigenous hearts. It is an alien device in their world. Thus, anyone might rightly deduce we will see both two kinds of predators in PREY, and a juxtaposition of what type is worse, the big, fanged jawed warrior we’re used to in the series or the more insidious, genocidal type more often heroized in film and western society. Indeed, the European language speaking predators wants and goals are different than the extraterrestrial alien’s, and as history has shown, without restriction to age, threat-level or location.
This incarnation of the Predator series also portrays the reality, which other genres also show, i.e. that “not all European invaders/settlers were the same”, which really goes without saying, as an individual(s) of any group is not the same as all others in that group. This is clearly highlighted when one presumed Frenchman says as much. The problem then and now is, more Europeans (American or otherwise) mostly still follow and even elect some of the worst examples of humanity, mostly due to fear (even paranoia) of the unknown and their own self-interest: as long as they remain at least a little “above” marginalized and minoritized peoples and groups, they get to keep a certain privilege (at least in their own minds). Yet they lose their spirits and any connection to a healthy culture, which too often results in cultural appropriation (which we’ll talk about later) from the very peoples and cultures they collectively nearly destroyed. Although their demographic has the near total majority of structural power, they never stand up against their peers, the minority of bullies, too often siding with these against any who try to stand up against injustice, inequity and violence (5).
More on Fetishization, Cultural Appropriation & the Importance of Native Women
“They treat Mother Earth like they treat women… They think they can own us, buy us, sell us, trade us, rent us, poison us, rape us, destroy us, use us as entertainment and kill us. I’m happy to see that we are talking about the level of violence that is occurring against Mother Earth because it equates to us [women]. What happens to her happens to us… We are the creators of life. We carry that water that creates life just as Mother Earth carries the water that maintains our life.” –Lisa Brunner, White Earth Ojibwe
Naru’s story isn’t just a PREY or PREDATOR story, as utterly enthralling, exciting and heartbreaking as many such as myself found it. Watching Naru use her strengths, observational skills and wisdom about her body and environment different than a man might have or could have, to battle a foe of much greater strength was thrilling. It helped renew my fighting, resistant spirit in my here and now, in my life where overwhelming odds and threats are so constant, it is easy to feel hopeless or without worth or possibility. That is exactly what a certain demographic wants marginalized, minoritized or anyone different to feel, whether that’s being neurodivergent, non-heteronormative, of different socio-economic status, heredity or ethnicity or whatever else. They want them to disappear.
Naru’s story is also one of empowerment in a very specific way that should be seen as a message particularly to men, very much including Native ones. That is, Native women and Two-Spirit persons need and deserve support to regain their places in Native societies, and are of benefit in any society or situation. Without their power and influence in Native communities, it may be recognized communities have been slower to heal, less resilient and reliant on Native languages, cultures and traditions which are Medicine, and less able to fight violence, desecration & erasure of Indigenous values and ways, which benefit all. I certainly won’t fail to mention this includes original European groups and Indigenous peoples, and their women and sacred beings also, who were first in the line of fire from Europeans who adopted and violently interpreted Christianity to further their aims of power (6).
PREY is a triumphant film for so many reasons. It was beautiful in so many ways. It’s a great example of how people from the dominant structural power can work together with people from marginalized and minoritized groups in ways THE LATTER feel help correct centuries of misrepresentation and misinformation instead of reinforcing white supremacist, sexist, Eurocentric narratives and behavior.
I highly recommend PREY for anyone of appropriate age, acknowledging there is graphic violence and scenes of death of both human and animals, although not as explicit as seen in previous Predator series.
Disclaimer: This review includes commentary and opinions informed by research, correspondence and extended contact, both personal and professional, with Native academicians, experts, relatives and elders. As clearly seen above and below, references and citations are provided to many, and more may be added in the future. It is not designed nor intended to demean, represent, or speak for any specific Native nation, group or demographic.
(2) The practice of labeling (and disdaining/shunning) gender specific/only was later introduced and enforced by Christians first in Europe, then in the Americas, in which someone who appeared to only be male was expected to do only certain work, certain tasks, and be romantically or sexually attracted solely to the “opposite gender”, and similarly women were supposed to restrict themselves to certain work (goals, ideals, etc.) deemed acceptable for them as the “fairer” but “weaker sex”. For each, this included both spoken and unspoken restrictions about dress, comportment, styles of walking, laughter, speech, etc. unless one be deemed “unnatural”, and hence deserving of punishments and even death. An important note in connection to object (1), Christendom’s priests viciously opposed and prompted the deadly targeting of any and all Two-Spirit persons they observed in Native communities, beginning the even more intensive oppression and abuse of such persons which continues today, and which some Native communities accepted, particularly those who accepted the worst interpretation of the Christian religion foreign also to Europeans.
(4) Many Indigenous societies were matriarchal and/or egalitarian, with men, women and Two-Spirit individuals handling matters in their recognized purviews, physical, spiritual, social. Europeans (almost always men) often refused dealing with women and especially Two-Spirit persons, and in recording Native stories, cultures and traditions they observed: from the very beginning the overwhelming majority of their accounts recorded only a third of actual Native life and living, and that with European interpretations and beliefs superimposed upon them. The Native American chieftain system believed traditional and de rigeur by most of the world is mispresentative of most Native tribes, which had a triumvirate of sorts, that of the men’s, women’s and Two-Spirit councils. The male-only chieftainship is one that came to be more utilized, at least in front of outsiders, through adopting foreign, European patriarchal ways, lowering status/power, and erasing and excluding women and Two-Spirits, to the detriment of all. This practice and information is found in many sources, but one that collected many first hand accounts regarding is in “Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America” by Barbara Alice Mann, which I reviewed for NAISA in 2018. This book also goes into the metaphysical, ancient beings of Native North America different than Indigenous peoples, symbolism, Thunderbirds and sacred creatures.
(5) Early resources, (the best sources of recording accurately what Europeans did, as many are self-written accounts, not the revisions of the 1800s forward), from the earliest days of European incursions to “North America” but especially when more opted to go to the “colonies” to escape the abuses and injustices of the “lower” classes and minorities of the Old Countries, some wished to live in peace with Native Americans and had formed working alliances of commerce and trade (1600-1700s). And I am not talking about Cherokees etc. of later American history (1750-ish forward) or the largely British colonists. However, the British crown and its servants objected to this, abolished such alliances, and even jailed and executed those who tried to defend such choices. The Shocking Savagery of America’s Early History at Smithsonian Magazine.
That being said, in particular, Europe’s various monarchies and peerages using Christianity as a crutch and sword, creating a perfect storm of savagery and depravity wherein non-privileged groups were unleashed on the world, with the worst of its criminals being allowed freedom to do whatever they wished as long as the Church and State reaped most of the reward. Through the wealthy’s excesses, countless wars, revisions of the Bible and Church doctrines, intolerances, oppressions and bigotry, they created generations willing to do anything to anyone to gain some power, wealth or land, and they stamped their seal of approval on it all with the 15th century’s Doctrine of Discovery (still not rescinded”), the Papal Bulls and Manifest Destiny to absolve themselves or their agents of any crime of genocide, theft etc. (Luk, 2022; Eneas, 2022; The UN’s Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples).
(6) For more information about original European peoples, decolonizing and reconnecting to their Indigenous lifeways, beliefs and meanings, a good resource is “Awakening the Horse Peoples” resource site. This “decolonization is a powerful process that allows reconnection with the places we come from, and the ways of life that shaped our ancestor’s experience and continue to live hidden within ourselves; reawakening identities of who we are in a line of people from ancient ancestors to future generations; restoration of sacred ways of life, transforming from allies to true relatives in anti-racist action, solidarity work, and resistance struggles of Indigenous people and other people of color; and making healing of historic traumas possible for ourselves, and for Indigenous people who suffer from colonization and genocide.”
My Current & Continuing Projects & Endeavors
Current/Continuing Projects & Endeavors
“Almost” (website) a short documentary on overcoming stigma and prejudice. In production.
On-going research project on Autistic Spectrum Disorder, intercultural competence and the effects of stigma and prejudice against different cognitive realities and abilities. See related research here.
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