April 23, 2007

Who do you support, Erdrich or Yeagley?

Star Tribune — The offer means "a great deal" to her, Erdrich wrote, and she would happily accept it but for the logo. "I hate to do something like this," Erdrich told the Star Tribune. "It goes against my grain. But I do feel strongly about this symbol."
Who do you support, Louise Erdrich or David Yeagley? Hmm, let's see. One is a genuinely creative and talented writer, the other is a paid blogger who cannot spell. One has written many books on what being Indian means for today's indigenous people, the other has written about Indians needing to become 'more white' to make their Indian heritage meaningful. One finds stereotyped and demeaning mascots abhorrent, the other finds solace in having Indians publicly degraded. One was born an Indian woman, the other was probably adopted by an Indian woman. So who do you believe has a better handle on what being Indian means?

David Yeagley — “Indian men...deserve to be at the bottom of the barrel....They cannot appreciate good will, they are possessed by envy, and have no higher thought than lies.”

David Yeagley — “There are large numbers of illegitimate children fathered by irresponsible Indian men and loose Indian women.”

David Yeagley — “Superior beauty is in the white race...In the darker races, everything is always the same, dark brown and black a beastly bore.”

David Yeagley — “The white blood flowing is the purest I’ve ever seen”

David Yeagley — “I'm beginning to think there's no such thing as racism. If there is, it is very rare.”

David Yeagley — “American Indian mascots and monikers should remain forever in American schools and universities."
Yeagley is obviously a non-Indian in his heart and probably in blood as well (he has not revealed an unedited version of his birth certificate — an original version not consigned by an adoption court — to ease the rampant suspicions in Indian country resulting from his anti-Indian views). Read this revealing bit from the biography he wrote about himself in third person:
David Yeagley — “Yeagley’s Comanche mother did not raise her children ... within Indian culture. She felt that culturally, socially, and professionally, this was a dead end... She also disagreed with many Indian ways and customs. Therefore, her children were raised with the values of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.”
Yeagley categorizes Indians into three categories: Rez Indians, Urban Indians and Educated Indians. Of course this is pure hogwash, as these three categories, in and of themselves, simply do not constitute a theory.
David Yeagley — “American Indians today live in at least three major states of mind... The three states of mind are well-defined, 'inter-active' and unavoidable. There is the reservation Indian, the urban Indian, and the educated Indian... all created by historical circumstance ... they are so permanent and powerful today.”
To easily explain why this pseudo analysis is bonkers, we can play that fun little game: “Which of these things does NOT belong?”
Rez Indian (category based on location)
Urban Indian (category based on location)
Educated Indian (category based on training)
See what I mean? Yeagley’s an idiot. Not to mention the fact that the categories are simplistic and do not reflect the reality. What about an Indian born on the rez but moved away at year one: Rez or Urban Indian? What about an Indian born off the rez but moved there at year one: Rez or Urban? What about a doctorate degreed Indian born and raised on the Rez: Educated or Urban? What about an Indian living half on and half off the rez and halfway through schooling: educated, urban, or rez Indian?

You see, Yeagley’s simplistic categories don’t mean squat in real life, they are nothing but speculative hyperbole to puff up Yeagley’s own fake scholastic image. He is pontificating again about that which he does not know. So — again — who would you trust, a widely-celebrated and renown author, or a piano player turned plastic-surgery Indian? I put my faith in Louise Erdrich. Read on.

Author Erdrich rejects UND honors over 'Fighting Sioux' nickname

Minnesota author Louise Erdrich has rejected an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota because it continues to use the "Fighting Sioux" team name and logo -- a contentious and litigious issue in Grand Forks.

Author Louise Erdrich rejects UND honor over 'Sioux' nickname
Award-winning author Louise Erdrich has said "no" to an honorary degree from the University of North Dakota because of the school's continued use of the "Fighting Sioux" sports team name and logo. Erdrich, who grew up in North Dakota and has an American Indian heritage, rejected the degree in a letter to UND President Charles Kupchella.