Oh no, the poor Indians. After so many years in the slump, Cleveland has a chance for yet another team to go the distance. That should be cause to celebrate. Ah, but our Big Politically Correct Brother must intercede. It turns out that our good friends in the far north are not going to speak the word. Indian, that is.
I know. Eye roll. Nonetheless, it is what it is. My wife is my go to source for this particular hypersensitivity. Being legally American Indian as well as descended from Jenny Wiley, she sees it both ways. Basically, the past is the past. There is good in both traditions. There is bad. If she had to apologize, who would she apologize to? The Native Americans who were pushed off their lands and slaughtered? Or the descendants of immigrants and migrants who were slaughtered by Indians attempting to push them away from their lands?
Today we have a whitewashed version of history that would make Tom Sawyer jealous, especially as it relates to the Christian West and its bastard child the United States. We don’t want any pesky complications or nuances to muddle it up. We want bad guys and we want hapless victims. And that’s not just in the strange, weird corners of the Internet. We watched a special about “The Real Thanksgiving” on PBS a year or so ago. Even my boys, non-adults that they are, caught the obvious, heavy handed slant in the portrayal. Those poor actors playing the Pilgrims must have been told to eat Big Macs three times a day and not bathe or wash for three weeks before filming. The actors and actresses portraying the Indians, on the other hand, looked as if they were given six month memberships to a fitness center with professional makeovers and manicures every day during production. And it went without saying that even the pilgrim kids were portrayed as dishonest and conniving troublemakers while the Indians were, well, just the most beautiful people you could imagine.
Eh. Again, it’s what it is. If it were unique to this one period in history, I might think it was a fluke. It isn’t. Nonetheless, until I am forced otherwise, I’ll go with my wife’s take on things, that both sides were good, bad, and at times ugly. The ones without the technology and numbers lost out to those who had the technology and numbers on their side. Some that was good was lost, some that was good was gained. Trying to find the best in the past and celebrate what both sides brought to the table would probably do more good than perpetually being upset that other people think and talk differently than we do or dare celebrate things we refuse to let go of. As my wife said, if she is going to apologize for what one side did, she’ll need to apologize to herself both ways.
So on behalf of my lovely wife, allow me to say, “Go Indians!”