Dear New York Post,
I read your August 5th article entitled “Native American ex-NBC employee suing for harassment”. While I commend you for covering the story, which details the horrific harrassment of a Native American employee of NBC Universal, I couldn’t help but be troubled by one aspect of your coverage. Being a blogger, I copied the url to the story and was ready to write a summary and begin a discussion on micro (and macro) aggressions against Native peoples in the workplace. Then I looked at it a little more closely:
Notice something at the end?
Clever, NY Post, clever. A convenient homophone for sue is SIOUX. I’m rolling my eyes right now, though I realize you can’t see. In the grand scheme of things this may not seem to be a big deal, and I also realize that it was probably some tech intern who made the url, chuckling to him or herself about the cleverness of it all, not thinking anyone would look closely enough to see it. Well I saw it, and to me it points to EXACTLY what this article was talking about. When Native people are harassed because of their heritage, there’s always an underlying smirk. This man had a doll dressed as a Native American (a very stereotypical one, at that) strung up on a noose in his office. That is completely unacceptable, yet your subtle play on words makes the whole story into a joke. “Har, Har, Har look at this Indian SIOUXing NBC! I wonder if he will take his payment in firewater!”
I can hear you now. “Whoa there. Just calm down, bury the hatchet, smoke the peace pipe, woman! We were just kidding!” I’m sick of Native issues being made into a joke and racism against Native people being condoned and ignored.
Please change the permalink for the article. I don’t find it entertaining, and I’m sure Peter Wells wouldn’t either.
Readers, if you’re interested in more information about the story itself:
NY Post: Native American ex-NBC employee suing for harassment
Native American Journalist Association Response: http://www.naja.com/