(It’s a two-post day! omg!)
I just saw this on my Facebook feed and felt the need to share. So for those of you who don’t spend 90% of your day reading celebrity gossip blogs (I’m incriminating myself here), Kim Kardashian got married 75 days ago. Her wedding cost anywhere from $10-20 million dollars. She filed for divorce 3 days ago. Now people are speculating whether or not she’ll give Kris Humphries (the ex-hubbs) the ring back. And here’s what Kim’s mom, also named Kris (that’s creepy, right?) had to say about it:
“I hate an Indian giver. It’s a gift, you know.”
This was on Good Morning America, if you were wondering. Awesome, Kris Jenner. Thanks for that. Here’s the video clip, the “Indian Giver” line is at 2:58:
There’s no real consensus on the etymology of the term “Indian Giver” on the internets, but I thought this was a good summary (source here):
One who gives a gift but later takes it back.
Indian giver derives from the alleged practise of American Indians of taking back gifts from white settlers. It is more likely that the settlers wrongly interpreted the Indians’ loans to them as gifts. This term, which is certainly American, may have been coined to denigrate of the native race. Historians would now agree that, where deceit was concerned, it was the settlers who were the front runners. It isn’t uncommon, and it could be argued that it is customary, for the conquering race to attempt to justify their invasion by dismissing the conquered as dishonest and stupid.
The phrase is quite early in the history of the the USA. Thomas Hutchinson described the term as proverbial as early as 1765, in his The history of the Province of Massachusetts Bay:
“An Indian gift is a proverbial expression, signifying a present for which an equivalent return is expected.”
Basically, I think we can all agree that it’s probably not the best term to use to describe a negative act, considering it stereotypes Indians as deceitful and un-generous (not generous?), which, if you’ve ever been in a Native community, is about the farthest thing from the truth. Ever heard of giveaways? or Potlatches?
The Kardashians don’t exactly have an awesome track record with sensitivity towards Native issues. Khloe wore a headdress a few months ago, twice, and for Dancing with the Stars on Halloween, Kourtney (and Mason, her son) wore Indian costumes. Though they claim Native heritage (vomit).
Annoying, right? Also annoying is that currently on Google news there are over 40 articles with “Indian Giver” in the headline. /headdesk