Ignorant and Malignant: The Hate Mail Cometh

December 4, 2012 — 64 Comments

One of the realities of having a blog is getting hate mail. No matter what you put on the internet, chances are, someone is going to disagree with it, and chances are, they’ll want to tell you about it. Now, I get a lot of love-mail, which always makes my day–stories of how you’ve used the blog to educate classmates, family members, and friends, how you’ve engaged with these issues in deep and meaningful ways, your stories of connecting with the struggle and my experiences–I love them. But I also get a lot of hate mail. A lot. So I thought it was high time I shared some with you all. Even though they’re mean and hurtful, a lot of them are just utterly ridiculous as well, and worthy of a laugh. But I also want to share to show you how deeply folks hold on to their right-to-be-racist, and how not at all shy they are about expressing those ideas directly to me.

First up, the tweet above. Apparently “The Juicer” thinks not only am I ignorant, I am, in fact, cancerous. Yikes. I should get that checked out.

Most of the recent gold has come from the Victoria’s Secret controversy, because if you mess with anything, don’t you dare mess with America’s right to watch scantily-clad ladies gallivant across the stage on television. How. Dare. I. First, some selected comments from the VS thread (this post was linked on Yahoo, MSN, and the Today Show blog, so a lot of these were first-time Native Approps readers, if that wasn’t obvious. You can also click to make them bigger):

Oh my. MackA uses both Caps-lock and over 20 exclamation marks. They mean business.

Ok, deep breath for the logic on this next one:
Thank you for not reading any of the blog post where it tells you why Native Americans might find this offensive. That would be silly! I’m also so glad that you don’t find it racist. That’s totally what matters. I’m just going to go withhold Halloween candy from innocent white children now. With my “special privileges.”
There are plenty more, if you care to go look. Now that we’re warmed up, on to the emails. 
This one will truly go down in the books as my favorite, because it comes in two parts. Part 1 (pardon the NSFW language!):
“Dimwit Babies” and “Taxpayer’s Tit” sound like really good punk rock band names, amiright? So Mr. Richard sent this email, only to receive my auto-reply, which is a cheerful “Thank you for your submission to Native Appropriations! Your tip might not go up right away…blah blah” It’s nice, or at least I think it is. He thought it was me emailing him back, to which he replied eloquently and succinctly: 
America! 
This email came as a uninterrupted block of text, which I feel must be read in its entirety to appreciate its beauty:
Have you lost your crazy ass mind? Why is the hell do you find that Victoria Secret model offensive? Apparently you don’t look at it as a beautiful art, or appreciate that people still think about Native Americans. I can’t tell you how wrong you are to consider yourself a Native American, if you are even one, or just putting on a show to draw attention to yourself. Where you here when the white man took the land from the Native Americans? No didn’t think so? Where you here to hear the stories of what the Native Americans went through during that time, nope didn’t think so on that either. You have no right nor busy making anyone hate anything people are doing. So it is ok your majesty to have Native Americans taught in public schools or does all the school in this country (which by the way FYI, you don’t own) need your periods permission. I would hate for my daughter to go to school and not learn about the Native Americans cause they are very interesting to learn about and how they live off the land and not technology like today. Let me know so I can let her school know that someone like you finds it offensive. That model had a beautiful outfit on and Im sorry LOL but since when did Native Americans have Leopard print??? Just curious…. since just the hair dress offended you. I don’t see you wearing one in your picture. Do you go around telling people not to dress or talk about the Native Americans?? I know when I was a kid we did a play and a bunch of white and black kids were running around and dancing like them, would that have offended you?? There is a high school not far from where I live that mascot is a Native American is that wrong too??? You can’t change history, no one can, but your a sick minded person to think it is wrong for a company to come up with something that is Native American, and you have no right blasting anything on the internet that proves to the other races that it is wrong too. I have a feeling if you were old enough you would of been burning crosses in black families yards back in the old days, wouldn’t you?? You need to find another hobby and lay off the fact that people are making things that has something to do with Native Americans. I don’t think not one Native American man would have any objections to that model wearing that. This is the land of the free or at least people want to think so but apparently people like you want to stop that from happening. Your not God and you can’t change the world so stop wasting your time and others with that fucken garbage, no one cares what you think or what you want done to make it go perfect. Let people enjoy the colors and the style that the Native Americans created for you and the rest of the world to see and appreciate, let the children of the next generation and many more to follow enjoy it or no one will even know who the Native Americans even were. I was able to understand it in history class but if stupid bitches like you continue to bitch and moan about it then they will terminated forever.  
I have so many words, but not that many. I’ll let that one lie. I just love the jump from me talking about VS to my being a cross-burning racist in years of yore. Oh, and one last thing:
Finally, the hate comes from all sides, and I actually get some from Native folks too, mostly those who a) don’t think I’m a “real Indian” and/or b)think that issues of representation and cultural appropriation are masking the “real” issues in Indian Country. One “group” in particular sends me harassing emails quite often, culling the internet for personal details about me and my activities at school, pretending they have talked to my friends and classmates, and overall just trying to scare me into submission. They hide behind masked IP addresses, and when I graciously offered to give them a platform on my blog–I even said they could say anything they wanted–they declined. Go figure. But the best part, oh the best part, is the cartoons. I now am the proud owner of over 10 of these poorly-photoshopped masterpieces:
Notice the little headband added onto the man in bed. Adorbs. Most of them involve a “Cherokee” who doesn’t care about “real issues” in Indian Country. Omg, is that me?! Also, for the record, I never once have questioned anyone’s identity, except maybe Johnny Depp.

The irony is not lost on me that they think I should stop wasting my time on these issues, when they clearly have plenty of time to waste making these cartoons and scouring the internet for my personal information. Good times. Am I giving them more fodder to use against me by publishing these? Maybe. But come on, these are awesome. Though I only wish I had a cute little anime outfit like the “Cherokee” above. A girl can dream.

But the bottom line with all of this? Let’s think about what I’m doing with the blog. I’m asking, admittedly sometimes demanding, that Native peoples be allowed to be represented in real and respectful ways. That we be afforded the same basic human right that other groups enjoy, so that we can be proud of our living, contemporary cultures and nations. I honestly have a hard time seeing why you would react so vehemently against that. I get that I’m disrupting privilege, and when folks aren’t prepared for that, they react negatively. But for my Native brothers and sisters who don’t agree with me, I’m sorry. I’m not doing this to mask the “real issues”–I’m doing this so that the facade of Indians-as-fantasy-characters, Indians-as-situated-in-the-historic-past, Indians-as-savages, can be torn away and the real images of who we are as contemporary people, struggles and all, can replace them. Do I argue that this is the only thing we should focus on? Absolutely not, and I never have. This is just one sliver of a multi-pronged fight.

So yay, hate mail. Superhappyfuntimes, right?

Since I kinda brought it down at the end, enjoy one more, just for fun. This one from a Cherokee sister:

With “infinate love and understanding in the universe”,

Adrienne K.

Adrienne K.

Posts

  • 10100111001

    Most of these make just *headdesk* 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.todd.754 Jim Todd

    These same people,sending hate mail,will also whine and complain about Madonna or Minaj doing something “blasphemous” or “satanic” on stage.

  • Kate Swanson

    I am a new reader to your blog, and I am planning to go to graduate school next fall and research the history of Native American art, and work in museum education, working towards better representation of Native Americans in art museums. But sometimes I think “is this something I should be researching? Do people really still need to be educated about the myths and unrealistic representations of Native Americans throughout American history about  the presence and relevance of Native Americans today? Don’t people kind of get it by now?” so, thank you for justifying my career goals. That long block email….its hard to say any words about that without using all of the words. 
    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://krycha.tumblr.com/ Khrystene

    Wow… Just, wow….

    Also, wtf is an OGG??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000470521853 Talia Myres

    Ahhh, the ignorance amazes me. What’s even more amazing is when you get hate from your own people or other Natives. Keep fighting the fight, girl. One person at a time – that’s how change is made.

  • Noraboo

    These are miserable, but I have a feeling the last one is sarcastic or a troll, rather than serious.  At least one can hope..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Molly-Springer/1947610 Molly Springer

    thank goodness for you

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Molly-Springer/1947610 Molly Springer

    Adrienne: You got this! Thank God for Tsalagi Humor. I know it still hurts though. Thank you for taking these hits…and taking them for all of us who are too afraid and insecure to speak out. Your protecting us and fighting for us, and I so appreciate it. Wado- Molly

  • http://www.facebook.com/AmandaWouldGo Amanda WouldGo

    I’d like to add Indians as Shamans to your closing paragraph, because folks here in the Bay think that they honor our ways by romanticizing our culture and forgetting our “living, contemporary cultures and nations.”

    Thank you for powerfully stepping up and saying what’s true to you and to many of us in the Native community.

    –Amanda WouldGo

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583735556 Rosa Loess

    <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583735556 Rosa Loess

    I love your blog. I also love that you posted these hate messages, only because it puts them and their awful writing skills on display. That long one was especially funny. But I also know how much hate mail can hurt. Know that there are people like me who read this and fist pump with joy because you give me the words to say what my heart feels.

  • Sherrole Benton

    We all have to choose our battles, and I admire you for taking on this battle to educate the masses. We need more people to work on tearing down the negative stereotypes of Indigenous people and paving the way for others to see us contemporary people.  As I once pointed out before, I believe it’s grade school teachers who are responsible for setting the stage and having America believe that Indians have gone the way of dinosaurs. Hollywood also has a big hand in portraying Native Ameircan poepel in poor light and rarely as contemporary people or professionals working in careers, or as educated and intelligent people.  If you reach German or other European readers, they not only know the true history of Native American people, but they would find the ignorance and racial hatred of the average American citizen toward Native people to be shocking and shameful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pondelniholka Michelle Williams

    I’m an anthropology student and do research with transnational Pacific Island peoples (who get maligned by the masses as poor, crime-ridden, unhealthy, etc).  My colleagues and I sometimes just have to joke that it’s not that we’re so smart, it’s just that so many other people are so dumb. There are a LOT of people in the USA with access to the internet who have been brought up to be ignorant chumps. Good on you for having the guts to share these. Don’t lose heart Adrienne – what you’re doing is amazing. 

  • http://washuta.net/blog Elissa Washuta

    I love your blog and I use it regularly in my university teaching. It really enhanced my lecture on cultural appropriation this November–I talked about the important work being done by people like you, Jessica Metcalf, Sasha Houston Brown and others to bring these images to people’s attention, mobilize those who understand why they’re problematic, and inform those who need help understanding.

  • http://www.facebook.com/autumnellie Autumn Ellie Mitchell

    It’s too bad that our own people get on us like that. But that’s always how it goes. 

    I don’t agree with everything you say, but those cartoons are just disrespectful and wrong. Know that many of us support you! 

  • Anjel Craig

    I really admire your courage and ability to to still give these people a voice, despite the fact many of them are ignorant and so wrapped up in their privilege that they can’t understand why these appropriated images are harmful. Through my research I’ve been spending a lot of time out on Hopi land and have been passing your blog along to tribe members out on the Res. Sure there are a lot of problems out there that are really pressing (cancer caused by all the Uranium mining, lack of clean drinking water, etc) but I think that these issues that you bring up in your blog are part of the whole picture. If we can fight against stereotypes and present Native people as real living people rather than these fantasies and romanticized images then we stand to a greater chance of spreading awareness of the other “bigger” problems in Indian country. I totally support your efforts, and appreciate all you do for not only Native folk, but us white folk who stand in Native solidarity.

    PS : when were you at ASU?

  • Christina Turner

    You’d think those haters would at least check their spelling first.

  • Chakwaina Elmore

    These posts from haters and self-proclaimed, partial Indians, only goes to prove their ignorance. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.kathleen.75 Elizabeth Kathleen

    I am using your blog in a project I am doing for one of my Indigenous Studies classes. It is thoughtful, well-worded, and beautifully analytical. Thank you thank you thank you. And honestly, I could probably write entire essays just on the hate mail. It’s fascinating. It never fails to impress me when people feel the need to tear apart thoughtful dissections of cultural stereotypes, WHILE using those same stereotypes they are fighting to prevent being dubunked… it must take an amazing amount of effort to stay that deliberately ignorant. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mongoliamel Melanie Wilson

    I still love you, Adrienne, and all you do. People only reveal their ignorance with these comments and hate mail. You rock, honey. Keep on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=831367248 Melissa Baldridge

    What the hell is wrong with people…

  • Jenn Bobiwash

    Keep up the good fight!  Thanks for sharing your mail, it really give you perspective on humanity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Anderson/212449 Matthew Anderson

    I’d be willing to spot $10 to see “Taxpayer’s Tit” play.  “Dimwit Babies” sounds kinda emo tho so……no thanks.  Oh, and “Merica.

  • http://twitter.com/taracorpuz Tara Corpuz

    I am in awe of your carefree attitude towards these messages, but know that that is only true because you get them and have gotten them a lot. My stomach clenched in anger and frustration at each message. I’m incredibly saddened that they refuse to open their minds up to what you are really doing, how their thoughts, actions, and words are really offensive – how absolutely closed minded they are and will themselves to be. 
    Thank you for what you do and for continuing to do what you do. It inspires many and changes perspectives, those stubborn ignorant people above aside.

  • FOREST RANGER

     They sound mad. People can be irrational when they let their anger get to them. Of course, anger is inevitable at some point, but maybe they’ll somewhat understand somewhere down the line.

  • Francesca Renee

    Loll @ the girl inspired to do an indian dance after purchasing the victorias secret outfit.

    But yeah, I appreciate your blog and the work that you do to bring people together to oppose these streotypical images (If they want, then the option is there). On the No doubt thread, people argued “Well why didn’t anyone say anything when this and that happened?”

    Well now there are people working to inform and bring together people to work together and stop these images. I can admit though that sometimes I get frustrated when people say “Oh lighten up, this is not offensive” even native people, but they are missing the bigger picture that as long as Native People do nothing to stand up for themselves, others are going to continue not taking them seriously, and continue mocking them and their imagery whenever they feel like it. So thank you Adrienne. 

  • Mv Efv Somkv

    Keep them hatin.

    Lot of bullshit, willful ignorance and even ‘honkyshines’–same ol same ol, but still no less frustrating.

    Given how people like this like to dictate our marching orders or have been hatin on you recently makes me believe that they honestly never cared about any of yours, mines, or any of our issues to begin with.

    And even if (and the times when you and others already have) brought up the “legitimate issues” Natives should be tacklin their sorry asses would still spout the same bullshit or still not bother to aid us.

    Personally, as painful as their words and actions are and can be, I still count them as worthless obstacles in matters of social justice.

    Much luv cuz.

    -8mph Ansible

  • Alissa Bishop

    Sorry…. us white people are known throughout all history for being stupid little brats, basically.

  • Becky Blackhawk

    Why are you giving any of your precious blog space to this?

    We know how stupid they are.  

    Be unaffected and cool.  You are feeding the evil wolf. 

  • KnowElle

    I love your blog! Any chance you’ve considered or have already been a speaker at other colleges/universities? Because that would be fantastic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.cook.5203577 Adam Cook

    “Pisses me ogg”???

  • Jessica Camp

    Thank you for your blog, Adrienne K. I’m glad you’re working to not let the ignorant haters get you down. You do good work and it is very much appreciated by many people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14807934 Marie Richards

    Adrienne, you are awesome. You have taken the time and effort to bring
    attention to issues such as this. I have seen various responses to this whole
    issue that does include drawing attention to the various problems such as
    sexual violence against Native women, health care, etc. Your job is this.
    Others have talking about the other problems. Many of us have used this
    opportunity to talk and raise awareness of the issues facing Indian Country.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I have seen this as an opportunity to talk about sexualization of Native women and sexual violence, which leads to discussions about other associated problems (like alcoholism).
    It is very difficult to make others see those problems, and the reality of Native
    American issues, when all they want to see of us are these idealized, placed in
    the past, images.  We live in the present, with modern problems, others need to stop keeping us in the past as a way of avoiding dealing with the serious issues.  They want to “dress and play Indian” for fun–I’m tired of having friends suffer from diabetes. Thank you for your efforts in making others see the modern reality of us.

  • MinusTheBox Mag

    It is sad when people take an opportunity for intellectual discussion and turn it into hateful rants. 

  • http://twitter.com/EarthwormJane EWJ

    I appreciate your hard work, Adrienne K.  Niawen’kó:wa for taking a stand!  For those natives that think this is masking a problem, I think of it like this.  You can’t take down a huge tree in one chop.  You have to take it apart in pieces.  That’s how we must tackle the issues.  Once we show majority culture that we are in fact people too, with feelings, pay our taxes, and contribute to society with our vast and rich cultures, then we can tackle the bigger issues.  Don’t let them get you down!
    In solidarity.

  • M. Specialfxlady

    I’m so confused how someone can say that they don’t mean any disrespect, but you need to get off of welfare in the same sentence. I don’t even. 

    You know, I write about race issues a lot and over the years I’ve learned that if someone starts attacking what I’ve written, or how I’ve written it that I’ve moved them in some way. Rarely have I ever had anyone come back at me with anything like facts, or awareness, it’s always ‘your writing sucks’ or ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ When this happens I realize that my writing reached them and made them feel uncomfortable enough to write. So now I refer to hate mail as “fan letters.”

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=508945564 Amelia Winger-bearskin

    “call yourself a Native American” classic love it how people use religion and Native American as something you discover inside yourself, but apparently according to that poster, you just didn’t really truly believe it enough in your heart, next time pray more you’ll find the true Native American inside (CRAZY TOWN)

  • Breanna Skeets

    How do you do it? I am Navajo, I actively read about Native history, culture, etc. Because even I don’t know everything. There’s so much to learn, so much to see, so much to know! But, I get frustrated when people ask me the basics: do you pay taxes? didn’t you get a full-ride scholarship? do you vote? etc..  It’s so frustrating to know that people just don’t know. Some because they didn’t have that opportunity, some people are ignorant, and some people.. well, some people are just mean. But, I read your blog and love it. I speak my mind when I can and will support you all the way! Keep doing what you’re doing because you provide a voice for Natives. Although you encounter other Natives who don’t agree with what you say, keep this in mind: YOU’RE A LOUD AND STRONG NATIVE VOICE!!! We need more people like you in this world. I admire you Adrienne! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4603512 Rachel Maureen

    Just Awesome.  Gotta point out to some of the Native haters that our problems as Native people tend to be intricately woven together.  Appropriation feeds into a lot of other issues, and is in many ways a spiritual rape we shouldn’t tolerate.  There’s much work to do on many many fronts.  Thank goodness we’re all here to do it.

  • http://twitter.com/HusbyEh EH

    Thank you for the work you do. I’ve learned a lot from you and I really appreciate that you address areas that are often neglected in race/privilege conversations

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrey.crow JRey Crow

    The patience it must take to deal with the feedback! Keep on educating, you are performing a valuable service!

  • http://www.myspace.com/krantzstone Krantzstone

    Usually I’d say just ignore the trolls, but I think there’s value in responding publicly to ignorance with education.  Maybe not necessarily for the trolls, most of whom seem to lack the ability to grasp cultural sensitivity issues, but I think for people who might not be as close-minded but haven’t really been exposed to cultural sensitivity issues, it may well help open their eyes.  So thanks for addressing these issues!

  • Elaine Schuster

    Oh, my. What troubles me most is those who insist on fighting over ancestry. I AM INDIAN, but YOU are NOT INDIAN because I say so. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember, our ancestors were more inclusive than not. Come in and walk the path of balance with us. It was only the US Government’s policies that changed us into dogs fighting over not enough bones.

  • apihtawikosisan

    The saddest comments come from other natives…you expect ignorance and racism from settlers who have been raised on such their whole lives, but seeing the lateral violence and stalkerish behaviour of some skins is disheartening.  I’m glad you’ve chosen to try to approach it as positively as possible. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UKWVUP26KBI5VD2KAXYL7UEM24 margied

    Powerful and gutsy. Good on you. I used to write for a newspaper & whenever I wrote about blacks, I made a point of never writing about slavery (here in Indiana you’d think it just ended last week). Nevertheless, I would get tons of people complaining that they were sick of hearing about slavery and reparations & when were these people going to get a job, an education, pants that fit, etc etc. When I wrote about Latinos, inevitably someone would call complaining about nonLatinos being called “Anglos” because that is racist. Let me just mention that they were never offended by the local Amish refering to all nonAmish as “English.” I figure if you’re pissing’em off, you’re doing something right because you sure can’t educate’em!

  • Lisa Charleyboy

    You rock Adrienne, and the work you are doing is super important.! Many people don’t understand and that’s okay, they are simply unable to see the greater good. Most people never do until it’s a plain as day, and even then sometimes …

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730752138 Raven Sinclair

    I love your responses. Keep up the fabulous work and don’t let the bastards get you down. ;)

  • Stephanie Riley

    …….hahaha ….wow, shows how much people really know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=722062424 Trevino Brings Plenty

    We, who are working in the Native communities, do Social Justice and that all aspects of Native issues are interrelated and must be addressed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Willan-Yaotekpatl-Cervantes/729390552 Willan Yaotekpatl Cervantes

    Too Funny!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jackie.mccabe1 Jackie McCabe

    This…..was amazing. I married a Navajo man and I know I haven’t clue one in understanding what he goes through, but I think I sort of am starting to understand. Someday I want to show this post to whatever kids we have to prepare them for the idiocy that they are bound to encounter. You’re doing good work, keep at it no matter how much you feel like banging your head into a wall. <3

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NBL2YTPLKK5GG6462MBCQIZ7QU ajidamoon

    I LOVE your blog. I have used it as reference many a time….and it has helped people to see their preconceived notions are wrong. The hate-mailers….they won’t ever get it. And this is likely not the only subject on which they are terribly ignorant, assumptive…..and happily so. Just keep doing what you do, and please, please please…make the hate-mail a regular feature. Showcase their ignorance, for all to see. Perhaps it will make another rethink what they though they knew…AND it is just damn funny.

    And do not let anyone tell you that this detracts from other issues in Indian country. Cultural appropriation is a HUGE issue. that is the very ‘why’ people think the other issues are acceptable too.
    Miigwech

  • womaninpink

    When you wrote, “They hide behind masked IP addresses” and “One group in particular sends me harassing emails quite often, culling the internet for personal details about me and my activities at school, pretending they have talked to my friends and classmates, and overall just trying to scare me into submission” you Adrienne are plainly lying. The group that sent you those cartoons also e-mailed me a bcc of the cartoons that went out to you. That group works with reservation gangs and tries to maake our reservations safer – if they wanted to scare you into submission, they won’t be drawing cartoons, trust me. They also don’t hide behind masked IP addresses – that’s a plain lie. If you go to http://www.whatismyip.com/ and type in the IP address, it will tell you their IP. I have a bcc of the e-mails that went out to you, so stop lying. They also don’t cull the internet for personal details about you. They don’t have to because I told them everything they wanted to know about you. I know you Adrienne Keene. And you know me. If you don’t believe I know you, I can tell you what clothes you wear next week when you come to Harvard. Or I can leave a small note outside your office that says “stop lying”. Such lies make me wonder how many untruths you may have told about the transactions you’ve had with others.

    • Adrienne_K

      So if you care so much about the work I do and feel it is so wrong, come talk to me. Despite all your assurances that we’ve met, I truly have no idea who you are. Since you apparently know where my office is, come by anytime and have a conversation. Tell me face to face why my activism hurts you so much, and what I can do better. I’m truly open to listening and learning. Why hide behind fake email addresses–unless your email really is “adrienneisanidiot@…”, in which case I’m flattered–come have a real conversation. 

      If you think I’m wasting my time on these issues, I think a bigger waste of time would be you tracking my outfit choices next week just so you can show you have been watching me. That crosses the line from criticism of my work to stalking, and I’m not sure that would help Indian Country either.

      • womaninpink2

        Honestly, I don’t care much about these issues, so there is nothing to discuss. The group just called me and I told them about you, that’s all. Moreover I am a staff at Harvard and I cannot confront a student like you because it will be viewed as inappropriate by Harvard admin. But it does bother me that you are lying about the Native group that e-mailed you. They are doing valuable work on Indian reservations, so don’t run them down. It also bothers me as a woman that you use words like “stalking” very inappropriately.

        If you really want to know why your activism hurts – here are the two main reasons that I stole from the group’s email -

        a— When we protest mascots or a child dressing up with feathers, America loses patience with us. They are less likely to cut us slack on SERIOUS issues. We should fight for the A and B items. Not C items. This is not even a Z item.

        b—- The sports loving population, i.e. most idiotic American males, start hating Indians when people like you protest mascots. You look white, so you don’t realize that. Our families and those who look like Indians don’t care for such trivial issues. But when idiots and sports fans yell “fuck you drunk!!!!” or “sand nigger, go back to the rez” from their cars and throw beer cans at us, it affects those of us who look Indian. You are immune to such attacks because you look white. You blend seemlessly into white society. We don’t look white. And we’re the ones who get beat up when we leave the rez and venture into white society. All because you have made them mad at us. Read some of the youtube comments for Pete’s sake! You are fueling hatred against Indians. Your activism is turning mainstream America against Indians. Even minorities start wondering “what’s all the fuss? we chinese don’t protest when someone wears a karate ghi and learns martial arts, so why are these indians so sensitive and touchy?”

        I won’t be arguing with you any more because I have said all there is to say.

        • AE Goode

          I quote you, “If you don’t believe I know you, I can tell you what clothes you wear next week when you come to Harvard. Or I can leave a small note outside your office that says “stop lying”. Such lies make me wonder how many untruths you may have told about the transactions you’ve had with others.” 

          These statements qualify as a stalking threat. That is highly unprofessional coming from apparent Harvard staff.You’re entitled to your opinion about what issues Native people should concern themselves with. But so is Adrienne.Making stalking threats is unhelpful to your position and quite frankly, makes you look like a bully.

  • Michelle Shining Elk

    Haters FUEL my fire…and they spend a lot of time designing fun stuff for all the world to see. I’m thankful…that they used a good picture as well. I wonder though, where are my horns?

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150994264634509.448426.674174508&type=3

  • chickycreegurl

    Hi Adrienne, I feel your pain, as myself and another Aboriginal student were recently interviewed in the media re: DKE’s Fraternity “Western Bros & Nava-hoes” fundraiser controversy, when we opposed this event’s name. What surprised me was the negative public backlash where non-Aboriginal folks couldnt comprehend how offensive this was to us Aboriginal students on campus here at the UoA. Some of the comments posted on line were so offensive that CBC had to delete some of them. The angry and ignorance of the public surprised me mostly. So what I have to say is don’t give up Adrienne, keep doing what you are doing, we need blogs and social media like this to educate non-Aboriginals that “cultural appropriation” is not appropriate. There needs to be alot more cultural awareness done to increase knowledge of our wonderful culture and traditions. One reader said that we needed to develop “thicker skin”? what? I have heard enough trash talk like that before, one student even told me once “us Aboriginals need to get over it”. This is the mentality that us Aboriginal students have to deal with and it sickens me. I told that one reader, she must not be Aboriginal if she makes a comment like that because I told her Aboriginal people already have thick skin, or we would not have survived to date or been able to deal with all of the racism and discrimination we face on a daily basis. So keep up the good work and never get discouraged, there are lots that stand behind you :) hiy hiy thank you, Gail

  • http://www.facebook.com/manidogabwe.pegahmagabow Manidogabwe Sydney Pegahmagabo

    Aanii Kwe!!! I would love to write this in my language just to make a point! lol My name is Manidogabwe Pegahmagabow, I found your blog, and LOVED IT! It’s so sad that North American society only knows the lies their Governments told them. They don’t even know there own history and their trying to tell us ours? hahaha I just had to tell you how awesome i think your blog is! When i read your blog it was like you were taking the words right out of my mouth! I’m just so glad i found your blog.
     
    You have given me back a “little bit” of hope for humanity. lol
     
    Thank you, for being you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/manidogabwe.pegahmagabow Manidogabwe Sydney Pegahmagabo

    “Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.” – Martin Luther King

  • http://twitter.com/LexBerlynn Alexa B Manuel

     “I would hate for my daughter to go to school and not learn about the Native Americans cause they are very interesting to learn about and how they live off the land and not technology like today.” Oh. My. God. This is amazing. All of it just makes me want to cry, and laugh, and hold on for dear life. But mostly laugh.Adrienne K., you are my hero of infinite beauty. Now excuse me, I must go and do an Indian dance and chant for peace, acceptance and infinite *pffft* sorry, I can’t… I just can’t… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=606721446 Niwaabidahn Debwewin

    wow, I never thought that this could happen to this extent, I only encourage you to  stay on the road that the great mystery has brought you to, it was for a reason, I am pleased that you understand that these people who are full hate are really only uneducated and speak out of ignorance, if they really knew what it has been for our people and what it is for our people even now, they might take a different way and encourage you as I am now.
    you are an awesome and strong woman and you deserve to be honoured for who you are, I am proud of you, you are proudly Anishenaabe kwe.
    many grandfather blessings from the four directions. **smiles**

  • Mary

    I am incredibly sorry you have to receive these ill-informed, ignorant, and ridiculous messages from people who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about. But that’s just it; these people have no idea what they’re talking about because they only know of and have only lived in a culture and a society that validates a mainstream retailer like Victoria’s Secret to sell headdresses that allegedly, in the words of Terri Belk, “celebrate the infinate beauty that Indian heritage holds” when clearly they don’t.

    To someone like you, Adrianne, and me, it’s crazy to think that people are really this ignorant but that’s because we know better and are educated to understand why the VS fashion show Karlie Kloss outfit was controversial. However, to many Americans (just speaking for the US), they are unaware of how damaging and demeaning the VS outfit and hipster panty and flask are to living (and past) Native Americans.

    Personally, I feel as though within the last 5 years, the thoughts and arguments made on your blog and other related blogs are only recently reaching mainstream society so many people are only now becoming aware of why appropriating Native American culture is wrong and hurtful.

    While it’s sickening and alarming that many people do not find the VS headdress, lingerie, etc. controversial and just plain wrong and blare their ignorant comments to the world via Twitter, etc., it gives you and many others a chance to educate them about why these are wrong because we’re exposed to these hateful comments that would otherwise be left inside the heads and minds of these ignorant people. We may not like hearing these things but we can better educate others to rethink their initial judgments through a platform such as your blog.

    BTW: Did you see this on CNN.com 11/9? http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/30/living/native-american-fashion-appropriation/index.html

    (I hope I got my point across well. It may sound redundant since I feel like I’m reinforcing the stance and mission you’ve made on your blog all along anyway.)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7WA2TI6QF43SVUSZHKQWDZYW2Q Mortonkid

    Ahhhh social ignorance at its finest….  What’s really laughable is that they think you should get a life?  So I suppose their lives are so exciting that they just had to take the time to justify to the world why some animals eat their young…