26 May 2007

sweat lodges and rosie ...

yes, the bbb knows the major tv networks are easy to slam when it comes to their misunderstandings and exclusions and disrespectful visible representations of indigenous peoples. but silence from us is not much of an option. so ... yesterday, on the may 25, 2007, edition of the today show on nbc, the bbb tuned in just in time to see dana dickey, a white female, promoting various spa therapy treatments. and then ... it was time to promote, as ann curry announced rather awkwardly and somewhat hesitatingly "the native american sweat lodge." (just one lodge, eh? and it's the lodge, eh?) here we go again ... now, the bbb likes curry, the person-of-color interviewer in this segment of the show, but she was nearing a borderline of brady bravin' indian play by not questioning (and thus, accepting) dickey's native-inspired new age talk. curry listened intently as the new ager spoke of using [and profiting from the promotion of] sweat lodges, which are part of what dickey described as the spa treatements' "multi-billion dollar industry."

no discussion of cultural appropriation/theft followed. no discussion of non-native personal gain via native practices. note: not saying that all non-native new agers (and king of the hill's new age-indian john redcorn) are just seeking profits. but some folks (non-native and native) are playing "indian" for ill-gotten gain and profit. so, for the today show at least to mention/acknowledge (though it didn't even come close) that cultural appropriation has been going on (and going native) for hundreds of years on these lands at the expense of many indigenous peoples would be a good step. see bluecorn comics, shari huhndorf's going native and carter meyer and dianne royer's selling the indian: commercializing & appropriating american indian cultures.

meanwhile, on the may 26, 2007, edition of abc's good morning america, one of the obvious headlines was rosie's early exit from abc's the view. gma addressed many of the major rosie controversies, including her shouting match with co-host elizabeth, her calling out kelly ripa for a homosexist remark, and her battles with trump. but no mention of her racist "ching-chong" bit. it's little surprise here at the bbb that it didn't make gma's "list" of rosie-on-the-view moments. perhaps not surprising either to those who called out rosie, including poet beau sia's "open letter" video on youtube, after her ching-chonging yellowvoice/yellowface, a cousin of redface.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Great blog. I linked to several of your postings in my Newspaper Rock blog.

Keep up the good work. I'll be checking your blog regularly for the latest analyses.