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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

>> I was in Mcdonald's (don't tell anyone) the other day and I heard some guy describe a Ford pickup as "Found on Reserve Dead." <<

By "Reserve" do you mean "reservation"?

Ford = Found On Reserv[ation] Dead. I guess the implication is that if a Native person is driving a Ford pickup, the pickup is likely to fall apart and die on the reservation?

>> Yes, I suppose that there is a definite implication that the stereotypical "run-down reserve" is scattered with stereotypical "broken-down Fords." Another point is that, to my dismay, it was a Native person saying this, which can be seen one way as "Indian humor" or as "internalized oppression." This person can be seen as actually adding to the problem of mainstream culture's stereotyping by initiating or repeating the negative stereotype. <<

>> However, it is common for oppressed people to survive through humor. Comedian Don Burnstick does his one-man play called "I am Alcohol" which is very powerful. He balances the emotion with "Indian humor." Everyone leaves his show feeling positive and happy. <<

I think people repeating stereotypes about themselves isn't much of a problem. All stereotypes have a measure of truth to them, or they wouldn't last. The real problem is when other people use stereotypes out of ignorance and believe them.


Related links
Ethnic humor and the "Joke of the Day"

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