Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
This "Close to Home" cartoon is a genteel version of the spoofing done by lowbrow humorists and shock radio jocks. Not only isn't it funny, but it trivializes Native cultures a couple of ways:
First, not all Native cultures (not "culture") use descriptive names like "Many-Tantrums" or "Spills-a-Lot" (or "Sitting Bull"). Describing all Native cultures as one is a stereotype unless you're describing something common to them all.
More important, Native names often are given in ceremonies...come from dreams or visions, not mere mannerisms...and are kept private. The idea that Indians make up their names on the spot...and that anyone can make up a legitimate Indian name also...is patently wrong. Native naming conventions don't work that way.
Like many stereotypes, this isn't an earthshaking problem. It's a subtle, invidious problem and it's symptomatic of greater problems.
"Funny" Indian names
Native comic strips vs. comic books
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