Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
The Smithsonian Redistributes Honor
By David Yeagley
FrontPageMagazine.com | September 28, 2004
It's official: the new National Museum of the American Indian declares all brown-skinned people of the Western hemisphere are now "American Indian." All "indigenous" people of North, Central, and South America, and even Pacific Islanders, are aggrandized in the $219 million dollar showcase of brown pride. The NMAI is shrine for native resentment – a cultural center for anti-white, anti-European sentiments.
What globalist, racist visionaries are behind this protest of Western civilization? They're a little secretive about their identity. According to Douglass Cardinal, original architect, Rockefeller is a key player. The museum is part of the Smithsonian, but they're saying more than half the funding ($100 million) for this new NMAI came from "private" donations. (That's a clue to look for leftist donors, like maybe the people who partied at the opening ceremonies, like maybe Robert Redford and Teresa Heinz-Kerry?)
The National Indian Gaming Association president, Ernest L. Stevens said the NIGA gave a third of the private donations. Now we're all reassured of the benefits of Indian casinos. Never mind Indian healthcare, housing, and education for Indians living today. The ancestors are enshrined. That's what's important. (The Chicago Tribune puts the NIGA amount at $30 million, apparently including only the contributions made by the Oneida Nation, Mohegan, and Mashantucket-Pequot casinos – at $10 million each.)
One thing for certain, whatever the status associated with the historical name "American Indian," it is now owned by all indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere. The museum donors bought the name for everyone. Whatever the historical significance of the name "American Indian," whatever the price paid by the few and the brave – the real American Indians within the borders of the United States of America – the value is now "redistributed." It was taken from the rich, and given to the poor. The blood of the warriors is now diluted to water, aspersed upon all.
It's only a matter of time, and the word "indigenous" will include the Negro slaves of the Americas. They've lived here for several centuries. They're not white, nor European. Why shouldn't they get their "affirmative" share of non-white glory?
I knew something was wrong back in August, 2003, when Stacy Stahl, a 16-year-old adopted Inca Indian girl wanted to be the American Indian mascot for the Anderson Redskins, a suburban highs school outside Cincinnati. She felt she had a perfect right to the name. She was from the "Americas." She was Inca "Indian." Why wasn't she "American Indian?"
Through the new NMAI, the name "American Indian" is usurped. It now means something else. Its new association with all indigenous people of the western hemisphere demeans the blood of the Sioux, the Comanche, the Iroquois, or any other Indian tribe that shed blood against the United States of America.
These other peoples have no such historical place as the true American Indian. These others were relatively massive in numbers, greatly civilized in some areas, but none fought so long, with such deadly force as the few and the brave among the true American Indians. Some did not fight at all.
I am outraged that these other people should carry our noble name. It is an attempt to win psychological territory not with fighting, but with funding. It is a façade of political correctness, and never so egregiously incorrect.
Can we expect now to see all "indigenous" peoples in "brown shirts?" Can we expect to hear more talk about Latin American ownership of the United States? Will true American Indians feel more comfortable giving our lands to those we never fought?
We plains Indians should be the first to protest such a presumptive, Communist redistribution of our honor.
Can we expect now to see Kofi Annan become the new Chief of the American Indian? Will the United Nations make room for a representative from every indigenous nation in the historical Americas, for an international BIA?
Will American Indian lands be then freely used by the United Nations? Bill Clinton made American national parks available to the UN in 1997. Will we see foreign troops in training on Indian reservations?
No, I'm not a hemispheric "Indian." I'm an American Indian. I'm not an indigenous globalist. The United States is the only power I'll honor here. Hating whitey doesn't turn me on, nor am I dependent on his attention. And I'll not be swindled out of my identity by anti-American leftist globalism that gives the warrior's glory to the weak and cowardly.
Dr. David A. Yeagley is a published scholar, professionally recorded composer, and an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. He's on the speakers list of Young America's Foundation. E-mail him at email@example.com. View his website at http://www.badeagle.com.
Every time Yeagley writes something, it's riddled with stereotypes and mistakes. This time is no exception. He's spun an entire column on his misreading of one word:
>> It's official: the new National Museum of the American Indian declares all brown-skinned people of the Western hemisphere are now "American Indian." <<
First, the NMAI has declared nothing of the sort. Yeagley means that this is his (mis)interpretation of the museum's intent.
Second, even if the NMAI did intend to cover the Western hemisphere's indigenous people, that wouldn't include blacks, Hispanics, Asian Indians, and others usually grouped under the "brown skin" rubric. So even if Yeagley were right, he'd still be wrong.
>> " All "indigenous" people of North, Central, and South America, and even Pacific Islanders, are aggrandized in the $219 million dollar showcase of brown pride. <<
"Aggrandized" is Yeagley's version of what the rest of us call "celebrated." His choice of words implies Indians don't deserve to have their accomplishments immortalized.
Yeagley's problem is that the National Museum of the American Indian covers Indians besides those who reside in the United States. First, so what? Does Yeagley think every cultural institution must stick to its mission literally? Does he think an art museum never featured a piece of technology? A natural history museum never featured a manmade object? An African American museum never featured anything made by a white man? A Wild West museum never featured anything made east of the Mississippi?
This strict constructionism is silly. Few if any museums follow their missions so literally. As one obvious counterexample, natural history museums often have displays about Indians and other indigenous cultures. These aren't part of natural history any more than airplanes or computers are.
Second and more important, both North and South America are part of the "Americas." Broadly speaking, an American Indian is any Indian from the Americas: North, Central, or South. So the museum usually deals with American Indians, narrowly defined, and always deals with American Indians, broadly defined. So where's the problem?
Whether you consider the museum's name narrowly or broadly, it's accurate. Yeagley's column isn't.
>> The NMAI is shrine for native resentment – a cultural center for anti-white, anti-European sentiments. <<
Where in the world does this non sequitur come from? Because the museum deals with Indians outside the United States, it's a shrine for "native resentment"? How does Yeagley figure?
Don't bother asking. He's made up a straw-man argument so he can knock it down and (I guess) earn another paycheck. This is how he operates. He finds or invents a problem, claims (with no evidence) that "liberalism" or "socialism" caused it, and cashes in.
In Yeagley's little mind, you can't be for Native cultures without being against Western culture. Why? Because Yeagley believes Western culture is superior to Native cultures, so ignoring Western culture is irrational. If you celebrate your own culture without admitting it's antiquated and irrelevant, you're implicitly demeaning the mainstream culture. You're putting your personal beliefs above the aggregate "wisdom" of modern society.
Museum's vision is "globalist, racist"?
>> What globalist, racist visionaries are behind this protest of Western civilization? <<
Yeagley asks who, but he hasn't even explained what. What globalist, racist vision is he talking about? You won't find any evidence that NMAI is biased in this essay.
If the museum chooses to include Indians from throughout the Americas, how is that racist? Indians are members of the same race no matter where they live.
Suppose we followed Yeagley's lead and limited the museum to Indians residing in the US. How would honoring some members of one race but not others make the museum less racist? In fact, this hypothetical museum would be even more exclusionary. It would select its honorees by both race and geography.
If the NMAI had chosen to include other brown-skinned inhabitants of the Americas, but not white-skinned inhabitants of the Americas, then Yeagley might have a point. But that's not the case. The musuem has limited itself to indigenous Americans, broadly defined: Indians, Native Alaskans, and Native Hawaiians. If any white-skinned people had originally lived in the Americas, the museum presumably would've included them too.
>> they're saying more than half the funding ($100 million) for this new NMAI came from "private" donations. (That's a clue to look for leftist donors <<
When Yeagley suggests that you look for leftist donors, it means he's looked for them and hasn't found any. The only donors he mentions by name are Indian tribes.
>> Now we're all reassured of the benefits of Indian casinos. Never mind Indian healthcare, housing, and education for Indians living today. The ancestors are enshrined. That's what's important. <<
Indian gaming is paying for healthcare, housing, and education as well as this museum. Is Yeagley saying we should never build a museum until every social need is met? Would he advocate selling off the Smithsonian's assets to pay for homeless shelters and food banks? Unless Yeagley is too addled to think through his assertion, that's a pretty radical position.
Here Yeagley says the museum has "enshrined" the Indians' ancestors. Later he'll claim the museum hasn't honored the Indians' ancestors. Since these claims are contradictory, which is it?
Based on this essay, you can't tell if Yeagley accepts or opposes the idea of an Indian museum. Would he accept the NMAI if it changed its name to the National Museum of the Indian? Or would he claim that's a backdoor attempt to add India's Indians to the brown-skinned recipients of "glory"?
That you can't discern Yeagley's general position on Indian museums, presumably ones with different names, is a good example of how bad his writing is.
>> One thing for certain, whatever the status associated with the historical name "American Indian," it is now owned by all indigenous peoples of the Western hemisphere. <<
Oh, is that really "for certain"? Alert the lexicographers! If they didn't realize a century ago that "American" may refer to any inhabitant of the Americas, they'd better learn fast.
It's incredible what kind of nonsense one can spin from one word in a museum's name. Here's an example:
How about that "Air and Space Museum"? What? You say it doesn't have any displays on air molecules, which are the basic components of air? I guess that proves the military has co-opted the skies and sold them to the highest bidder. What else can we conclude from a museum with "air" in its title but no information about air?
You see? I can play Yeagley's silly game too. Unfortunately, no one's paying me for it.
Vast left-wing conspiracy?
>> The museum donors bought the name for everyone. <<
Is this merely unfounded speculation, or does it veer into rampant paranoia?
Let's review the facts, all of which I've cribbed from the NMAI's own documents:
The National Museum of the American Indian is home to the collection of the former Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, which opened to the public in New York City in 1922.
Congress established the NMAI with Public Law 101-185 (Nov. 28, 1989). As mandated by Congress, the museum's mission, openly stated, is as follows:
The National Museum of the American Indian is an institution of living cultures dedicated to the preservation, study and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native People of the Western Hemisphere.
W. Richard West (Southern Cheyenne) was named founding director of the museum in 1990. The museum's senior management group includes Helen Scheirbeck (Lumbee), assistant director for public programs; John Haworth (Cherokee), director of the George Gustav Heye Center; George Horse Capture (Gros Ventre), deputy assistant director for cultural resources; and Nicolasa Sandoval (Chumash), assistant director for community services.
The museum staff is seeking the views of Indian communities by conducting regional meetings or consultations. In the past two years alone, the museum has worked with more than 500 Native people from approximately 300 communities in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The results of these collaborations have been used for various purposes such as determining the design of the Mall museum and the Cultural Resources Center, planning for the Mall museum's inaugural exhibitions and a wide range of other purposes.
To raise the necessary funds, the Smithsonian created the National Campaign of the National Museum of the American Indian. The campaign has a 36-member Honorary Committee—national and international leaders who have agreed to lend their names and personal support to the National Museum of the American Indian fundraising effort. Chaired by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne; R-Colo.), the honorary committee includes all living former U.S. presidents (Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush), as well as Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation; prima ballerina Maria Tallchief (Osage); actors Kevin Costner, Paul Newman and Robert Redford; Octavio Paz, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in literature, and golf pro Arnold Palmer.
One can only wonder at this. A secret commission of former presidents, including Republicans Ford, Reagan, and Bush, in league with Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, and Arnold Palmer. Who else is involved? Could it be the Trilateral Commission? The Freemasons? The Illuminati?!
Okay, let's summarize the facts. An act of Congress established the NMAI. Its name derives from the former Museum of the American Indian, which was established in 1922. The senator who pushed for the NMAI, its founding director, and some of its senior managers are Plains Indians. For 15 years the NMAI has consulted with hundreds of Native communities to establish its policies and programs. Its fund-raising team includes leading Natives and every former living president, even the conservative ones.
With all this information, Yeagley doesn't conclude that the museum evolved out of an honorable tradition of celebrating Native cultures. He doesn't conclude that Native people themselves, led by Plains Indians such as Campbell and West, formulated the museum precisely to honor their ancestors' blood. No, he concludes that an anonymous cabal of liberal donors created and named the museum to promote a "globalist, racist" agenda that has nothing to do with US Indians.
Can you say "nutcase"? I know you can.
Here's how this conspiracy probably happened. Ronnie Reagan grew up a Democrat who admired Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Eventually he became the head of the Screen Actors Guild and part of the Hollywood elite—a classic limousine liberal. Perhaps he only pretended to become an icon of the conservative movement in later years. Perhaps his goal all along was to use the NMAI to create an "evil empire" of brown-skinned hordes with himself as their "great white chief."
Perhaps that's why he chose George Bush, who ultimately signed the legislation, as his vice president. This is the same George Bush who was a member of the Skull and Bones society at Yale and who headed the CIA before becoming VP. And whose son is now leading a preemptive war using CIA "intelligence" while proclaiming the virtues of the NMAI. Skull and Bones...CIA...Saddam Hussein...Al Qaeda...need I say more?
Yeagley apparently thinks the NMAI is a Trojan Horse. First you visit the seemingly benign museum and its seemingly benign collection of Native artifacts. The next thing you know, you're a mindless Manchurian Candidate, marching against Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and other bastions of Western civilization. Your only goal is to tear down the American establishment and build a New World Order in its place.
Now that Yeagley has uncovered this conspiracy, which every other commentator on the NMAI missed, isn't it obvious? Yeah, sure.
Indians = victim of identity theft?
>> Whatever the historical significance of the name "American Indian," whatever the price paid by the few and the brave – the real American Indians within the borders of the United States of America – the value is now "redistributed." <<
This is pretty funny considering some Indians don't like the term "Indians" and prefer to be called by their tribe's name. Apparently Yeagley thinks the word is worth dying for or something.
>> It was taken from the rich, and given to the poor. <<
Huh? What does this mean, exactly?
It'll be news to most American Indians that they were rich, that the NMAI robbed them, and that they're now poor. It'll also be news to Indians outside the US that they're no longer poor. They can give up their hardscrabble farms and buy sprawling ranches or mansions.
Don't try to spend this newfound wealth at a drug store or mini-mart, people. Like most of Yeagley's claims, it's imaginary.
>> It's only a matter of time, and the word "indigenous" will include the Negro slaves of the Americas. <<
No, it won't.
>> Its new association with all indigenous people of the western hemisphere demeans the blood of the Sioux, the Comanche, the Iroquois, or any other Indian tribe that shed blood against the United States of America. <<
Of course, some tribes didn't "shed blood against the United States of America." The Hopi and Pueblo tribes of the Southwest are good examples.
>> These others were relatively massive in numbers, greatly civilized in some areas, but none fought so long, with such deadly force as the few and the brave among the true American Indians. Some did not fight at all. <<
Again, some tribes of "true American Indians" didn't fight either. They sued for peace, retreated, or died of disease before a white man laid a finger on them. They signed treaties rather than fight a bloody and probably unwinnable war.
What about all the Indians who inhabited US territory before Columbus came? Since they "did not fight at all," does that mean they weren't Indians either? Incredibly, Yeagley is saying Indians must be warriors or they really aren't Indians.
>> This just another leftist word-robbery intended to confuse language, and to fuel anti-white racism. <<
Clearly the museum's language has confused Yeagley. Let's hope this response helps straighten him out.
>> It is a façade of political correctness, and never so egregiously incorrect. <<
Don't worry...Yeagley probably will find something more politically correct and "egregiously incorrect" in his next essay, or whenever he needs to stooge for money.
See Political Correctness Defined for more on the "political correctness" charge.
>> We plains Indians should be the first to protest such a presumptive, Communist redistribution of our honor. <<
Again, Yeagley implies that only Indians from the Plains warrior cultures are "true" Indians.
>> Can we expect now to see Kofi Annan become the new Chief of the American Indian?... Will we see foreign troops in training on Indian reservations? <<
Will Yeagley ever run out of inane rhetorical questions? Must I keep ridiculing his essays forever?
>> Hating whitey doesn't turn me on, nor am I dependent on his attention. <<
Yeagley doesn't have time to "hate whitey." He's too busy hating Indians who don't conform to his narrow view of Native people as gun-toting, anti-government, neo-militia members.
>> And I'll not be swindled out of my identity by anti-American leftist globalism that gives the warrior's glory to the weak and cowardly. <<
"Weak and cowardly"...nice to know what Yeagley thinks of non-Plains indigenes. Hawaiians dance effeminately (the hula)...Peruvians take drugs (coca leaves)...Mexicans are hot-blooded lovers between siestas...Eskimos have sex freely and swap wives. They didn't do anything noteworthy except sacrifice virgins to pagan gods or volcanoes. They didn't build any "real" civilization like Columbus did—one founded on the noble principle of acquiring as much wealth (gold, slaves, land) as possible.
Yep, I guess they're all a bunch of limp-wristed pastel-wearing degenerates. They can't hold a candle to real he-men like Yeagley.
Indians as warriors
America the warrior society
Yeagley the Indian apple
. . .
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