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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

Eddie Rickenbacker's: San Francisco Bar Celebrates Genocide And Abuse Of Women


SF Bar Exploits Native Remains Eddie Rickenbacker's is a bar in San Francisco's Financial District. While the bar has received good reviews, even by supposedly progressive newspapers, it is home to one of the most offensive and racially insensitive displays one can find in the city. Along with displays of guns used in the wars of extermination against the Native American population, there are what is claimed to be the teeth of Monasetah. A sign above the teeth claims that they were "knocked out of her mouth in a jealous pique" by General George Armstrong Custer. It has been claimed that, following the Battle of Washita, Custer invited officers "desiring to avail themselves of the services of a captured squaw to come to the squaw Round Up Corral, and select one." Custer took first choice, Monasetah, and lived with her during the winter and spring of 1868 and 1869. One would expect offense at the display of human remains of a woman kept as a sex slave by a former US general, but the display has been around for years with little complaint. If the display is real, than it could be in violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act but even if it is fake and intended just to add atmosphere, it is a clear sign of an acceptance by the bar's owners and patrons of a form of racism and misogyny that would never be allowed if the remains were claimed to be those of any other ethnic group. The bar's owner, when questioned about why he has a Native woman's teeth on display, replied that concern for cultural sensitivity was "not living in reality."

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Rob's comment
By treating the woman Monasetah's teeth as mere objects and not as venerated remains, this display dismisses Native religions. It basically says that what Natives believe is irrelevant, inconsequential, or just plain wrong.

The display also perpetuates the squaw stereotype. As the writeup above indicates, the women in question weren't sluts or prostitutes, they were sex slaves.

Judging by what else we can see—the "Winning of the West" poster and the rifles—the display also perpetuates the notion that the Indians were marauding savages and the US soldiers were noble guardians of peace and order. In fact, both sides were fighting a no-holds-barred war, but only one was defending its homeland and upholding the rule of law. (Hint: It wasn't the US.)

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