I would prefer to discuss heraldry but with this foray into the world
of PCism, let me make some observations.
My children (Cherokee/Choctaw) were born in an Indian Health
Service (actual title used by the federal government) hospital which
was tribally operated. When my wife ( a Choctaw) began labor the word
"Indian" above the doors of the hospital ( run by the Chickasaw), so
fraught with centuries of cultural imperialism, did not weigh very
heavily on me. Before one obtains the "blue card" which allows one to
recieve treatment at Indian Health clinics or hospitals one must have a
CDIB card (Certificate Denoting Indian Blood). The federal agency
which is charged with mismanaging our affairs is known as the Bureau of
Indian Affairs. [Oddly enough, my little ones still play "cowboys and
Indians", not "cowboys and indigenous native American peoples" but what
do they know? Just a bunch of ignorant redskins, right?] Please note
the preponderance of the word "Indian".
If the use of the term "Indian" is racist, then the federal
government as well as the tribal governments are guilty of being such.
It is not our fault that every time the word "Indian" is used those
of a European ethnic heritage are shamefully reminded of the greatest
geographic blunder in the history of western civilization. Political
correctness has no place in history. Columbus' mistake, thinking he
was in Asia of all places when he was actually on a new continent, is
shameful. It is humiliating for those of European backgrounds to be
reminded of this every time the hateful word "Indian" is uttered. But,
it is the burden they must bear.
I hope I have not offended those of the group of European hertitage
with my refusal to bow to the politically correct sentiments and be
unusually sensitive to European sensibilities as they seek to forget
the geographical errors of their forefathers. Columbus' wrong turn
must never be forgotten.
Thomas Pinkney Davis
Post by email@example.com
Referring to aboriginal persons as "Indians" is both hopelessly
inaccurate and shamefully racist.