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Old 05-08-2007, 06:47 PM   #1
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Do Indians Want to Look Like White People?

I just got back from a 2 day "anti-racism" training I had to go to for work, which I thought had a lot of BS in it. Anyway I was in the "people of color caucus" with some black people, Hispanics, and myself. The two black leaders of the training told us that all minority people have unconsciously been brainwashed into thinking that white=beautiful and wanting to look like white people and gave examples like straightening hair, bleaching hair, getting colored contact lenses, trying to be skinny and not have any curves, things like that. Also they said that lighter skinned minority people usually get treated better and value their appearance.

I really disagreed with this and said that I don't think that's true for Indian people, and that the reverse is true with a lot of Indian people who are part white having identity issues, or being judged. I mean look at all the discussions here on people who are mixed white and Indian, wannabees, etc. One trainer basically told me that I was wrong and that she grew up in Reno where there were Paiutes and Shoshones who dyed their hair blonde and wore colored contacts.

Any thoughts on this? I know about how during segregation there was the paper bag test for blacks and some were wanting to be light, but I still really think its different for Indians. Maybe this is because we have blood quantum and the gov't tried to breed us not into being white but breed us out of being Indian so they wouldn't have to fulfill their obligations to Indian tribes. What do you think?

Last edited by eap7; 05-08-2007 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:26 PM   #2
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This is one form of racism that white people like me can see, and many even acknowledge. Yes, lighter skinned blacks and Indians get treated better by whites as a rule. Always have. Even darker skinned whites don't get treated as well by whites as lighter skinned whites do. On that last point, see a movie called "Bread and Chocolate," about Italians in Switzerland. There is a scene where our Italian hero is watching all the beautiful blonde light-skinned German types who are playing out in nature while he is struggling to make ends meet.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:43 PM   #3
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heck, the trainer told you that what she was teaching that all races want to look white ,tuff class, lol
sorry but you know from the inside, that its not true for ppl who are ok with who thay are. be it any race ,tribe or cree.
but does that mean from a nother country if some one puts on a pair of guess jean thay want to be american,or a polo shirt or if a person from here puts on a sarapy are thay trying to be mexican maybe so.lol
i dont know how this class helped,becouse race is all about being diffrent ,but with equlity rights and free will
and further more, how we see to choise to indify our selfs in body dont changs our mind set, like just try and make me be white lol
its just not going to happend
eap7 this is a good q you have asked but just what is the answer
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:46 PM   #4
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HOLLYWOOD...as well as the fashion industry/pop culture for years has fostered this, with the euro image as the ideal. Though it isn't true....it was accepted by many of all other races for too long...
personally, I want to look like Keith Richards! j/k j/k .....
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:55 PM   #5
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I think your right. Sure we all know that there are those of us who prefer to assimilate & probably envy the lighter skined NDN's, but there are also a whole bunch of us who prefer to not assimilate & the light skinned amoungst this group (& I'm fairly light) don't generlly relish the lighter skinned look. Hell my 6yr old cut off all her hair last year becaus she hates her light hair, she wishes she was darker like her siblings, and thats at an age where barbie in all her blondness rules the toy boxes of little girls, but she also cut the hair off of all the blond barbies my parents bought her & left the darker ones alone.
I think we've gone through the things you've mentioned in relationship to blood quantum & other bigger issues & have come out with most of us standing proud. I used to see many more of our people bleaching & perming thier hair 15 - 20 yrs ago then now. & most of the bleach jobs I've seen now are on younger people who are just as likely to dye that bleched hair pink or purple tommorrow, so I'm thinking it's not about looking white, just trying something different.
On the other hand I rarely see a black Woman who doesn't straighten her hair & try & wear it like a white girl. I would surmise that they don't want to believe that we prefer our natural appearence because of what it would say about them. But it's really not all that surprising, they don't seem to have mangaged to maintain thier traditions over the centuries of oppression the way we did, probably because we remained on our continent & they didn't...I don't know.
Maybe if many of them were blond or red haired naturally (although I have met 2) & then coupled in with that they had hordes of blond blue eyed white people trying to convince them that they were black & expecting the black people to believe them, then maybe they too would prefer to be as dark as possible.
So the long & short of my ramblings are that I agree with you, I think that (with few exceptions) we do like the way we look, and don't strive (on mass) to look white.
Oh and by the way doesn't it seem to you all rather racist of someone (black or white) to be telling us what we want.
Suzze
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Old 05-08-2007, 09:52 PM   #6
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I believe it depends on who's perspective these judgements are coming from. Halfbreeds of any race have it bad, they are judged badly from both sides of their race, in particularly their own family, community, etc. They are caught in the middle "so to speak" and only are accepted, when they can accept who they are themselves. Believe me, I know from experience. WW
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:27 PM   #7
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Yeah.. what she ^ said!

Also.. is it trying to look white or trying to look exotic? To other races especially caucasian WE look exotic, but to ourselves.. we look like normal indins right?

I've played with my hair color when I was young... I've been a red head, a two toned, blue-black, purple-black, burgundy-black and turquois blue. I've always wondered what I would look like with purple eyes and I love them ice grey eyes... to me those are exotic. So are people trying to be white or trying to stand out? Be a little different and express themselves? Why does everythign have to be skin envy or racially motivated? And why does everyone always lump people who do things like that together like it's a unconscious conspiracy?

And having pale skin is'nt all it's supposedly cracked up to be. That's all I gotta say about that.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eap7 View Post
I just got back from a 2 day "anti-racism" training I had to go to for work, which I thought had a lot of BS in it. Anyway I was in the "people of color caucus" with some black people, Hispanics, and myself. The two black leaders of the training told us that all minority people have unconsciously been brainwashed into thinking that white=beautiful and wanting to look like white people and gave examples like straightening hair, bleaching hair, getting colored contact lenses, trying to be skinny and not have any curves, things like that. Also they said that lighter skinned minority people usually get treated better and value their appearance.

I really disagreed with this and said that I don't think that's true for Indian people, and that the reverse is true with a lot of Indian people who are part white having identity issues, or being judged. I mean look at all the discussions here on people who are mixed white and Indian, wannabees, etc. One trainer basically told me that I was wrong and that she grew up in Reno where there were Paiutes and Shoshones who dyed their hair blonde and wore colored contacts.

Any thoughts on this? I know about how during segregation there was the paper bag test for blacks and some were wanting to be light, but I still really think its different for Indians. Maybe this is because we have blood quantum and the gov't tried to breed us not into being white but breed us out of being Indian so they wouldn't have to fulfill their obligations to Indian tribes. What do you think?

Boozhoo niji,

Most of the people that I know, be they bloods, mixed or fairskinned like me, are content with the way they look and would have it no other way. Most of us (my circle of friends) have accepted what the Creator has gifted us and would take nothing less. Me I want to look just like that guy there in my picture... oh that is me! The rest of the time I look like a nobody younger than my age, and exept for my braids I dont really stand out in a crowd. People I meet on the rez, be they blood or not, do not judge me by the color or lack of in my skin. Although... some white people at pow wows choose to question my heritage according to my fair skin and grey eyes. I told him he could go to his biblical equivalent of eternal damnation, and thats all I think of those people, they dont matter, they can do nothing or affect anything in my life, period.

And I think I totally agree with your last paragraph. This is quoted directly from Anishinaabeg Today...

"The elected leaders of the MCT (Minnesota Chippewa Tribe) did not want to use blood quantum as a requirement for tribal citizenship because they were concerned that their children and grandchildren would be excluded under this rule. The BIA threatened to stop providing services to the MCT if they did not use a one-quarter blood quantum for tribal citizenship. Under this pressure, the MCT adopted a one-quarter blood quantum requirement in 1961."

Also, written in the same article, same person, this is interesting as well...

"Many people do not realize the unique political status of American Indian tribes is not racially based. In fact, American Indians are seperate from 'minority' groups or 'people of color' because of our political status as nations. American Indians are seperate nations, not minorities. The United States negotiated treaties with American Indian nations through the nineteenth century and continues to negotiate various agreements today. These treaties and political agreements are not based on the racial status of American Indians but solely on political status, creating a basis for the nation-to-nation relationship."

These quotes were taken from an article from Anishinaabeg Today, Vol.12 No.6 April 18, 2007, page 2, written by Jill Doerfler, called Sovereignty and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

Those statements mean a lot to me being an Anishinaabe. It would be good if the world in general accepted that as fact, but since most people are ignorant, well I guess it doesnt matter very much. What they think doesnt matter much to me.

Derek
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:00 PM   #9
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I couldnt no matter how hard i tried...cus even when im pale im still brown
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:12 PM   #10
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Do Indians Want to Look Like White People?


That is so funny.


........... why are there tanning salons?
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii View Post
Do Indians Want to Look Like White People?


That is so funny.


........... why are there tanning salons?

No kidding, eh? Especially around these parts there's one on just about every corner.

Nice post, too, crazywolf. Among my people the belief is that you either are, or are not Chickasaw. There is no part. And since my people encountered the white man early on and there was a lot of intermarrying, a lot of us are fairer skinned with lighter eyes. I doubt that many folks even understand the sovereignty of American Indian nations, either.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:22 AM   #12
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Anyone wanna look like me?

Only $10 and Ill set you up.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:49 AM   #13
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Anyone wanna look like me?

Only $10 and Ill set you up.
Not me... you look like my former supervisor from when i worked at Hardees many years ago... ROFLMAO!
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:36 AM   #14
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Anyone wanna look like me?

Only $10 and Ill set you up.
Nah, I'd look funny in a beard. And yes, the tanning salon thing is strange, but it's only been since the 40s or so that white people have accepted the concept of getting tan - before that, it was a mark of poverty (you had to work outside all the time) and if you were rich, you were very pale. I think as time goes on the "pale skin color ideal" is disappearing - another 50 years or so, skin color might not mean beans to anybody. At least we can hope. For myself, the only reason I wish I were darker is because I hate sunburn. I have to ease into the bare skin season, or I get as red as a lobster. A little at a time, I get kind of golden. My parents, on the other hand, were brown, dad kind of nut brown, mom as brown as Geronimo. Go figure.
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #15
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The Creator loved the Anishinaabeg so much, that he placed extra pigment in our skin. The Creator knew that in the 21st century the unknowledgable people who would eventually come to North America would screw up the ozone layers.

The Creator blessed us with that extra protection.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:40 PM   #16
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i think its true that everyone today has been bombarded with advertising trying to convince us that a certain look is the key to eternal happiness and success and all we have to do is hand over our money to look that way.


but does everyone believe the hype?
no.


i think any group/ minority whos not the mainstream, has a good vantage point to see through the crap.
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:05 PM   #17
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Not me.....

Nah...I'm not trying to look white. Heck, I'm not even trying to look Black and I'm part Black! LOL!! But actually I'm just trying to look the way I feel I should; what I like and what looks good on me. If I want to straighten my hair, I will (only with a flat iron-no more chemicals that crap messed my hair up!). I don't go by what society or Hollywood thinks I should wear or do-I wear what I think is cute-not what's in style. And as far as skin color-I'm so glad I have a natural tan I don't know what to do. I laugh at the little white girls that fuss about tanning...I just tell them having a nautral tan has its benefits! I love exotic looking people-that's who I prefer to date.
In a way, that instuctor or whatever does has a point. In the past, lighter skinned Af-Am people were treated better than darker Blacks. It comes from slavery. The darker slaves usually worked outside, whereas the lighter slaves; which were usually half breeds thanks to the slaveowner, worked in the house. They got treated better and in some cases were taught to read. But that was also against the law to do that. And I will give you an example. My granny was very fair skinned (part Cherokee, part White, part Black) and she got away with murder! LOL. So, some of what that person said did make sense, but he needs to have a perspective that not everyone wants to be white. I like who I am thank you very much!
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:52 PM   #18
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I think it is true of many people, but DEFINITELY not all. Anyone who is proud and content with who they are will not go that route....I do however think (and tell me if I'm wrong but I think this is the idea the teacher was prolly trying to get across) that society, media, etc. teaches us that it is better to look white and in a lot of places (stores restaurants, whatever) the whiter you look the better you get treated. This is not the case with all people, or with all places, or with all areas, I dont think its ever really a good thing to generalize too much. I think its partially that MANY people think its "greener on the other side". Things were more that way back in the day, I think they are getting a LITTLE bit different as society changes though. Ex: I was never allowed to have barbies when I was little cause my mom said Barbie subconsciously teaches that you have to have blond hair, blue eyes, a humanly impossible figure, nice cars, nice stuff etc. to be special (I did NOT understand that then but now I get it) I had a friend that was younger than me in elementary school. She was a black girl that LOVED Barbies. I lived in a small town where there were not many black families. One day when she was playing with her Barbie she told her dad that she wanted to have blond hair and blue eyes "just like Barbie" when he told her that she couldnt have that cause she was born special the way she was....she thought she was gonna die with disappointment. Then again, as trends/times change....did you know that now one of the most common plastic surgeries for white girls is to get butt implants?? And girls fake and bake like CRAZY (I dont blame them I'd like to be less pale myself but Im a natural girl)Whereas in Africa I heard skin bleaching is common. So I think it also has to do with trends. Though trends are often defined by society, media, and especially hollywood Beyonce made volumptuous bodies more popular...then paris hilton helped encourage more cokeheads, bimbos and eating disorders. I think that that teacher didn't even realize it but she was generalizing real bad. ok I'll get off it now
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:37 PM   #19
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Do we try and fit in to white society, yes... Does it always work, NO. When you have brown skin, brown eyes, brown or black hair, its obvious you are not white. When I was younger, I was mistaken for mexican, eastern Indian, Arabian, italian, etc. I suppose if I weren't busy putting streaks in my hair, or putting on so much make-up, maybe strangers would have thought to ask my if I were Native American instead. I'm not proud of my teen years, but that is a part of who I have become. I was not trying to be white, I was trying to fit in and finally gave up on that once my teen years were over.
I'm sorry BJJB, I don't want to look like you either, you take a cheesy photo, but you seem to be a nice member on this website.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:53 PM   #20
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It seems to me everyone wishes they were native.

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