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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Objectification of People (of Color)

I found this video on the YouTube channel for The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian. This is their third "Most Viewed" video (however, the higher two have been posted 15 months longer.)

"Take a Picture with a Real Indian"
(James Luna performance)

Eloquent, poetic and fascinating. Luna's performance merges two worlds that are still colliding in an awkward relationship between the objectifier and the objectified; between the oppressor and the oppressed; between money and moneyless; between capitalism and nature; between disrespect and dignity.

I would love to see interpretations of this from every ethnic background. I hope this becomes a YouTube meme like the series which started with Mike Lee's video CUZ I'M ASIAN.

To this day the U.S. has an awkward relationship between European Americans and People Of Color. The lines between the two sometimes blur with mixing of cultures and ethnicities, but for the most part - there is a never ending tension.

This awkward tension started with the violent treatment of my Native American brothers and sisters. They were uprooted from their deep roots. Uprooted from their 9,000 year old communities and pushed like animals onto reservations; at the same time my African American brothers and sisters were pulled like animals out of Africa and sold to plantation owners. Even herds of cattle would have received more respect in such a forced migration.

This forced segregation between red, black, yellow and white, remains with us today. Not only are my brothers and sisters of color segregated today; every ethnicity is segregated. To illustrate, take a look at the N.Y. Times housing map data from the 2010 Census.

Click "View more Maps", then "Racial/ethnic distribution"

You can zoom in to your state, or type your zip code in the box at the top right.

The map is large so it may take a while to load with a slow connection.