Gyasi Ross: Fancy Skins and non-fancy Skins
"On the Blackfeet reservation, they call it “acting good.” Folks who act good – the fancy Skins – are on every rez and every city with a large Indian population. Most Skins are not the fancy type, mind you. Still everyone knows them – the kind of Skin that always has a conference to attend, who always drops names, who went away to school and always talks about his/her time away at school.

Native lawyers are the ultimate fancy Skins. They’re fancy Skins on steroids, Creatine and HGH. They love their schools shamelessly. They have screensavers of their alma maters of which their wives get jealous. These fancy Skins look lustily at the screensavers and think of how they were able to play fantasy baseball with the good white folks at school and have real, “deep conversation.” They miss those days.

Native lawyers especially love conferences and dropping names. They love conferences more than non-fancy Skins love mullets, stick game, tripe and Wal-Mart. They actively seek out opportunities to drop the names of other fancy Skins. “Dr. Such-and-such, esq. and I used to shut down Midnight Rodeo during the Federal Bar conference every year while I was a professor at DeVry Tech Law School of Gaithersburg.” It’s considered a coup of some sorts to be able to: 1. Shout out your alma mater; 2. Drop a name of a fancy Skin; and 3. Mention a conference you attended all in the same sentence. Extra fancy points."

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: The thing about skins (Indian Country Today 6/15)