Melvin Martin: Tiger's philandering and Indian Country
Last week several of the people who regularly respond to my op-eds here at brought this disturbing tirade by one of Tiger Woods "alleged" mistresses, Jaimee Grubbs, to my attention (as of this writing Woods' "mistress count" is up to 14). I would confidently venture to say that any Indian person who is proud of who they are and proud of their people would be extremely outraged as was I: or search for it on Radar.

Since March of 2009, I have had the exceptionally good fortune to be a featured op-ed columnist here at, and since then I have taken on anti-Indian racism at its worst, in its worst locales. My basic interest in illuminating the scourge of anti-Indian sentiment stems from my life as an American Indian person who has encountered this particular form of hatred all over the country since the 1950s.

I would like to take this opportunity to selectively highlight the more anti-Indian, stereotypical content of Ms. Grubbs' vicious diatribe on a point-by-point basis to once again illustrate how our own people (to include those dubiously claiming American Indian ancestry) are often our worst enemies.

Ms. Grubbs, who recently went public with her almost two-year affair with Tiger Woods, claims to have been raised on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state. Whether she actually lived there long enough to be considered "from there" is a matter of contention per her statement on the video that [Indians]: "They get their free money, they drink and that´s all that matters." To all of us who are actually Indian this is perhaps the most commonly used stereotyped arrangement of beliefs held by 100% of Indian haters everywhere.

"They get their free money,..." has been around in various permutations since I was a kid growing up in Rapid City, South Dakota in the early '50s. This is by far the most mythic assumption by the majority of non-Indian America, that Indian people throughout the country receive a "monthly check" for simply "being Indian." If this were true, well then, where's my money? I'll be 57-years old in February of 2010 and not once in all that time was I ever given one red (no pun intended) cent by the federal government solely for possessing Indian heritage. This particular falsehood is the most damaging to Indians as it implies that we are indeed bred and born with a strong aversion to work for a living - why should we want to work at all when we get free money?

"they drink and that's all that matters..." is to be found in the KKK's member guide to hating the American Indian. Yes, Indian people do suffer from alcoholism at rates far greater than other ethnic groups and a lot of Indian people drink. But, we are most definitely not defined by what essentially constitutes a disease that was foisted upon us, a people who had never had a few thousand years to biologically acclimate to alcohol. Factor in generations of Indians who have been horribly victimized by all sorts of abuse by the dominant culture and is it any wonder why so many of us seek escape by way of alcohol? I'd like to point out here that in 1968 when the Soviet Union invaded what was then the nation of Czechoslovakia, that within a mere 24-hour time period, every bottle of alcoholic beverages in that whole country had been either purchased, traded for or stolen - by a citizenry under siege by an oppressive, murderous super-power.

Continuing with other gems from Ms. Grubbs' inarticulate rant, she also said that she would never date "a Native American man." as "they fought, they drank. They are very aggressive." Indian haters since before the reign of Andrew Jackson have put forth this observation about the behavior of Indian males to the extent that it was often used as justification for our near extermination 'a la "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." I am a "Native American man" who has not had a genuine fight in close to twenty years and even then the fight involved a group of heavily intoxicated white cowboys in a Northern Plains hick town. I am a "Native American man" who chooses not to drink as a matter of lifestyle, but more specifically because I simply no longer desire to partake of what I feel is a form of culturally lethal poison for all of us as Indian people. I am a "Native American man" who channels my basic human aggression and aggressive impulses towards combating the racism that has always initiated the aggression in the first place.

Further along on the video, Ms. Grubbs also indicates that: "I like white boys, well tan white boys," and then goes on to add, "I hate long hair, Indians have long hair." Alright, Ms. Grubbs' physical preferences in men are really of no major consequence to anyone but herself, I mean who cares? But, I must take exception to her ignoramus-founded assertion that "Indians have long hair." What she's actually saying is that she hates Indians. Period. And I must note that these days the vast majority of Indian guys across the age spectrum do not have long hair as we tend to follow nationally directed social trends (read fashion and style) in very much the same manner as do "white boys."

As far as this Indian is concerned, Ms. Grubbs has had way more than her fifteen minutes of fame and it is now time for her to retreat to the hole from whence she came. The anti-Indian animosity that Ms. Grubbs took to the world stage is, of course, of extreme offense to those of us who have lived our entire lives as Indians in a society that has not always treated us as first-class citizens. Many of us have been indoctrinated to hate ourselves by a country that had to demonize us to justify all that was done to us since 1492. The question that I'd like to ask Ms. Grubbs, from the Colville Indian Reservation, is this: Why must you ally and align yourself with the very same forces that would like to bury you if they had but half a chance?

Melvin Martin is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. He can be reached at

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