Mike Taylor: Debates over race spilled onto Facebook pages
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012
"So, I recently took down my Facebook page. About a third of my many friends were Indians from various reservations around me; most of these had never gotten past their GED. The rest were white Mormons and white non-Mormons from Utah. This was an educated group and also a rather vocal one, constantly expressing their opinions on my Facebook wall and debating/arguing with other posters like themselves. The Indians, on the other hand, sent me frequent private messages, jokes and invites to join them for various parties, dinners and events on the rez but rarely posted publicly on my wall, although most of them keenly followed what one of them called the “white discussions.”
One day, one of my Facebook friends ran into me on campus. He asked me, “Why do you always live in the past?” I didn’t pay much attention to his question back then but remembered not arguing with him or his very strong Mormon beliefs about why Indian languages need to die out and the Mormon placement program. The same evening, another friend ran into me when I was riding a horse. She asked me the very same question and she wasn’t Mormon. The same evening, I put up an informal poll on Facebook and, without exception, all whites who responded agreed that I “always lived in the past.” They also seemed rather angry, upset and resentful about it. They said things like, “Get over your past!” I tried to get to the bottom of their resentment by asking questions such as, “But don’t you remember 9/11 every year?” or “Should Jews also forget about their near extermination in concentration camps?”"
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Mike Taylor: ‘Why Do You Indians Always Live in the Past?’
(Indian Country Today 4/23)
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