Corine Fairbanks: Apathy and egotism infect Indian Country

"American Indians suffer the highest suicide rate of any ethnic minority in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The suicide rate among Native youth in the Great Plains is ten times the national average.

With the odds so stacked against our young people, it is mind boggling that mainstream performers and entertainers insist donning cheap fake Native-themed costuming, or feel justified in selling hideous tee-shirts such as the ever popular, "My Indian Name is falls down drunk" or "My Indian Name is runs with beer," or find the use of racist mascots as not only tolerable, but also honorable.

Some Native people have mentioned that focusing or organizing around these "every day little issues" is a waste of time, reciting chic clichés like "there are bigger fish to fry" or "pick and choose your battles wisely". Clearly, those that feel we have not chosen are battles wisely, have no aptitude for strategy.

Arguing that these "little everyday issues" are not worth mobilizing against is like saying "Don't worry about those termites eating up the house.""

Get the Story:
Corine Fairbanks: Every Day Little Issues and the Infestation of "Apathoids" in Indian Country (Native News Network 1/11)

Join the Conversation