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Ramapough Nation slams film for negative portrayal of tribe

YouTube: Trailer for Out of the Furnace

The Ramapough Lunaape Nation of New Jersey is speaking out against a new film that depicts the tribe in a negative and stereotypical light.

The creators of Out of the Furnace say the film is fictional and that it's not based on a particular group of people. But several characters have last names common among the tribe and some members of the cast are listed as "Jackson White," a derogatory term for the Ramapough.

“To me, it’s like calling a black person the N-word, and my father is black,” Keith Van Dunk, whose last name is one of those used in the movie, told The New York Times. “In high school, kids would call me a Jackson White in the hallway, and if I stuck up for myself, they’d say I’m living up to the stereotype.”

The film also depicts activities that portray the Ramapough as backwards. Tribal leaders say it has stirred up tensions in the community.

"The film contains ugly stereotypes that stain you for life,” Chief Dwaine C. Perry told the paper. “The undertones are racist and personal. It’s a hate crime when you look at the psychological impact on the kids.”

Get the Story:
New Film, ‘Out of the Furnace,’ Accused of Stereotyping Ramapough Indians (The New York Times 12/12)
Ramapough Indians, Mahwah officials decry depiction in new movie as 'hate crime' (NJ.Com 12/5)

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