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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — John Little can hardly go a week without a reminder that he and other Native Americans often are viewed as relics of the past: the Indian maiden on the butter container at the grocery store, the kids’ teepees sold at popular retailers and the sports fans with their faces painted doing tomahawk chops at games.
But he doesn’t hear widespread outrage over these images that many Native Americans find offensive, even as the country has spent most of the year coming to grips with blackface and racist imagery following the revelation of a racist photo on the Virginia governor’s college yearbook page. Since then, new examples have surfaced regularly, most recently a TV host who painted her face brown in a parody of Oscar-nominated Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio.
The article goes on to state the following:
“These are everyday realities for Native people,” said Little, a Standing Rock Sioux tribal member.
Redface may get less attention because of ingrained misconceptions and feelings of entitlement to Native American culture and land, scholars say. Native Americans also are a relatively small group, making up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population. Blacks, by comparison, make up around 13 percent.
Convincing the masses that stereotyping Native Americans as savage, ignorant or humorless is insulting has been a slow movement, scholars say, and one they aren’t sure will gain steam.
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