The Fairy Princess is not a sports fan.
Well, she is not a football fan – mainly because she was in the Color Guard in High School and got pneumonia waiting for those endless games to end.
The Fairy Princess likes gymnastics, ice skating, and dressage. Yes, dressage.
The Fairy Princess could not care less about football.
Which is why, of course, she would go on to marry someone who plays Fantasy Football on a competitive level. (She doesn’t get that either, it’s a fantasy! It does not exist! Picking names of superstars that are already superstars does not make y’all Mr. Roarke! It makes it another reason to ignore taking out the garbage.)
You know what is a fantasy?
You know what is a nightmare?
This is not ok.
Because it took away the focus of what Stephen Colbert was trying to say – which was that the name of the
Football team is offensive to Native Americans and should be changed. Steven Colbert’s comedic sketch was implying that the team in Washington knows that they should change the name, but that they are stubbornly refusing due to some innate sense of white privilege.
He was saying that trying to hide the fact that they know that they should change the name by establishing a charity is bullshit. And then he pointed out that to call the charity you are funding by the very name that is most offensive to the people you say you are going to help with this charity is, to put it in the mildest way possible – absurd.
This week, Asian American Bloggers have been asked to join with Native Americans whose opportunity to be the subject of a national conversation on the continued use of derogatory sports team names was co-opted by some folks very quick to hashtag.
The Fairy Princess joins this conversation, not only as an internet observer, not only as an “Asian American blogger’, but she joins the conversation as someone who has visited a Reservation.
She joins the conversation as the daughter of a man who was “Tribal Council Judge” to a Native American tribe.
My Father represented two Native American tribes as their lawyer in their quest for state recognition prior to a debilitating stroke that left him unable to work during the last five years of his life. It was one of his greatest regrets that he was unable to continue his work for those Tribes due to his illness.
You see, The Fairy Princess, as she has stated before, had a Father who was an excellent man. He was a man of learning, a man of science, and he believed in Native American rights, not because he was Native American – but because he was Irish.
My Father was an Irish American Lawyer, who grew up in New York City.
He was a Labor Attorney and he always considered himself an advocate for ‘the little guy’. My Father was a single practitioner of the law – he never joined a firm, although they were always after him to do so – he was not comfortable with the idea of ‘a firm mentality’ deciding who he should represent, he had his own moral code.
My Father, when asked by me, why he chose to devote so much time to helping these two tribes told me that Americans – particularly he felt, Irish Americans who had done so well in this country – had a responsibility to the Native Americans, because we decimated their cultures to make way for our own.
My Father, who was an avid student of history, often compared what Americans did to the Native Americans, to what the English did to the Irish with their ‘invasion’, although he would of course, say that the Native Americans had it far worse.
My Father would go up to visit the Tribes he represented – not often, so much can be done on the phone – but frequently enough to be a part of their councils. When he came back, he would be both energized and depressed – energized to help more, and depressed that so much needed to be done.
The Fairy Princess is not a casual observer of the fights that Native Americans have been involved in, she has been an participant – helping with paperwork and research, phone calls and so on. She has actually been to “The Res”, where she felt the wind whip through her bones. She has met and talked frequently with Native Americans in her life- obviously the ones her Father represented, and others whom she met and worked with in a show business career.
(The Fairy Princess does not believe this makes her better than anyone, she just wants to note that this is not her first time observing the way we ignore Native Americans and their issues.)
While The Fairy Princess is not Native American in any way, she understands, as a student of history and as a Person of Color in America, why images and names of sports teams, matter.
They matter because they hurt.
They matter because they are rooted in cultural misunderstanding.
They matter because they were created to substantiate the supremacy and the “Manifest Destiny’ of Caucasians in this country.
They matter because a President of the United States said this about them, to justify his attempt at extinguishing them:
“After a harassing warfare, prolonged by the nature of the country and by the difficulty of procuring subsistence, the Indians were entirely defeated, and the disaffected band dispersed or destroyed. The result has been creditable to the troops engaged in the service. Severe as is the lesson to the Indians, it was rendered necessary by their unprovoked aggressions, and it is to be hoped that its impression will be permanent and salutary.“ — Andrew Jackson
The Fairy Princess is standing with the Native Americans in their quest to have the name of sports teams changed because she is following the example set by her Father. My Father gave of his time, he gave of his intellect, he gave of his knowledge of the law.
All that The Fairy Princess can ‘give’ is a blog of encouragement, and sign a petition or two.
It is not really enough, now, is it?
The Fairy Princess has this to say to say to ‘fans’ who believe wearing face paint and bastardized Native American head dresses is not offensive to Native Americans….get ready:
You are wrong.
You are offensive.
You denigrate the sacrifices of the Native American community so that you can play ‘dress up’.
The Fairy Princess has said these words before, in regards to Asian American representation, but she offers them to the Native American community, to use as they wish, for she believes that it applies to their situation as well.
The Fairy Princess will stand with the Native Americans – and she believes that Asian Americans have a responsibility to do so as well – because once again, some who believed they had ‘a right’, took away one more thing from the Native Americans with no regard for how it would affect them.
And it was us.