“My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents study from; that is absolutely the saddest thing in the world”. Junior then throws the book at the Mr. P, the teacher. In retrospect, he throws it to show just how poor his rez is and that he now has to use the same textbook his mother used. Junior, feeling even more hopeless, decides to leave the Spokane Reservation and its problems with poverty, domestic violence, and alcoholism; He then finds the school with the most hope, the rich, white school in Reardan, after talking to Mr. P. “You kill Indians?” Junior asks; “No, no, it’s just a saying” (4). Mr. P reveals to Junior that his teacher’s training at the Spokane Reservation was focused on striping the children of their culture; their songs, stories, language, and dancing.
The shock of seeing the people who should have a good future being sucked in to the vicious cycle of reservation life is close to unbearable, but it is the norm in this area. And, the fact that nobody strives to defeat the embarrassingly to correct stereotypes of Native Americans makes me pity; very few people try to obtain academic achievement instead of working at the casino, drowning in drunk, and raising a clan of children that will mimic the calamitous ways of their parents. I know some teenagers Native Americans close to my age have all gotten drunk and high, and most have been sent to jail or treatment centers. They do not know a few words of the Ojibwe language beyond simple commands, and numbers that have been repeated throughout the reservation since they were young. For Native Americans age 15-24, the alcohol related death rate is seventeen time higher than the national average.
The great depression and the dust bowl brought a new myth to the 1930’s which was the misconception of self-blame and personal responsibility which evolved from the earlier self-made man myth. “Most Americans were taught to believe that every individual was responsible for his or her own fate, that unemployment and poverty were signs of personal failure” (CD; B, 662). Many men were ashamed and blamed themselves for their loss, some even pretended to still go to work during the day because they were too ashamed to let down their family. (CD; B, 663) Some Americans also blamed the president himself and named their poor crumbling neighborhoods. “Many Americans held the president personally to blame for the crisis and began calling the shantytowns that unemployed people established on the outskirts of cities “Hoovervilles” (B, 676; CD) The 1930’s also show examples of our continuing inequality in America.
The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian Literary Analysis “The Absolutely True Diary Of a Part Time Indian” is a native based novel written by Sherman Alexie about a small Indian boy named Arnold, but called Junior by everyone on his reservation. Arnold struggles with his identity, torn between a part of his Native culture and another in his white cultured school. Along with this, his best friend, Rowdy, starts holding a grudge against Arnold, precisely because he changed schools, as if Arnold only changed schools to hurt him. Arnold went to the white school because of their improved academics, instead of the school on the reservation, where the teachers try to “Kill the Indian to save the child” but end up damaging them instead. Showing Natives as stoic people with no emotions or feelings, the novel also disrupts the stereotype of the stoic Indian by revealing humour in difficult situations, a supportive community, and through the characters of Rowdy and Mary (Arnold’s sister).
When Marie, the housekeeper that David loves, gets sick, his parents ask his dad`s brother, Dr. Hayden, to tend to her. Marie shouts, “Mrs.! Mrs.!” and “No! Mrs.!” (28:6) and his parents learn that David`s Uncle Frank have been molesting and raping Indian women all of his life. Although Marie has a serious cold, she also uses her weak voice to protest being checked by Uncle Hayden alone.
Gene went to a private school full of rich and arrogant boys. He tries to fit in in the environment and as a result, he did something that made him feel guilt every second of his life. Because he envied Finny and his athletic abilities and popularity, he purposely shook the branch and made Finny fall and break his leg. As a result, Gene felt enormously guilty. Jealousy is never good.
The current high school history and social science curriculums do a very poor job teaching students about the Pre-European Americas, instead they are creating a bigger mistake than Allan R. Holmberg. While his mistake was published and everyone who read his 1950’s novel Nomads of the Longbow was mislead, high schools across the country are filling our younger generations’ heads with nonsense while building a foundation of misunderstandings of the original inhabitants of the Americas. As children, we are taught that Indians are savages, cannibals; they stereotypically performed sacrifices while running around in a loin cloth. As Holmberg so carefully puts it, “...the indigenous peoples of the Americas floated changelessly through the millennia until 1492” (Mann, 1491, 10). Implying that they were not intelligent enough to create their own history until the Spaniards came along.
Malcolm X's life has been filled with racism, with him always being the victim, always being harassed by white supremacists. Even before he was born, KKK has been troubling his family. They have been constantly attacked verbally and physically, which eventually led to the murder of his father. The degradation of Malcolm's family soon followed, with her mom developing a mental illness, which forced Malcolm and his siblings to move out and live with other families. These series of events provided the initial rage that Malcolm had towards white people which would continually build up unconsciously within him.
Rodriguez writes, a boy pedaled by and announced matter-of –factly, “I pee on dirty Mexicans” (125). He even saw other kids as authority because they were white and so he eventually had developed poor self-esteem from all the negativity of having dark skin. Rodriguez was also envious of his brother. Rodriguez continues,” And during those years I envied him his skin that burned red and peeled like the skin of the gringos” (123). He thought the girls his brother brought
(p.34) Ronnie Tall bear, “why a college didn’t snap up an athlete like Ronnie. ” “Nevertheless, he believed Indians, with only a few exceptions, were ignorant, lazy, superstitious, and irresponsible. I first learned of his racism when I was seven or eight” talking about Wes Marie is molested, and murdered “red meat” ‘Good enough for the Army but not for college.’ Page 26 ‘My father did not like Indians. He simply held them in low regard. Page 33 ‘He wears those and soon enough he’ll be as flat footed and lazy as an Indian.’ Page 34 ‘They’re not going to make it into the twentieth century until they give up their superstitions and old ways.’ Page 42 ‘I knew what he was thinking; she’s an Indian – why would she tell the truth?’ ‘He’s a testimony to what hard work will get you.’ Page 58 ‘ – and white, we want them white.’