Header Image


Bad Eagle Journal

Indians Against Indians, Always?

by David Yeagley · February 7, 2013 · 11 Comments ·

On January 27, 2013, the national American Indian radio station, Native America Calling, presented a program on the American Indian mascot issue. presents part of this program for opportunity to make important observations on the otherwise rather hackneyed subject of mascots, and also because of the manner in which Native American Calling handled the topic. Also note that the radio program is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Can we say it has a liberal perspective, if hopefully not necessarily? In fact, this particular program, January 27, with Antonia Gonzales substitute hosting for Tara Gatewood, the program was about as “balanced” as a call-in radio program could be made to be. (Ironically, however, “balanced” in this case means not considering whether there is an actual majority opinion on the issue, and certainly avoiding making such an impression.)

The occasion for the mascot program, of course, was the perpetual protest of Suzan Harjo against the use of “Redskins” by the NFL Washington Redskins football team. Of course, again, the reason for this momentary notice of Harjo’s case was the fact that the Redskins had a winning season, and missed the 2013 Superbowl by one game–their loss to the Seattle Seahawks, 24-14. Harjo’s influence apparently pulled the black mayor of D.C. Vincent Grey into the conversation, apparently hoping the darkest-skinned race would bring victory to her case.

Harjo was teamed up with Bill Means (a brother of the late Russell Means) as guests on Native America Calling. They presented the usual complex of white psychological theory, social theory, Indian theory, about why Indian mascots are bad.

Bill Means, brother of Russell, one
of Russell’s funeral services.

The night before the program, I was called by the producer William Kie and asked to be on the show. I thought I was to be a guest, but I misunderstood. He simply wanted to insure a balanced presentation of the issue, and asked me to call in, as just another caller. did not make this YouTube. We are using it, however. Pictured is “Chief Zee,” a self-made mascot of the Washington Redskins, and myself, David Yeagley. I say, anyone and everyone has the right to play Indian, if it means so much to them. What I don’t like is people claiming to be Indian, when they are not.

On this tape, at 36:20, my participation begins. I tried to offer a viable assessment of the truth about what Indians actually think about the issue of mascots, as well a little history about the whole Indian protest movement (AIM), and modern social movements which have joined forces.

Suzan Harjo’s response to me begins at 44:20.

I have to point out, Ms. Harjo presents completely unsubstantiated claims and misinformation on the professional surveys I noted. She claims that there was no assurance that the people interviewed were Indian. She asserts that the surveys were simply conducted over the phone. Thus, she completely undermines and negates the entire Native America Calling radio program itself–which professedly represents the voice of American Indian people–by their making phone calls to the show.

Then she reference one “survey” done by Indian Country Today (2001) as authoritative because it was (presumably) conducted by Indians surveying other Indians. The problem with that survey, which Harjo completely fails to note, is that not only was it not scientific, but it was basically in house, that is, the survey was of “American Indian Opinion Leaders,” a special club status created by and granted exclusively by Indian Country Today. It is online. It was the staff of the paper surveying each other, friends, and supporters. And the total number of persons surveyed was not revealed, nor their status as Indians. Also, no quotes were made of any Indians who were pro-mascot. In other words, whatever Harjo’s objects to the Peter Harris and Annenberg surveys, they apply more directly to the Indian Country Today survey, obviously. For what she condemns the professional surveys, ICT is doubly guilty. Harjo’s quotes of the ICT survey are incorrect as well. She said mascot opponents were in the 90 percentile. They comprised rather 81%.

But, facts don’t matter to emotionalist protesters and racial dramatists. They condemn anyone who disagrees with them as ignorant, uninformed, or prejudiced. “Ignorant” and “uninformed” were terms used many times in the Native America Calling program, used by self-appointed Indian leaders to describe Indians who support the use of Indian images. It is classic Leftist elitism, and in this case, radically obvious.

Of course, Harjo needed to pronounce my comments as “slander.” The historical facts behind the anti-mascot movement were not something she would recognize at all.

The obvious tactic here is that liberal-trained Indians condemn their Indian opponents as ignorant and uninformed.

But the self-appointed, non-elected Indian liberal “leaders” employ the cruelest weapon of all against their Indian opponents. If you don’t agree with them, you’re not Indian. Certainly, this is the word-weapon that has been used against me since 2001, when I entered the fray of Indian politics. Of course, I am currently suing some of the leading aggressors who have used this libelous weapon against me. And when they don’t actually say you’re not Indian (and Harjo never actually said that of me), they use the next best weapon: “you didn’t grow up Indian,” or “you’re not connected to your people.” Therefore, the implication is that you have no right to speak. You’re experience is not “Indian.” This was Harjo’s public, printed approach to me since 2003. (Of course, her thoughts on me are totally forgotten now, since her low-level sarcasm against me is non-retrievable at this point. I do her the kindness of reprinting it from my own site.)

My point here is that a liberal “Indian” is generally content to figuratively kill another Indian who disagrees. If you have no facts, and only emotion, you say, “You’re not Indian.” That is murder, of a very real sort. Of course, the same accusation could rightfully be made of many of these half-breed, mixed-blood, thin-blood, self-appointed liberal “Indian leaders.” And I’m not above making such an accusation myself, on occasion.

This kind of Indian war is something that goes on in Indian country today. It is our finest tradition, in fact. It dates back to our origins. Just ask any Indian what he thinks of Comanches!

My favorite quote about the mascot issue comes from South Dakota Sioux activist Betty Ann Gross (Sisseton-Wahpeton), interviewed by Sports Illustrated (March 4, 2002):

There’s a near total disconnect between Indian activists and the Native American population on this issue.

That says it all, about Indian country.

Posted by David Yeagley · February 7, 2013 · 12:13 pm CT · ·

Tags: American Indians · American Patriotism · Bad Eagle Journal · Conservatism · Liberalism · Politics · Race

Read More Journal Posts »

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Charitas // Feb 9, 2013 at 1:04 am   

    I am a true viking which my cheekbones can easily verify, a pure descendant from a millennium of Nordic Danes. Where are these advocates for my cause against the Minnesota “Vikings” especially after they have a losing season? Does anyone comprehend the humiliation of a “Viking” loss? And who can stand to gaze at that outrageous caricature they use? My apologies David for making light of this “Indian Mascot” absurdity I know it must be quite unnerving continually dealing with politically correct dunderheads.

  • 2 Sioux // Feb 9, 2013 at 10:34 am   

    How much longer do we let the fleas wag the dog? Did anyone catch Dr. Benjamin Carson’s call to sanity at the National Prayer Breakfast? Reasonable response to unreasonable times.

  • 3 David Yeagley // Feb 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm   

    Charitas, I love your post!
    Now, all you lack to be pure Cherokee is a law degree! according to Elizabeth Warren’s standard.

  • 4 David Yeagley // Feb 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm   

    Here’s a link to the Carson episode.

    Nothing sinks humanity lower than false standards and coerced perfectionism.

  • 5 Sioux // Feb 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm   

    Dr. Y- the link didn’t work.

    False standards and coerced perfectionism makes me think about all the rules and regulations promulgated by our federal govt. burearats to bury anyone who really wants to do a decent job. I see this in health care and education and just about everything where the goal is to just keep the problems going going going. That’s why Dr. Carlson was such a breath of fresh air with his brilliantly simple take on life in America.

  • 6 David Yeagley // Feb 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm   

    Sioux, I changed the link. This one should work.

    From what I understand, the man is a Seventh-day Adventist. Of course, when that get’s out, all hope of political use of him will vanish. Sorry to say…

  • 7 zephyr // Feb 10, 2013 at 12:53 am   

    DY: “all hope of political use of him will vanish.”

    You think so? I dunno . . . read the comments on Blaze. Ppl are desperate for real conservatives.

    Romney is not particularly conservative and Mormon, which is further away from what most evangelicals understand as “mainstream” Christianity, but he had the full support of most conservatives, who realized Paul couldn’t pull it off and the only other option was BO.

  • 8 Sioux // Feb 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm   

    Unfortunately for all of us, Romney’s chief goal was to win the Republican nomination and then control the loss of the election to Barry Soetoro. Anyone with an objective bone left in her/his body can say Mitt played to win (and he does know how to do that when he wants to).

    That all being said, Dr. Carson is not a Mormon — being an Adventist shouldn’t hurt, I don’t believe. That the Liar-In-Chief wouldn’t shake the good Doctor’s hand tells me something very profound.

  • 9 Charitas // Feb 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm   

    Hello David,

    I’ve considered the law degree route, fortunately I discovered my wife is already 1/32 Cherokee. I’d fast track to a casino franchise except I’m sure it would greatly disappoint my savior and heavenly father; His spirit sustains me as He well it does for you.

  • 10 David Yeagley // Feb 10, 2013 at 9:07 pm   

    Well, I determined Ann Coulter was Cherokee by deduction, or syllogism, or some such.

    Ann Coulter is Cherokee

    Cherokee Coulter: Evidence Pours In

    I rarely have fun like this, but Ann is a such a trip anyway. She didn’t mind.

  • 11 kschwantz // Feb 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm   

    According to Esquire the SEAL who whacked Bin laden carried an Indian Warrior insignia on his helmet:

You must log in to post a comment.