Google Search Makes White Man Feel Awkward, Racist

For reasons that I don’t really understand myself, last night found the author of this post wondering if it was, in fact, true of certain indigenous Americans that, after reaching a particular age, that they would wander off into the wilderness and die a noble (if, perhaps, somewhat grisly) death — instead, that is, of becoming burdensome to their tribespeople, who were surely dealing with harsh winters, food shortages, and Lord Jeffrey Amherst.

It was curiosity, then — known already for its hostility to felines — that led yours truly to very innocently submit to Google the combination of search terms you see in the image above.

Perhaps owing to the wide-eyed innocence of this gesture, it was rather jarring to be confronted by the results for same search — which, those’re probably best revealed via an Annotated Photo™.

Regard:

On the list of things I want to do right now “Have a conversation about why the word Indian is or isn’t actually offensive” is very close to the bottom. Let’s assume for the moment, please, that I’m an oversensitive, white liberal American who, if he learned one thing in elementary school, it was to use the word Native American and not the alternative — and how it was in this spirit that I approached my search. It’s obvious now that Google Search and I attended different elementary schools.

Perhaps if the Cleveland Baseball Club hadn’t attempted to market certain hat-type items this would’ve passed without notice by yours truly. But now it’s happened, and I have to go watch consecutive episodes of Rachel Maddow as liberal penance.



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Person
Guest
Person

Actually I heard somewhere recently that the now preferred term is First Americans, since they were not native to North America but rather Asia. Of course, they wouldn’t really have been native to Asia, either, but instead to Africa. You see where this kind of thing gets us, but that does not mean I would use the term Indian to talk to or about a Navajo or Sioux, though.

Anyway, I will now take the necessary precautions to avoid a conversation about why the word Indian is or isn’t actually offensive, and stop talking. I can only hope I’m not too late in doing so.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu

I’ve never met a Native American who is actually offended by the term “Indian.” It’s a confusing bit of historical mistake, but there’s nothing inherently offensive in it. And the word “America” is no more accurate or appropriate, anyway.

The Cleveland logo, on the other hand: completely offensive to everyone.

Person
Guest
Person

That’s interesting, thanks.

And I agree wholeheartedly about the Indians logo. People who give the Washington Redskins, Altanta Braves, Florida State Seminoles etc. grief really should look into “Chief Wahoo” first. For lack of a better conclusion: when he goes, then we can talk.

syh
Member
syh

Being a fan of the DC-based American Football team is also fraught with these difficulties. As a man with similar sensitivities, I’d love a name (and owner) change. If nothing else, I’ve been lobbying for a rebranding, to shift the target of the nickname to the delicious red-skinned potato.

As to the search, Google’s pretty smart and this kind of thing is automated (correlating “synonymous” search terms). With publicity, I’m sure they could put in exceptions so that this doesn’t happen (i.e. explicitly searching for Native American should not bring back anything related to the Cleveland Indians).

Seamus
Guest
Seamus

This whole conversation/article is ridiculous… Who can trip over themselves more to be more apologetic?! Let me guess, you have no problem calling the Fighting Irish the Fighting Trish or a paddywagon a paddywagon, right?

David
Guest
David

Ha… paddywagon. I haven’t heard that term for 15 years and being in elementary school at the time I had no idea that it might be a derogatory term by association that it is used to infer that police would need a large a separate vehicle to haul away rowdy, and presumably drunk, irishmen. Chalk up something learned/realized today. Thank you Seamus.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu

David,

Actually, the origin of the word ‘paddywagon’ is likely less racist than that. At the turn of the century, the police forces in northeastern cities largely consisted of Irish immigrants (blame it on Democratic Party machine politics). But the etymology there is debated.

David
Guest
David

Unlearned… :(

DavidCEisen
Guest
DavidCEisen

The Fighting Irish aren’t called the Fighting Irish because Irish people fist fight, but because Irish immigrants fought in the Civil War for the Union in the Irish Brigade.

Nice try though.

jason
Guest
jason

The leprachaun in the logo has his fists up and isn’t wearing a Civil War uniform. Yep, it screams “we respect you and all you did for us, thanks Irish immigrants”… or not.

ThomasTSKH
Guest
ThomasTSKH

Fun Fact: the third hit there is actually my hometown Indianapolis Indians, so that’s fun. “Gorkys” is a fun name to say.

Seamus
Guest
Seamus

Nice, use smugness and snark when you know that you’re wrong… Good job!

Seamus
Guest
Seamus

Yes, so says wikipedia… Never heard one person give that explanation as to the origin and I am from one of those northeast machine politics Irish cities… I think that is some revisionist history by people who feel bad about the true origin of the word… I’d probably get drunk, too, if I had to deal with the likes of the Know-Nothing Party and those of their ilk…

Resolution
Guest
Resolution
brett
Guest
brett

Does anyone see the irony in what Seamus, the (verbally) Fighting Irishman, is trying to argue?

Also, this picture says more than I possible could about the “Is the Indians logo racist?” debate:

comment image

Seamus
Guest
Seamus

Yes, I know that, David… And, Brett, I don’t know this great irony that you think you see in what I’m trying to argue… I personally think that neither group should be offended… I just find it funny that people are tripping over themselves to try not to offend certain groups, but offend others with impunity and either don’t realize it or don’t care… In general, I think that people need to suck it up and grow a thicker skin and stop complaining about every little slight, imagined or otherwise… Life is way too short!

superfly snuka
Guest
superfly snuka

Exactly right, Seamus! Why can’t minorities be more like white people? White people never get upset about racism. Neither should minorities!

Card Archives
Guest

Stop being so sensi. Do what I do and just pretend that Indian is actually indi’an or the contraction of the term “Indigenous American.” It’s somewhat enjoyable to think that we live in a culture that spends more time debating terms than it does policy. After we stop marginalizing an entire nation of peoples, then we can chat about how the hell we should reference them at the dinner table because we totes just finished reading a really cool article in the NYT or watching an expose on PBS.

Also, that cartoon is hilariously awesome and I couldn’t help but think that the Juneau Jews would be the official ballclub of The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Chabon.

Card Archives
Guest

By the way, the Irish deserve everything they get and more.

JR
Guest
JR

On the list of shitty things the white man has done to Native Americans, Chief Wahoo ranks fairly low on the list. Yet it seems to get quite a bit of pub.

taite
Guest
taite

The difference between the fighting irish and the indians is that one group is a historically oppressed group that was largely killed off by european settlers, and one is not.

oneblankspace
Guest
oneblankspace

The terms Native American and First American do not adequately represent the pre-Columbian Canadians. However….

The Cleveland Indians were named for a Native American player they had after Napoleon Lajoie retired.
The Boston Redskins were originally the Boston Braves and changed their name when they moved to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.
One of the North Dakota bands of Sioux have sued to prevent the University of North Dakota from changing their nickname, and elders from the other band will not allow a vote on the issue.
Black Hawk is the only person in American history to have a sports team and a war named after him.
“Hoosier” is a fightin’words level insult when someone from St Louis uses it to refer to someone from a (suburban or) rural area.
Irish need not apply.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Irish_sentiment#Modern_Period

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