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that damn indian giver


SaggyBalls
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Thanks Thorgnor.

This phrase bothers me to no end.

Other alternative? Don't use it. Seems easy enough, unless your not capable of compreheneding the racial undertones and insinuations towards first nations people it projects.

Rob, perhaps you mean "stuck in YOUR lexicon"

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There are loads of people that don't think about the euphelisms they use.

Haven't used it since I was a kid. I heard it the other day and was hoping to find a usable alternative.

Hypocrite doesn't fit the bill as it describes character qualities rather than referring to an action...I had thought of that too.

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well the issue isn't really the reposession itself it's the conditions surrounding it.

'reposession' doesn't really have the same vibe.

someone taking back something that was given...without warning or expectation.

If you get repoed it's for a reason. 'Indian Giver' doesn't really work for that.

'asshole' is kinda close, but decidedly vague...same as hypocrite.

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The main issue with the statement is that it's connected to that idea... that the repossession is unjust, and characteristic of a race. So of course it sounds all wrong to say that the act of repossession is legitimate, we'd have to admit that the "giving" might have been "taking"...

If it's legitimately yours the repo-man is just a theif. It's the need to connect it to a "racialized legitimacy" that makes the statement seem as if it describes something unique. What was it called before we met the "Indians" there Rob? "Muslim Giver"?

Just tell whoever uses it that they've offended you and you'd prefer if they didn't speak about a whole race of poeple that way cause it isn't helping us get along or understand where each other are coming from... or would that be too fascist (and insensitive toward the bigot) in it's honesty?

I really don't want that to come off as an attack Rob, it's just related to what you had posted relating to the "Racism" study thing in the other thread. You seem uncomfortable with letting people know they've said something awful, but I give great credit that you're lookin for an alternative. I think I can appreciate what your sayin' it just seems to me there's little else to do but "educate", ya'know?

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...it's such a racist phrase.

but until there's a less politically incorrect one it's stuck in our lexicon.

What is a good alternative to 'Indian Giver'?

You know what's funny about the phrase is that when I was young I thought it referred to the fact that whites had offered so much to natives (land treaties, etc.) and then just taken them back or ignored them at will. Critical reconstruction of the expression through ignorance I guess ;)

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That critical reconstruction did happen, and for a long time I thought it humorous that 'Indian Giver' was given the 'racist against Natives' treatment on sitcoms like Seinfeld. It's a tricky thing and the phrase itself gives some insight into the development of our attitudes: the origins are clearly derogatory towards one ethnic group (as far as I understand the etymology) but later interpretations turned that on its head and allowed for it to be more of a social and political critique of the very group who were initially the beneficiaries of it. [ie. those who extended treaties but retracted them in the interest of colonialism]

It's things like this that really drive home just how alive language itself is, and how we evolve in parallel with it. (Which is one reason, I think, that people like Thorgnor and myself tend to get so fired up about words - even despite the regular suggestions to recognize that they are 'just words')

So: allow the phrase to turn itself inside out and revel in its transformation (and what that transformation says about the same transformation of our collective world view), or drop it because of its distasteful origin? I'm really not sure. But I love that we wrestle with such things. I've certainly never said it .. but I wouldn't be too much upset with someone who did I think, I guess depending on whether I thought they were using it consciously or just inattentively perpetuating old stereotypes.

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I hear that. I think I tried to say something similar in a less articulate way. :) (On second or third thought maybe not so similar, but I do agree.)

I think somehow my beef is that it still, even when turned back on the oppressor, perpetuates difference through negativity.

If you call me soft again, me and Tonin are gonna kill you though :P

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educate people that use it, thorgnor?

I'm looking for a different phrase that means the same thing, as most of the use of the phrase is not in regards to racism or the mostly false history behind it.

Letting people know they've said something awful is so rarely constructive at the time, and most often serves as a waste of time and energy. I hate sidetracking conversations like that, as they rarely get back on track.

I'm more with d_jango on this one. I'd be more likely to ask someone what that phrase meant, and if they actually were referring to and believed the history behind it, I'd suggest that they learn more about it.

That's way easier to get a meaningful, light-hearted, or somewhat interesting conversation back on track rather than piously scolding someone.

Scolding that person, though, would be a great way to end the conversation in a timely manner - what a great way to get out of a waste of time.

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educate people that use it, thorgnor?

I'm more with d_jango on this one. I'd be more likely to ask someone what that phrase meant, and if they actually were referring to and believed the history behind it, I'd suggest that they learn more about it.

I believe I said I agreed with d too. Besides you're obviously attempting to educate as well in your own way, why perpetuate the negativity I mentioned?

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I know you said you agreed with d_jango - and to clarify, I didn't mean that I'm more likely to wait it out than you would, but I also wouldn't lay the racism card on the table over an isolated euphemism.

Negativity? Which negativity was that? While you mentioned difference being perpetuated through negativity, I didn't suggest being negative, only conversational or non-reactive.

Are you talking about the negative essence of the phrase that a great number of people don't understand - and thus isn't in their mind at all - or the negativities that get renewed when tied to the phrase by an unassuming particpant or eavesdropper?

You didn't really mention any specific negativity, you just commented that it exists - which is quite different.

Realistically, going back and forth about this - is way too distracting from the need to find a better way to describe the act...cause it's really strange to assert that the United States Government is really being an Indian Giver as of late.

While I'm not a fan of the bonuses at AIG, the bailout money wasn't explicitly explained (lack of communication/miscommunications) and controlled (posthumous taxation legislation? Isn't that like saying 'times infinity' in a back and forth 'nuh-uh, uh-huh kid squabble?), so there isn't a more fitting phrase to use, even if it is socially inappropriate.

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You call them racists, I say its racism... you label a thing, I label a process.

Negativity doesn't have to sit in your intentions, it can rest on the body of the person you insult and be expressed through embodied differences.

By saying there's no better way to describe what's happening down south is to say that the statement is accurate, therefore perpetuating a negative stereotype of an entire 'race'. Intend it or not, it's a process of racially charged judgement, and using the phrase, or finding it to be the "best" for the situation legitimizes it's further use and like I said, the cycle continues... Instead of the bad guys being seen as idiots or criminals, they're seen on a scale that includes, eveil of evils, the "Indian Giver"... that shit ain't positive.

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If there's a racially charged judgement it's about

the second hand perceptions surrounding the description of judgement former.

You're right - that shit ain't positive, but there still isn't anything that fits the bill more than that unfortunate phrase, which is truly sad.

Using the term does not assert that the statement is historically accurate. Perhaps you mean that the usage legitimizes it, which I can unfortunately see being an acceptable understanding, but anything otherwise is putting words in someone's mouth unless that's the case in context.

'evil of evils'?

How can one really rank evil?

Make an argument if you really need to...

...but i really don't think you need to.

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By saying there's no better way to describe what's happening down south is to say that the statement is accurate...

by expressing one's ignorance of the "historical reality" and rejecting it in favor of a "racially charged fairy tale" where the Native Peoples of N.A. continue to be associated with deprivation and conflict.

Intend it or not, it's a process of racially charged judgement, and using the phrase, or finding it to be the "best" for the situation legitimizes it's further use...

Using the term does not assert that the statement is historically accurate. Perhaps you mean that the usage legitimizes it, which I can unfortunately see being an acceptable understanding,

I'm not sure what you thought that meant in the first place?

What I mean is that the simple act of perpetuating the phrase, even/especially if you recognize the pain it causes, perpetuates the "violence" of racism, the process of creating social division through racialized difference.

It's NOT the best way to describe things because it is necesarily derogative towards people who have nothing to do with the problem your talking about. You are semantically linking the actions of the Indians with the actions of the Government in this case and saying not only that the link is legit, but that the reason the Gov is bad is cause they're acting like a bunch of Indians. clear like mud, eh?

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you guys are the semantic KINGS of conversations that go nowhere. i know you both and can't believe that if you were in the same room that any of your conversations would continue past 2 minutes.

that being said...

the term is stupid and doesn't require an alternative IMO. how about calling that person an asshole...works for me.

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I can handle being king asshole - especially when I walk by a concert and comment about the guys waiting outside illegaly reselling tickets.

That being said, I know I'm not asshole through and through.

I wonder if we'll ever see a time when political correctness doesn't matter.

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'asshole' is kinda close, but decidedly vague...same as hypocrite.

where did you think this was gonna go Schwa.daddy?

There was never any dispute that the phrase is racist, imo. I don't think there's an alternative that makes the same reference that isn't racist, Rob was lookin for one I guess. I think the point was that either way the phrase needs to be dropped, both Esau and I suggested that right off the bat.

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Schwa...I totally know that you didn't call me an asshole, but since I DID use the phrase, then I should be able to handle being called an asshole.

And Thorgnor, I think that if we don't misread oneanothers' posts, it's all about the little nuances of where we're coming from.

I'm a stickler for details a lot of the time, because it's the details that have the most effect on our subconscious and understanding&perversions of logic and social attitudes.

You people are so nice.

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