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(Daily Mail)   What happened after Chief Short Cake died? Some helicopter parents got all butthurt because a homework lesson used the word "Squaw"   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 32
    More: Stupid, Richard Vesbach, white privilege, helicopter parents, female genitalia, Indian Country Today, homework, squaws, Lakeland Union High School  
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7466 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2012 at 7:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-10-08 05:45:19 AM
8 votes:
The student, 17-year-old Noah Archer, received and completed the assignment on September 28 at the school

i.dailymail.co.uk

I would be much more upset that this was a math assignment for high school seniors in the first place.
2012-10-08 08:03:08 AM
4 votes:
Subby is wrong. The parents are right.

I'm so glad that more and more white people are waking up to the fact that some words are pejorative and hurtful. I'm also very glad that there are white folks out there who are refusing to train their children to be racists.

Seems to me subby belongs to the realm of unenlightened white people who get butthurt when they can't say any insensitive effing thing they want without being called on it.

This is the hope and change I've been looking for. A bit of silver lining to start my day.
2012-10-08 08:14:53 AM
3 votes:

Subdue their bellies: Squaw is the new n-word? Double plus good!


White guys don't get to decide what what words are offensive to minorities.

Oh, and seeing it as offensive isn't new. You just haven't been paying attention.

Link

In some 19th- and 20th-century texts squaw is used or perceived as derogatory. Most of these uses are not sexual. One author, for example, referred to "the universal 'squaw' - squat, angular, pig-eyed, ragged, wretched, and insect-haunted" (Steele 1883). Squaw also became a derogatory adjective used against some men, in "squaw man," meaning either "a man who does woman's work" (similar to other languages) or "a white man married to an Indian woman and living with her people" (Hodge 1910). (This was a popular literary stereotype, as in The Squaw Man.)

In a western novel by Max Brand (1926), a male character asks a female character about her intentions:

"And follow this fortune hunter like a-like a squaw behind her man?"
"Like a squaw," she answered steadily, "if you choose to use that word!"

The writer Mourning Dove (1927), of Colville, Okanagan and Irish ancestry, showed her mixed-race heroine's opinion of the word:

"If I was to marry a white man and he would dare call me a 'squaw'-as an epithet with the sarcasm that we know so well-I believe that I would feel like killing him."

Perhaps in view of such uses as those above, one early-20th-century dictionary of American usage called squaw "a contemptuous term" (Crowell 1928).

The activist LaDonna Harris, telling of her work in empowering Native American schoolchildren in the 1960s at Ponca City, Oklahoma, recounted:

"We tried to find out what the children found painful about school [causing a very high dropout rate]. (...) The children said that they felt humiliated almost every day by teachers calling them "squaws" and using all those other old horrible terms" (Harris 2000).

In this case the term seems to have been regularly applied to girls in the lower grades of the elementary school, long before their puberty.
2012-10-08 11:27:35 AM
2 votes:
Lots of people here missing the point entirely - shocking, I know.

It doesn't matter what the origins of the word 'squaw' are, or whether or not it's Oprah's fault it has negative connotations (disregarding the much older literary examples outlined by rufus-tfirefly above).

What matters is that many First Nations people, Algonquin and otherwise, take offense to the term. Trust me, I went to school with many Cree, Dene, and Lakota Sioux kids, among others, and let's just say they aren't fans.

So what's so difficult about avoiding the use of a term that has been established by its target group to be, in fact, offensive?

It's not about being "butthurt" or political correctness going overboard. It's about adapting our use of language to avoid unncessarily pissing off large groups of people. I think that's pretty easy to accomplish without limiting ourselves - this idea that somehow we'll run out of benign words is a laughable strawman argument at best.

In this particular case, I don't see an attention whore. I see a First Nations mother calling out a teacher for handing out an assignment (yes, a decidedly underwhelming one given the age of the student) that employs an outdated term considered offensive by the very group to which it refers.

I also see a teacher who clearly didn't work out the answer himself beforehand, but who realized his mistake and issued what appears to me to be a very sincere apology and immediately took steps to make amends.

So if all parties in the article seem to agree that this was a mistake - albeit a relatively minor one in the grand scheme of things - what's wrong with admitting that just might be the case?
2012-10-08 10:16:48 AM
2 votes:
How Language Changes:

1620-1900 Squaw means 'woman'

1900-1992 Squaw means 'woman', not always as a compliment

1992 OPRAH gives activist a platform; activist declares 'squaw' evil

Never mind that actual linguists don't find an evil origin for the word. OPRAH has spoken: The word is now banned.
2012-10-08 09:07:37 AM
2 votes:

thamike: I would be much more upset that this was a math assignment for high school seniors in the first place.


This.

xanadian: Or a special ed student. But, I'm repeating myself.


That's racist.

drjekel_mrhyde: /You really want a person who has no farking clue about their own state teaching your kids?


Which would you rather have: A good teacher willing to teach 6th grade math to high school seniors in bumf*ck Wisconsin and has no f*cking clue about the state? Or a sh*tty teacher who's in tune with all the obscure social mores within the society?
2012-10-08 08:54:47 AM
2 votes:

lizyrd: This is about as tactful as using "coont" in a play on words in a school assignment.


No it isn't: The two don't compare. The origin of the word comes from the Eastern Algonquin tribes that were first contacted by Europeans, and as documented by linguists since the 17th Century, the term merely mean "woman" in those languages. There is no evidence it was derogatory in nature.

The idea that it was a derogatory term for female genitalia didn't surface until the 1970's. Like much of the 1970's, that idea is just plain wrong. That theory didn't gain much traction until an Oprah show in 1992.
2012-10-08 08:10:22 AM
2 votes:

AbbeySomeone: Insatiable Jesus: Squaw is not the preferred nomenclature, Larry.

Vagina. Does that word make you uncomfortable?


Just IM'd a Native American acquaintance.

"Squaw" means "coont" (in it's most derogatory), not "vagina".
2012-10-08 12:34:13 PM
1 votes:

dittybopper: Rafe: So what's so difficult about avoiding the use of a term that has been established by its target group to be, in fact, offensive?

Because it's an actual, normal, non-offensive word meaning precisely what its English equivalent is among a subset of that group. They merely imagine it to be offensive in all contexts, which it plainly isn't.

I propose renaming the Adirondack mountains to something else, perhaps the "Colvin-Sargeant Mountains", because "Adirondack" is a derogatory Mohawk name for Algonquins. Then again, "Mohawk" is a derogatory term used by Algonquins for the Kanien'kehá:ka.

It's like a perfect circle of butthurt!


Squaw may have originated with the Algonquin, but its usage has evolved (I've personally heard it used many times in a derogatory context - not towards me, mind you; I'm a white man). As such, so should we. Again, it's not about being butthurt, it's about choosing not to adress people in a way they'd prefer not to be adressed. In my world anyway, that isn't terribly difficult.

But at the risk of repeating myself, what bugs me is this silly argument that we're somehow going to run out of words that aren't considered offensive. I agree that sometimes political correctness goes way too far - I just don't think that applies in this case.

Call a First Nations woman a squaw and get back to me.
2012-10-08 10:46:54 AM
1 votes:

Marine1:
Uh... how?


That's racist.
2012-10-08 10:24:23 AM
1 votes:

Makh: I would be really pissed if my kid had that as homework. As covered here, it's crap math for a 17 year old and it leads to an ignorant phrase. This paper virtually teaches nothing and in fact, more things need to be taught to make up for the crappy paper.


I used to tutor physics at a 'good' liberal arts school. All the pre-meds had to take one year of physics (the real class, not physics appreciation). I would help these people (most of whom wanted to be doctors) set up their problem, and get it down to two equations and two variables. I would look up in triumph, only to see a complete lack of comprehension.

I heard a lot of complaints from students that Doctors shouldn't need math or physics. My argument was that if you were too dumb to grasp simple algebra or simple mechanics, I did not want you making life or death decisions.
2012-10-08 10:16:31 AM
1 votes:
The correct way:

Lady: Excuse me Mr. principal..... My son got a math homework assignment that used a controversial word in a foreign language.

Principal: I see, well, that teacher didn't write the assignment, and isn't an expert in foreign languages.... but, I'll mention it to him so that he knows in the future that it isn't a good idea to use that sheet as homework in the future. And obviously I won't be disciplining my teacher for anything, because that would be dumb.

Lady: Thank you. I will in no way be going to the press to attention whore myself over this.
2012-10-08 09:59:51 AM
1 votes:

Hermione_Granger: Subby is wrong. The parents are right.

I'm so glad that more and more white people are waking up to the fact that some words are pejorative and hurtful. I'm also very glad that there are white folks out there who are refusing to train their children to be racists.

Seems to me subby belongs to the realm of unenlightened white people who get butthurt when they can't say any insensitive effing thing they want without being called on it.

This is the hope and change I've been looking for. A bit of silver lining to start my day.



THIS.
The people who seem to complain and whine the most about "political correctness" are the assholes who are butthurt that they can't just spew any racist thing they want from their pieholes anymore without someone actually taking them to task for their ignorance. Those people are also the ones for whom these epithets have no real meaning, since they are the ones who made them up in the first place.

How many derogatory names of american origin are there for WASPs anyway compared to other races and ethnic groups?
Racial Slur Database


Think first, then speak. not that difficult.
2012-10-08 09:53:04 AM
1 votes:
I'm disturbed by the fact that the teacher making up that assignment used the word "burys" rather than the correct spelling of "buries".
2012-10-08 09:13:11 AM
1 votes:

xenophon10k: sodomizer: The list of things you cannot say, allude to or even think about keeps growing.

Great work making us a free and open society, libs/fantasy-dwellers.

You are mistaken. You can say those things all you want. Go right ahead. Walk up to a Cherokee and say "squaw". While you're at it, find a large black man and call him "attractive and successful".


Then walk up to a white person and say "honky" or "cracker" and watch nothing happen.

Solving problems without violence is AWESOME!
2012-10-08 09:01:35 AM
1 votes:
Too many of you are being dumb squaws.
2012-10-08 08:41:10 AM
1 votes:

G.I.R.B.: AbbeySomeone: Insatiable Jesus: Squaw is not the preferred nomenclature, Larry.

Vagina. Does that word make you uncomfortable?

Just IM'd a Native American acquaintance.

"Squaw" means "coont" (in it's most derogatory), not "vagina".


Actually, no it doesn't.

It may still be offensive, in the same way that "retard" became offensive (once a non-derogatory description, a person whose development was retarded in the sense of held back compared to the norm that became derogatory through use), but it's a term for "coont".
2012-10-08 08:40:14 AM
1 votes:
People get offended. There's a lot of "overoffense" that goes on with public melodramatic outrage. I don't the offense in this case is too over-the-top. A school teacher should show a higher level of cultural understanding, especially when he teaches in a school that is 22% Indian (feathered).

This is about as tactful as using "coont" in a play on words in a school assignment. It shows a remarkable level of ignorance. Not firing worthy, but certainly apology worthy.
2012-10-08 08:30:01 AM
1 votes:
I'm at work so I can't get a screenshot, but a mom I know on FB posted a picture of her snowflake's homework last week. She was all upset that her 5th grader had an assignment to identify the suffix in a group of words, one of which was the word "sexuality." I really just don't understand how that is somehow a word a 10 or 11 year old should not ever see.
2012-10-08 08:16:53 AM
1 votes:
So I can't say "coont bury shortcake?". Who knew?

/Yavapai definition - but my memory is weak

FirstNationalBastard: "...I not know the word had magically turned offensive"


Overcoming ignorance is usually called education, not magic.
2012-10-08 08:14:35 AM
1 votes:
I would be really pissed if my kid had that as homework. As covered here, it's crap math for a 17 year old and it leads to an ignorant phrase. This paper virtually teaches nothing and in fact, more things need to be taught to make up for the crappy paper.
2012-10-08 08:13:26 AM
1 votes:
It's sad that so many native Americans assume that any reference to their culture is automatically a negative reference. In sports, there are protests of Chief Illini, The Redskins and The Braves - all of which convey admiration for the culture. Meanwhile, Irish Americans revel in Notre Dame's angry leprechaun and the Boston Celtic's vomiting Pope mascot
2012-10-08 08:06:03 AM
1 votes:
You know, if I were Native American, I'd be far more upset by what some tribal authorities hold to be acceptable living conditions in reservations. I'd be livid, actually.

FastJeff: FriarReb98: And I'm sorry, but we as a human race need to stop getting offended at every goddamned thing.

I'm full-blooded injun and I agree, but squaw is a pretty bad one. It's not an issue of being offended, it's a safety issue. Folks running around natives saying that are likely to get knifed.


Odds are, he didn't even know it was a bad word. I'm roughly around the kid's age (21) and had noooooooo idea that it was a bad thing until I read this article.

You can let the meaning of some words die out, or you can bring it up as offensive and kids learn how to use it as a weapon, if that makes sense. It's like n**ga was a few years ago. Do you think that 90% of the white kids who were using that word around their black friends meant it in a derrogatory manner? No. They saw it on Chappelle's Show, thought he was hilarious, and wanted to emulate him. Then African-Americans said, "No, that's our word, and it's offensive when it's used by you", even though the kids had no offensive intent when using it.
2012-10-08 08:01:49 AM
1 votes:

Subdue their bellies: Squaw is the new n-word? Double plus good!


Ummm.... no. Go back and RTFA. It's an ..ahem.. impolite reference to a female body part. Of course, I find it interesting to point out that, once again, one of the first things you learn in a foreign language is how to curse.
2012-10-08 07:58:49 AM
1 votes:
Squaw is the new n-word? Double plus good!
2012-10-08 07:55:16 AM
1 votes:
Since I've been a kid, it's always been acceptable to be racist against American Indians in this country. Why is that?
2012-10-08 07:51:52 AM
1 votes:
FTFA:

He didn't actually know what the word 'squaw' meant and he showed the lesson to his mother Abbey Thompson, who is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in Wisconsin.

The word is derived from the eastern Algonquian language and refers to women. It has previously been thought to be a derogatory term but recent historians claim it is a tribal term meaning female genitalia.


In other words, Chief Shortcake died of terminal Snu-Snu.

OTOH - she IS a member of an actual native-American tribe. That does give her some standing to be upset at the use of the term.
2012-10-08 07:51:43 AM
1 votes:

FriarReb98: And I'm sorry, but we as a human race need to stop getting offended at every goddamned thing.


I'm full-blooded injun and I agree, but squaw is a pretty bad one. It's not an issue of being offended, it's a safety issue. Folks running around natives saying that are likely to get knifed.
2012-10-08 07:15:19 AM
1 votes:

FirstNationalBastard: MissFeasance: That's math homework for a 17 year old?

Maybe he's a football player.


Ah, scroll down in TFA and you'll see a pic of the kid with what looks like a football helmet.

CASE SOLVED

/that looks like math homework for a fifth grader...
2012-10-08 07:11:22 AM
1 votes:

FirstNationalBastard: MissFeasance: That's math homework for a 17 year old?

Maybe he's a football player.


Or a special ed student. But, I'm repeating myself.

AbbeySomeone: On the upside, the kids learned a new word.


There used to be a ski resort way up in the middle of nowhere in Maine called "Big Squaw Mountain." They changed it to Big Moose Mountain.
2012-10-08 05:59:58 AM
1 votes:

MissFeasance: That's math homework for a 17 year old?


Maybe he's a football player.
2012-10-08 05:53:12 AM
1 votes:
That's math homework for a 17 year old?
 
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