This is a beautiful and powerful video by Upworthy. Many of you have probably seen it by now but it’s worth a second view. I think that unfortunately it’s clear that since European folks set foot on this land, Native Americans have been terribly oppressed, abused and even murdered… And the oppression continues. The Native American community continues to be under-served so when this video calls them “survivor” I know there’s never been a truer meaning/context applied to that word. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million more times, institutional oppression is often experienced as a horrendous and repetitive trauma (among other things) and so when I read the Upworthy note below the video that the slur discussed in this video has been shown through research to be detrimental to the mental health of Native Americans, I… just don’t know what to say. There’s already been so much exploitation, violence and hatred. Isn’t the very least we can do as a country is refrain from using derogatory names? It shouldn’t be that hard and in fact would literally be quite simple to stop.
But the NFL, according to Upworthy, won’t air this video. Maybe they see it as bad for ratings or think the Super Bowl isn’t the right time or it’s too controversial? I don’t know… I think it’s controversial to choose NOT to show it. Especially with how many racist, heterosexist and sexist commercials air every day, every year and especially during the Super Bowl. And not to mention the Super Bowl takes place in a country where pseudo progressive commercials by Coca-Cola and Cheerios continue to be followed by droves of trolls taking to the internet to spew racist and bigoted comments. Considering all that, I don’t see this as a time to shy away from the very real and harmful racism that continues to exist in the US. I think another really small step our mainstream culture could take is to show this commercial whenever. There’s no violence nor sex in this PSA. It’s just a platform for an oppressed people to raise their voices and demand their right to respect and freedom of racism. And to respond by silencing their attempts? Well that’s a good way to keep oppression going.
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