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J.K. Rowling vs. angry Native Americans.

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posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:34 AM
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stream.aljazeera.com...

Now here Native Americans accuse Rowling of using the "skinwalker" trope.
I mean how dare she, it's only been done 50 000 times before.
How many skinwalker threads are there on ATS, over like 10 years?

By the same token - I want no other peoples involved with the mention of Odin or Thor.
They burnt our books too.

Also, we use sign language between 500 Celtic and Germanic tribes - so don't use English.
My people also invented glasses - not yours, so take them off.
You're appropriating my culture.
Native Americans didn't have glasses.

We (the Germanic people) had wands ...

Blah, blah, blah ...it's all a children's book!

edit on 25-3-2016 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-3-2016 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:56 AM
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The PC culture of today is sickening.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:59 AM
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But despite that, there's three self-proclaimed justice warriors and Native Americans.

Actually he's the only real one.

His first question was never answered by the academics.
If only natives may write about natives, then what definition do you use to define a native?

Anybody can come and claim anything.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 06:41 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

I donno it all depends sayz I, if she made no links to native American culture and totally misrepresent it , I can see them getting a bit miffed, example we have had ppl writing about Vodun and totally misunderstand and misrepresent that religion to the point where ppl think it's devil worship, if they are saying only native Americans can write about Native Americans then...NASA we have a problem.


edit on 25-3-2016 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 08:04 AM
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So are they saying Rick Bayless should stop cooking Mexican food? Maybe I should remove various ethnic recipes from my cookbook because I don't belong to any of those cultures?

Fantasy is fantasy. The world Rowling has created is not our world for all that it bears similarities. Last time I checked, what you make up in your head is what you make up in your head. Are people going to get upset with her next because there is no secret underground world of wizards, warlocks, and witches hiding under our very noses and looking down on us muggles?

As far as I'm concerned, anything relating to her secret magic world should be more or less her invention and is open to her interpretation and creation as she sees fit since it isn't real. I would hazard a guess that her adherence to European magical creature lore is fast and loose too in order for her to use those elements as they best fit her plot.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 08:04 AM
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a reply to: halfoldman

Wow. Did they protest "The Iron Druid" series? It has a character named "Coyote" who is the actual diety. AND it has a whole story about an evil group of Skinwalkers. He's not Native American. He made money off of it, too.

There are a TON of stories based loosely in Native American traditions, just like there are a TON of stories based in the mythology of a lot of other cultures, like, say Norse Mythology (THOR!) that twist things around, etc. Werewolves - for example, they are a part of our cultural mythos but they have roots in places around the world.

Anyway. I think you have a famous author, and they are claiming she is evil and offensive for doing what she's doing. She had certain groups of fundamentalist Christian people up in arms over Harry Potter, too, for "promoting witchcraft."

I didn't see a big Wiccan protest over the books, but, hey...

The point is, she is a HUGE SELLING AUTHOR and people who want attention, or who are offended by what she does, are going to get air-time if they complain loudly and in the right way.

Skin-walkers, are Navajo-based, from my understanding. They are evil and need to kill a close family member to get their powers. They are greatly feared and, from a literary point of view, make an excellent subject. The thing is, they are almost OVER-used, in my opinion, after shows like Supernatural, X-Files, etc.

Are they suing all those shows too? Windegos, for example, are featured in both X-Files and Supernatural.

Why are they picking on J.K. Rowling??? And really, trying to claim a myth as "intellectual property" sounds like what these complainers want is MONEY in the form of "licensing fees" for their "intellectual property." I think they want a legal precedent so that they can get boat-loads of money for, ostensibly, their tribe. They are claiming SHE is motivated by greed (at least in the comments on the article you posted, OP). Instead, I think they are looking to make some serious mail-box money from every poor sod who ever wrote anything about N.American culture.

My two cents...

- AB



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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This is almost a pointless topic because multiple reasons for perpetuating the stereotypes are invariably given more credence than just admitting it's another case of white privilege stomping and reinforcing a trope.

Until kids are taught n school ACCURATE information, how are they to differentiate between literary flights of fancy?

It's easy to put this off on a PC environment.
The problem is it's a defined form of discrimination against a population. Whether it's a kids book, a news article, or a politicians speech doesn't matter. It's a twisted piece of ugliness.

It's the words used, it's reinforcing the stereotype.

And thats just one part of the issue.
The other part is JK Rowling decided to wrongly describe sacred ways still used by these cultures, then decided to make issue that WHITE INDIGENOUS Magical ways were better.

TRAIN WRECK on aisle 5 people!!!

I've enjoyed her books in the past and the movies but she's jumped the shark this time. This is just a piece of work beyond redeeming and a waste of paper. It wouldn't of killed her to speak with some Native Organizations and do some background research.

Keith Basso did
Tony Hillman did
Vine Deloria did
Basil Johnson did



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: Caver78

How about simply teaching that fiction means not real? It seems simply enough to me.

Oh and fantasy means really not real.
edit on 25-3-2016 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 09:56 AM
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originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
The PC culture of today is sickening.


Only slightly more so than the "anti-PC" PC culture of whining about PC incessantly. What do 99.99% of Americans really care if an indeterminate number of indigenous American people are complaining about a British author except as it can be applied to political point scoring?



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 10:00 AM
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originally posted by: theantediluvian

originally posted by: OccamsRazor04
The PC culture of today is sickening.


Only slightly more so than the "anti-PC" PC culture of whining about PC incessantly. What do 99.99% of Americans really care if an indeterminate number of indigenous American people are complaining about a British author except as it can be applied to political point scoring?


OK, so they have a right to complain, but others do not have a right to complain about their complaining?

How about I complain that you are complaining that we are complaining about their complaining and ask you why you care?



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 10:35 AM
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originally posted by: ketsuko
a reply to: Caver78

How about simply teaching that fiction means not real? It seems simply enough to me.

Oh and fantasy means really not real.


So derogatory stereotyping and perpetuating falsehoods are ok as long as they are written in a fantasy/fiction format?


This is almost a pointless topic because multiple reasons for perpetuating the stereotypes are invariably given more credence than just admitting it's another case of white privilege stomping and reinforcing a trope.


Using an argument to minimize and dismiss what Native Peoples are telling you is the height of arrogance. THEY have said this is offensive, THEY have outlined why. It affects them in a negative way and it's been explained as another case in a long line of instances of cultural misappropriation.

The material perpetuates lies and misunderstanding about their culture. Regardless of format, what is the issue with denying ignorance and correcting the record? We do it daily here and it's not seen as PC. Inaccurate information is inaccurate. It's pretty cut and dried.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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Interesting discussion on the topic of writing regarding N. American/Indian culture on the Writer's Digest forum:

Is Native American Mythology Completely Taboo to Write About?

There are also some great conversations about this elsewhere, with a google search or two. It gets pretty in-depth, and far too nuanced to go into in a single post by me.

My takeaway from all of it is that HOW something from Native American culture is presented is important to a lot of native people and, if possible, consulting that culture officially ahead of time is a good idea to avoid misrepresenting them/backlash. The reason for this is that so many people have completely wrong-headed ideas about Native American myths, legends and history, and that someone like J K Rowling has a big stage that could easily continue the misrepresentation.

While I agree that sensitivity and consultation are very good ideas, and that the world is full of these misrepresentations, I don't think JK Rowling should bear the responsibility for all of this or that she intended any slight - she was trying to expand her world into North America and it would have been weird for her to NOT have seen Native Cultures as having magic. The fact that she turned what is considered to be something "evil" into something misunderstood is exactly what she did with witches/wizards.


According to a Native source who got into a lot of nuance, she falls on both sides for them - in other words, there are things that they find cringe-worthy, and things they find positive.

I try to remain balanced on subjects like this.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: ketsuko


OK, so they have a right to complain, but others do not have a right to complain about their complaining? How about I complain that you are complaining that we are complaining about their complaining and ask you why you care?


We should talk about how some people believe that the word "right" is a magical incantation that ends discussions.

Using your own argument, you should should pose that question to everyone in this hypothetical infinite regress of complaining — including yourself — to be logically consistent.

This is why simply complaining about complaining is foolish and leads nowhere. However, I'm not complaining about people complaining, I'm just pointing out that complaining about complaining doesn't make any sense. Phew! Near catastrophic unraveling of reality avoided.

Unlike the poster I was responding to who also believes in magical words that end discussions (like "political correctness"), the OP was at least trying to make some sort of argument no matter how specious and hypocritical (propositionally hypocritical?) it may have been. For example:

"By the same token - I want no other peoples involved with the mention of Odin or Thor."

As it turns out, people do complain about Norse gods in popular culture or have you conveniently forgotten this:

TPM - Council Of Conservative Citizens Calls For Boycott Of Thor Over Black Actor


The Council of Conservative Citizens has launched a website calling for a boycott of the new Marvel comic-inspired film Thor, because a character is being played by a black actor. The CCC is the contemporary incarnation of the segregationist Citizens Councils, which sprung up across the South in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education and which possible Republican presidential candidate Haley Barbour praised in a recent interview. "It seems that Marvel Studios believes that white people should have nothing that is unique to themselves," a post on the CCC's website reads. "An upcoming movie, based on the comic book Thor, will give Norse mythology an insulting multi-cultural make-over. One of the Gods will be played by Hip Hop DJ Idris Elba."


Then there were people upset by the casting of white people as Egyptians in Exodus: Gods and Kings. There were people upset about the two principal protagonists of the latest Star Wars films being a black man and a white woman. There were people upset about the new Green Lantern being gay and the casting of a black actor to play the Human Torch, a mixed race actress playing Rue in Hunger Games, etc.
edit on 2016-3-25 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: Caver78

At the same time, this is how a lot of authors end up building their sources over time. You do do research and try to do what you can, but you can only go so far on your own. I imagine that good sources of Native American material aren't all that common in England and she is as removed from our issues across the pond as we are from England's over here.

So you do what you can and when you get something wrong, someone often approaches you under the table and says, "Hey, I think you made these mistakes in your last work. If you would like someone who can help you with this topic in the future, I'd be happy to help you out." The author adds that source to his or her rolodex and the next time he or she needs information on the subject, he or she reaches out.

Simply getting all angry about it does nothing.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

All right then, IS a culture off limits to someone not of that culture and how does that work in today's multi-culti world where we are supposed to learn about be sensitive to the cultural needs of others? If I am not allowed to explore a thing by experiencing it, then how can I learn about it?

And when I learn about a thing, I will not always be perfect about it or I may take an idea from your culture and adapt it to my use, not out of any disrespect to you, but because I have ideas of my own about it and how I might use it in a story of my own devising.

In the end, it isn't about anything to do with you, your culture, or any slighting of you in real life, but rather about a fantasy I had and story I want to tell in this world I created. If this were at the RPG tabletop, the saying would be "separate player/character."



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: halfoldman
stream.aljazeera.com...

Now here Native Americans accuse Rowling of using the "skinwalker" trope.
I mean how dare she, it's only been done 50 000 times before.
How many skinwalker threads are there on ATS, over like 10 years?

By the same token - I want no other peoples involved with the mention of Odin or Thor.
They burnt our books too.

Also, we use sign language between 500 Celtic and Germanic tribes - so don't use English.
My people also invented glasses - not yours, so take them off.
You're appropriating my culture.
Native Americans didn't have glasses.

We (the Germanic people) had wands ...

Blah, blah, blah ...it's all a children's book!


interestingly, the iron druid series also uses the skinwalker trope as a form of native american magic fueled by murder. didnt see anything about that on the news.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko


All right then, IS a culture off limits to someone not of that culture and how does that work in today's multi-culti world where we are supposed to learn about be sensitive to the cultural needs of others? If I am not allowed to explore a thing by experiencing it, then how can I learn about it?


You're asking the wrong person. I think that "cultural appropriation" is largely bunk and even if there exists very limited instances where a reasonable argument could be made, it's a complete non-starter. Worse yet, the people accused of "cultural appropriation" are often times the most likely to appreciate the culture from which they're accused of wrongfully appropriating.

It's counterproductive, regressive, illiberal and self-defeating and should be left on the side of road forward along with "safe spaces" and the term "cisgender."



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: halfoldman

Weeelllll, in her defence she is a British author - and a woman - and she is not barbara cartland, but in truth yeah she has ripped off everyone else idea's from JRR tolkien (she is not alone in that as most fantasy novels have drawn on his work's for inspiration and he himself was heavily influenced by nordic mythology, middle earth is actually the saxon name of England for example though his middle earth definitely was not england, Numenor the sunken island was of course based on Ys, Lyoness or Atlantis take your pick) to Terry Pratchet whose unseen university was the better Hogwarts and the first.

In the Native American's defence, they of course are the only Tribal people in the whole entire world with the only spiritual traditions anywhere, of course Skinwalkers are there's and there's alone when in fact there are similar being's and tales from almost all shamanic cultures in the world.

Six of one and Half a Dozen of the other but it does make me smile.

Anyway all authors take inspiration were they find it and also it is worth noting that they also sometime's recreate independantly similar idea's.

I actually care about the native american people but this is petty, it is good friday and the shops should be closed, the churches ringing there bell's but over here in england we have lost that in the name of Secularist values and Greed so I feel for them as far as thinking there traditions are being insulted but like I say this is just petty nonsense, never read the woman and thought the Harry Potter film's where crud, give me Raymond E Feist any day, Magician was one of the very best all time fantasy sword and sorcery book's ever written and in my opinion an equal but more grown up to the lord of the ring's, let down by it's sequels but only because they were not as good but still good in there own right.

Harry Pot-herb, well I think I Saw that guy driving when he should not have been.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 04:25 PM
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Many different responses here to ponder on.
I started off with some cynicism, but it is a valuable debate.

I recall in January there was a rumour that US singer Beyonce was writing a screenplay on Saartjie Baartman (a South African Khoisan woman who was exhibited in Europe in the 19th century). That also caused a massive debate in SA, although the rumours were probably false.
www.telegraph.co.uk...

Some Khoisan descendants were against it, while others supported it, as long as they would be included in any movie.
The debate here is more why US actors and actresses (and other foreigners) always play our heroes and heroines, when we have a lot of local talent.

Nothing wrong with debate, especially if it includes communities that are usually marginalized.

But of course I gather that no community is monolithic either, but I appreciate that nobody was saying ban the book or books, they just want more engagement and inclusivity.

Strangely though "Twilight" also included Native Americans, which I (as an outsider) found far more problematic in the movies, but I never saw much debate on that.

Clearly the topic, or label of "skinwalkers" is taken quite seriously by some Native Americans.
It's not just like fairies or gnomes or house-elves.
That's quite interesting in itself.
But then they say they won't actually talk too much about the real story, which is quite intriguing.
Now I'm really curious ...



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 04:48 PM
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Anyway, it's probably the first Rowling book since the first Harry Potter I'm going to bother reading.

They probably did her a favor with the slight controversy.

Now they must just make a movie, and the Native American cast should win Oscars, and all is forgiven.

Maybe it can be directed by Mel Gibson.


Graham Greene should make an appearance - he's the standard Native American in virtually any movie where an indigenous person appears in North America, although it seems he's retired a bit lately.
Or even better, put Johnny Depp in the leading role.

I understand the bit about the "saviour" narrative, or the white character who saves the day for the Native people.
One movie that does that horribly is "Pathfinder".
Although that's more racist against my Viking ancestry.
It's a kind of double stereotyping, but it was still an enjoyable movie, if not taken as historical literacy.

Once again, sad though that the "black Indians" (like Tina Turner) were totally side-lined in the debate, and their history of triple oppression and exclusion.
I mean the panel is pretty much also stereotyping again what a Native American should look like (no African American ancestry).

I'd love to hear the opinion of all these academic activists and artists on the Cherokee Freedmen controversy, for example. en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 25-3-2016 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-3-2016 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)




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