Charles Trimble: McDonald's not a bastion of racism
"I sometimes think there is a massive conspiracy to wear Indians down and drive us to despair, insanity and death. Every time we find ourselves happy about something – the largesse of Obama’s Indian budget, our kid’s birthday, or a good day at the casino, someone out there in the great white conspiratorial world does something to offend us. This turns on our sensitivity sentinels and they set in motion an alarm to remind us that we are targets in an ongoing state of siege. This depresses us and keeps us in a perpetual state of stressful rage and self-pity, thus shortening our lives, as their conspiracy is planned to do.

Recently the conspiracy struck again. This time it was McDonald’s fast food chain, which started giving away a plastic figurine of George Custer – yes that George Custer – in every Happy Meal. Custer is depicted as riding a Harley-Davidson Hog, no less. If you are creatively paranoid you can imagine that he’s on his way to Sturgis to disturb the serenity of our sacred Bear Butte. At any rate, it seems Lakota country is up in arms again, and distracted from dealing with the problems of poverty and social pathology that beset the reservation. One Indian columnist reports that most Lakotas, Cheyennes and Arapahos are enraged over this insult and he responds with a blistering counter attack on the Big Mac army.

Being somewhat diet-conscious I’m not a great McDonald’s fan, although I do like to pig out on their french fries on rare occasions. And as far as I’m concerned, their coffee is better and cheaper than Starbucks. Otherwise I seldom go there, and thus I have been denied the indignity and trauma of seeing the historic villain Custer being commemorated. I did not get my chance to vent my outrage and expound to the smiling little obesity candidates standing in line for their Happy Meals about what a dastardly poltroon that plastic long-haired, blond general riding the tiny Hog represents. Worse yet, I didn’t get one of those little plastic icons, which are reportedly being taken off the market and will thus become valuable collectibles because of the controversial status and rarity we’ve given them. Damn!

Anyway, I would find it difficult to boycott McDonald’s over the Custer incident. It seems like an innocent, thoughtless mistake."

Get the Story:
Charles Trimble: Custer, the plastic icon (Indian Country Today 7/2)

Related Stories:
Charles Trimble: Indian affairs rife for comedy (6/25)
Charles Trimble: No more offensive mascots (6/17)
Charles Trimble: The demise of the 'Fighting Sioux' (6/9)
Charles Trimble: Black Hills return just a dream (6/8)
Charles Trimble: After Custer, still fighting battles (6/3)
Charles Trimble: More on traditional names (5/18)
Charles Trimble: Taking pride in traditional names (4/24)
Charles Trimble: Recalling the Burro of Indian Affairs (4/20)
Charles Trimble: Reconciliation and Wounded Knee (4/13)
Charles Trimble: Support Lumbee recognition (3/27)
Charles Trimble: From the voices of victors (3/23)
Charles Trimble: Rebirth of 'Luke Warm Water' (3/20)
Charles Trimble: Never ending Wounded Knee story (3/16)
Charles Trimble: Facts and truth of Wounded Knee (3/9)
Charles Trimble: Answering Obama's call to hope (3/6)
Charles Trimble: Discussing the fate of the Indian press (2/13)
Charles Trimble: The 51st state for Indian Country (1/23)
Charles Trimble: A challenge for the next generation (1/6)
Charles Trimble: Thanksgiving and colonization (11/21)
Charles Trimble: NCAI service the highpoint in life (11/17)
Charles Trimble: Indian warriors serve nations (11/12)
Charles Trimble: Pawnee Nation reburies ancestors (10/31)
Charles Trimble: Twisting history for victimhood (10/20)
Charles Trimble: Sen. Obama a man for our time (10/13)
Charles Trimble: Tribes are players in marketplace (9/23)
Charles Trimble: Overdue obituary of Shirley Plume (09/08)
Charles Trimble: Indian Country must take control (9/5)
Charles Trimble: On the last Indian war with Giago (9/1)
Tim Giago: Moving from victimhood to victors (9/1)
Q&A with Charles Trimble: On Indian victimhood (8/25)
Charles Trimble: Shed the chains of victimhood (8/15)