Alex Jacobs: Fake Indians damage the real Indian community

Jay Marks, also known as Jamake Highwater, assumed an Indian identity to boost his career. Still image from Duke University Libraries / YouTube

Mohawk poet Alex Jacobs wonders why the mainstream media never cared about race frauds in Indian Country:
We just re-booted then pulled the plug on the Jack Marks/Jamake Highwater affair after 30 years in the hopes of finally ending that multi-generational fraud yet no one in the national media ever seemed to care that what Marks/Highwater did was a much greater misrepresentation and a series of actual crimes that hurt and affected the Native American community. American Indians, Native Americans and Skins in general know all about people passing and posing as Indians, there’s a long history of the characters appropriating their way into our cultures, as long as there have been “Indians” there’s been “Fake Indians”. We may laugh and roll our eyes at the wannabes, the wishiwas’ and the hobbyists, but some can become entrenched and start to occupy, block, steal and teach…it becomes a fight to get them out.

Maybe the reason the Marks/Highwater affair and the Redskins/mascot issue, have gone generational is that we are perceived as “going along with it”, society doesn’t “feel” the effects it inflicts, they only see our protests, and what are those Indians angry about now? They don’t care about us, except for the old “Oh! I love your culture!” Yeah, the one your ancestors tried to wipe-out. See, they are busy with other stuff and it’s hard to get their attention. One moment it’s: ISIS is going to cross the border and kill us all! (Mexican coyotes! Mohawk smugglers!) Then it’s police violence. Then it’s gay marriage. Then it’s Caitlyn Jennings, look-up trans-sexual, then Rachel Dolezal, look-up trans-racial, then they joke about liberals and being black. Then Dylann Roof spouts the exact same propaganda that’s just background noise to them and they turn from fuzzy pink to ghost white sputtering that it was an attack on Christians and not Blacks.

It was just like a home-made propaganda bomb strapped to a young foot soldier sent into a mosque, temple or church to make a political (terror) point. But he’s still alive, he’s not the martyr, his victims are. Inside every Movement you hear the novice say that these old farts are just talk, no action. It was a Terrorist act, not by a deranged but re-arranged, not crazy but crazed by FOX/NRA/KKK indoctrination. I would add GOP to that list but we are going to need what’s left of the moderate GOP to condemn these racist terrorist acts just like we demand that moderate Muslims face down the violent extremists in Islam. It is jaw dropping to see Republican politicians and presidential candidates bite their tongues as they try not to call white FOX inspired racists actual Terrorists. They need their votes after all. That all important white racist vote.

Get the Story:
Alex Jacobs: If Trans-Racial Is a Thing, Is Trans-Racism? (Indian Country Today 6/29)

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