Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian's mother, told "Good Morning America" on Thursday morning she feels Kris Humphries has no right to ask for the $2 million 20.5 carat diamond ring back that he gave her daughter as an engagement ring. The marriage reportedly has fallen apart after only 72 days.
"I hate an Indian giver," she said told Good Morning America.
Jenner needs a quick lesson about how inappropriate and improper her usage of that term was. For a person who oversees the gross commercialization of her family for reality television, she does not know about, let alone acknowledge, just how much American Indians gave to this country to make it what it is today.
A quick lesson would be for her to read Jack Weatherford's 1988 book entitled, "Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World." Jenner would discover she used the term in a wrong context. American Indians have given much to the world and have lost too much in return.
Apparently, Jenner is more concerned about counting her family's fortune and trying to keep the $2 million ring in the family. It is estimated her family made $46 million last year. A $2 million ring is a generous return for the 72-day investment.
November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The improper usage of the term "Indian giver" does nothing to further the heritage of American Indians.
Yet, Jenner showed up on national television and used such a disparaging comment, referencing Indians.
It is a time for Native youth, who suffer rates of suicide that range between three to ten the national average, to understand their futures are worth living. Statements, such as Jenner's, serve to perpetrate negative stereotypes about American Indians. Native youth should not even be put in the position to beg the question, "What did she mean, mommy?" as they could have on Thursday morning. I can almost hear a toddler asking her mother, "Why did she say Indian?" And, then, "What's an Indian giver?"
Our discontent is not so much about political correctness, but rather right and wrong. The usage of the term "Indian giver" goes way beyond political correctness. It is just plain wrong to use the term in a 2011 America.
posted November 4, 2011 6:00 am edt
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