Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 15:09:43 -0600

From: Brian James Callarman bjc0007[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]JOVE.ACS.UNT.EDU

Subject: Indian Giver

Branching off of the discussion of derogatory terms, what

about the term "indian giver?" This is a phrase I still hear at times

today, and it angers me every time someone says it. I am a Cherokee and

that is just as offensive to me as "nigger" would be to an

African-American. This perpetuates a negative stereotype of people of my

race. However, people do not really seem to care all that much when

they insult Native Americans. I see this as evidence that negative

feelings concerning this group still exist in some form. Throughout the

history of the U.S., Native Americans have been viewed as a "lesser form"

of human. They have been widely mistreated. But, unlike the cases with

other forms of racial discrimination, no one seems to care about this

problem except the people hurt by the attitudes. The lack of concern over

phrases such as "indian giver" is just an extension of the "abuse them and

then ignore them" attitude that many Americans have always had about

Native Americans.

Billy Hamilton

Correct me if I'm wrong, but dosen't the phrase "Indian giver" refer to someone

who gives something to another person and then takes it back again? I always

thought that this phrase comes from the practice of the US government of making

treaties with the Indian nations giving them their lands (not that the US should

have had the authority to give the Indians land that they already occupied) and

then taking it back as soon as gold was discovered, enough settlers had moved in

or whatever the case was. I'm not Native American, but I never considered

"Indian giver" to be in reference to something derogatory about Native Americans,

more so refering to the way in which they have been dealt with. This is all just

assumption, though.

Brian Callarman