"For a subject worked and reworked so often in novels, motion pictures, and television, American Indians remain probably the least understood and most misunderstood Americans of us all."

-John F. Kennedy in
the introduction to The American Heritage Book of Indians

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stephen Colbert: "Go Humans!!!"

Gotta love Stephen Colbert.

In case you missed last night's episode, Stephen Colbert took on Stephen Hawking's new television series Into the Universe, with Stephen Hawking.  Stephen questioned Hawking's belief that aliens encountering humans would not turn out well.  To quote Hawking from his show:

The outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans.

Stephen goes on to rip Hawking apart for his support of the "old liberal myth that colonization was bad for the Native Americans."  The next section is priceless including a hilarious run down of the top "Indians" that owe their existence to Columbus and the colonizers.  Let's just say it's comedy genius and the ending is perfect.  He gives the Cleveland Indians a run for their money.   Go Humans!!!

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Stephen Hawking Is Such an A-Hole
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News

The best part about all this comedy, it points out the absolute absurdities of these Indian stereotypes.  This is why I love satire and comedy so much, it is the perfect medium for discussing otherwise touchy issues such as cultural appropriation and the troubled history between indigenous peoples and colonizers in North America.  Satire points out the nuances that too often are lost on most people.  Thank you Stephen Colbert for reminding the millions of people who watch your show about this subject.  Let's just hope they remember the history behind the humor.

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