"Ruby Bernal wasn't self-conscious about her American Indian heritage until her adolescence, when a band of teenage boys called her "squaw" during a drive-by heckling.
"It's like saying the 'N-word' to a black person," says Bernal, a member of the Shoshone-Bannock, one of five tribes with reservations in Idaho.
"To me, it's a slap in the face. It belittles me and it belittles all Indian women." ....
Now one of the Northwest's most influential American Indian tribes is campaigning to wipe the word off the names of 11 creeks, bluffs and canyons in Idaho.
An earlier (2001!) episode in this "controversy" is recorded here (scroll down). I suspect that the term is only derogatory if you think it is.
There is a derogatory term for an ignorant and uncultured Australian: "ocker". Most Australians accused of being an ocker, however, would do little more than laugh. "Too right, mate" (a form of good-humored agreement) would be the most likely reply. (I guess the word is much like "redneck" in the USA). Rather sad that so much of the world lacks the maturity to respond that way.
Australian Leftists Disown "Racism" Accusation
It has long seemed to me that Australian Leftists seem to be a lot less hysterical and more realistic than their American counterparts and I think an episode yesterday is a good example of that.
There is an election campaign underway in Australia's most populous state -- New South Wales. The State is Left-run and likely to remain so. Nobody seems to take much notice of it but the state government concerned is heavily Italian. Both the Premier and many of his senior ministers are of Italian origin. Australian-born people of Italian origin are a generally successful and generally popular group in Australia these days.
Yesterday, one of the senior ministers concerned, Michael Costa, accused the conservative leader of criticizing him and the government out of "racism" against Italians. It was an absurd accusation but no more absurd than many of the accusations that are flung around in American politics.
So what did the Leftist NSW government do? If it had been America, I think they would have quietly applauded Costa's comments. In fact however, Premier Iemma rejected the accusation, reprimanded Costa and barred him from further speaking to the press. I wonder why the American Left cannot be that mature?
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