Style Selector

Home Articles White People
White People
User Rating: / 0
Written by Paul   
Sunday, 16 August 2015 22:29
It is always a delicate matter including NDN people in stories of the American West.  On the one hand, they were there, they still are here, and writing a story of the 19th Century west without them is erasure, pure and simple.  On the other hand, they have been so often misused in fiction.  Depicted as caricatures, as savages or as peace-loving mystics, always there to either help the white hero on his way or serve as an enemy for him to try to kill.  There's not a whole lot of middle ground, and not much effort made to depict them as people, not plot elements.

All of this compounded by the fact that I am the whitest motherfucker you are ever going to see.  I mean I can't even get a tan, I am white as the moon's ass.  So I am conscious of treading very carefully when I write non-white characters.  I want to make sure to be fair to them, without making them inhumanly hostile or simply accessories.  The other option is not to write them at all, and I have decided that is worse.  I won't do that.

The Shis-in-day depicted here are a fictional or extinct band of the Mescalero Apaches.  There were numerous bands who were attested in early writings and then later could not be located.  These bands either vanished through war or disease or simply never existed to begin with.  "Apache" is not a proper name, being an Utan pejorative.  Their proper name for themselves was "Dine" or "Dene".  This is obviously a band who came to this hidden valley of prehistoric life ( my shout-out to The Valley of Gwanji) to get away from white people.  A perfectly understandable impulse.

I suppose some people might think all this work at accuracy in a ridiculous Wild West sex romp is silly, but I feel like the lower your art, the higher your standards should be.
Register to view and post comments - no subscription needed!