To think that in 2013, We should not be referring to Native Americans as "bandits"?

(37 Posts)
GoshAnneGorilla Sun 26-May-13 20:51:31

The new Playmobil play sets have a Wild West theme. The advert shows the cowboys getting the gold and then the voiceover says "Oh no! Bandits!" and shows a bunch of Native American Playmobil figures.

AIBU to think this is pushing a false and frankly racist view of history?

What happened to the Native American people could (and should) be described as genocide, rather then them being portrayed and bandits and theives. I am astounded the manufacturers thought that this is ok.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 20:56:13

You are totally NBU. Its bizzare how this kind of racism is acceptable purely because it's genocide committed by the West; it's one we didn't fight against.

Playmobil wouldn't release a play set relating to the genocide of WWII. This is no different.

WorraLiberty Sun 26-May-13 20:56:52

If they were bandits, they were bandits.

Nothing to do with being Native American at all.

ecclesvet Sun 26-May-13 21:02:31
MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:06:23

All I can say to all of you who doubt that America as we know it now was built upon genocide is to read A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

Believe me, the atrocities start from 1492. Wounded Knee; Battle of Little Bighorn - just the tip of the iceberg.

kim147 Sun 26-May-13 21:08:15

A little matter that they lived there in the first place.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:12:02

Strange use of 'bandit' because to me that means an outlaw.

But the phrase, when watching something like Top Gun, "bandits at 10 o'clock" , bandit means 'enemy'.

But I suppose if you are looking at a play set of cowboys and injuns non gender specific bovine care assistants and native Americans you would expect the language to be in keeping with the time frame. ie 200 years ago

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:15:06

[[ http://www.nps.gov/trte/historyculture/index.htm]]

About the Trail of Tears, which was the forcible removal of Cherokee Indians from their homeland.

How anyone could defend this - and other historical facts denied by history - baffles me.

Its like defending slavery by saying 'well, slaves did kill plantation owners'.

What is a bandit anyway? There can't be any bigger bandits than ones who invade a country, murder and rape their way alongside taking land, and behave like that is their divine right to do so.

Boatloads of Native American Indians were taken as slaves back to Spain in the 1890s; most dying in route on board ship and then being thrown overboard.

"If they were bandits, they were bandits" It's just that kind of attitude that allows this denial of history to take place.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:16:51

Link didn't work, I'll try again.

www.nps.gov/trte/historyculture/index.htm

Royalmailer Sun 26-May-13 21:17:17

YANBU at all

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:18:11

It's a child play set. It is designed for them to use imagination. Parents can also play, this is the amazing bit, where parents talk to children and tell them historical facts whilst they are playing. This is how children are educated. But it is a childs playset.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:19:09

Oh my, we're not going to say the the lexicon of the time is acceptable, are we?

Black slave = the 'N' word 200 years ago. If there was a black figure in that play set, would it be okay to label them as an 'N'?

Absolutely not.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:21:37

I would think that would depend whether the playset was marketed at the children of black rappers.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:21:42

I would rather the playset avoid assumed norms which are incorrect so that we could start our play without me having to explain why Playmobil are so very wrong.

WorraLiberty Sun 26-May-13 21:24:21

"If they were bandits, they were bandits" It's just that kind of attitude that allows this denial of history to take place

Don't be silly

If they were about to rob them in the imaginative game, that would make them bandits...because they were robbers not because they were Native Americans.

If they had been non Native Americans and about to rob them, they'd also be bandits.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:24:49

Holly, you've lost me. I think I know what you mean about black rappers using the 'N' word, but that as any moral barometer doesn't even get to the level of laughing stiock,. I sincerely hope that I've misunderstood you: are you suggesting that its okay to label a black person as an 'N' based on lexicon within music that their parents listen to?

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:27:04

But Worra, it works on the assumption of the Native Americans being the bandits. Of binaries between good/bad, of aggressor/saviour. The Native Americans cannot win in these games because of what history mistakenly dictates to us.

kim147 Sun 26-May-13 21:29:24

I always thought "bandits" would refer to Mexicans if you are talking about that era. "Injuns" would be the term used for Native Americans.

Mind you, what would an Army set call Germans?

ecclesvet Sun 26-May-13 21:30:48

Bandits is just a name for those engaging in banditry, it was applied to Native Americans, Hispanics, whites, all alike. Nothing to do with any particular race.

kim147 Sun 26-May-13 21:33:02

Mind you - I'm stereotyping Mexicans in those days. I'm sure most Mexicans weren't bandits. Except for those no good, sombrero wearing, nicotine chewing ones who tried to steal from banks.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:33:49

And anyway, as it is a play set and children are innocent any know nothing (yet) of this long, bloody and shameful chapter in European history, why can't the playset involve Native Americans focused around the tipi encampment, within their social groups i.e. the mother with baby in a papoose, the father, the chief, a brave, a totem pole within the camp etc.

Its not a wise move to assume negative historical stereotypes.

Dawndonna Sun 26-May-13 21:34:21

eccles What that doesn't include are those that died from illnesses to which they hadn't previously been exposed.
Apart from which, Osborn is not really regarded as an academic, his research is frequently flawed, his ideas a little out of touch.
He cites Dee Brown as a revisionist, politically correct professor.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:34:54

I don't use the N word, I balked all the way through Django Unchained two nights ago - but I accept it is used in some quarters. A bit like the reclaiming of gay.

but back to the matter in hand.

Today, most little boys (and some girls) I know, the ones that still paly and aren't poked in front of a games console, want to be star troopers or some such, modern day equivalent of astronaughts, which is what every little boy wanted to be when I was that age.

now, none of my children have a hidden desire to take up a light sabre and swan off into the galaxy, demolishing alien hordes on their merry way. I suppose you think I jest? They had play castles too, with very stereotypical characters, they don't want to be Robin Hood, or the Sheriff of Nottingham, nor Maid Marion come to think of it grin they also had a pirate ship - they have no desire to take up arms either for or against modern day shipping.

It's a play set. That's all. Why people have to put agendas into everything I will never know.

Dawndonna Sun 26-May-13 21:36:29

Because those agendas have knock on effects, Holly.

DrCoconut Sun 26-May-13 21:37:13

We went to a cultural centre in America run by the Oneida Indians. They actually dislike the term Native American as anyone born in America can be described as Native American, they do not feel it represents them ethnically or culturally. Indian preceded by the tribe is their preference. From what we worked out many also use the term first nations. I'm not recommending bandits either, just saying that it is still far from cut and dried what is ok.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:37:20

As another thought, the presumed 'innocence' of these play sets further acts to naturalise this falsified, denied, Eurocentric version of history and what really happened to these people.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:40:40

But the use of the word 'bandit' is American though. It isn't something we would use in the UK.

For the purposes of the playset I am taking 'bandit' to mean enemy.

DrCoconut Sun 26-May-13 21:41:05

Should clarify that that is what the lady at the centre told me, maybe others do not feel the same, I don't want to appear to be making assumptions. The treatment of the Oneida people was disgraceful whatever you call any party involved.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:44:34

Holly, Playmobil are making the assumption for us that the Native Americans are the bandits. It is far from innocent. With bandit applying to the NIs here, the narrative is being told from the Cowboy's perspective.

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 21:46:20

Good point, DrCoconut: I don't know how else to describe 'Native Americans/Native American Indians'.

ecclesvet Sun 26-May-13 21:52:13

MolotovCocktail "why can't the playset involve Native Americans focused around the tipi encampment, within their social groups i.e. the mother with baby in a papoose, the father, the chief, a brave, a totem pole within the camp etc"

It does.

You can buy the Native American family (mother with baby in papoose, father with daughter), the SuperSet Native American Camp (teepee, totem pole, chief, canoe), or the Native American Camp with Totem Pole (totem pole, teepee, rocks, campfire, mother and baby), or Native American Children with Bear Cave (children, stream, cactus, wildlife).

The Outlaw Hideout doesn't have any Native Americans at all.

Plus the advert that shows Playmobil cowboys getting ambushed shows the first lot of bandits as being predominantly white (at 15 seconds in). OP, is this the video you saw (presumably dubbed in English, of course)?

MolotovCocktail Sun 26-May-13 22:01:30

Whilst that is really good ecclesvet, as I've been replying to this thread, I think it has become apparent to me that I'm extremely uncomfortable with the play set being set within a period of history that resulted in genocide. Nothing is going to help me gloss over that, despite me previous comment.

I mean, I can't see Playmobil releasing a Plantation playset, or a Nazi army base playset. The Native Americans are another people who had atrocities committed against them.

Taliban mountain fortress playset, anyone? (I am being sarcastic, of course).

Its the picking and choosing of what is acceptable from history, and what is not, that rests very uncomfortably with me.

ediblewoman Sun 26-May-13 22:13:07

Just wanted to pop up and agree with DrC, the appropriate term (as chosen by the First Nation people) is American Indian or Name of Tribe Indian. Using Native American is common but a bit like saying 'coloured', trying to be polite but missing the mark rather.

zipzap Sun 26-May-13 22:16:52

And anyway I always thought that bandits were the baddy coyboys and weren't the Indians - they were - well - they were the injuns...

zipzap Sun 26-May-13 22:21:23

Oops got distracted with bedtime before having a chance to hit post; thread's grown and moved on a lot since I started to type - I wasn't deliberately ignoring everybody's posts blush

Hang on are you sure you got the Ad right. Native Americans aren't the ones called bandits that would be the cowboys taking the gold.
Sort of like Jesse James and his gang.

CheerfulYank Mon 27-May-13 04:39:01

That's not necessarily true. The Anishinaabe people I grew up with liked Native American. Or First People, etc.

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