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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

In the book The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, amateur historian William M. Osborn sought to tally every recorded atrocity in the area that would eventually become the continental United States, from first contact (1511) to the closing of the frontier (1890), and determined that 7,193 people died from atrocities perpetrated by whites, and 9,156 people died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans.

Sorry that history doesn't align the way you wish it would.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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


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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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