By Stacy Thacker, University of Montana
Native Americans fought Vikings?! And built a pyramid that is being destructed?! Pilgrims offered themselves to Natives as slaves for food?!
This week, writers Jack O'Brien and Elford Alley, of Cracked.com decided to explore the "6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America."
In it they take readers through the myths and truths of what we learned in history books throughout our years in school.
They provide insight into what most of America learns and what actually happened. Growing up on a reservation and being Native American, I didn't know about half the things these gentlemen talk about. While many of us grew up learning about Natives being victims of many crimes it turns out that it was only half true.
Native Americans were smarter than what is usually accredited. Studies prove…or at least Cracked.com proves that Natives had an economy and a complex one at that.
I once had a friend tell me that Avatar was Pocahontas with blue people, and he's right! So is the article. Many times Native Americans are viewed in movies as the "red man” or savages who can't function right OR as a violent people just for the sake of being violent.
Native Americans are the nicest people I know and the family bond they share with everybody is something to be proud of.
While the settling of America could have happened in a number of ways it’s fun to read an article from what I presume to be from non-Natives about the whole thing. However, I'm not sure Indian Country Today would whole-heartedly agree as they will try to prove some of these statements false in future articles and even plan to verify some of the information.
In either case it was refreshing to read some thing that neither made the Native Americans all out victims nor made them the bad guys. It made Natives look more tough and smart.
While many will want to fight this article I say it wasn't a bad light to be portrayed in. It may have some questionable statements but who is to say they aren't true? And to be fair, who is to say they are? It’s a light-hearted read and for any of those with friends who like to apologize for the traumas of Native Americans, send them the Cracked article and tell them it’s OK. We survived, and while many conditions aren't great we are a strong people. Until the next article of controversy, happy reading!
Stacy Thacker (Navajo) is from Navajo, N.M.