John Christian Hopkins
I, for one, am glad to see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” come to a sensible conclusion. There are some things people shouldn’t ask, and even more they shouldn’t tell.
As an American Indian, I always seethed when people would ask The Question: “How much Indian are you?”
What the hell does that mean? Does anyone ask participants in a Columbus Day parade how Italian they are? Or how Irish on St. Patrick’s Day? If an alien landed on the White House lawn would anyone ask “How Martian are you?”
That ticks me off. The next time someone asks me how much Indian I am, I’m going to kick them in the little bighorn! That way, even if I miss, they’ll still end up with a wounded knee.
But if there is one thing more annoying than being asked to quantify your native status, it’s the Don’t Tell half of the equation.
Don’t tell me about your Cherokee great-great-grandmother, Princess Whattahoe.
It seems that a few generations ago, those Cherokee women were on their backs longer than a drunken turtle.
Half the non-reservation “natives” I meet have this Cherokee ancestor; but where are all the Cherokee great-great-grandfathers? Apparently, those old-time Cherokee princesses slept with anyone who wasn’t Cherokee.
So, friends, don’t ask me how much Indian I am, and I won’t tell you what I think of your Cherokee princess great-great-grandmother.