Steven Lewis Simpson

Johnny Depp and the Dialogue within Indian Country

It seems to me that Johnny Depp’s name is being invoked regularly by various people in relations to Indian Country and I am curious to see how much traffic it draws as opposed to dialogues about the many pressing major issues in Indian Country as well as dialogues about the amazing things going on in Indian Country by it’s best and brightest. I guess I’ll see in a few days about how the traffic to this post compares with my others. I’ll keep you posted but also a lot of those commentators obsessing about Depp for months in some respect are continuing to validate that sad old state of affairs which is what those outside Indian Country are doing in relation to Indian Country is what gets the attention.

If these commentators were spending the same time highlighting the work of Ryan Red Corn, the 1491’s, Steven Paul Judd, Virgil Ortiz etc etc etc, they’d be helping them all take their profiles to new levels as well as sharing their inspirational work with a community that needs these role models to inspire youth.

My feeling is that Depp is as worthy of conversation as anything else but it’s become so disproportionate in the dialogues from some that it takes away from their credibility in terms of focusing on the more serious issues of the day.

The lack of support for the positive within Indian Country is highlighted in my previous blog

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2 thoughts on “Johnny Depp and the Dialogue within Indian Country

  1. Curtis

    Tanisi. I just want to comment that I think it sad that Depp is allowed bring back the horrible stereotype of Tonto. I feel we have worked really hard to eliminate such detriments to our identity, only to have them resurface. Am I the only one with this attitude? I sure hope not.

  2. StevenLewisSimpson Post author

    Hi Curtis. I’ve not seen the film yet so can’t judge. It’s clearly a different interpretation so I can’t say myself whether it falls into the stereotype yet. Certainly the complaints about his look is that it is too way out rather than a stereotype. Many have been complaining for a long time and some supporting but for me I cannot judge in any way till I have seen it. I don’t go to the movies much so might take me some time 🙂

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