7/2/08

George Carlin on Indians

(Thanks to Kristina Bitsue for forwarding this. And thank you George Carlin for your gifts of wisdom, humor and clear vision.)

"Now the Indians. I call them Indians because that's what they are.
They're Indians. There's nothing wrong with the word Indian.

"First of all, it's important to know that the word Indian does not derive from Columbus mistakenly believing he had reached 'India.' India was not even called by that name in 1492; it was known as Hindustan.

More likely, the word Indian comes from Columbus's description of the people he found here. He was an Italian, and did not speak or write very good Spanish, so in his written accounts he called the Indians, "Una gente in Dios." A people in God. In God. In Dios. Indians. It's a perfectly noble and respectable word.

As far as calling them 'Americans' is concerned, do I even have to
point out what an insult this is? ----- We steal their hemisphere, kill twenty or so million of them, destroy five hundred separate cultures, herd the survivors onto the worst land we can find, and now we want to name them after ourselves? It's appalling. Haven't we done enough damage? Do we have to further degrade them by tagging them with the repulsive name of their conquerors?

You know, you'd think it would be a fairly simple thing to come over to this continent, commit genocide, eliminate the forests, dam up the rivers, build our malls and massage parlors, sell our blenders and whoopee cushions, poison ourselves with chemicals, and let it go at that. But no. We have to compound the insult."...

I'm glad the Indians have gambling casinos now. It makes me happy that dimwitted white people are losing their rent money to the Indians. Maybe the Indians will get lucky and win their country back. Probably wouldn't want it. Look at what we did to it."

3 comments:

mj said...

I really love this because I never thought of that that way at all, but it makes perfect sense. I like that it means "in God"

I wish the we had understood what a gift it is to have a chance to learn a new way of seeing God's world, that we were drowning his voice when we destroyed his people and I am sorry that I will never know the song they sung because my people did not have ears to hear or eyes to see. I hope there can be some ronciliation and redemption of that. You and your people bring so much beauty to life.

Mary said...

I saw him do this piece years back on TV.. funny how no matter how many years go by, it still rings true. And seems to be getting more so.
sigh.

Schar Freeman said...

A fantastic perspective! Thank you for sharing this.
much aloha,
schar