Test your Native American knowledge

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

November is American Indian Heritage Month. How much do you know about American Indians? If you’re like most Americans – probably not much beyond what you saw in Dances with Wolves. ;)

Test yourself with this quiz. I found it at Newspaper Rock, a very cool blog about Native America and pop culture.

1. How many federally recognized tribes are there in the United States?

2. Who wrote: “The present King of Great Britain…has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers; the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

3. Whose portrait is being carved in a mountain taller than Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota?

4. Which American woman has the most school buildings and monuments named after her?

5. Which two “Latin” countries have an indigenous majority?

6. What was actress Maria Cruz’s most famous role?

7. How did Christopher Columbus punish Indians who didn’t pay tribute on time?

8. Which three of the following plants are not Native American in origin? avocados, bananas, blueberries, coffee, papayas, peaches, potatoes, sugarcane, tomatoes, zucchini

9. What was George Washington’s Indian nickname? (Hint: The initials were T.D.)

10. Which ten sports did Native people invent? (Hint: Archery isn’t one of them.)

11. Which US state has the smallest Native population?

12. What were the Indians’ three greatest architectural achievements?

13. When and where was the first treaty signed between Indians and Europeans? (Hint: Name the century and the area of the “New World.”)

You can find the answers here.

Kimchi in aisle two!

by Jen Chau
kimchiGood news for you “ethnic” foodies out there! Looks like our tastebuds are changing enough that ethnic grocery stores are being noticed more and more…big supermarkets are even carrying more ethnic foods in order to satisfy our cravings for Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Korean and Cuban cuisine.

Mealmakers across the country are discovering small ethnic grocers that once primarily served immigrant communities. Even in overwhelmingly white regions like Albany, culinary adventurers like DeFrancesco troll the aisles of stores like Lee’s, stocking up on whatever unusual sauces, candies and snacks strike their fancies. Tracking the growth of these grocers is difficult; most of them are scattered wherever immigrant populations appear and want foods familiar to their heritages, says Michael Sansolo, spokesman for the Food Marketing Institute in Washington.

But the growth hasn’t gone unnoticed. Major supermarket chains are dedicating more space to ethnic foods, Sansolo says. It’s an attempt to draw shoppers who may otherwise head for these specialty markets.

Demographically, it makes sense. Hispanics and Asians now represent about 18 percent of the U.S. population, and account for more than half of the nation’s population growth since the start of the decade, according to the Census Bureau.

Basically, at this point, we still see that anything aside from apple pie and hot dogs is relegated to “ethnic food” aisles. It would be nice to see a bit more integration at the grocery store ;), but perhaps it will take a while since clearly, the way that we discuss ethnic cuisine sets it apart. Certain ingredients are easily labeled “unusual,” with only “culinary adventurers” as takers (Are they really that unusual? Perhaps people who find themselves closed to trying food “not their own” are the unusual elements here?? :)).

Ok, perhaps this is a small (even petty) thing to be analyzing, but I do think that this speaks to how Americans tend to be so confined in our thinking. So, if you are X ethnicity you are only meant to eat X food? And if you stray from that, then WHOA! You sure are adventurous!? I think I probably just take for granted that I live in a very diverse neighborhood where you can’t help but get familiar with a variety of cuisines….but I do recognize this is not the norm for others. Anyone want to head over to Stop and Shop, get some spicy daal, cilantro, dumplings, and have a wild and adventurous night? ;)

links for 2006-11-02

Borat: just plain funny? or racist and xenophobic?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

boratQuite a few of you have brought up the upcoming movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan to us lately. I’ve watched the Ali G Show on HBO and am familiar with the character, but to be honest I don’t know a whole lot about the premise of the movie.

So I thought I’d make this an open thread and pose a question to all of you. What do you think of the Borat movie? Is it just silly and funny? Or do you think Sacha Baron Cohen is tapping into a racist and/or xenophobic vein in the United States?

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links for 2006-11-01

A million to one. Again.

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

black white twinsGee. For a “million-to-one” odds, it seems like we’re seeing a whole lot of “miracle black and white twins” these days. Just a few days after our last reported twins, here comes yet another set.

Ok I’m sorry but this case is a great example of what I talked about in the last post. These babies look totally alike to me – one is just slightly darker-skinned than the other. What is all the damned hysteria about? It’s just genetic variation. It’s not such a big mystery.

(Thanks to Tariq for the tip!)

More blackface on political blogs

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

wolf blitzer blackfaceWow, do we need to start a “blackface blogging” category here on Racialicious?

Just a couple months ago we told you about a Huffington Post blogger who decided to put Joseph Lieberman in blackface. And now yet another liberal blogger is dipping into the burnt cork, this time to mock CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. (Hat tip to Rachel’s Tavern.)

And check out his lame defense of his “politically incorrect” act. Gimme a break.

When are people going to realize that there’s nothing new or edgy about racism? I can’t believe people are still using this lipstick-on-a-pig tactic of referring to racism as “political incorrectness.”

Is another racist reality show headed our way?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

cbs logoFirst we had ABC’s Welcome to the Neighborhood, in which gay families and families of color got to compete to move into a white neighborhood. Thankfully it never saw the light of day, thanks to lobbying from multiple organizations. Then we had the blackface/whiteface extravaganza Black.White. on F/X. And then CBS’s Survivor: Cook Islands pulled their lame segregationist publicity stunt by splitting contestants into team based on their race.

Les Moonves must be hitting that Racialicious juice hard, because it sounds like we might have yet another racist reality show headed our way from CBS. (Remember, according to Jeff Probst in this interview, Moonves was gung ho about the segregation tactic, telling him “Yes, I want you to do it. If you do it, I want you to do it right. Don’t back off of it. Just do it.” But you know, Moonves’s wife is Asian so he like, can’t be racist.)

Gawker spotted this ad on CraigsList:

Do you get nervous when you see a Muslim on an airplane? Have your opinions about Muslims changed since September 11? Do you have family or friends that get nervous around Muslims?

A NEW CBS SHOW SEEKS New York families who have traditional family values but are uneasy around Muslims.

The show will profile families in different communities across the country. This one hour documentary-style series from the producers of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Deal or No Deal” will take a look at the people and cultures that make up America.

This series will also explore other issues that families from varied backgrounds face in their day-to-day life and provide opportunities to them that they might not have access to otherwise. This is not a home makeover show.