Tag: Michael Steele

August 5, 2011 / / african-american
February 10, 2010 / / politics

by Guest Contributor Debbie Reese, originally published at American Indians in Children’s Literature

When Harry Reid’s remarks about Obama hit the news yesterday, Michael Steele (head of the Republican Party) said Reid ought to resign. When called out on his own language (Steele said “Honest Injun” on January 4), he said, at first, that he did not to apologize or step down from his own position. Now, he’s issuing the classic “IF” I offended anyone….. (not)apology.

There’s been a lot of spin about both men and what they said. With this post, I focus on the terms “Injun” and “Honest Injun.”

Steel says his use of the phrase was not intended as a racial slur. I imagine a lot of people were surprised to learn that “injun” is derogatory.

Surprised, because, it is, after all, quite common. You can find “Injun” and “Honest Injun” in older books that are widely read today, like:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – published in 1876, where “evil is embodied in the treacherous figure of Injun Joe,” (p. x of the intro to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a Signet Classic book published in 2002) and in the oath used several times by characters.

Seems to me, in my cursory study of the phrase, that it may have been coined by Twain. In the entry on “Injun,” the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) lists Twain as the first person to use “Injun.” It also lists several other noted writers who used “Honest Injun.” Some are George Bernard Shaw in 1896 and James Joyce (in Ulysses) in 1922. Read the Post Michael Steele, “Honest Injun,” and, “Injun” in Children’s Books

January 11, 2010 / / news
March 2, 2009 / / movies
February 20, 2009 / / hip hop

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

I thought the insanity would end after the election. But oh-no! I was wrong!

”There was underlying concerns we had become too regionalized and the party needed to reach beyond our comfort” zones, he said, citing defeats in such states as Virginia and North Carolina. “We need messengers to really capture that region – young, Hispanic, black, a cross section … We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings.”

But, he elaborated with a laugh, “we need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.”

This is a direct quote, people.

“I am not afraid of being held accountable for my leadership,” [Steele] said. “The idea I am somehow going to handicap myself before I begin is nuts. I am not going to buy into this mind-set among a few people who probably have never run anything but their mouths.”

Under Mr. Steele’s helm, the “old” may seem inappropriate in the Grand Old Party’s affectionate nickname. He said he is putting a new public relations team into place to update the party’s image.

“It will be avant garde, technically,” he said. “It will come to table with things that will surprise everyone – off the hook.”

Does that mean cutting-edge?

“I don’t do ‘cutting-edge,’ “ he said. “That’s what Democrats are doing. We’re going beyond cutting-edge.”

Read the Post Quoted: Michael Steele – “GOP Needs a Hip-Hop Makeover”

February 3, 2009 / / african-american