You know just when I was starting to think we were safe. White people were starting to become more compassionate, and educated, perhaps even beginning to respect native people as human beings this happens.
Hahahaha that's what I get for being so gullible.
Disclaimer. I am actually talking about my family and my tribe here, by name, which I try not to do.
Larry Gatlin, yes, that one, from the Gatlin brothers, decided to write a musical about my great great grandfather. The one whose youngest daughter I lived with when I was a small child.
His name was Quanah Parker.https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjayKm_-cjTAhUg8YMKHblFBW0QjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FCynthia_Ann_Parker&psig=AFQjCNFWEGWE57nDTCTp21yZDWeic8Q1mw&ust=1493530681627884
This is how Gatlin portrayed him.http://www.theaterjones.com/ntx/features/20170428180729/2017-04-28/Questions-on-Quanah
Degrading, no? You'd think at least they could afford decent costumes.
But it gets worse.
You see the crux of Gatlin's play is that Nadua, who Gatlin calls Nauda, poor put-upon captive that she was, raised her Comanche children as Christians.
The trouble is we know she didn't. She was with the Comanches from an early age and assimilated fully into the life of a prized and petted only daughter of an older couple. Her son Quanah was not raised as a Christian, I know this because my great grandmother, whose home I lived in as a child, was his daughter. HE NEVER CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY DESPITE YEARS OF PRESSURE AFTER WE SURRENDERED AND BEGAN A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE. He refused. Not only did he specifically burn churches to the ground in his hey day, even in his later, mellower, years he refused to allow a Church to be built within sight of his famed "Star House" lest anyone take that as a sign of tacit endorsement.
The whole play is Christian Propaganda LIES.
I am fairly enraged by the whole thing.
My Auntie, who was the first to hear about this play, has been asked to a "discussion" of the play but she is concerned that it might be an ambush and she doesn't want to be the only Native in attendance.
My other Auntie, who gave Gatlin a requested tour of the Star House years ago, but was rebuffed as far as any actual information on our tribe was concerned, said she feared as much would happen.
Gatlin says it's okay, though, because some now deceased white history professor at OU and some character by the name of Red Steagall told him it was fine if he invented a story, whole cloth, about a historical figure. It's fine as long as the figure isn't white, I guess.
I am getting really close to being driven to write about my family, although I have no desire to be caught in that trap of writing about Native people as artefacts, frozen in the past, but the need to set the record straight is strong.
This is the reoccurring issue. Most white (U.S.) Americans have never met a Native person, they know nothing about Native people but a handful of stereotypes. These productions from white writers, white producers, performed by white actors do nothing but reinforce misinformation but Native people have to deal with uniformed white people on a daily basis, and white people tend to assume, because they are white, they know best. Honestly, my relatives and I were discussing the play, somewhat humorously when a non-family member butted in and told us, okay, me specifically to "Stop the meanness". I pointed out that Mr. Gatlin has written and is performing in a play in a public playhouse, where he is presuming to put his religion in the mouth of my ancestor. If he can't take criticism he might be in the wrong business.