When images harm

6-teams
The Mascot Ruling in Oregon

One lesson I’m learning is that conflict requires you to get inside the head of your opponent.

And while this perspective presumes you’re wearing battle fatigues, the point is to understand someone else’s viewpoint in order to reach a resolution.

This week the Oregon Department of Education reaffirmed its policy to ban American Indian mascots at public schools by striking down an amendment to keep the team names intact–an issue that’s been discussed formally for more than a decade here in Oregon. Continue reading

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Drinking a cup of tea, I stop a war

Memorial Day

A cup of tea from the Allied armies in 1944

A cup of tea from the Allied armies in 1944

We learned that freedom of speech is sacrosanct: that you should always allow someone the courtesy of saying something idiotic and extreme for fear that anything that quashes freedom could sanction yours.

That sort of freedom was always theoretical.

In our small berg where I was a reporter, fresh from college, we didn’t have rallies by the IRA or the KKK.

The Vietnam War was over and, to be frank, the issue of freedom of speech never arose.

But I always hoped I would be asked to commit to a cause, and that I would side with our freedom to speak.

Today I’m not so sure. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, framing, freedom of speech, Indian, journalism, Memorial Day, native american, Native Science, science, science communication, writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

How gaze affects our behavior

Le Perreux-sur-Marne (The False Mirror) by René Magritte (1928)

Le Perreux-sur-Marne (The False Mirror) by René Magritte (1928)

Researchers are looking at how someone’s gaze affects our behavior.

For example, researchers in England placed posters with staring eyes near bicycle racks and found fewer bikes were stolen.

My colleagues figure we respond viscerally to a pair of watchful eyes and our behavior becomes more socially acceptable. Continue reading

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Grousing over chickens

It’s a battleground

What would Teddy Roosevelt do about the sage grouse?

What would Teddy Roosevelt do about the sage grouse?


Since when do we treat folks who disagree with us as enemies?

Is your commute to work a war zone? Do you battle your way through the grocery store? Are there thieves camped outside your door?

One consultant advised a call to arms when he lectured leaders in the oil and gas industry.

His views on how to best position your cause is to consider the opposition as an enemy that needs to be destroyed. Continue reading

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A stick of gum for Mother’s Day

When a large family meant a Ford station wagon

Our large family meant a Ford station wagon

My earliest memories of travel meant loading up at daybreak in the back of the family station wagon with three of my sisters and armloads of pillows stuffed in between.

While our parents planted themselves in the front we bundled together in the rear.

We’d drive hundreds of miles from Southern California to visit the cousins up north.

After the sun rose we’d rearrange the car, sit on the vinyl seats and stare out the windows as we wound up and around the Pacific Ocean.

About half-way I’d get car-sick. Continue reading

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A blow to freedom

Poster from the Texas event

Poster from the Texas event

The class assignment is to take an important and controversial issue–current or past–and dig deeply to find the hidden parts of the story.

Stories like the Boston Tea Party of 1771.

Most of us learned the event signaled the critical moment when colonists broke ties with the English motherland by protesting high taxes on tea and dumping a ship full of brew in the harbor.

But historians say the Destruction of the Tea–as it was called until a textbook 100 years later changed the title–was driven by rich merchants who got better prices on the Black Market with cheap tea offered by the Dutch.

The event was more about cash than freedoms. Continue reading

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Indians under glass

C30-Shield
The Indian exhibit currently underway at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City takes an unexpected turn.

The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky
assumes a soft approach.

There’s an Osage pipe, a beaded dress from the turn of the century, a parflesch and a ghost dance drum. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, framing, Indian, Indian relocation, Metropolitan Museum of Art, native american, Native American Heritage Month, native press, Native Science, Osage, Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky, propaganda, repatriation | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments