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Native Indians Adopting the White Mentality
In the short story Only Approved Indians can play: Made in USA, Jack Forbes sheds light into the American Indian lifestyle. The story touches on the Indian American experiences in the modern society. It features the characters of Indian origin thorough their assessment of tribal foundation, lifestyle, social status as well as identity. Forbes shows the quest of the characters in the story as they endeavor to be recognized as Indian Americans and not any other race. The story also exposes the injustices of this world and how groups can result to any means to become victorious (Forbes 4). This paper analyzes the Native Americans adopting a white mentality in which they embrace “winning at all cost” and also the irony exhumed by the story.
Cocchiarale and Emmert (57) indicate that, the major theme from the story revolves around the Native Americans efforts to adopt a white mentality in which they strive for victory at all costs. In the story, there is a basketball tournament scheduled between the Great Lakes and the Tucson where everyone is required to be of Indian descent. Before the tournament can begin, the Great Lakes team complaint that the Tucson team does not comprise of “real” Indians. The battle to be recognized as Indian Americans shows how the native Indians value the possibility of embracing the white culture. In order to show their Americanism, the Great Team players produce BIA identification cards, which show the status of government recognition. This element of depending on the government identification cards shows the Great Lakes efforts to portray how they have been absorbed in the white mainstream society. They Great Lakes hold pride in knowing they have the tools that recognize them as true Indian Americans (Cocchiarale and Emmert 57).
The Native Americans, especially the Great Lakes, take up the ideology of winning by any means and do not accept defeat. From the story, the Great Lakes have identification cards including a blonde haired boy. In most cases, Indians have black hair and the white society mainly have blonde hair. The fact that the blonde haired boy can be recognized as Indian shows how they are prepared to win by any means. Additionally, most of the players in the Great Lakes were light skinned unlike the Tucson’s who were dark skinned. Mostly, the native Indians possess dark skinned complexion, and it became evident that the Great Lakes embraced a devious means to be proven Indians. It is a fight of survival that dominates the white society that seem to the cropping up in the Indian society. Some of the team members from the Great Lakes started a rumor that the Tucson’s are not Indians but Chicanos. The idea of starting this rumor meant that the Indian community adopted the winning at all cost style of the white society hoping to have the other team disqualified (Forbes 3).
The culture of winning at any cost poses the threat of deception and treachery to achieve results. This becomes clear as the officials and team players did not consider the main features that made them Indians. From the story, the Tucson team comprised of darker skin and long hair that is characteristic of many native Indians. One of the Tucson members could speak the Papago language, which remains a feature of Indians. The Tarahumara man who possessed the physical characteristics of the Indian community was ruled out as Indian because no one could understand his language. The truth remained that he was an Indian from the Tarahumara region where the white rule and administration was resisted. This feature cas.............
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