It’s Indian, Okay?

I am sick to death of explaining to obnoxious assholes, most often found in a thread at Pharyngula, that yes, Indians use Indian, and I often go to fair length to explain why, but that’s just never good enough, oh no. So, here’s Simon Moya-Smith to explain, and say the exact same thing I do, but maybe some of the obnoxious assholes will get it now, because it’s coming from a man:

That’s all, folks.

Via Twitter.


  1. chigau (違う) says

    I still wonder why it’s so different in Canada.
    Refering to First Nations people as Indians is extremely rare here.

  2. Saad says

    Too many white people are raised to think things having to do with minorities have to pass through them for approval. They don’t realize there are many, many things that simply are none of their business whatsoever and thus require zero suggestions from them.

    Reminds me of a thread on FtB a while back when somebody said it’s okay if men have no say in abortion issues and some dudes were left scratching their heads going “What? No say at all? But it’s a free society”.

  3. David Brindley says

    Hi Caine, interesting. As a white Australian male its not at the top of my list of curiosities, but yes, from time to time, I wondered the same thing. And Simon’s words make it easy to understand, and to also apply here as to why we still use the words aborigine and aboriginal and I reckon the reason would be the same.

    I knew Choctaw and Oglala, probably from watching too many Saturday Matinee “Westerns” as a child. I know Koori, Nunga, Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri, and a few other aboriginal groups. And, probably everyone in Oz would know, or at least have heard of, the Gurindji people after the pouring of a handful of dust from Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s hand into he hands of Gurindji man Vincent Lingiari at Wave Hill. But for me, and the rest of non-aboriginal Australia, the rest are rarely seen or noticed.

    So much still to learn.

    I like the names Koori

  4. David Brindley says

    last line truncated, should have read … Koori and Nunga, as used by aboriginal people as a collective noun covering numerous tribal / language groups.

  5. TGAP Dad says

    FWIW, I work in IT, and in this field, especially at my employer, Asian Indians comprise a fairly large contingent among my peers. Thus I have become accustomed to using Native American to apply to the North American indigenous people, and through osmosis, I suppose, recognize a number of the indigenous nation names in the states. So now when people simply refer to “Indian” again, I’ll have to return to my old habit of asking for clarification.

  6. ayarb003 says

    Genuine (possibly/probably ignorant question). I have heard somewhat recently that the term ‘nation’ might be a more appropriate term than ‘indians’. I can’t verify where this came from, it was just something that came through the grapevine. But it made sense when I heard it thinking about the connotations that I think of that I associate with ‘nation’ (statehood, a group/people to negotiate with, having government and structure, etc) versus the connotations that have evolved with the term indians. I still think it would be best if everyone could learn about the Powhatan or Ojibwe and use their names but what are your thoughts on ‘nation’ versus ‘indians’? Or does it even matter?

  7. ayarb003 says

    I just went digging for the thread at Pharyngula that you said had pissed you off. Yeah, I would have been pissed too. Please feel free to ignore my previous comment, I think I got the answer I was looking for.

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