Home of the Brave

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Paul Chaat Smith once stated, "Only when we recognize that our own individual histories are a tumble of extraordinary contradictions, like those of all other Indian persons of this century, will we begin making sense of our lives (Smith 33)." Life is full of contradictions. No one ever truly knows what is true and what is false. Society is reliant on the stories passed on from generation to generation to understand what happened before them. Sometimes these stories can be true, other times they are false. This is what happened to the people of many Indian tribes. As stated in Paul Chaat Smith's article, Home of the Brave, several false books were written about the Indian people's history. These false writings are just one of many issues and struggles Indians have had to live with their entire lives.

Paul Chaat Smith focuses on several different aspects of Indian life in this article. He discusses: several books that have been falsely written, racism against the Indian people and ethnic troubles. He begins the article by referencing a man named Asa Carter; a former Ku Klux Klan member. Carter had written an autobiography of a Cherokee Indian's boyhood in Tennessee. This is the first point in the article that I found most appalling. It amazed me that someone, who could never truly understand all that the Indian people have gone through, could write a fake autobiography. It amazes me even more that it was written by a former Ku Klux Klan leader. Another piece of the article that I thought was wrong was the term "Indians." As Paul Chaat Smith stated, "From the beginning of this history the specialized vocabulary created by Europeans for "Indians" ensured our status as strange and primitive (Smith 38)." The Europeans used the word "Indians" to belittle the Indians. These negative terms, though created hundreds of years ago, have carried on to modern day. We continue to use these derogatory terms not realizing how hurtful they are. The Indian...
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