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Poll
Question: Is "Ten Little Indians" vaguely racist?
Yes. - 14 (18.4%)
No. - 25 (32.9%)
piss up a rope, rope pisser - 37 (48.7%)
Total Voters: 70

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Author Topic: Poll: Is "Ten Little Indians" vaguely racist?  (Read 9078 times)
DonnyL
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2012, 11:17:55 AM »

Play it for a Native American friend, and let me know how they feel about it, and how it makes you feel to play it for them.
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2012, 11:33:27 AM »

Technically anyone born in the USA to American citizens are Native Americans.
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I'd rather be forced to sleep with Caitlyn Jenner then ever have to listen to NPP again.
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« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2012, 12:19:52 PM »

Technically anyone born in the USA to American citizens are Native Americans.

Thank you.  My PC liberal friends go nuts when I call myself a native American.Naturally, i do it on purpose.
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2012, 12:56:22 PM »

Is it racist? Of course it is. Not even vaguely.

But that doesn't mean I'm going to round up all my Beach Boys records and throw them on a bonfire.

A bunch of kids in 1962 record a little nursery rhyme, almost surely without question. It goes out to a listening public that accepts it without question. Not that they bought many copies, mind.

All the while, this harmless little ditty, no matter how you slice it, references and reinforces racist, destructive cultural attitudes. It's easy to see that now. We're far enough removed from the genocide to admit that. But let us not demonize. I haven't heard of many people groups throughout history who have hesitated to stomp the boot on another people group. It's human nature, and it's not pretty.

So I don't hold it against the Beach Boys. Some of my best friends are racists after all.
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2012, 03:16:25 PM »

"Ten Little Indians" was nowhere near as bad as "Indian Giver" by "The 1910 Fruitgum Company".
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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2012, 03:24:20 PM »

It's not derogatory in intent and the generalisations are no worse than those in California Girls, Little Miss America (new thread: is the latter sexist?) or Pom Pom Playgirl.
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« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2012, 03:48:50 PM »

Technically anyone born in the USA to American citizens are Native Americans.

Thank you.  My PC liberal friends go nuts when I call myself a native American.Naturally, i do it on purpose.

No thank you. The term 'native born American' will do.

They're really your friends?
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« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2012, 05:51:09 PM »

You folks are all judging the song by 21st century "Politically Correct" standards. Remember:The song was recorded in 1962.

Agreed. And, a trend in many literature and humanities classes. I find it irresponsible to use a 21st century "lens" in an historic context.  And, it is generally accepted that if you don't agree with the professor, your grade will suffer. 

Critical thinking, I think requires looking at the "context" and social and political circumstances of the respective art or music; not using a 21st century technological standard, retrospectively. 

Had those people lived today, they might think differently. And those folk and fairy tales/chants and music, were largely a part of oral history, not unlike the troubadour models of the Middle Ages.

Yes, because we're all f***ed if the students don't agree with a professor with a double-digit IQ and a triple-digit income.
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« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2012, 08:53:00 PM »

Well, this was taken worlds more seriously than I thought it'd be.

Yes, because we're all f***ed if the students don't agree with a professor with a double-digit IQ and a triple-digit income.

I believe you're thinking of airport security.
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2012, 07:31:58 AM »

Agatha Christie wrote a book Ten Little Indians in 1939. The title was changed for the American market.

Both those statements are true, however in that combination they are totally misleading. TLI was the revised US title: the book was originally published in the UK as Ten Little n******. My point is that tastes in everything change with time and culture. What seems racist to some now was a perfectly acceptable substitute 60-odd years ago.
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« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2012, 08:13:37 AM »

In today's PC world, some of the songs that are made today are really deragatory about some group (women, race, etc.). Intentionally so or trying "to make a statement".
Compared to some of today's music, songs like TLI or some of the others mentioned in this thread (ex. Pom Pom Girl, Indian Giver) just seem so innocent and it is doubtful any "statement" or "intention" was trying to be made by them.
Also, back then if there was something "off color" it might have been censored (certainly on TV); now even though a PC world, there seems to be more tolerance to expression (reference some of the songs today).
Different times. Or as the BB just sang: "Strange World".
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2012, 09:58:05 AM »

They should've released their rendition of Running Bear on 15BO - then we could have a whole notha' thread for that!

Whether or not, sheez - it's a circular argument and it can't be resolved. Right up there with Cleveland Indians ballcaps et al. Or sixites teevee...F Troop anyone?

Sensitivity becomes its own religion. Sometimes it's as if Lenny Bruce never lived.
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« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2012, 10:32:05 AM »

They should've released their rendition of Running Bear on 15BO - then we could have a whole notha' thread for that!

Whether or not, sheez - it's a circular argument and it can't be resolved. Right up there with Cleveland Indians ballcaps et al. Or sixites teevee...F Troop anyone?

Sensitivity becomes its own religion. Sometimes it's as if Lenny Bruce never lived.

Or they're unfamiliar with his work. Or they have a knee-jerk reaction to certain words and dismiss him then and there without considering context or listening to the very valid message he has on the subject.
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« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2012, 12:20:06 PM »

Agatha Christie wrote a book Ten Little Indians in 1939. The title was changed for the American market.

Both those statements are true, however in that combination they are totally misleading. TLI was the revised US title: the book was originally published in the UK as Ten Little n******. My point is that tastes in everything change with time and culture. What seems racist to some now was a perfectly acceptable substitute 60-odd years ago.

Yes, that N word is offensive, because it has nothing to do with being black. It just happens to sound like negro, which does mean black in spanish. Although, because it sounds like the other n word, I don't use that one either. I don't care for the term 'colored' either.  Just curious though, where did 'red' first get used for native Americans? Is that what white people called them? Are native Americans offended by this?
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« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2012, 12:47:25 PM »

I dunno. Ask an upper middle class, white PC twit if it is, they seem to decide what others find offensive for them.
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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2012, 01:27:13 PM »

Technically anyone born in the USA to American citizens are Native Americans.

Thank you.  My PC liberal friends go nuts when I call myself a native American.Naturally, i do it on purpose.

No thank you. The term 'native born American' will do.

They're really your friends?

More-so than I would have ever imagined.  Seriously, I get along with everybody.  Even PC liberals. Heck, when I was a student at UC Berkeley around 1970 I even befriended a communist.  A communist!! He liked the Beach Boys.  What can I say?
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« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2012, 05:15:42 PM »

This is quickly getting into sandbox territory.
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« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2012, 08:30:34 PM »

I agree that "The Trader" alone is complete redemption. Move along now, nothing else to see here.
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« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2012, 10:23:09 PM »

Welp.

I played it for a native american friend. Two, actually.

Both seemed kinda uncomfortable while listening.

We just shrugged and gave each other looks, and then forgot the whole thing.
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« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2012, 10:34:20 PM »






the few indian beach boy fans that I know personally love that song.


At least 12% of you are pc chowderheads.
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« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2012, 02:41:10 AM »

Slightly off topic, but has there ever been a time that wasn't political correct?
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« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2012, 04:47:43 AM »

Slightly off topic, but has there ever been a time that wasn't political correct?

Yeah, to the extent that it is today, I'd say prior to the early 1990's.
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« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2012, 05:08:25 AM »


There are many criticisms of Disney versions of folk and fairy tales but on the whole, i think they do a pretty good job with authenticity. One of my favorite Disney movies is Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la bęte) where the creators went back to the original French music manuscripts of the era (Ashman and Menken) to use for the soundtrack.

Does one skip teaching this song which is probably steeped in violent underepinnings or create a subsequent teaching opportunity and include the history of these tales in high school when young people can learn the historic back story but value the language piece as a teaching tool for young children's early development?  


Well, Song of the South has been well and truly buried in the archives, p'rhaps never to be seen again despite it's zippy lead song.

I think you make a great point, to aknowledge and recognise the time and cultural context of an, err, text and take the opportunity to learn appropriately; whether or not it was acceptable at the time.
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« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2012, 07:47:58 AM »


At least 12% of you are pc chowderheads.
Would the other 88% be punkinheads or just intolerant?
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« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2012, 04:27:51 PM »

Considering how innocent the lyrics are (basically about a bunch of boys trying to impress a girl) I can't even believe this is seriously being discussed here.

If the word "Indian" is so utterly offensive, someone should go tell AIM that. The American Indian Movement is the organization that generally polices how American Indigenous Americans are portrayed in the media. They've never called the song into question.
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