Exposing Historical Injustices?

30 Apr

I do not own any rights to this photo. It is being used solely for educational purposes and was retrieved from Google Images on Sunday, April 29th 2012.

 King of the Hill “Spin the Choice” 

Pictured above is John Redcorn, a Native American cast member of the popular cartoon show, King of the Hill.  Notably, he is always shown with long, dark hair, a stern look, a medicine pouch around his neck, and some other piece of Native American jewelry.

 In an episode entitled, “Spin the Choice” from the fifth season of King of the Hill, John Redcorn fights for 130,000 acres of land that was stolen from his tribe by the U.S government.  Feeling defeated and at a loss with his cultural identity, Mr. Redcorn eventually has to settle for a mere 12 acres of land at the end of the episode.  The plot itself touched on a broader sense of Native American struggles, as was evidenced by the young, white boy Bobby who boycotted Thanksgiving after hearing the true history of Anglo-Native American relations told by John Redcorn at school.  Outraged about his own historical ignorance, Bobby is shown reading various books about Native Americans which led up to the moment at Thanksgiving dinner when he made a speech about the ritual of cannibalism in Native American culture.  This scene parallels the “savage beast” stereotype that is so often seen in mass media.

Another aspect which I found to be particularly interesting was the way in which John Redcorns gender and sexuality is shown to the audience.  He is portrayed as hyper-sexualized and therefore lusts after white women in particular.  He has a son with the wife of one of his good friends, but he struggles to get his son interested in his true Native American roots.  Thus the lingering sense of a cultural loss is always present somewhere in Mr. Redcorns life.

Click below to see a clip from this episode! 

Thanksgiving Speech


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