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Brave No More

Charles Bird King, "Young Omahaw, War Eagle, Little Missouri, and Pawnees," 1821, Smithsonian

981 words

I can’t think of too many English words more positive than “brave.”

The word brave conjures up a man who is bold and heroic. The brave man is no self-indulgent daredevil. He’s not pushy, cocky, or foolhardy. If the brave man faces danger, we assume he has a good reason (or at least thinks he does.) You can picture the profile of a brave man set against the horizon, resigned, with his chin thrust up like a galley’s bow set in the general direction of destiny or doom.

Men have always been quick to brag about the heroic deeds of their ancestors. The histories and mythologies of men are exaggerated retellings of the courageous deeds of the men who came before us.

The words “fighting Irish” put a little spring in my jig, and I’m glad to be linked with ornery hordes of Celtic badasses. If I could trace my line back to armored knights or revolutionary war heroes I’d be telling every damn person I met. Samoan men love their tribal warrior tattoos.  And, while the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs long before the Cherokee walked the “Trail of Tears,” saying the word “Aztec” to a Mexican gets the same kind of response the word “Viking” elicits from a white heavy metal fan.

“Fuck, yeah.”

That’s why I’ve never been able to understand why Native Americans get offended when depicted as “braves,” or “chiefs.”

Recently, after years of pressure from tribal leaders and PC busybodies, the Oregon State Board of Education ruled 5 to 1 that Oregon schools will lose state funding unless they remove all Native American-themed mascots by 2017. “Indians,” “Chiefs,” and “Braves” must go. Teams can keep the name “warrior,” but must remove references to tribal customs or traditions.

Creator forbid people think of your tribesmen as warriors.

Professional redskin activist and educator Se-ah-dom Edmo, a woman who claims to be part of “many grassroots causes” that celebrate “victories for LGBTQ, Two-Spirit equality & racial equity,” played a major role in Oregon’s “I am a person, not a mascot” campaign. As part of that campaign, she recounted stories of the horror and shame her father was subjected to when people asked him to dress up in the traditional garb of his people’s once-proud warriors.  She claims that being associated with the brave fighting men who stood their ground (often to the death) against hostile alien invaders armed with superior technology somehow “reinforces negative stereotypes.”

After considering the issue, Edmo concluded that even schools whose students, administrators, and alumni showed respect for Native Americans and who proudly cheered for their Native American mascots were somehow, “bargaining for accepted levels of racism.”

What is an “acceptable” level of racism? Clearly, cash buffalo like Oregon’s many Native American-run gambling casinos show acceptable levels of racism—if, by racism, you mean identifying an ethnic group as being different and associating an institution with elements of that group’s heritage.

Native Americans have a well-established reputation all over the United States for sloppy drunkenness. I have three adopted Canadian Indian cousins, and all three have had lifelong substance abuse problems. They’ve been arrested for charges ranging from prostitution and drug dealing to drunken bicycling. Edmo has admitted that alcoholism hits her community “extra hard.” Yet, Edmo seems to feel that high school students cheering on their “Braves” is more hurtful than associating her people’s heritage with Injun-themed temples built for booze, gambling, and washed-up recording artists.

Edmo isn’t campaigning against the thousands of New Age snake-oil “shamans,” or the mountains of Native American “healing” products exploiting her religious traditions for profit.

It’s homophobia and transphobia and global warming that really ruffle Ed’s feathers.

She may mean well, and the Oregon State Board of Education may mean well, but what they are doing is emasculating her people.

Yukio Mishima often complained that after World War II people wanted to forget about the Samurai sword and focus on the chrysanthemum. Japan wanted outsiders to see them as pleasant, peaceful, and polite.  Japanese culture was reduced, in Mishima’s words, to “flower arranging” and robbed of its “brutality.” This is an emasculating revisionism. The virile history of brave samurai warriors was de-emphasized in favor of less threatening aspects of Japanese culture.

The same thing is occurring with the conquered Native American people, albeit over a longer timeline.

Dime novels and Hollywood westerns have long portrayed Native American men as ill-fated but honorable defenders of their people—the kind of men I would admire.  The colorful slurs our ancestors had for Native Americans—like “prairie niggers”—are all but forgotten. I had to look some up because I didn’t even know any. Some Native Americans might be hyper-sensitive to inaccurate portrayals of their people. But, as a white man, the idea of the Native American warrior I’ve received over the years has been, for the most part, positive. I mentally place them alongside other virile warriors who fought honorably for their kin.

By jumping on the PC wagon train, Native American activists are leaving behind our image of their people as noble tribal warriors, braves, and chiefs.  Without those manly symbols to keep that great heritage alive, future generations will focus on fresher memories of sloppy drunks, cheesy casinos, trailer park shamans, and ugly blue jewelry.

Maybe all of the worthy braves did perish in battle long ago, if they let radish squaws do their talking for them now.

I don’t want to believe that.

Given the influence our own women have over what aspects of history are deemed “negative” and what is taught in our schools, white men may not be far behind. Our heroes are being defamed and replaced every day.

No, I hope them heathens have fight in ‘em still.

And I hope the white man does, too.

World’s more interesting that way.



  1. M
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    This splendid article brought to mind what the rune book author Stephen Edred Flowers (“Edred Thorsson”) once wrote in his book “Northern Magic”:

    “I remember when I was about six years old on a trip to New Mexico and Arizona that I cried myself to sleep one night wishing that I had been born an Indian. I was so struck by something about these noble, authentic and self-aware people. But what my six year old mind could not understand was that it was not the Indians as such that I found so inspiring but it was the things they represented and embodied for themselves. If you want to recapture the loss of nobility, authenticity and self-awareness that the American Indians or other traditional peoples have you cannot recover it from them – you must recover it from within your own being and self.”

    He also wrote that

    “We in the West have often made idealised models out of other exotic cultural traditions: the American Indians, the Indians of Asia, and even the Afro-Carribean just to name a few. What we have idealised is their great sense of continuous tradition and their deep level of spiritual authenticity. If we want this for ourselves – individually or collectively – we must find it within ourselves. It cannot be truly gained from sources outside our tradition of body-mind-spirit unity. We can learn a great deal from other traditions, but from a holistic viewpoint they remain something outside ourselves.”

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      What a wonderful and apposite quote.

    • rhondda
      Posted May 22, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree with you. Having attended a local Pow Wow, I was quite taken aback with their ‘tribal cohesion’. It was something I had never experienced in white culture. Yet at the same time I knew I was an outsider. I do understand, however, why new agers get into wanting to be an Indian. It won’t work. It’s in the blood/tribe.

  2. Eric Hale
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Oregon school mascots can be renamed as the “Spartans”, “Trojans”, “Vikings”, or some other virile Caucasian group.

    If I lived in any of these school districts, that’s exactly what I would lobby for.

    Maybe they’ll all become the “fighting feminists” instead. It is Oregon, afterall.

  3. Jay
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    I’m torn between admiring men like Evola, Junger, and Mishima and hating them. I acknowledge the necessity of brutality in establishing and maintaining the state. As Donovan has said elsewhere, ‘violence is golden.’ However, there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity. Can’t we find a balance between on the one hand, the Roman Empire, and the other modern day matriarchies like Sodom (America)?

    • Jacques Vendée
      Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Of course we can find a balance between bravery and stupidity. We always have. It is in white nature to do so. But first we must reinvigorate young white men by offering them “alternative” notions of bravery, violence, and honor. This American matriarchy can only survive with an emasculated population and an emasculated culture. Thus the need for Evola and Junger. (While I appreciate Mishima, I do not think he could be a role model for white children. Without even going into philosophy and cultural background, did you ever play with an Asian G.I.Joe? I am being a bit frivolous but the example does have some validity. I suspect that most Asian G.I. Joes sat on the shelf next to the black guys and the women, rightly ignored by white boys, who, without knowing why, regarded them as unworthy to fight alongside Duke and the boys in their fantastical war games.)

      • Jay
        Posted May 24, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

        I was in Iraq fo 17 months.

        Plenty of young white men there were ready to kill and act ‘masculine’. Doesn’t mean shit in terms of intellect. Sure as hell, none of them wanted to save the West.

  4. james hamilton
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The writer Donovan complains that (our) young people can’t cheer for a mascot at a sports game. Mr Donovan & everyone else in the ‘movement’, get it through your damn head: the obsession with sports is totally self-destructive & in truth makes the short list of things destroying our people. It’s time to face reality.

  5. james hamilton
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    PS There is no real correlation between sports & ‘bravery’. That’s why martial arts are systematically kept out of schools etc. I have personally witnessed, many times thru 40 years, sports people fold when confronted with anything calling for real, true (Evola Metaphysics of War, Rene Quinton maxims et al) bravery. This– that sports inculcates all these supposed virtues–is a self-evidently false myth, it is not reflected in (most of) one’s personal experience or the people one knows (NOT just media sports celebrities). In support of these statements (re: sports mentality) consult the writings & lives of people like Musashi, Donn Draeger & Daniel Craig. Macdonald, the TOQ/TOO crowd, Devlin etc need to get with it–sports is destroying our people more than pornography. The day any of these people fight in real combat or duels with swords or hand-to-hand will be the day (a la HA Covington).

    • Jacques Vendée
      Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Mr. Hamilton,

      I have never had any interest in sports whatsoever. I am a complete outsider when it comes to that scene. It seems that you, however, have given this a lot of thought so forgive me for asking a few simple questions.

      The fact that team sports are still a part of school life in America is prima facie evidence that sports do not require real bravery or do much more than socialize children. But is it possible that martial arts are suited for the officer class while, say, the kids on the football team are the grunts? Leaders always need people to lead.

      Also, it seems to me that team sports do provide an outlet for male bonding and a crash course in collective battle against an enemy–a kind of mini-nationalism. Why do you see this differently?

      Are team sports as they used to be practiced (before Title IX) still, in your mind, a problem?

  6. Sandy
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    David Yeagley the the great-great-grandson of Comanche leader Bad Eagle who occasionally writes for vdare feels the same way on the emasculation of not only his people but whites, wrote

    The essay is worth reading to appreciate the same attitude from an outsider looking in.

  7. james hamilton
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    PPS I am extremely familiar with Dr Stephen Flowers’/Edred Thorsson’s writings & I was studying the pre-christian culture of my scandinavian heritage (Danish). I personally agree with Thorsson’s statements above but with the following problem. Virtually all the white friends & acquaintances i have, 1 or 2 of whom are vaguely interested in white values (but all of whom would recoil in utter horror at any suggestion of white nationalism etc), are basically atheist ranging from ‘dumb atheism’ to much more sophisticated Dawkins-Hutchins-type atheism (which to me is still pitiably simplistic, reminds me of the clarke-randi-dawkins sceptic mindset i had age 13; as CS Lewis wrote, ‘today’s atheists [speaking 50 years ago] don’t hurt or reach me me as a believer; they hurt the manly atheist i used to be’ (mem, not exact). They recoil from even the very word ‘spiritual(ality)’. The common denominator aside from anti-racism etc (even amongst the 2-3 friends incl my gf who say ‘honestly i can’t stand blacks’) is an utter revulsion from any martial values or orientation. Another, separate topic would be how today’s American military inculcates purely modern ‘militarism’/’soldiering/’GI’. Evola’s words at the end of Metaphysics of War (final chapter) are among the most pathetic (pathos-inducing) things i have ever read: a warrior age is just around the corner, the promised land of Valhalla any day now. We’ve got a bunch of coppertops in a Matrix to look forward. & Mr Donovan thinks kids & adults cheering a sports mascot is even worthy of comment. Would Draeger? Would Evola?

  8. Jungleboots
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Yes I know in today’s ‘Bizzaro World’ were everything is the opposite of what it really is the ‘Noble Savage’ is admired and many a fool including that bloodthirsty mass murder Winston Churchill claim to have 1/4 Indian blood in them. As always we need to take a closer look at the source of all this admiration. The agenda is not to set the record straight or to tell the truth, it is as it has been for such a long time to instill more White guilt. The only creature that is ever at fault or evil on this planet is the White man and he should be ashamed for what he has done, is what we are programed to believe.

    Here is a few pieces that you need to read and look at. This was written when White men were not ashamed to be White Men and they fought Savages just like a man fights any wild beast.

  9. Justin Huber
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I like this article, but here is a thought I just had. Is it possible that whites created the idealized notion of Indians more than the Indians did themselves? Could this be part of the reason that so-called Indian activists are calling for us to stop using them as mascots for our sports team? Personally, I’ve never understood all the uproar about this. In my home state Eastern Michigan University used to be known as the Hurons. I thought it was good nickname. Lo and behold the PC crowd came along and made them change their name to the Eagles. Pretty lame ass in my opinion. Sports teams named the Eagles are a dime a dozen. Central Michigan University, however, still retains the name Chippewas. My own alma mater, Michigan State, is the Spartans.

  10. Jungleboots
    Posted May 22, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Mark Twain had this to say about the Indian.

    “The Noble Redman” Sept 1870

    He is ignoble base and treacherous, and hateful in everyway. Not even imminent death can startle him into a spasm of virtue. The ruling trait of all savages is greedy and consuming selfishness, and in our Noble Red Man it is found in it’s amplest development. His heart is a ceaspool of falsehood, of treachery and of low and develish instincts, with him gratitude is an unknown emotion and when one does him kindness, it is safest to keep the face toward him, lest the reward be a arrow in the back. To accept of a favor from him is to assume a dept which you can never repay to his satisfaction, though you bankrupt yourself trying. To give him a dinner when he is starving, is to precipitate the whole hungrey tribe upon your hospitality, for he will go straight and fetch them, men, women, children and dogs and these will huddle patiently around your door or flatten their noses against your window day after day gazing beseeching upon every mouthful you take, and unconsciously swallo when you awallow! The scum of the earth!

    The Noble Red Man seldom goes prating foolishness to a splendid caparisoned blushing maid at twilight. No he trades a crippled horse or a damaged musket or a dog or a gallon of grasshopers and an inefficent old mother for her and makes her work like an abject slave all the rest of her life to compansate him for outlay. He never works himself.

    All history and honest observation will show that the Red Man is a skulking coward and a windy braggert, who strikes without warning usually from an ambush or under the cover of night and nearly always bringing a force five or six to one against the enemy; kills helpless women and little children and massacres the men in their beds and then brags about it as long as he lives and his son and his grandson and great grandson after him glorify it among the heroic deeds of their ancestors.

  11. rhondda
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Wow, from recognizing the fact that Indians are a tribe who band together as such into a cohesive group to denigrating them as savages is quite a leap. That is not the downside of a tribe. The downside is the total immersion of the personality into the group and no individuality which is more a white trait. The group is good for a ‘spiritual’ purpose and war, but very suffocating for the creative individual. Their identity is the group.
    Whites don’t tend to see themselves as any kind of tribe, let alone one that needs to fight for its survival. Hence the individual is more important than the group. But, I do think whites need to consider how group identity can work for us too. After all we are in a psychological/ideological war which has us targeted for genocide.

  12. Paul Naugahyde
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    New hurling team mascot: “the Tragic Victims”

  13. MT459
    Posted May 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    A few people above acknowledge their disdain for sports and those who partake in them. I think team sports teach many (at least those who get it) the type of self-sacrifice that is needed for a group to achieve a common goal. That is a different topic for a different day though.

    I want to comment on Native American/Indian nicknames in sports and how it is totally absurd for universities and even professional teams to change just to fit a PC agenda. I have great respect for Native American warriors and how their soldiers/warriors fought through hardship and turmoil during the expansion of the United States. They did amazingly well with what they had to work with while being outmached by a group with superior technological advantages.

    I think it is a disservice to Natives to force teams away from using nicknames like “Tribe” or “Indians” or “Redskins”. These nicknames weren’t created to disenfranchise Native Americans, they were made to pay homage to brave and noble warriors of America. Why is “Viking” or “Fighting Irish” acceptable, but “Indian” or “Aztec” is not? It’s all this stupid politically correct BS to make sure that small fraction of a small minority doesn’t miscontrue something the wrong way.

    I’m a fan of the Washington Redskins and there are articles every year in the Liberal Post (I mean Washington Post) about how the name is offensive to so many and how they should change it to something totally stupid, like the “Rainbows” or the “Liberal Puppy Dogs who Don’t Believe in the Second Amendment”. Even though I hate him as an owner, I know that our Napolean Complex majority owner Daniel Snyder will NEVER let the nickname Redskins go away. I’ll take a few more miserable losing seasons so long as we have an owner who has the balls to fight the PC BS and keep the name we’ve had for generations.

  14. Posted May 24, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Wonderful treatment of the subject. It’s commented on and linked here:

  15. Rita Rabbit
    Posted May 25, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    The “Indians” certainly don’t own the words “chief” or “brave”. Keep the names, change the garb.

    I don’t care if the “Indians” are emasculated. Eat or be eaten. We’ve got bigger problems.

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