Sacheen Littlefeather: The Latest “Pretendian” to Get Scalped
As we gather together to celebrate Halloween, let us not forget those who’ve dressed up in Injun costumes their entire lives to milk the eternally credulous American public of its sympathy and wampum.
In 1973, around the time that all the fat had started to slowly strangle the talent and sanity out of Marlon Brando, the adipose thespian and pioneer of unbridled celebrity social-justice sanctimony received a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Godfather. Rather than acting like a normal human being and simply accepting the award, Brando threw a stink bomb on the entire night’s proceedings by having the self-described (and self-named) activist Sacheen Littlefeather approach the podium to scold a bewildered public about how Hollywood had been unfair to Injun Americans.
What the alleged oppression of the feather-not-dot community had to do with The Godfather is anyone’s guess.
Carrying tons of sanctimony on her shoulders, Littlefeather walked onstage and rebuffed Roger Moore’s attempt to hand her Brando’s Oscar. Instead she delivered the following soliloquy:
Hello. My name is Sacheen Littlefeather. I’m Apache and I am president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee. I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you in a very long speech, which I cannot share with you presently because of time but I will be glad to share with the press afterwards, that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry [a smattering of boos] — excuse me [a round of supportive applause] — and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee. I beg at this time that I have not intruded upon this evening and that we will in the future, our hearts and our understandings will meet with love and generosity. Thank you on behalf of Marlon Brando.
Later that year, claiming that since “everybody says black is beautiful — we wanted to show that red is, too,” Ms. Littlefeather posed topless for Playboy.
When she finally heeded the Great Spirit’s call to join her in the sky early in October, The New York Times uncritically and unquestioningly referred to Littlefeather as an “Apache activist” in its obituary.
But a new profile in the San Francisco Chronicle by Jacqueline Keeler, who claims to be a “Diné/Dakota writer living in Portland, Ore.,” says that her review of Littlefeather’s paternal family tree “found no documented ties” with “any extant Native American nations in the United States.”
Keeler, who says she’s compiling a public list of alleged “Pretendians,” tracked down Littlefeather’s surviving sisters Trudi Orlandi and Rosalind Cruz, who say that their sister’s real name was Maria Louise Cruz and that she’d been scamming Americans for a half-century with a fabricated tale of Native American poverty and abuse.
“It’s a lie,” Orlandi told Keeler. “My father was who he was. His family came from Mexico. And my dad was born in Oxnard. . . . It was more prestigious [for Sacheen] to be an American Indian than it was to be Hispanic in her mind.”
“It is a fraud,” Cruz concurred. “It’s disgusting to the heritage of the tribal people. And it’s just . . . insulting to my parents.”
The sisters say they suspect she wrangled the name “Sacheen” from thread and ribbon they’d routinely order from the Sasheen Ribbon Company as children. They say that her story that their father christened her “Littlefeather” after she danced for him while wearing a feather in her hair is 100% bullshit and never happened. They say she lied about them growing up with no toilet.
Orlandi and Cruz seemed especially miffed by Littlefeather’s repeated claims that her ultraviolent Apache nutcase dad abused both her and her white mother. They claim that their paternal grandfather, a Mexican, was violent and abusive, but their actual father never drank, smoked, nor hit them.
Dressing up and pretending to be an Injun has a long and [pick one] ignoble/hilarious history in America. In the 1830s, a fraternal organization called the Improved Order of Red Men modeled its “rituals and regalia” after Injuns. But the audacious word “Improved” made it clear that membership in the organization was solely available to white men. If white women wanted to join the organization, they could apply for a “Degree of Pocahontas.” Amazingly, the organization still exists, but its membership is allegedly down to a paltry 15,000 compared to a peak of a half-million.
But the Improved Order of Red Men was founded during a time when white conquerors thought they were honoring their vanquished victims by appropriating superficial aspects of their culture. The modern breed of “Pretendians” is analogous to the modern scourge of male-to-female trannies: They are escaping a currently undesirable cultural identity by assuming a safer and more protected identity. In the case of trannies, there’s less stigma these days being a woman than a man, so they head for Vagina Town. For the Pretendians, they are fleeing their born identity’s negative associations for the relatively comforting bosom of hiding behind groups who were too technologically backward to defend their land from the white man’s predations.
In many cases, people who were aware of the fraud kept silent until the fraudster had died.
Until Littlefeather was outed by her sisters as a mere Mexican rather than an exotic and spicy Apache, perhaps the most well-known instance of a celebrity Pretendian came in the form of Iron Eyes Cody, most famous as the “Crying Indian” from a 1971 environmental commercial. He’d appeared in over 200 Hollywood films starting in 1930, mostly as an Injun. But it wasn’t until he died that the world learned his real surname was not “Cody” and that he’d been born as a humble Dago named Espera Oscar de Corti.
Luke Joseph Scarpa (1928-2012) was another fabulist who surfed the Italian-to-Indigenous pipeline by defrauding the public for decades as Chief Jay Strongbow, a headdress-wearing Injun pro wrestler who’d evade defeat by going “on the warpath” and dispatching his opponents with an array of tacky and fabricated Native American wrestling moves.
In the early part of the twentieth century, a fellow who referred to himself as Grey Owl made a handsome living for himself as an indigenous fur trapper, conservationist, and book author. After his 1938 death, it was revealed that Grey Owl was a simple British-born man named Archibald Stanfeld Belaney.
In 1982 and 1983, a man who called himself Jamake Highwater, a self-proclaimed Cherokee, bilked American taxpayers out of nearly $1 million through his Primal Mind Foundation, which was centered on the idea that Highwater was a Native American and that his surname really was Highwater. Nope — he was born Jackie Marks and was an Ashkenazi Jew.
In a notorious 2005 essay called “On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill essentially justified the September 11, 2001 attacks by claiming that the World Trade Center housed “little Eichmanns” who pushed America’s rapacious foreign policy. For much of his professional life, Churchill had claimed Native American ancestry with absolutely no proof.
Before she became a household name by pretending to be black, transracial icon Rachel Dolezal told people that she was an Injun who’d been born in a teepee and hunted for her food with a bow and arrow.
The steaming Canadian transgender mess known as Jessica Yaniv, who gained public attention after demanding that aestheticians wax his scrotum, attempted to gain preferential priority for COVID-19 vaccinations by claiming indigenous heritage, although the evidence suggests that Yaniv is of purely Ashkenazi ancestry.
Without the slightest documentation, actor Johnny Depp has for years claimed Cherokee and Creek ancestry.
And then, of course, there’s the postmenopausal cluster of barking wrinkled socialist labia known to the world as Elizabeth Warren.
This is what happens when you decree that it’s a crime against nature to be white: Everyone pretends that it’s better to be something else.
Stroke-Addled Senatorial Candidate’s Wife: “Swimming in America Is Very Racist”
While much of the online world is basking in Schadenfreude at the fact that Pennsylvania’s Democratic Party has nominated a bald, six-foot-eight, babbling stroke-victim movie monster as its candidate for the US Senate, I will refrain from saying anything cruel about John Fetterman and will deign to call his wife an idiot instead.
Gisele Fetterman recently told reporters that when her Frankensteinian hubby was appointed Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor, they chose not to move into the designated mansion in Harrisburg but elected to keep the mansion’s pool open to the public in some half-assed attempt to achieve aquatic justice for the world’s notoriously poor black swimmers.
“Historically, swimming in America is very racist, and usually when you look at drowning statistics, it usually affects children of color, because of lack of access,” Gisele Fetterman opined during a podcast appearance on Thursday. “And while we did not want the mansion, that mansion came with a pool I wanted. . . . And the dream was to make this a public pool and turn it into the people’s pool and ensure that young people across Pennsylvania could learn how to swim and water safety and kind of work to right some of the wrongs.”
It’s true that blacks drown at rates much higher than whites do — so much higher that some would find the disparities shocking, while others would be amused.
In 1987, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis tanked his own career by proclaiming that black people are “not good swimmers” because “they don’t have the buoyancy.”
But Campanis had spoken the truth: whites are actually more buoyant than blacks, which is why I’ve been counseling people for years that if they are approached by a mob of angry blacks, they should run as quickly as possible for the nearest body of water.
Do you remember the time that six Louisiana “teens” drowned trying to save another “teen” from drowning? These people really shouldn’t be allowed around any bodies of water.
So despite Ms. Fetterman’s claims of wanting to right historical “wrongs,” her policy of inviting Negro youths to come swim at the Lieutenant Governor’s private pool would have, in the long run, led to more black deaths. As Ben Shapiro has been insisting for years now, Democrats are the real racists.
Jerry Lee Lewis, 1935-2022: The Last American Wild Man
“There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper,” Camille Paglia famously wrote. Jerry Lee Lewis was a little bit Mozart and a little bit Jack the Ripper, and it’s doubtful that he could have been one without the other.
Despite a life of hard, reckless, and often violent behavior, Lewis became the last of the original class of 1950s rock ‘n’ roll titans to finally bite the bullet when he died last Friday at the age of 87. Elvis, by contrast, only made it to 42. With Jerry Lee’s departure, the world has lost something both great and awful at the same time.
According to Sun Records owner Sam Phillips — who also guided the careers of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Roy Orbison — Lewis was “the most talented man I ever worked with, black or white — one of the most talented human beings to walk God’s earth.”
In 1977, Lewis’ biographer Nick Tosches wrote, “Believe it: Jerry Lee Lewis is a creature of mythic essence. . . . He was — and in a way still is — the heart of redneck rock ’n’ roll, and one of the greatest country singers who ever lived. . . . He is the last American wild man.”
Born in Ferriday, Louisiana, Lewis allegedly was bestowed the nickname “Killer” by a classmate after he’d witnessed a young Jerry Lee attempting to strangle a teacher.
In 1957, Lewis’ frightening energy and assaultive style of piano-playing rocketed him to stardom with “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” a cover of a song by black blues singer Big Maybelle. He followed it with his biggest hit, Otis Blackwell’s “Great Balls of Fire.” With his next two hits, “Breathless” and “High School Confidential,” he may have eclipsed the popularity of Elvis Presley, whose career was sidetracked when he entered the US Army in March of 1958.
One legend — which Lewis insisted throughout his life was true — was that Lewis got miffed when promoter Alan Freed selected Chuck Berry to close an all-star show in 1958 at the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn, so like any sane performer would do, Lewis set his piano on fire and walked offstage telling Berry, “Top that, Chuck.” A less-sanitized version says that he actually said, “Follow that, nigger.”
But the rocket crashed for Lewis the same year when he toured England and was eviscerated by the British press, who revealed to the world that Lewis’s third wife — he was only 22 at the time — was 13-year-old Myra Brown, his first cousin once removed. Opportunities quickly vanished for him, and his rock ‘n’ roll career was forever hampered by the pedophilic taint as well as by the British Invasion. Despite the setbacks, Lewis recorded one of the greatest live albums of all time in 1964 as The Beatles and their cohorts were musically colonizing America.
For the rest of his life, though, Lewis would get more publicity for his unsavory scandals than for his music. He stayed married to Myra Brown until 1970, when she filed for divorce and accused him of “every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.” Lewis wound up getting married seven times, and most of his spouses would accuse him of all manner of impropriety.
His son Steve Allen Lewis, whom Lewis named after comedian Steve Allen — who’d given Jerry Lee his first big TV break in America — drowned to death in a pool in 1962 at age three. His son Jerry Lee Lewis, Jr. perished in a 1973 car crash.
Lewis married his fourth wife, Jared Gunn Pate, in 1971. They never lived together, but stayed married for nearly 10 years. In June 1982, Pate drowned in a swimming pool at a friend’s house where she’d been staying and waiting for her divorce from Lewis to be finalized.
Lewis promptly got remarried, this time to a woman named Shawn Stephens. The union lasted a mere 77 days until Stephen was found dead of a methadone overdose. Rolling Stone writer Ben Cramer published a feature claiming that blood and broken glass were found in Lewis’ house after Pate’s death and that there was evidence her body had been moved after she died — suggesting that Jerry Lee Lewis may have literally been a killer.
In 1976, Lewis was arrested in Memphis for drunkenly crashing his Rolls-Royce into the gates at Elvis Presley’s Graceland, then waving a pistol around and telling guards, “You tell him the Killer is here.” Later that year, while shitfaced on his 41st birthday, Lewis decided it’d be a good idea to shoot his .357 Magnum at a Coke bottle in his bedroom. The bullet ricocheted off the bottle and struck his bass player Butch Owens in the chest, causing minor injuries.
Throughout his life, Lewis evinced a divine malevolence and was the personification of an untamed id. Since his brief blip of superstardom in the late 1950s, the white American male has become, for lack of a more honest word, increasingly “civilized,” all while losing something primal and vital.
Death eventually catches up with everyone — even the Killer.
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