Politically Incorrect: Sitting Indian Style

In Columns

Ostensibly, I have been way behind the eight ball on this subject. During the holidays when we all spend time with a lot of family that we don’t really see very often throughout the year, I had this experience I’d like to share with you.

While we adults were sitting around my living room drinking “special eggnog” and the kids of the family were playing on the floor with the array of new toys Santa was kind enough to leave with the good and not so naughty kids of our family, one of the kids yelled out, “Crisscross applesauce” and all of the kids sat Indian style. I looked at one of the adults and said, “Hey, that’s cute.” Then I was informed that this was not some cute comment that the kids thought up, but rather another mission accomplished for the politically correct police.

I was told that years ago the public schools started using this term as not to offend Native American Indians. I was stunned. Apparently, I was the only one left in America who didn’t know this trepid axiom. It made me start to think about the fluid nature of language and how sometimes certain terms we were so fond of or used comfortably just fall into the ash bin of society’s evolution.

This one kind of seemed a little inscrutable to me. I mean, after all, the American Indian isn’t actually the “woe is me” crowd anymore. I rather look at them as a vast conglomerate of multi-billion-dollar casino owners living in a tax-free world of get-back. I find that when we get charged seven dollars for a cocktail and fifty dollars for some average steak dinner at one of their casinos, that my level of sensitivity wanes. Despite how it all started, the American Indian has found a niche in our culture that should wipe away clean any white-man stole our country guilt. I would love to not pay taxes.

How far should this political correctness go with all these different groups and where is all this sensitivity when it comes to the gays living here in America? LGBT, the only group left we can bash without the ‘word police’ showing up on the front porch of our consciousness. How on Earth is saying the term sitting Indian style offensive? It even has the word ‘style’ in it. Isn’t that how they really sat?

Then it made me think. Before the new world was created, before Ponce De Leon and Columbus made it here to the new world, what term did we use to describe sitting that way?

C. Rich
Author, Blogger, Poet

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