Rob Schmidt blogs about the “reality” TV show Kid Nation in where a bunch of kids “go back to the basics” and live in the “Wild” West in Arizona. In one of the shows the kids meet Native Americans in where a whole slew of stereotypes, teepees and all, take place:
Let’s sum up what the kids (and the viewers) have learned about Indians from “Where’s Bonanza, Dude?”
Indians lived here “centuries ago” but are now (almost) gone. You’ll find them only out in the wilderness somewhere if you search long enough. Led by a chief, they live in teepees and do colorful dances. They impart sage advice around flickering fires.
Since the Indians have vanished, the land is empty. It’s okay to to claim this vacant land as your own–to move in and raise towns on it. No Indian people stand in the way of this, your manifest destiny.
So Kid Nation is built on the bones of Indian nations. In that sense, it’s much like the American nation. Greedy, selfish pioneers took what they saw and thought nothing of it. They acted just like children.
[Hat Tip: Racialicious]