We’re wandering around the downtown art district. It’s sad how many of the galleries have become bridal boutiques since we were last here. But I guess that’s because I’m not a bride.
As we get to the end and prepare to turn around, there he is. Outside a cigar store stands a wooden Native American caricature, the traditional cigar store symbol. People still do this?
I realize it started because American Indians introduced tobacco to the Europeans. Shops then used the statues as an advertisement in the same vein as a barber pole as a way to work around illiteracy. But that was in the 17th and 18th centuries. Haven’t we progressed past that point now? Imagine if an NFL team tried to use the image of a Native American with a disparaging nickname. Not a chance.
I look inside the cigar store. Three guys in overstuffed leather chairs, a bit overstuffed themselves, smoke cigars in some sort of frat boy ritual for the 60-year-old set. Why don’t I get these memos? They stare at me with a smug entitlement as I stand outside shooting a photo of their mascot.
I wag my bottom at them as I walk away, secretly celebrating the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s pipeline victory. Sometimes the good guys win after all.
And then I read that the incoming administration supports completion of the pipeline. They’re likely smoking cigars while they do it.
Maybe we SHOULD kick out the immigrants. Us.
I wish Native Americans would put statues of pudgy cigar-smoking white guys at the entrances of casinos …