Jessica Mondillo’s Blog

Political Correctness: Indian vs. Native America

28 August 2008

Political correctness is always an issue and the question is where the line of too much is.  Some people think that has been crossed a long time ago.  Now my question involves the word “INDIAN.”

I never realized that the word “Indian” has finally crossed deep into the realm of being politically incorrect.  In an attempt to list an item on eBay (a site that tends to be notoriously strict on being politically correct), the listing was termed “illegal” according to their policies because it said “Indian” describing a native American on a motorcycle.

My question for everyone is: Is it wrong to use the term “Indian” to refer to Native Americans or is eBay being excessive?  Do people of Native American decent find the term “Indian” offensive and which term do they prefer to use to describe their heritage?

The reason I ask is for two reasons.  First of all I know many people of Native American decent and many of them refer to themselves as “Indians” or use the term interchangeably with “native Americans.” 

The second reason I ask this is my curriculum.  I only graduated from high school last year (2007) and during my public school education, and also my current college education at Boston University, I can remember several of my text books referring to Native Americans either interchangeably or in some cases exclusively as “Indians.”

I am wondering if my background was somehow severely limited or if I am not the only person who does not see the term “Indian” as offensive but as a term that was used (and still is) to describe Native Americans because Columbus had an incorrect belief, that he was in India and not a “new world,” when he reached the Americas.


Jetson Style Commuter Plane?

12 January 2008

I was on eBay this morning and the front page was advertising the commuter plane prototype.  The plane appeared to be designed to hold at most 2 people but maybe 4, it was hard to tell.

What I don’t understand is what is this plane accomplishing?  Yes, it will cut down travel time for the commuter meaning you can live farther from the city and still work there. 

But does it help the average person?  I’m going to say at least right now, no not really.  Granted I don’t know much about this plane but when it comes out, just like all technology it will be EXPENSIVE.  So the average person will not be able to afford the plane right away.  Fuel wise I don’t know what it runs on.  But if it is gas, there is another major problem.  Gas, a non renewable resource, is already expensive and being put into vehicles, many of which only get 10-15 miles per a gallon.  A plane gets substantially less gas milage and will therefore suck down more gas, making it an uneconomical way to travel.

Now on to air traffic.  Right now we have hundreds of large jets and air planes in the air and they need to be directed by air traffic control.  And they can’t be flown in bad weather.  A commuter plane would have many of the same problems.  As time goes on more people would be using these commuter planes, at least in theory.  Therefore there would be more traffic.

Now we have all seen drivers on the cell phone, either texting or calling people, on a lap top, reading, doing make up or other potentially hazardous activities during driving.   Do we really want inattentive people in the air where they can cause more accidents, that are much more dangerous?

In the Jetson’s commuter planes were widely used.  Right now I don’t think the world is ready for commuter planes.  I don’t think the TV cartoon concept was thoroughly thought about before scientists and inventors tried to make it a reality.  We are just moving the traffic problem into the sky where it will be more dangerous if there are collisions.

Maybe I am missing information on this plane.  If anyone can offer me more information, please do.  I will gladly correct anything I have said if that information changes it.