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Tom Morello Celebrates Indian Mascots and Other Fantastic Fails You Might Have Missed

Musician and activist Tom Morello, Spokane, Washington NAACP President Rachel Dolezal, and the Pew Research Center made this week's fail list.

Last week produced so many mind-blowing blunders that it’s only appropriate that I lash together a small list to highlight the top three:

1. Tom Morello celebrates Indian mascots. No, really. He did.

Tom Morello, the former lead guitarist of the politically-conscious band Rage Against the Machine, and then later the lesser celebrated Audioslave, took to Twitter on Thursday to thank the Chicago Blackhawks for an “amazing time” after he attended a game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks, who are in the Stanley Cup Finals, have faced criticism for their smirking Indian head logo. Tom Morello, know your enemy.

2. NAACP president says she was born in a teepee.

Rachel Dolezal. Photo courtesy

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For years, the president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington Rachel Dolezal has lived the life of a multiracial black woman and educator of black history. That was until last week when Dolezal made headlines after her parents said their daughter was “born Caucasian.” But here’s the trip (that no one other than Native Americans have been drawing attention to): Dolezal, who also says she has Native American blood – of which her parents do not dispute – claims she was born in a teepee and hunted with a bow and arrow, something mainstream media and the American consciousness at large hasn’t called into question (only her black identity has been subjected to broad scrutiny). Rachel Dolezal: Super fail.

3. Pew Research Center fails to consider the “quarter Cherokee” factor.

For a survey on the growing number of multiracial Americans in the U.S., the Pew Research Center reported last week that white people who claim to have American Indian heritage make up at least half of the country’s multiracial population. This group is also more likely to be politically conservative, the report found. But the problem, Native American critics say, is that it is increasingly “trendy” to claim indigenous North American heritage, and that the Pew Research Center should have done a better job to make it clear that those who claimed Native American parentage on the survey were not asked to provide any type of proof. The researchers did, however, provide a section stating that white participants who claimed Indian heritage reported that they have little to no ties with their alleged Native American background, and that they relate more to their white counterparts, which could, in part, be due to similar features, according to the report. Pew, this survey stinks. Mega fail.

Simon Moya-Smith

Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, is the Culture Editor of ICTMN. Follow him @simonmoyasmith.