"My grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, to European and African Americans (with or without Native American ancestry), the phrase is an innocent family legend, to Native Americans the phrase is a quiet dog whistle that, the person saying it, probably doesn't have Native American ancestry. The Cherokee societies are not, and have never been monarchies, there are no Cherokee princesses, and if the person saying so, had any relation to a Cherokee as recently as a grandmother, or even great grandmother, certainly, they would know that. In K. Wayne Yang's work "Decolonization is Not a Metaphor", Yang argues that the claim of a Indigenous American ancestor in the case of European Americans is a "move to innocence", reducing settle colonial guilt, by claiming to be partially of, the colonized group. In "Decolonization is Not a Metaphor, another question is posited, one which has stared us in the face the entire time but largely gone unnoticed; why isn't the Cherokee ancestor ever a Cherokee grandfather? The myth of the Cherokee grandmother can be easily reconciled with the psychology of settler colonial thinking, where a white frontiersman, or farmer ancestor marrying, or conceiving with an Aboriginal maiden is considered acceptable and even a natural aspect of colonization. However, for the ancestor to have been a male progenitor, for the settler colonialist thinker, this would be seen as an act of aggression, or to the truly racialist and ethnocentric; an act of racial warefare. The implications of the Cherokee Grandmother myth, are actually deeply embedded in the racial attitudes of settler colonialist views. Thus, to any one who might say "My grandmother was a Cherokee Princess", I would encourage them to learn more about Cherokee societies, or even find out which specific band or nation their grandmother belonged if they truly have a Cherokee grandmother, it would sound a little more credible than "Cherokee Princess".
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