One thing that angers me the most is to see when a marginalized group further oppresses another marginalized group just to raise themselves up, instead of helping each other. This vile act of supremacy can be seen within groups with colorism, I know in the Latino community it is a big issue. In The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven and Wide Sargasso Sea there were serval instances where similar groups degraded each other. In my opinion, the usage of this particular interaction leads a very raw natural feel to the stories.
In wide Sargasso Sea race is truly depicted as a spectrum, with more than white and black existing as the major races. Daniel, a male character who claimed to be the half-brother of Antoinette and that he had relations with her, considered himself “yellow”. He was supposable the son of a white man and an enslaved black woman, thus he was superior. He seemed to hate black people and didn’t want to be associated with him. He also wasn’t white. While this following example isn’t necessary between marginalized group I felt it was still of importance. Antoinette’s husband noticed that if he didn’t know of his wife’s linage he would see her as “white”, when on the Island she is “white”. Race becomes a more relative topic in Wide Sargasso Sea.
This line in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven resonated so much with me, “sharing dark skin doesn’t necessarily make two men brothers” (Alexie 178). While there were many racial comment in his “novel” that quote hurt me the most. Not just because it was about the way a Chicano acted because I identify as Chicana, but because it showed how sometimes minority groups don’t even support each other. This Chicano teacher, who should be supporting his students, assumed the worse about his student. He throws the drunk stereotype on an ingenious student who really just had diabetes. What if these students would have clapped back with “ you must be a ‘professional mountain climber’”, the hate this would have sparked. The saddest part about that quote was that it was said so casually, like doctrine, something in their daily lives which haven’t even been that long. There was another interaction between Victor and another indigenous woman from a different tribe. I am pretty sure that they sleep together and the women discovers that Victor has scars on him and her skin is clear and he walks out saying something like “you’re no better than me”. From my interpretation the woman wasn’t implying that she was better than him, but to a mind that is programed to belief of supremacy I can see how he would have interpreted it as him being demeaned.
These displays of supremacy over other groups based on skin color or other aspects of someone just breed hate, and in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven Alexie did a great job of indirectly mentioning a way to help get pass this. In the chapter of Imagining the Reservation, one of the character talks about forgiveness being the energy he expels.
Alexie, Sherman, and Jess Walter. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Grove Press, 2013.