On last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps was caught on film making questionable (if not completely racist) remarks about Native Americans, which she claims her father was (even though she’s said he’s French Canadian–it’s all a bit confusing). Now, of course, she is denying there was anything wrong with her comments.
“Let the facts speak for themselves. The US Census Bureau surveyed people of various races and what they liked to be called and over 49 percent of American Indians preferred to be called American Indian while 37 percent said that Native American was their preference,” she wrote on her Bravo blog (it should be noted that I was unable to find where The Countess got this information).
“Furthermore, the museums dedicated to the American Indian heritage in Washington D.C. and New York City are both called the Museum of the American Indian. I think the Indian people have spoken and Carole doesn’t seem to be listening,” she wrote.
Carole Radziwill, who called LuAnn out for what she thought was offensive language at dinner, also stuck to her guns about why what LuAnn said was derogatory.
“The term ‘Indian’ is a pejorative term, here and in Canada, too,” Carole wrote on her Bravo blog. “I have Indian friends. They’re from India. LuAnn’s just messing with me, right? She has to be. Columbus thought he landed in India and called the people he saw Indians. He didn’t and they’re not. They’re Native Americans. It’s not complicated.”
In addition to her ignorant comments, Carole took some shots at LuAnn’s reason for talking about her heritage to begin with.
“It seems to me that LuAnn calls attention to her background not out of pride but out of vanity,” she wrote. “Pride is about your opinion of yourself. Vanity is how you would like others to see you. In this case LuAnn wants people to think she is exotic, so she refers to her background without knowing much about it. We have a shameful past with the Native Americans in this country–we nearly annihilated the native population and have a long history of negative stereotypes and discrimination toward them. Call me crazy, but I think jokes about scalping and rape and pillage are inappropriate.”
But The Countess isn’t letting Carole’s comments affect her opinions any more than she’s taking responsibility for her actions.
“Lately Carole never seems to miss an opportunity to criticize me,” she wrote. “Have you noticed that when I say ‘tomato’ she says ‘tomahto?’ She never seems to pass up an opportunity to put me down and while I’m trying to polite and friendly, I do have my limits.”
What do you think? Were LuAnn’s comments out of line?
(Image courtesy of Bravo)