Mel Gibson Denounces Yeagley
When a man like Mel Gibson, raised by a "fundamentalist Catholic" who asserts the Holocaust was a hoax and the Catholic Church is too liberal and too modern, calls Yeagley a hateful man, that should tell us all just how extreme Yeagley's political and religious fundamentalism is.
When the maker of a notoriously inaccurate and stereotyped movie (Apocalypto, in case there's any doubt) denounces Yeagley as driven by jealousy and unhappiness with his own life, then maybe Yeagley should take the advice of this more famous bigot to heart.
After two newspaper articles that Yeagley pushed for backfired on him so badly, this third one which finally gives Youngblood a chance to sound off should give Yeagley fits for years.
And this site, its readers, and the many critics of Yeagley in Indian Country will take a great of joy in watching him squirm.
If anything, the article actually went too easy on Yeagley, not discussing Yeagley's false claims of being Comanche. But on the positive side, it did rightfully demote him from "pundit" to "blogger" and gave several examples of Yeagley's extreme racism and crackpot fanaticism.
'Apocalypto' Actor Fires Back on Heritage Claims
Youngblood defends his heritage.
April 18, 2007
By Lauren Horwitch
Not long before he received an award from First Americans in the Arts on April 14, actor Rudy Youngblood responded to blogger David Yeagley's assertions that the actor lied about his Native American ancestry, as reported in Back Stage's April 12 news analysis ";Is He or Isn't He?"
Youngblood says he is unequivocally Comanche by blood and is baffled by Yeagley's claims. "I don't know him. I've never seen him. I've never talked to him. I've never crossed paths with him," said Youngblood. The accusations of fraud first appeared on Yeagley's website, BadEagle.com, and subsequently in articles in the Los Angeles Times and Back Stage.
Youngblood, who played Jaguar Paw in Apocalypto, Mel Gibson's 2006 epic, said he will not publicly state the names of his Comanche relatives in order to protect his family. According to Youngblood, Yeagley has already harassed some of those family members.
"It's the most disrespectful thing to have somebody badger or attack some of my family. You just don't do that," Youngblood said. "There are a lot of people in the Native community who know me, raised me, seen me as a kid, [and] grow up in our ways.... The guy doesn't know what he's talking about. I feel sad for him because he's making himself look ridiculous." He added that the statement on his Internet Movie Database biography that his mother is half African-American is incorrect.
The actor and former dancer with the Native American Dance Theatre said he will officially enroll in the Comanche Nation, which requires federal documents proving an individual is at least one-eighth Comanche Indian. "It's just taking the time. It's a long process. It's very drawn out. [But] it's not like I can't," he said.
When asked why Yeagley has singled him out for criticism, Youngblood noted the blogger critiques many individuals and groups on his site. Democrats, African Americans, and Muslims are currently three of his frequent subjects, in addition to the authenticity of Youngblood's ancestry. In an April 16 post on BadEagle.com addressing the shooting spree on the Virginia Tech campus, Yeagley wrote: "I blame liberals. Liberals have already disarmed the people, psychologically. People are afraid to defend themselves. The students at Virginia Tech were afraid to respond.... Thus, they are totally weak, and unprepared. They can only be victims."
In an April 16 post titled "Sick of Blacks?," Yeagley said Rutgers University women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer "led black people into the lowest state of mind in the history of American Negro history. The queen of weakness, Stringer dramatized, in a spectacular way, the complete dissatisfaction of black people--with themselves."
And in an April 8 post about illegal immigration, he called for readers to "unite and oust the Muslims immediately.... A true Muslims [sic] is a traitor to America . Plain and simple. The reason they are here is to colonize, to build a Muslims [sic] nation within, and to take over America ."
Youngblood said his fame as a Native American actor does not require him to prove his ancestry to others in the Native community. "I understand I'm in the public eye, but there is a line.... I don't need to show anybody anything," he said.
It wasn't his intention to become a professional actor when he auditioned for a part in Apocalypto, his only film credit to date: "I never wanted to be famous; I still don't. This is a job, and like every job, you want to do it to the best of your ability, and that's what I'm doing here."
As advised by Gibson, his mentor, Youngblood said he will continue to ignore Yeagley and his supporters. "[Gibson] said, 'People like that will never be happy. Jealousy eats at you, and all they have is driven by hate.' "
"I'm not going to say anything to [Yeagley]. I'm going to let him talk," Youngblood added. "Instead of doing something productive, he wastes his time behind a computer talking bad about people.... I'm not going to waste my time with that."