'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Gyasi Ross grew up decades after the "Lone Ranger" aired on TV, but his friends would still call him "Tonto" when they teased him.
The making of a new "Lone Ranger" Disney movie, and the announcement that Johnny Depp is playing sidekick Tonto, have reawakened feelings about a character that has drawn much criticism over the years as being a Hollywood creation guilty of spreading stereotypes.
The first "Lone Ranger" did that, as did "Dances with Wolves" decades later, said Mr. Ross, a lawyer who also writes a column for Indian Country Today.
"Everybody understands who Tonto is, even if we hadn't seen the show, and we understood it wasn't a good thing," said Mr. Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana who lives and has family in the Suquamish Tribe outside Seattle. "Why else would you tease someone with that?"