‘All the years of calling the Indian a savage has never made him one.’
Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux.


Survival’s Stamp It Out campaign aims to challenge racist descriptions, however unwitting, of tribal peoples in the media.


What’s the problem?

Terms like ‘stone age’ and ‘primitive’ have been used to describe tribal people since the colonial era, reinforcing the idea that they have not changed over time and that they are backward.

This idea is both incorrect and very dangerous. It is incorrect because all societies adapt and change, and it is dangerous because it is often used to justify the persecution or forced ‘development’ of tribal peoples. The results are almost always catastrophic: poverty, alcoholism, prostitution, disease and death.

How can I help?

Survival would like you to be on the lookout for terms like ‘stone age’ and ‘primitive’ used to describe tribal peoples in the media today. When you spot one, please fill in one of our Stamp it Out e-cards with the information given below and send it to the editor.

How do I send Stamp it Out e-cards?

Fill in the form with the information given below and click “Send postcard to editor”.

Dear Editor ,

Your recent article/programme 

dated  

referred to the 

as

Terms like 'primitive' and 'stone age' have been used to describe tribal people since the colonial era. They reinforce the idea that these peoples have not changed for generations. But this is not true. All societies adapt and change - not just ours. Tribal people are no more 'savage' than the rest of us.

The idea that tribes are backward leads directly to their persecution. For example, it is claimed that forcibly developing tribes is 'for their own good', and helps them 'catch up' with the 'civilised' world. The results are almost always catastrophic: poverty, alcoholism, prostitution, disease and death.

I hope you will refrain from using such terms in the future.

Signed  
Email address * (required)  


Who can I send my Stamp It Out e-cards to?

Below is a list of recent articles or programmes you may wish to take
action on. Please fill in your e-card using the form above with
the following information:

  • Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2013. In a review of Jared Diamond’s book ‘The World Until Yesterday’, the author Stephen Budiansky refers to the tribes of New Guinea and others as ‘primitive’.
    Read the full article

Email the books editor Robert Messenger: robert.messenger@wsj.com

  • ABC (US), June 23, 2011. A segment on ‘World News With Diane Sawyer referred to an uncontacted tribe as ’living just as their ancestors did in the Stone Age’ Watch the full piece

Email Executive Producer Jon Banner: jon.banner@abc.com


Can I download Stamp it Out postcards in PDF?


Yes, you can..