A social-justice blog published an article detailing six (six!) steps to follow if you face the horror of seeing a person dressed as an “Indian” for Halloween.
A blogger named “Adrienne K.” begins her 1,874-word-not-even-including-the-additional-428-word-update piece by painting the traumatic “scene:”
“The ‘buckskin,’ the beads, the feathers – probably a headdress of some sort,” she writes in the piece, titled “So Your Friend Dressed Up as an Indian. Now What?”
“Maybe some warpaint,” she continues. “Then, if you’re anything like me, you mentally go, “aw, @#$%.”
Personally, I would “mentally go” nothing — but that could just be my privilege talking.
After all, to Adrienne, this is very serious. So serious, in fact, that she just had to write an in-depth, six-step plan to help people deal with it. Obviously, there must be a lot of other people out there who are spending their time and mental energy stressing out over this and dying for this kind of guide.
First, she writes, she assesses who the person is. She concedes that although no one should yell at a child younger than ten about cultural appropriation (how nice!) few other situations would keep her from getting involved. She explains that whether or not she actually knows the person — or even if that person were her “boss or someone who has a position of authority that can affect [her] future life/career” — it would “not stop her from talking to the person.”
Yes — she would risk her career. Because this is really so important. After all, she explains, “these images continue” the “process” of “justify[ing] the genocide against Native peoples in this country.”
#share#Although she’s clearly very upset and considers this a very upsetting issue, Adrienne recommends not walking up to the person and saying “YOU’RE A DIRTY RACIST!!!” (good call!) and instead using “‘I phrases” such as “I’m hurt by your costume.”
#related#She warns that the confronted person — blinded by his or her own ignorance — might be defensive, and recommends following up with an e-mail containing “resources” if necessary. She, by the way, includes links to these kind of “resources” in her piece, such as an article titled, “A Cowboys and Indians Party Is Just as Bad as a Blackface Party.”
The blog, “Native Appropriations,” describes itself as “a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism, and more.”
It also contains a section titled “Natives Against Redsk*ns.” The word is censored with an asterisk.