The other night I found a topic on the forums of Gaia Online. They were discussing whether dressing up as a Native American was offensive or not. This, of course, got me to thinking when I was told I’d offend people if I were to dress up as Sacajawea.
Most of the people who replied said that it is offensive and one person said it was racist. It was quite a few pages long, but I read through all the replies and someone brought up about other cultures, is it offensive to dress as a Gypsy, as a Geisha, etc. Someone asked if it would be offensive to French people if someone were to dress as Marie Antoinette. Someone replied that no, it wouldn’t be offensive since she is a historical figure.
Sacajawea is also a historical figure, so is Pocahontas and many other Native Americans. Being Native myself, there are definitely things that I find offensive and wrong. I also know that I am in the minority here, not being offended if someone dresses up as an Indian for Halloween. Perhaps me not being offend could get me accused of thinking white, or even being a bad Indian, but I just can’t bring myself to be offend by it. If I was, then I would need to be offended by pretty much every Halloween costume there is. Most costumes have to do with other cultures, old ways of life, etc. I think pretty much the only costumes people can’t be offended by are super heroes, video game characters and costumes that are of cans of Coke and Soup. (My local K-mart is carrying costumes that are cans of Coke and Soup lol)
Because if you think about it, Witch costumes for example, could be offensive to people who are witches or Wiccans. Perhaps even someone dressing as Marie Antoinette could be offensive to someone.
So, perhaps I am a bad Indian for not being offended. But I think there are far more important things to be upset about than a Halloween costume. Earlier this year a young Indian girl got in trouble with her teacher for speaking her Native language. In a school in Arizona, books by Native American and Spanish authors were banned. But no one made a really big deal of either of these things that happened.
I hope this post doesn’t offend anyone, that’s definitely not my intention here. These are just my thoughts on the matter and I would hope they aren’t offensive.