If a kid came to your door dressed as a native, as a Native American yourself, how would you react? would you react at all? what if it was an adult at a costume party, and they were dressed in a sexy or provactive manner? I think we can agree it is offensive on some level, but how serious is it for you? Would you confront them? Is it worth protesting over? These are some of the issues we talk about in this edition of the Puyallup Native Podcast available online at nativetalk.net. It’s also available right here, where you can download the show audio file without going anywhere.
Halloween is just over a week away, which means it’s time for a Halloween pile! In Sacramento, California a homeless woman was walking down the street when the police were immediately called. No, not (only) because she’s homeless, but because she was holding a stick with a human skull on the end of it. Then if you like spooky experiences, Airbnb is offering a night alone for 2 at the famed Draculas Castle. Including secret passageways, meals of blood, and instead of a bed – you actually sleep in a coffin. From the Haunted House Association, the top reasons to visit a haunted house this year (including a few haunted house stories of our own)
Then in the second segment, we start with ‘sexy Halloween costumes’. Things like sexy fish. Sexy Alexander Hamilton. Sexy Computer Hacker. Sexy Skunk. Police Officer, Viking, Eskimo, and Native American Princess. That one in particular has sparked some controversy, as it does every year. It has long been a complaint that non-natives are and have been actively engaging in what is known as cultural appropriation. This is a real thing, and is in my opinion somewhat offensive. As a native myself, I have never dressed as a stereotypical native (aside from Indian dancing groups and competitions I engaged in as a boy scout). It is rarely appropriate, and if I saw a small child at my door dressed as a native, yes I would likely scoff – but would not say anything. What I’m saying here is I don’t believe it is a major issue, and if a push is made to eliminate it as a costume, I fear in today’s ultra PC culture, they would not stop there. The Eskimos, Vikings, even police officers and firemen. It could be argued that they have a culture special to them as well, and dressing as they do in a similar stereotypical manner could be viewed the same way. Essentially it is the slippery slope argument, and most of these I have no problem with. I don’t think the children or adults engaging in this behavior mean any harm – and I strongly believe that as we Natives push our culture and beliefs to the forefront of society yet again, the natural progression of society will see these types of things phased out naturally, without any major outcry from us. Contrary to what some believe, most folks are pretty decent. Protesting things like this is not how you win hearts and minds.
For me, it just isn’t a banner issue. but maybe I’m wrong. If i am tell me. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts.
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Cliff and Brandon are both registered members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and host the Tribal Podcast each and every week with all our past episodes available online. They talk about native issues in the news and anything of interest to Native Americans! Comment on this show via Facebook, or email us directly. We always love to hear from listeners to the show!