The actress and singer Hilary Duff went to a Halloween party dressed as a sexy pilgrim. Her companion went as an Indian.
An American Indian of course. And by the way, I'm using the term "Indian" over the more politically correct "Native American" because I think it's annoying and perhaps even discriminatory to saddle an ethnic or social group with a two-word name. Multi-letter acronyms are of course also okay.
If that offends you, that's weird since you're the one who wants to impose on Native Americans a name half derived from a 15th century white Catholic colonialist.
But to get back to the issue at hand, doesn't a Pilgrim-Indian couple symbolize intercultural peace or understanding or something?
No (they explained). It's offensive!
Pussy Panic obviously goes out of her way not to offend people.
Why is it offensive (it's natural to ask)? The only answers I've seen are:
- Dressing up as as an Indian is intrinsically offensive.
- Anything publicly Indian is verboten given the current controversy over the Dakota Pipeline.
- Dressing up as a Pilgrim-Indian couple is offensive because the Pilgrims oppressed the Indians.
Just kidding. I don't like the Pilgrims much either. Weren't they Lutherans or something?
There is a movement afoot that asserts that dressing up as any "oppressed minority" (the list varies), even in the most neutral, tasteful or respectful manner, is wrong. This is because wearing such a costume illegitimately "appropriates" the culture.
That claim is even more insane.
Since when was merely wearing a costume appropriating anything?
But, for the sake of argument, let's grant the premise. The irony of course, is that the cultures that Thou Shalt not Appropriate tend to be the cultures that Thou Wouldn't Want to Appropriate in a Million Years anyway.
I already know how to play lacrosse.
Okay, that was a low blow, I apologize to all the Native American Nobel Prize winners.
Okay, okay, just kidding, just have some liquor and calm down.
Members of my culture (English WASPS) can handle our liquor very well, thank you. That's because we're all alcoholics.
I'm on my fifth cocktail already.
We're like the Irish but with more money.
Here is a Native Americans who is not a costume:
The irony here is that that short-lived "racist" comic treated Indians as, well, people - people who were sometimes heroes as well as villains. Sitting Bull isn't kidnapping the blonde. He's rescuing her. (The "red-devil" is the hook to get boys and girls to buy the mag. Anyway, boys often identify with misunderstood heroes.)
Redskin's Sitting Bull wasn't a victim.
The current haterati-approved view is that the only good Indian is a dork carrying a protest sign.
And they call us racist.
Haterati: the class of people who claim that anyone who disagrees with them on certain points of culture, politics or religion is a hater.
Here is Hilary Duff's Instagram apology:
See, some non-Indians are also not Nobel prize material.
And here (WARNING: PG Photo below) is a picture of Hilary Duff as a sexy pilgrim, engaging in a sexy quasi-lesbian pose with another sexy pilgrim.
As far as I know, Hilary Duff is not a lesbian. Therefore, by engaging in a quasi-lesbian pose, she is illegitimately appropriating lesbian culture. Or so it would seem. If not, why not?
There is no answer. Or, rather, the answer is this: Rule No. 1, we make the rules, hater.
And why aren't the descendants of the first settlers upset that she is appropriating their culture (in a mini-skirt, but still)?
Sorry to be so flippant. Let me spoil things by ending on a serious note: Why does mainstream American culture appear to believe that donning an Indian costume for Halloween is far more offensive than a weak gin and tonic?