Since October, I have been wanting to talk about something that is on the mind of many indigenous people. White people dressing as Native Americans. I understand that indigenous people have suffered a great deal and still do, I get it. There is so much I want to say about it. If it is anything I despise is pride. I do not like Black pride, gay pride, female or male chauvinists, or any type of activists for that matter. They are just as arrogant as the ones who were conveying a hateful behavior in the first place.
First of all, I would like to tell indigenous people that there are people who want to be you. Impersonation is a form of flattery. There are white people who do bead work and try to replicate what Native Americans have made in the past. Did it occur to you that maybe there are people who like you? Or do you want hatred to linger on? Sometimes when I ask people if they are American Indian, they say, “I wish.” People want to be you. As much as your tribes have been through, we want to be in your shoes.
I honestly think that we should be doing what indigenous people have done. We have disrespected our only home for a long time. We have destroyed many tribes that have been telling us to be more respectful. Ancient ruins are a reflection of how we treated the natives. Why not try to be a native? I think it would make this world a better place. In fact, it would probably solve the issue we have with pollution. Tear down a tree; plant another one. Why not? It’s a wonderful idea.
I saw an article posted online stating, “No, It’s Cool. Not Like Your Ancestors Killed Them Or Anything.” with a picture of a white couple dressed as natives. I can understand how one would feel if someone is wearing something that belongs to another culture just to make a fashion statement. What if one is trying to make a statement about a topic? What if someone admires your culture and wants to be a part of it? I like wearing things from various cultures because it is comfortable; I’m not trying to make a statement. Also, you have good taste.
Would it be better for a Native American to dress as a pilgrim? Do you think you will get a response? I don’t think anyone would give a shit. Every culture has gone through suffering. Many cultures are here because they were chased out of their country for their faith or race. No, it does not justify people coming over here and butchering natives. Native Americans were not the only culture to be butchered here.
I know that Native Americans went through a ton here. My dad’s side of the family was in Preston taking in the Shoshone who survived the Bear River Massacre. The Shoshone were massacred for the simple fact that they were stealing because they were starving. How petty is that? Yes, I am well aware and yes, there were people there to take them under their roof. There are people here that care a great deal about indigenous people. Many of us know how important you are.
People do respect natives. Many of us white people are more than happy to help you. Besides, many white people didn’t just travel here recently and we really don’t have a choice, but to be here. Many of us want to be just like you and want to be a part of different cultures.