Here’s one of the various problems with, for example, “dressing up as a Native American” for Halloween:
Society defines “Native American” or “American Indian” as a racial group. There are a whole different host of problems with this (for example, it erases the diversity of the thousands of cultures and tens of millions of individuals that lived in the Americas in the pre-Columbian era), but for the moment I won’t address these issues, I’ll be addressing a different issue.
So, if Native American is a racial group, akin to black, white, Asian, et cetera, then “dressing up as a Native American” by putting on knock-off stereotypical plains-Indian garb is as racist as putting on black-face and saying that you’re going to be an African American for Halloween. A culture, a race (even if race is societally constructed), an ethnic group is not a costume, is not a set of tropes and stereotypes.
You don’t get to be a Chinaman for Halloween, you don’t get to be part of the Jim Crow Show for Halloween, just like you don’t get to be a Native American for Halloween. I mean, you can technically do what you want, but the bottom line is that it’s racist.
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- classylikeboxedwine said: I totally agree with you Jordan, nobody dresses up like a white or black or asian american for halloween
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