Any Indians out there feel like partying like it's 1492? Maybe getting a new pair of jeans to celebrate Columbus Day?
Let's think a moment
Actually, it would help if the ad was more specific. Are we supposed to party like it's October 11, 1492? Or like it's October 12, 1492? Because there's a big difference.
Oct. 11 would make sense. If it were Oct. 11, Natives could party as if they were living in peace and harmony with the world. As if they were unconquered and untainted by disease or Christianity. They might rue the knowledge that all good things must end, but that's something we all must face.
Meanwhile, Euro-Americans could party as if they were about to discover the mother lode of riches. Two continents full of natural resources (gold, crops, slaves) practically free for the taking. Arguably the greatest gift ever given to the world--a gift from God since it was unearned and unjustified.
Oct. 12 would make much less sense. Natives wouldn't have much to celebrate if that were the date Old Navy was thinking of. But Euro-Americans could kick up their heels. An endless supply of heathens to rape and pillage from, enslave, and Christianize. It must've seemed like Christmas in October to Columbus and his men.
In the ad, Old Navy flashes many of the 1,492 items on sale. This embarrassment of riches seems to suggest that the golden age is upon us. Columbus found his treasure and customers can find theirs at Old Navy. Party like it's 1492!
Hmm. Did Old Navy think about these things when it created its ad campaign? I'm guessing...not. Luckily they have us to do their thinking for them.
I'm glad to see someone else had a reaction similar to mine:
Party Like It's 1492--Old Navy, Capitalism, and Genocide
Of course, it's not that surprising that a bourgeois chain like Old Navy that caters to mostly suburban upper-middle class White people would so mangle the truth for their own commercial gain. Truth goes out the window when there's a quick buck to make.
And the consumers that buy into this system, those currently shopping at Old Navy during this sale, who have forgotten the real events of 1492, those slaves to fashion--perhaps they should stop to consider truly what slavery means, their slavery to consumerism, and the barbaric slavery of the Natives of the Americas (and also, later, our brothers and sisters in Africa). It was and is this very slavery that built the foundation of the consumerist world in which we live today.
Below: An Old Navy ship heads for a great deal on clothing and Indians. In other words, it sails for sales!