November 11, 2011

"PocaHotAss" doesn't offend people?

After the news that Bedlam's "PocaHotAss" party in Atlanta was canceled, I debated a bit more with the party's supporters.

I was particular interested in those who said the party's theme didn't offend them. In response, I posted this note on my Facebook wall:

Fascinating how many white people say they're "not offended" when other white people mock and insult minorities. It's like, who freakin' cares whether you're offended, white people? Your dogs probably aren't offended either. So the hell what?

Typical white-person rationalization from US history: "I wasn't offended by the Japanese internment camps or the Jim Crow laws. They didn't affect me. I didn't even know about them."

Gee, thanks for your input. That was really helpful.

Indians aren't offended?

A couple people said they knew Indians who weren't offended either. A few responses to that:

  • I know Indians who were offended. I saw their comments on Bedlam's Facebook page. Looks to me like they outnumbered your handful of Native friends.

  • But suppose the numbers were roughly. Would offending only half the Native population be a valid argument for holding the event? I don't think so.

  • Most of the Indians you know are probably young, "hip," and urban like yourself. Of course they're gonna be less likely to object. Try asking some traditional Indians on the rez. Make sure you include women and elders who may not appreciate your sexual objectification.

  • Also make sure you explain the whole thing. It's not even close to sufficient to say you're holding a party with an "Indian" theme. Or a "Pilgrims and Indians" party. Those are as misleading as saying the protest was about a "costume."

  • Be sure you say the party's theme was "PocaHotAss." Which sounds like "Poke a Hot Ass," which is a euphemism for sex with a Native woman. Note the statistics on the sexual violence against Native women, since they may not be aware of the problem.

  • The people you really should ask aren't random Indians who may not know anything about Pocahontas. No, you really should ask members of her tribe--i.e., those who have a personal connection to her. These people were offended by the mild stereotypes in Disney's Pocahontas movie. I'm guessing they'd find the "PocaHotAss" theme much more offensive.

  • When you do all those things, then you can talk about how the people you surveyed weren't offended by your "PocaHotAss" party. Until then, no.

    For more on Pocahontas, see Pocahontas Statue in Previews and Sophie Turner's "Poca-Hotness."

    Below:  The real "Poke a hot ass."

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