December 24, 2012

"Native American Christmas Gangnam Dance"

Family Dressed as Indians for Christmas Doing Gangnam Style: 'No Offense Intended'This came over the Twitter wire a short time ago from our friend @NativeApprops--she wrote:In case you forgot in the midst of #IdleNoMore how most of the US sees us: "Native American-Christmas-Gangam-Dance"The video below is of a white family who, for reasons unknown, have dressed as Indians for their Christmas gathering. And as you might expect, "Gangnam Style" ensues. The explanation posted to YouTube:Unfortunate intersection of a Native American themed Christmas family reunion dancing to Gangnam Style.

PS - No offense intended to our native american friends!
Comments on the video are piling up fast and furious, but perhaps the best is the simplest, from user uttja:To be clear: saying, "No offense" does not in fact make this inoffensive.
Comment:  The people who posted the video have removed it and the comments. Presumably because too many people excoriated the creators for their blatant racism.

Fortunately, we have a screen shot from the video. I think it gives you the basic idea.

I trust I don't have to explain what's wrong with this.

Who posted the video?

The phrase "unfortunate intersection" suggests that the people who danced aren't the ones who posted the video. Perhaps the posters were bystanders who happened to come across the dancing family and filmed them. Or perhaps the family posted the video on another site and someone reposted it.

If the people who posted it weren't the dancing family, that sheds a different light on the "no offense" comment. The posters may have posted the video to illustrate the racism and stereotyping in our culture, not to revel in its ridiculousness.

This is the reason Native Appropriations and I often post "offensive" material: to expose our society's prejudice against Indians. If that was the posters' intent, then no apology is necessary.

For more on the subject, see Racist "Make Me Indian" App and What's Wrong with No Doubt's Video.

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