November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving pub crawls in Indian costumes

Apparently the negative publicity about Indian mascots and costumes hasn't reached some people. The latest offensive trend is Thankgiving-themed pub crawls.

We begin with Robin Leach, the former host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, who is as clueless as his history suggests:

Strip Scribbles: ‘Innocent’ pre-Thanksgiving parties rankle Native Americans

By Robin LeachIt’s the latest absurdity of political correctness overstepping reality and trying to squash the fun of Las Vegas. A group of Native Americans is protesting plans by Las Vegas nightclubs over themed Thanksgiving costume parties where guests will wear Pilgrims and Indians outfits.

“It’s totally innocent on our part, and no disrespect or harm were intended,” nightlife party queen Tiffany Masters told me. “To call us racist is over the top. Two of us organizing one party have Native bloodlines. Another organizer has a Native daughter and really doesn’t appreciate this un-necessary drama. Our party this year is at Gold Lounge in Aria at CityCenter, and we used a model with fall foliage leaves instead of a costume.”

The protesters attacked social media sites of Las Vegas nightclub groups. “The Light Group is supporting us and is upset we’ve been singled out,” said Tiffany. “We won’t be threatened, but we have changed the name of our party to show our own sensitivity. But we still expect people will wear authentic costumes for the Thanksgiving parties. We can’t tell them what they can’t wear.

“We’ve had these parties for 10 years now every Thanksgiving Eve, and nobody has ever complained until now. It simply doesn’t make sense. All locals and nightlife industry people come together this night either because we are ‘orphans without family’ or are stuck working the holiday.”

I read some of the complaints, which stated: “Racism is real in Las Vegas. Am appalled at the audacity some event throwers in Vegas have toward my people. … It’s an incursion on me as a Native American. … I contacted several business owners because I think mockery should be stopped. … I am proud of my Native Line, and I don’t want it to be taken as a joke. … I believe in the celebration of cultures coming together—not the disrespect.”

I fail to see any racism or how a Thanksgiving Eve party with guests in Pilgrims and Native American costume shows disrespect. I didn’t hear any such accusations at Halloween, so I don’t think the wild accusations for Thanksgiving are deserved. Totally beyond me!
Leach didn't hear any of the dozens of Native "accusations" at Halloween? Perhaps his cocoon of white privilege cut off his hearing. Or perhaps he's an ignorant twit.

As I tweeted to him:3 Native protests over Halloween you missed: Ireland Baldwin tweets Indian costume / Toothpaste commercial shows stereotypical costume / Vanity Fair's "favorite" Indian costumeMore creepy crawls

Miami Pub Crawl Encourages Drinkers to Dress Up Like Native Americans for Thanksgiving

By Monique Jones

This Wednesday, Miami pub crawl organizing group Keep Crawling will run a Thanksgiving Costume Pub Crawl. Dressing in costume isn't required, but participants are encouraged to come as either a Pilgrim or Native American.

While most of the jokes one could make about dressing as a Pilgrim might include cracks about looking dowdy, dressing as a Native American is tremendously more problematic. It's also offensive.

To say Thanksgiving is a touchy time to mockingly dress up like a Native is an understatement. Conventional American lore states that Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the Pilgrims surviving their first winter in America with help from the Wampanoag tribe. However, this narrative is more of a tall tale that romanticizes the harsh effects of colonization, and overlooks the mistreatment of Natives that followed: shady political treaties, forced and often violent removal of tribes from their lands, and the spread of misinformation about "savages."
And:Despite all this, Keep Crawling stands by its decision to encourage crawlers to dress in costume. "We give our crawlers the option of dressing in theme of the holiday. It's up to them how they would like to dress to the crawl," said John Gaebe of Keep Crawling. "Our pub crawls are often holiday themed. We take no stance on the issue. We just provide a platform for people to have a good time and celebrate a national holiday."

So yeah, Miami, the choice is yours: dress in offensive "redface" and get hammered the day before Thanksgiving, or just go drinking on your own time without trampling on the culture of people who've been mistreated for centuries. Choose wisely.
And a similarly offensive event in San Diego--a "Pilgrims and Indians" themed party after a pub crawl:

Fortunately, there was some good news:

Drinking event that encouraged Native 'costumes' canceledA Thanksgiving-eve drinking event that encouraged participants to wear Native American "costumes" has been canceled.

The Thanksgiving Costume Pub Crawl was to take place this evening in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The organizers canceled the event but didn't explain why in a post on Facebook.
The post itself said:ATTENTION CRAWLERS:
The Thanksgiving Pub Crawl has been canceled.
The Thanksgiving Pub Crawl has been canceled.
The Thanksgiving Pub Crawl has been canceled.
The Thanksgiving Pub Crawl has been canceled.

Our sincerest apologies. We will be pushing the Coral Gables route back to a later date. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! We hope to see you on the next crawl!
Comment:  For more on "Pocahotties," see Pocahotties Show Depth of Microaggressions and Tanning Salon Promotes Indian "Color."

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