March 05, 2010

AIM to protest Chasco Krewe

Chasco parade protest takes shape

By Carl OrthProtesters might make more noise at this year's Chasco Fiesta street parade March 20 over what they regard as Hollywood-style stereotypes of American Indians.

The American Indian Movement began publicizing its protest Web page last week, said Ruby Beaulieu, executive director of the Florida chapter of AIM.

The greatest wrath is reserved for the float of the Krewe of Chasco, "a group of white men, women and children who dress in 'red face' and Hollywood costumes," Beaulieu wrote.

"They will soon don their headdresses, beads and buckskin, whoop and holler 'Ugh' and 'How' while claiming they are honoring Native Americans," Beaulieu wrote. "Prancing around in their Indian costumes displaying racist behavior is not what defines an honor. It is blatantly insulting and offensive to our culture and spirituality."

The group is asking people to complain to sponsors and the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce, which supervises the annual festival.
Comment:  This is a longstanding problem, which is why it earned a dishonorable mention in my Stereotype of the Month contest for August 2000. Apparently nothing much has changed since then.

For more on the subject, see Phony "Mayokis" in Pensacola Fiesta and Chasco Fiesta Mocks Indians.

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