Chasco Krewe float is offensive
So, if this is true, a white organization's application for an African float would be approved. I can see it now, blackface, spears, and leopard skirts. Or picture this, a Catholic church applies for a float with dancing nuns throwing communion wafers. Nothing wrong, it's only about ethnicity and spirituality, right?
Some time ago, the American Indian Movement's education director, David Narcomey, met with officials of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Chasco officials to explain why the Chasco Krewe float was offensive and racist to Native Americans. The response was a big ho hum. It's too bad that a little social conscientiousness didn't result from that meeting.
The American Indian Movement isn't against parades or other community events that provide fun for families. However, activities that demean other people's culture and spirituality are not acceptable.
It's not only politically correct, but ethically right to ban racist floats such as the Chasco Krewe.
Ruby Beaulieu, director, AIM Florida Chapter, Port Richey
Beaulieu's African example makes this plain. How would it not be a political statement to portray blacks as primitive and superstitious savages? This portrayal would be a direct attack on their battles for social and economic justice. On the very presumption that they were created equal with certain inalienable rights.
The same is true of the Chasco Krewe float. Portraying Indians as primitive people of the past serves to keep them in their place. The minstrel-style mockery helps to ensure that no one will take them or their issues seriously.
"These savages are dead and gone," most Americans think after seeing such stereotypes. If they see real Indians in suits or jeans, it creates cognitive dissonance in their minds. They're unable to process the fact that Indians are alive and thriving, so they seek ways to deny it.
So they accuse Indians of playing the "race card" to get government handouts. They call Indians greedy and corrupt for seeking to open casinos. Perhaps worst of all, they point to the Indians' mixed blood and say they're not real Indians.
According to these naysayers, today's Indians are phonies, frauds, and charlatans. These "Indians" care only about enriching themselves by playing the politics of "victimization." Sending that kind of message is the implicit agenda of those who stereotype Indians.
For more on the subject, see Chasco Fiesta Mocks Indians and The Political Uses of Stereotyping.
Below: Political propaganda or harmless fun? How does the message change if we remove the Indian from the poster and put him on a parade float? Or on a package, in a movie, or in a sports game?
Answer: It doesn't. The message is the same in each context: "Indians are savages, so beware!"