Would you dress as Auschwitz for Halloween?
University students should remember the past transgressions against American Indians
By Katelyn Krause
This subjugation of one American Indian Nation is probably the most publicly known, and yet it accounts for only about .0017 percent of the Native American genocide. More than 12 million American Indians were killed in the Native American genocide, which is comparable to the number of deaths attributed to the Holocaust. We at the AISU do not wish to blame anyone for their actions concerning the portrayal of American Indians at theme parties or during Halloween, and acknowledge that even this “Trail of Tears” costume idea probably did not arise from malicious intent. It most likely arose from ignorance concerning the history of Native Americans and the genocide of nearly our entire race and culture.
No malicious intent? The person presumably knew what "Trail of Tears" means or he wouldn't have chosen the costume. So he intentionally chose a costume representing the deaths of 4,000 people.
Ignorant doesn't begin to describe the stupidity of this choice. It's very much like wearing a slavery or Japanese internment or Auschwitz costume. If you understand that these are offensive choices, how could you not understand it about a "Trail of Tears" costume?
I'd suggest the intent probably was malicious. Like people who adopt phony Indian costumes, the message is: "I'm a superior white person pretending to be an inferior Indian one. Indians were primitive and savage while I'm modern and civilized. We kicked their butts and that makes me feel good about my white/Christian/American identity."
But even if the intent was "benign," who cares? So he was an ignorant racist rather than a malicious racist...so what? Regardless of what went on in his little mind, the harm was the same. Once again someone told the world that we can freely mock and belittle Indians. In other words, that they're not real people with real feelings. That they don't matter.
For more on Halloween costumes, see Sophie Turner's "Poca-Hotness" and Whites Defend "Right" to Be Racist.
Below: More Halloween costumes for the terminally stupid: