So, I am European or, as Americans like to put it, “white.”

I speak for myself, NOT for anybody else. I don’t feel authorized to speak for anybody else, let alone another community. I can’t know another person’s soul, and the only upbringing that I know is my own.

But I am human.

And I respect other humans.

As a newcomer to this land, I know that stereotyping is an American sport. It is very much in your face if you grew up elsewhere. Being stereotyped by those who don’t understand your culture and never visited your home, is annoying as hell.

But I think that when it comes to stereotyping American indigenous people in their own land, and using their spiritually significant symbols for costumes, it’s a whole different level of obnoxiousness.


You know what, when somebody dons a Russian winter hat and speaks with a ridiculously fake accent while expecting to be praised for their wit, I can take it. I will think a few very unflattering thoughts in my head, but I won’t be hurt by it.

Idiots are a fact of life, IGNORE.

But if somebody from a group who had murdered my people showed up and started “impersonating” my family, my heart would be tempted to explode.

Freedom of speech, like any other freedom, is contextual, and comes with responsibility.

Forget political correctness, I don’t care for political correctness, political correctness is a dead algorithm that as far as I am concerned is only dear to the American corporate powers while the rest of the world laughs at it. (See how I just spoke for the rest of the world? Nice one – but true!)

So again, I don’t care for political correctness one rotten bit. But insulting human beings whose ancestors’ blood is all over this land, is unthinkable to me, and it has to do with basic decency, not with any algorithmic sloganeering.

There was a time when I didn’t think about any of it because I didn’t know any actual American indigenous people (a chilling notion if you ponder it). That has changed, and now that I am aware, the thought of coming anywhere near a Native “costume” seems absurd.

You can be passionately in favor of free speech all the way (like I am – even more so because I was raised without it), and in favor of hearing out every opinion – right or wrong – and trying to honestly untangle the emotion that drives it. All of this is healthy and inevitable if we want to maintain any kind of a community. Without intelligent dialogue, we are dead in the water. Yes, you can crave actual freedom of expression and at the same time not be a shallow crybaby who thinks that their freedom stands for the right to act out every whim, at the expense of basic decency.

Each of us has the physical ability to do many things that are not ethical or honorable, it doesn’t mean we should.

How difficult is it to see a fellow human being behind the lame stereotype, and just respect that fellow human being even if you don’t entirely understand their culture? Not understanding everything is fine!

For fuck’s sake.

 


Thread. Corporations will do anything in their power for profit, and they thrive on dumb consumers who are addicted to their crap. That’s a fact of life. But we, human beings, don’t have to be lame or addicted to their crap that insults real people. Refusing to disrespect another culture does not make one weak, it makes one human and civilized.

Photo credit: ‘Manifest Destiny’ By John Gast (painter) (Jared Farmer), via Wikimedia Commons

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