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Chasco Fiesta mocks Native Americans

The Chasco Krewe float is more than an example of political incorrectness — it's ethically wrong. Many of these invented Indians are New Port Richey businessmen and prominent members of the community who say they are honoring Native Americans. I don't consider exploitation an honor. It doesn't take a genius to see a civil rights violation behind the garish costumes and beads. It is a misrepresentation, stereotypical, appropriation of Native American identities that should stop.

Dehumanizing native people by prancing around in beads and feathers, wearing Hooters-type costumes and poking fun at our culture makes their version of Native Americans look more like a bunch of cartoon characters instead of real people.

Academics and organization such as the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association have stated that Native American stereotypes harm the psychological welfare of young Native Americans. Our young people need positive re-enforcement, not demeaning antics and symbols that disrespect our culture.

We are aware that money from the Chasco event goes to charities but charities shouldn't have to take money from events that hurt others.

Ruby Beaulieu, executive director American Indian Movement of Florida, Hudson

Chasco Fiesta mocks Native Americans 03/21/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 21, 2009 4:31am]
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