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To whom this may concern;
Thank you for your opinion. I am well aware that I am not native. I didn’t mean for my costume to appear as though I was Native. I wanted to look as though a 19th century woman had traveled to Canada and had clearly picked up the clothing appearances of a trapper, and been influenced by local inhabitance. The weaponry was modified to appear more technologically advanced (making it accurate to steampunk) then a standard bow and arrow. The feather in the hair is because clearly I have no idea how to dress accordingly. I have admitted to that. OPENLY. Not to mention, apologized for.
The thing that really pisses me off (and the only reason for my second explanation for my costume) is the comment about appropriation, as well as the ‘white’ comments.
Are you just including Native American’s to this list of cultures that those of us with ‘white privilege’ are not allowed to emanate? Or is it every culture?
I will have you know, I have worn Kimono’s and Sarees to special events around Toronto. (Both of which I own 2 sets of and are authentic.) I have taken college programs on Japanese culture, history and language studies. I spent much of my childhood growing up with my mother’s friend who lived with us; she was from China. I learned how to speak mandarin, and have photos of me as a child wearing traditional Chinese dress with all of her nieces and nephews. (One tall, chubby, blond haired and blue eyed, white kid amongst 7 Asian children.) In no way had I ever offended anyone for dressing as such.
These things are not worn or studied because I want to appropriate the culture they come from; it was because I was brought up to love everyone no matter what their ethnicity or gender. I have been taught to embrace everyone, including they’re culture.
Isn’t the intent more important than outside opinion? I know it’s not realistic to expect people to be reasonable about some things. But how is my admiration and love of someone’s culture an insult to anyone? How can you turn my respect for ethnic clothing, something so positive, into something so negative?
For you to say that people with ‘white privilege’ are simply assimilating another’s culture while wearing ethnic clothing, merely on the pretence that they can, is disgusting and degrading to anyone who dresses in ethnic clothing, partakes in other ethnic experiences or wears costumes to represent another’s culture.
Because I am human, means nothing to you, but because I am white, means everything. Would you be making these remarks if I were Hispanic, or African American?
If you were to say I have disrespected you by running around in a form of ‘Black Face’ I would understand. In fact if that was the case I probably wouldn’t have had an intelligent thing to say, and would have simply disregarded your comment. But I have not, and am not, and I will not stand for anyone believing that my costume was maid out of racial hate, or a mere simple minded whim.
In my opinion to make a judgment on the colour of my skin makes you no better then any white racist. You talk as if the way YOU speak is OK; as if it’s excusable because whites in the past used to commit racism, so let’s just go for an eye for an eye and not evolve.
I’ve never oppressed anyone. I have never called anyone a racial slur, and yet you feel it appropriate to label me? You don’t know anything about me. You have taken a photograph and judged me with a stereotype that is outdated. Your comments are made largely upon the oppression placed on Native American’s by white people - done in a time long past. I was born in 1989, not 1889. I am unable to undo this past done to you by the people who settled here.
This type of racial hate may have been started by white people, but it is carried by those who have been hated upon. The only way to end racism is to learn from it, repair the damage, and move one into a happy existence of equality.