Miami Pub Crawl Encourages Drinkers to Dress Up Like Native Americans for Thanksgiving

Categories: Culture

jjwainwright/Flickr Creative Commons
No. Just no.
This Wednesday, Miami pub crawl organizing group Keep Crawling will run a Thanksgiving Costume Pub Crawl. Dressing in costume isn't required, but participants are encouraged to come as either a Pilgrim or Native American.

While most of the jokes one could make about dressing as a Pilgrim might include cracks about looking dowdy, dressing as a Native American is tremendously more problematic. It's also offensive.

To say Thanksgiving is a touchy time to mockingly dress up like a Native is an understatement. Conventional American lore states that Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the Pilgrims surviving their first winter in America with help from the Wampanoag tribe. However, this narrative is more of a tall tale that romanticizes the harsh effects of colonization, and overlooks the mistreatment of Natives that followed: shady political treaties, forced and often violent removal of tribes from their lands, and the spread of misinformation about "savages."

That misinformation continues today, in the form of cultural appropriation. In 2012, Urban Outfitters was sent a cease and desist letter by the Navajo Nation for marketing a new "Navajo" line of tribal-patterned clothes and products despite the patterns not being authentic Navajo prints. This kind of marketing violated the Indian Arts and Crafts Act as well as Navajo beliefs about modesty (a Navajo Hipster Panty was one of the products for sale). Urban Outfitters' Navajo hip flask also was in direct contrast to the nation's reservation-wide ban on alcohol.

The Washington Redskins NFL team is facing pressure to change their name, which is a racial slur against Natives. It's been the team name since 1933. According to the Wrap, 76 journalists and media outlets have pledged to no longer use the term. President Obama himself has stated that it would be in the best interest for the team to change its name. However, the team's owner, Dan Snyder, is a staunch supporter of the name.

They're just one of several teams facing scrutiny. Mascots like the one for the Cleveland Indians have been labeled as stereotypical, racist and demeaning.

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This is racist! If this was two people dressed as African Americans ancestors there would be an outrage... this should bring that same outrage. 

Boukman Mangones
Boukman Mangones

Seriously?! Will there be a "redskin" pillaging afterwards? WTF?

drakemallard topcommenter

Thanksgiving means family and togetherness. Thanksgiving came about when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. The Indians greeted them, provided them shelter, taught them how to grow corn and how to prepare for the winter, and went on to cook one of the greatest meals the pilgrims ever ate. And in their appreciation for showing them how to prosper and survive in this brave new world, the pilgrims killed the Indians and created a holiday in their honor. So, on this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my family, my friends, but most importantly, I'm thankful that I'm not a Native American.Think of how it all started: America was founded by slave owners who informed us, "All men are created equal." All "men," except Indians, iggers, and women. Remember, the founders were a small group of unelected, white, male, land-holding slave owners who also, by the way, suggested their class be the only one allowed to vote. To my mind, that is what's known as being stunningly--and embarrassingly--full of Shit.“ Rich men didn't think themselves anywhere near the equals of poor men. The idea that rich men and poor men were treated as equals is a falsehood often advocated through historic revisionism. If it were otherwise, rich men would have bled on the battlefield along with poor men.”

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