Hear my words: CSU President Tony Frank has not â€œfallen under the spell of political correctness that has overtaken our campus,â€ as Josh Phillips claimed in his column on Tuesday. Ignoring racist comments is not mature; it takes a strong and brave person to speak up against racism.Â
I agree that it is a studentâ€™s First Amendment right to â€œdress like an Indianâ€ at a sporting event, however ignorant. But let me exercise my First Amendment right and educate you on why it is wrong and has been an acceptable practice for way too long.Â
And donâ€™t tell me that I am being politically correct.Â I am being true to myself.Â I am sure that every Native person has his/her own reasons for why â€œwearing the garb of another culture is demeaning.â€Â Here is mine:
I wear my regalia at powwows and sacred ceremonies.Â These are practices where participants act honorably. We treat our regalia with respect.Â
Most items in my outfit have been made by my family and by other tribal members. I carry eagle feathers that have been handed down to me; these are very sacred.Â
When I dance, I dance to honor my people. I dance for the healing of my people.Â I dance because it is one of the few traditions my family has left.Â Donâ€™t take that away from me too.Â This is why dressing up like an Indian with fake feathers and war paint and acting out is trivializing and demeaning.Â It takes the significance out of my traditions. De-meaning. Donâ€™t do it.
Environmental health major