I just want to smack those few parents across the country who are causing a ruckus, attempting to eliminate Thanksgiving pageants, celebrations, and dress-up for small children because they are “offended” by the “Indian” garb (“stereotyping Indians,” they say) or the supposed whitewashing of the history of the conflict between Europeans and original natives of this land.
My family has traveled extensively in the Southwest and do we have stories…one in particular was the day we climbed up a steep mesa some hundreds of feet in the August heat to be greeted by hovels for homes but a spectacular view. I questioned our guide as to why people would have ever lived up here on this barren rock formation with no ability to plant because the only water was rain or water carried up the difficult trail. He said at first, “look at these beautiful views.” Well, they were breath-taking. But the living conditions were seemingly below the minimum allowable for human beings. He then continued with, “Living up here gave great safety to the tribe from other tribes who would rob, kill our young men, and then take our women, children, cattle and possessions.”
Nonetheless, having school children enact scenes of peace and mutual respect and camaraderie does nothing to defame the indigenous population or the fleeing Europeans…in spite of the funny looking clothes (oh, and “Goth” looks any better?).
I am concerned, as are many others, with the growing trend of one “offended” person having sufficient power to rip away the fabric of American tradition; of small groups rebelling violently against fair, democratic elections, and the fearful gutlessness of those who stand by and let this all happen.