To Editor-In-Chief Ms. Forschen,
Your opinion piece, “It’s a culture, not a costume – the fight against appropriation” is one which I respectfully disagree with in all aspects. As a “person of color,” I find your elaborate but fallacious Halloween anecdote detailing the time you dressed as Kaya, a “Nez Perce Native American,” when you were 7 years old, a poor example of what cultural appropriation was back then – and perhaps an even poorer example of what it is today, in our politically charged landscape.
When you claimed that “no one batted an eye,” I agreed with that statement not simply because it was spot on accurate for the time, but because it still holds up – even today – in that “no one actually still bats an eye.” For you to understand this, it is from my own observations in the “real world” and on the internet that the “overly liberal” and “politically-correct” kind of people such as yourself (which I assume you are, forgive my assumption) – to which I detest ideologically – would be outraged at this phenomenon.
While some people may be offended, I understand where this outrage comes from – to which I do not blame for you writing this article. In simple politically correct terms, as a “person of color,” the cultural appropriation that I have experienced in my lifetime has been at no point offensive nor exclusive to any individual group. In fact I find it very welcoming and inclusive that this country is still the melting pot of all cultures, let alone California itself as the “heart” of all of it.
People of many ethnicities and cultural backgrounds arrived in America to pursue the “American Dream.” Assimilation and cultural infusion are inevitable as all cultures that come here to find opportunity and success do so with open arms and with respect for each other (which I admit is not exactly the case right now).
Otherwise, Las Positas has treated me very well in my past four semesters here. Everyday, I see plenty of cultures on campus appropriating other cultures. White guys with dreadlocks. White guys calling each other the “N-word.” Asian guys doing “white guy things.” Black guys doing “Asian and white guy things.” So it goes. There are plenty things going on everywhere that everyone is supposedly “appropriating.” Many of us don’t take offense nor care, or are just simply unaware. No harm done. The bigotry or racism on campus is non-existent (at least for me).
Referring back to your Halloween anecdote, I don’t find it disrespectful or offensive that you dressed up like the little Indian girl “Kaya” when you were seven. In fact, I find that very respectful to Native-American culture in that you took an interest with a character that you liked and paid homage to their culture. Unfortunately, my only disappointment about your Halloween story was that you didn’t go full on with the whole traditional Indian attire. I was deeply offended that your poor facsimile of a dress did not embody nor accurately portray traditional Native-American wear. You should be deeply ashamed of your 7 year old self.