Confusing cultural appreciation with something much worse.
One of my former professors at PSU tweeted about this:
Just take a look. If you’re not offended, you’re doing it wrong. If you find yourself sticking up for the “creative minds” behind this, you’re also doing it wrong. Said professor tweeted “Consumed by this brouhaha concerning Native appropriations and the very disappointing responses of the offenders.” In reply, I said “What bothers me more than blatant racism is people sticking up for blatant racism by telling others to ‘not be offended.’”
I was about to post the link to facebook, when I realized I needed more characters than it would allow me in a wall post. And when posting the link, I saw this as the description:
That’s the disgusting position the offenders have assumed.
They didn’t even spell “kitsch” correctly. What fucks.
But more importantly, the “if you were truly offended by it then you need to get out more” sentiment is the most problematic. It reflects the ethnocentric attitude of many who confuse “cultural appreciation” with cultural appropriation. The minds behind this photo shoot had no other intention than to piss people off so they could tell them to not be offended. And clearly, there was no better way to do this than by perpetuating racist stereotypes. They say it’s about “kitch and americana,” but what if they’re actually racist, and hiding behind this irono-hipster facade? It’s likely at least a few of them suffer from delusions of grandeur.
There is nothing ironic about racism.