Do you find half-time marching bands offensive? You should be grateful that you didn't catch a performance at Port Neches-Groves High School.
The incendiary incident took place at Walt Disney World.
The drill team from the school went to Orlando on March 15th, but there was a problem. The drill team shouted, “Scalp 'em Indians!” Scalp 'em!
Disney has made it clear that the slogan was supportive of racist stereotypes.
It might have been a good idea to know what the team would chant before they arrived — after all, it's the “Indianettes.”
And, presumably, the mantra was a message that American Indians were winners.
Yet, Disney could not “Let it Go.”
Deadline reports: “It's been a rough week for Disney Parks' self-declared inclusion initiative. This week, a video of a Texas high school cheer squad performing at Walt Disney World included racist stereotypes about Native Americans.”
The girls wore “fringed costumes” and performed moves that were reminiscent of Native American culture on Main Street.
Tara Houska — Tara is a tribal lawyer for the Ojibwe tribe and a former Bernie Sanders advisor, tweeted in protest: “Cuz there are a lot of children in fringe singing “scalp'em Indians scalp 'em”, right? Any Natives attending [ Port Neches–Groves Independent Schools District] ought to accept that their classmates are dehumanizing them because of “tradition,” right.” No to nostalgia. Shame on @DisneyParks for hosting this. Nostalgic racism IS RACISM.
In fact, I believe that over 90% of the information we are currently being told is “harmful”, would be a shock to many people, if any, just a few decades ago.
Social evolution is a constant process.
Kelly Lynne D'Angelo, a writer for the television comedy series Miracle Workers, also posted disapproval. IMDB listed Kelly as a “Native Haudenosaunee,” Kelly criticized a lack of respect for others:
“Native Americans make up 99% of those who are outraged by this. Can you see that this is the problem?”
To Deadline, the Indianettes did not go full Jim Crow.
Online commentators noted that the Port Neches Groves cheer squad's performance did not include the headdresses they had worn in previous performances. According to Ferris State University and the Jim Crow Museum, such a costume can be considered cultural appropriation. Others speculated that the costumes' absence could be evidence Disney was evaluating the performance before it reached Main Street. They wondered, “How did the rest of it get okay'd?”
Disney issued an official statement via Jacqueewahler in response to the chaos.
“The performance that took place in our park was not consistent with our core values and we are sorry it happened. We immediately took steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”
According to headlines from the past few years, “core value” is a narrower standard.
In the current climate, will groups such as the Indianettes and the school's football team last?
Maybe all mascots will eventually make it to New York City's “The New School.”
Every new school in America is the same.