This is how racism starts.
This is how stereotypes are formed in the minds of children.
This is the start of the path that ends with hipsters in war bonnets frolicking in fields half-naked, carrying bottles of booze and getting self-righteously angry (And refusing to learn. And continuing to be angry) when they’re confronted.
When you only speak about Native American people in the past tense, in certain contexts. When you only mention them as pertains to White history. When you depict them in stereotypical ways. This is how it starts.
Depictions like this are hurtful. Teaching your child that this is what they should think of when they hear ‘Native American’ HURTS REAL NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLE. It creates, in the mind of your child, a stereotype, a caricature, of what Native people do/should look like that erases us in reality and removes us from their perception of the modern world. It turns ‘Native American’ into someone wearing beads and headbands and feathers and face paint. It turns an ethnic, racial identity into a costume.
Here’s a quick checklist for whether it’s ok to wear a war bonnet:
Was it placed onto your head by an elder/legitimate authority figure from a select number of plains nations because you personally achieved something so great that it is worthy of that kind of honor? (corrolary: If yes to the above, are you currently wearing it in an appropriate ceremonial fashion/setting? Like are you at a powwow or speaking with the president?)
If you answered ‘no’ then IT IS NOT OK.
Any more than it would be ok to buy a decorated veteran’s purple heart that he had to pawn and put -that- on for a sexy/edgy/hip photo shoot. It’s that kind of disrespect, on top of the slap in the face that is cultural appropriation in general.
This is a fucking terrible thing to be doing to your child.
There are so many cute, beautiful, non-hurtful ways you could have inducted this child into Modern American Tattoo culture. Maybe try a fucking mermaid or something next time.
She’s not wearing a war bonnet though. It’s a drawing.
Also, something that bothers me about Tumblr’s dogpiling on any light-skinned person in proximity to a war bonnet is that it never seems to occur to them that they could themselves be Native. There are white-passing people who are half or quarter Native, too.
I think that is pretty cute to be honest. Not to mention impressive that its all done with markers. /kanye shrug