All right, Internet… Please affix a pair of steel toed boots to your feet, because I am about to step on some toes.
Putting aside the current mess that is our economy and the never ending ditch that patriotic morale has somehow found its way to the bottom of… there are, in fact, a few things that still make this country pretty great. For instance, I can come online and write pretty much whatever I want, be it mean, racist, ugly, wrong, or what have you. People may get mad, yes. People may not like it… but, in the end, do I care? Maybe. I might care. But jeeze, at least I had the right to say it. I can read what I want. I can watch what I want. I can wear what I want. I have a wondrous cornucopia of rights that I probably take for granted every single day of my life.
But you want to know something? Those rights are not guaranteed to us. We may think they are, but take a closer look at all those fancy ancient documents our country was founded on. The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely possible to lose our rights one by one. Is it a conscious thing? I really don’t know… but is the loss of rights a gradual process? A process that we can actively participate in every step of the way, and not even realize it until we’ve backed ourselves up in to a corner that we have no right to walk back out of?
Yes. Yes, it is.
There was a law passed in a city nearby me not too long ago, in which was stipulated a nice and long list of places where people were no longer allowed to smoke. I don’t smoke. I never have, and I never will. Personally, I think it’s a gross and unhealthy habit. Does this law benefit me? Yes, I suppose it does. It means I don’t have to breathe in someone’s disgusting smoky air. If I had had the opportunity to vote on this law, however, I would have firmly punched “no” on the ballot. Ask me why now, Internet.
Because, as small and insignificant as this may seem, it would have been voting someone’s right away. Somewhere along the line someone, or some group, gets angry enough about something that they take options out of our hands. We’re left with one option, and it’s their option. Like I said, the smoking issue may seem inconsequential, but that’s the point. It’s a small enough issue now, and we let it slip under our radar. It’s when this becomes the norm, that it becomes a problem. When we get used to something, bigger and bigger issues seem smaller and smaller. Our radar gets more and more blurred.
Now, we live in a strange social and political climate. It seems that you can’t get away with kicking a damn pebble down the street without someone getting up in arms about how that pebble didn’t want or deserve that kind of treatment. Personally, I think people take themselves too seriously.
Like you, Sasha Houston.
So, you walked in to an Urban Outfitters and were upset that they didn’t honor your culture? It’s a clothing chain. They don’t honor anything, or haven’t you seen the way people dress these days? Somehow furry boots go with shorts, and tights are now considered pants. They don’t care about you, they don’t care about me, and they don’t care about the Native Americans. Why should they? It’s a free market out there, as well it should be. They make money off this stuff, as is their right. Do you have to like it? No. Do you have to shop there? No. Do you have the right to complain about it? Yes, you do. Do I have the right to call you out on your crappy, self-indulgent, “poor me, poor us” attitude? Yes, I do.
No one is going to go around saying that the American Indians didn’t draw the short straw. We all know what happened to them, and yes, it was terrible. Having said that, I don’t think that slapping a synthetic feather on a plastic dream catcher was Urban Outfitters’ way of flipping the Native American culture the bird. This is not something that they did personally to anyone, nor did they do it to purposely make anyone mad. This is something they did to capitalize on the fact that, today, teenage girls like feathers and fringe. Tomorrow, it’ll be something else.
People will keep complaining though. People will keep playing race cards, and culture cards, and comfort cards, and I-have-this-so-I-may-as-well-use-it cards… and pretty soon, no one will be allowed to say or do anything for fear of being sued, being picketed, being boycotted, being arrested, etc…
There’s that corner again; it’s getting closer and closer.
Anyhow, keep complaining, Sasha. That’s your right. My advice, though? Get over it, and shop somewhere else.
Or keep shopping there. Did you know you could get a dream catcher for five dollars at Urban Outfitters? How can you afford not to buy that?
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