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Voices / Letters from readers

Political correctness run amok

I am responding to Rhonda Anderson’s letter [Voices, Dec. 21] about how kids dressing up in a toy headdress is offensive.

Ms. Anderson, you are what is wrong with society today: Finding fault in something harmless and turning it into something horrible.

You take something that is meant for children — a toy headdress — and use that as your pulpit from which to preach your hateful nonsense.

Let me point out that I am part Sioux Indian. I happen to know that Indian tribes did not live out a peaceful idyll with one another. In fact, they sought to eradicate one another, through invasions, scalping (of men, women, and children), eliminating one another’s food sources by driving Buffalo over cliffs, and spearing one another.

The Sioux warred extensively with the Blackfeet Indians and committed unspeakable acts against one another. Had it not been for (as Ms. Anderson puts it) “the white colonization,” this violence would never have stopped. It would have continued until only one tribe exerted its dominance over the others.

That being said, a toy headdress is “racist” and “offensive?”

At the beginning of your letter, you mention toy badges, pirate swords, and cap guns for sale. If a child gets a toy badge and cap gun, he is making fun of the noble profession of policing? Is he mocking police officers and reducing their role?

If a kid buys a Viking hat with horns and a sword, is he mocking Norwegians (which I also have in my bloodline)? Should Norwegians be offended?

By Ms. Anderson’s logic, anyone who is a police officer or a Viking (just to name two) should be offended at Halloween.

The simple truth is that toy headdresses, along with the fake badges, pop guns, Viking hats, toy fireman outfits, etc., are meant for fun. Often the children who don such attire have nothing but respect and admiration for those they imitate. Playing with these outfits fosters the imagination and creativity that childhood ought to be about.

Playing “cowboys and Indians” makes no more fun of Indians than it makes fun of white men who are the cowboys. No one says that assuming a Southern accent and a cowboy hat is making fun of anyone, because it isn’t. It is mere pretend, a healthy way for children to express themselves and get interested in history.

At the end of her rambling, spiteful, and angry letter, Ms. Anderson states, “No more Beadniks for our family, thanks.” Is she truly ending her shopping at Beadniks because they sold toy headdresses? If she saw in this toy “racism” against Native Americans, then I say Beadniks is better off without her, and her negative attitude, in their store.

I feel for her family, living with a mother who can angrily find fault in anything involving imagination, creativity, and dress-up. Ms. Anderson, your views are an example of so-called political correctness run totally amok. How sad.

Sandy Golden
Hinsdale, N.H.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #133 (Wednesday, January 4, 2012).

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