Last night's Oklahoma State-Florida State affair, other than being largely forgettable, was quite the testament to racial minstrelsy in the year 2014.
First, there was this:
When the tailgating buzz wears off and you realize you wore tribal costumes to a football game.. pic.twitter.com/ehPpppluuh— Justin Hilliard (@JHilliard47) August 31, 2014
Here are two white men who are so oblivious to the realities of the world I'm stunned they can work jobs that allow them to pay for car insurance, let alone attend a big time college football game. But yeah, "honor" or whatever.
And then, today, this photo surfaced:
The smartest thing the white people behind this photo did was recruit a minority to pose front and center.
Allow OColly.com, Oklahoma State's official paper, to elaborate:
The Trail of Tears is what we call the forced relocation of American Indians after the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
More than 45,000 people were forced from their homes, stripped of all property, and marched across the country.
At least these students have that in their defense: They weren't actually stripping people of their homes and property and sentencing them to life in remote Oklahoma.
And as easy as it is to sit here, far removed and almost 200 years later, and think of this as some kind of hike, it wasn’t. These people weren’t just walking around awhile.
Uh... as someone removed almost 200 years from the Trail of Tears... it's only "easy" to think of the Trail of Tears as "some kind of hike" if you're an asshole.
Thousands — including women and children — died of exposure and disease. Historians now refer to this event as a “death march.”
The Trail of Tears was one of the many events in an overarching genocide in America. People were intentionally exposed to smallpox. American soldiers cut fetuses out of pregnant Indian women. They rounded up hundreds of people and slaughtered them.
Is this still funny?
No, it's not.
But as the article notes, stunts like this are due to lack of actual historical knowledge of the situation and not actual malice.
It's surprising, however, coming from people in Florida and Oklahoma. Given their state's histories in dealing with Native Americans, you would think some lessons would have been learned.