A college student has apologized after being labelled a “racist” for wearing a Pocahontas costume on Halloween.
Reagan West, who attends the University of Oklahoma, caused social justice warriors to be outraged when she shared a photo of herself dressed as the legendary Native American figure.
“I am truly sorry if I unintentionally offended anyone in the Native American community with my Pocahontas Halloween costume,” West wrote on Twitter. “It was never my intent to be disrespectful … I am thankful for this opportunity to further educate myself about the Native American culture, and specifically how Native American women have been treated throughout the years.”
— Reags (@reaganwest_xo) November 3, 2017
Nichole Krug, who heads the school’s Panhellenic Association, also issued a statement of apology.
“It is disappointing that a Panhellenic woman would choose to wear something that appropriates another culture after numerous educational opportunities offered by the Panhellenic leadership,” it read. “The apology in no way takes away the pain inflicted upon and still being felt by the Native community here at the university.”
The president of West’s sorority, Pi Beta Phi, also got in on the apology act with a statement.
“There is a difference between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, and Pi Beta Phi has worked with its chapters on understanding the impact of their Halloween costume choices,” OU Pi Beta Pi chapter president Carly Norwood said, “The choice made by one University of Oklahoma Pi Beta Phi member to dress like Pocahontas is cultural appropriation and not an example of living Pi Beta Phi’s value of Honor and Respect.”
West was the subject of brutal harassment for her costume both before, and after, her apology.
Hey racist rat @reaganwest_xo I see you got on ur racist outfit like you always do
— . (@lilnativeboy) November 2, 2017
Y’all are making me hate Halloween. DO. NOT. DO. RED. FACE. You are old enough to know better than this. pic.twitter.com/PdrxHQhzgZ
— alex ? (@AlexandriaSHolt) November 2, 2017
But others defended her.
I’m “Native” and I could care less how you wanna dress for HALLOWEEN. Dress up as Sacagawea next year because 90% of us DON’T CARE.
— Nick Gouge (@gouge_nick22) November 3, 2017
Don’t apologize. These people have nothing better to do. Why aren’t they offended by thing that matter. Like lack of education and poverty.
— nick davis (@ndmusikman) November 3, 2017
You looked so cute! No need to apologize. It was a Halloween costume. Not like you painted your skin. There are bigger issues going on?
— Taylor (Hall) Miller (@taydhall) November 3, 2017
Dont apologize, youre just feeding into more politically correctness. Its absurd.
— TRUMP2020 (@NNikolaiBV) November 3, 2017
Girl you don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE!!
— ♡ (@_nicoledeus_) November 3, 2017
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