There is an urge to rush to a decision to decide on the future of the “Chief” sign of Toh-Atin Gallery. My thoughts are born of perspective and caution.
With the nitro-infused passion permeating the country now, it’s tempting to vandalize, vilify and rush to action. To the organizations that feel compelled to weigh in and make a decision, I say, take a breath. Delay the gratification of hurried actions and reflect on how we are going to feel about this a year from now.
What is the offensive aspect of the sign? Is it the big goofy smile? Is it the big nose? Is it the blue bell-bottom pants? Is it the feather in the band?
I have lived here since 1978, so I am at a disadvantage to see the insensitivities represented by the Native American caricature.
Instead of tearing the sign down, can the sign be modified to make it non-offensive? I think it is of the utmost importance to hear from our local Native American population about this – not the recent, gray-haired, sandal-clad Californians; not the fist-in-the-air Fort Lewis forces; but those who are personally affected.
In the volatility of today’s national events, there is a compulsion to do something, to prove something of ethnic understanding and compassion – and then finalize it with retaliation.