Craven, Jim jcraven at SPAMclark.edu
Thu Feb 22 02:15:00 MST 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Aimfl at aol.com [mailto:Aimfl at aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 1:28 PM
To: SGMAIMFL at aol.com


Can you imagine a "Sambo Festival" in which the key African-American
character joins with the slave traders and is hailed as a hero because she
abandoned the less human African culture for that of the dominant society?
a "Holocaust Festival" in which a Jewish girl joins with the Nazi's
emphasizing the good of the NAZI regime and showing how bad Jewish culture

Probably not. But this is exactly the premise of New Port Richey and the
Pasco Chamber of Commerce's Chasco Fiesta.

The festival is based and celebrates racist former New Port Richey
Gerben Devries novella in which the mythical Queen Chasco (Indigenous
societies were not based on European Monarchies) of the Calusa (a people
wiped out in genocidal attacks by the Spanish) abandons her people, and
eschews the ways of her people for the "better" way of the dominant society.

Terms such as "heathens", "savages" "brutes" and the "people who betrayed
Christ" are used to refer to Indigenous peoples, culture and spirituality.
this mythical portrayal the Chasco Fiesta celebrates the genocide of the
Calusa, after all they are heathens, savages, etc.; and dehumanizes and
devalues traditional Indigenous spirituality and cultural practices while
glorifying the values and colonialism of the dominant society.

Beginning in 1995 Florida AIM State Executive Director Sheridan Murphy,
Information Director Mark Madrid, and State Field Director Jennifer Smith
began attempting dialogue with the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce in an
effort to address the racism and stereotypical portrayal of Indigenous
peoples. Their sole response has been to increase Native participation in
pow-wow portion of their festival. Shouldn't there be Indian people involved

in a pow-wow anyway?  In 1999 the Chamber met with Sheridan Murphy, North
Florida Director David Narcomey and Pasco Director Ruby Beaulieu in a
last-ditch effort at dialogue. The result has been no substantive change
the Chasco Fiesta. Further Chasco organizers have stated they are unable to
see what's offensive about their celebration trumpeting wanabee's  that have

endorsed this festival and its revolting message.

Florida AIM can, and will no longer tolerate this disgraceful, and offensive

celebration of genocide and assimilation.  Florida AIM will now use any
necessary to bring a halt to this festival's pageant and parade. We ask all
our supporters to continue to urge an international tourist boycott of Pasco

County (New Port Richey), to continue to contact the sponsors of this
festival and urge them to withdraw sponsorship.

We also ask that you join Florida AIM's protest of the revoltingly racist
pageant on March 22 at 7pm in Sims Park-New Port Richey, FL and our March
24th protest beginning at 1pm of the Chasco Fiesta Parade.

As we know you would not tolerate a Sambo Festival or a Holocaust Festival
know you will join us in putting a stop to this disgraceful and shameless
display of racism in the 21st century

American Indian Movement of Florida
Goyette Memorial State Office
136 4th Street N Suite 308
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 826-6960 FAX (727) 550-2207
EMAIL AIMFL at aol.com
Web Page http://members.aol.com./AIMFL

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