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"Cheeky Cherokee" Costume Controversy

30-year-old SaDonna Wright says after looking at Halloween costumes depicting Indians as some kind of dress up joke, she's had enough.

"This year I saw a 'Cheeky Cherokee' costume and it was a somewhat scantily clad girl and that really offended me because the Cherokee do not dress that way."

Wright who is half-Cherokee feels the costume is demeaning to all Cherokees.

"I go into Halloween stores and see Native American costumes and it always upset me because no matter what tribe you're from, it's a race of people, and it is not a mythical creature such as a fairy."

While some feel Wright is taking the holiday costume too seriously she compares it to African Americans who once had to endure Caucasians putting on shows dressing up in black-face.

"You don't walk into a costume shop and find African-American costumes, because that's very wrong and we're past that as a society," Wright said.

The 'Cheeky Cherokee" is sold on retail outlets across the internet. On-line vendors include Amazon, Party City and Costume City. Only Costume City returned News 13's call. A representative said the company had decided to change the wording on the advertising to "Teen Native Costume," which sounds more political correct. People had mixed feeling on whether the name "Cheeky Cherokee' is inflammatory.

"I don't think it's racist at all," said one woman coming out of the Asheville Mall's Halloween tent.  "If you look at the Disney movie Pocahontas her outfit is no more scantily clad that that outfit."

"I think they could call it something else," said Mellissa Dohman. "They could call is Native American garb, something else they could say that wouldn't have a tribal name. That seems pretty offensive to me."

The issue of Native American insults was back in the national spotlight when days ago President Obama suggested the Washington Redskins franchise owners should consider changing the name because of the large group of native Americans who consider the name a slur on their heritage.

"My grandfather is proud that I've spoken up," said Sadonna. "That meant a lot to me. I would like people to wake up and have respect for all races no matter if you're a part or full something.  We're all people and we need to have equal respect."

by Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports

 



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