The governing body of University of Oklahoma sorority’s system condemned one of its members on Thursday for dressing up as Pocahontas for Halloween.
Reagan West, a member of OU’s Pi Beta Phi chapter, decided to dress up as a “Pocahottie” for Halloween as a way to stick it to political correctness, according to a now-deleted tweet.
The backlash against this costume decision was overwhelming on social media, with many leftists encouraging harassment against the offending sorority member.
Here’s my SWEET Halloween costume that justifies I’m related to Pocahontas … who was raped as a young girl. Yay cultural appropriation !!! pic.twitter.com/6JG1JeU2Vd
— Davan (@DavanRaby) November 2, 2017
Hey racist rat @reaganwest_xo I see you got on ur racist outfit like you always do
— . (@lilnativeboy) November 2, 2017
white people dont get to decide what is and is not racist. cultural appropriation isn’t a new concept. rebecca knew she would offend.
— lor.jpg (@lmarlene_) November 3, 2017
One of the leaders of the harassment against West was that of an account with the handle @sydnerain, a Native American student at Oklahoma.
In an unhinged tweet thread now hidden behind a private account, @sydnerain told her followers to “drag” the sorority member for being a “white supremacist.”
“I’d like to kick off Native American Heritage Month with this drag because y’all need to know we are not playing with you. This has to stop,” sydnerain declared.
“Here we observe the settler [West] at her finest: aware of the harm she will commit to an entire community, she goes for it, like a bitch would,” another tweet read.
The thread earned hundreds of retweets and likes before she locked her account.
West herself issued an apology following the outrage against her costume. “I am truly sorry if I unintentionally offended anyone in the Native American community with my Pocahontas Halloween costume,” West said in her statement shared on Twitter. “It was never my intent to be disrespectful.”
Nicole Krug — president of the university’s Panhellenic Association, which oversees sorority life — condemned the costume as cultural appropriation.
“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,” her statement said, according to OU Daily. “The apology in no way takes away the pain inflicted upon and still being felt by the Native community here at the university.”
The Panhellenic Association had sent out advisories to members to avoid cultural appropriation during Halloween.
West’s own sorority, Pi Beta Phi condemned her actions in a statement of their own. “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,” the sorority’s statement 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.”