Unintentional harm from Chief

Unintentional harm from Chief

In the Feb. 23 News-Gazette, a supporter of the Chief, Kathy McKenzie, is quoted as saying, "I do not at all see him as a racist symbol. We've seen the Chief dance and I get emotional when I see it because it's so respectful."

I personally do not think supporters of the Chief have the slightest intention of harming Native Americans. I also do not think they hold racist views of Native Americans (at least that they are aware of).

What I would like supporters of the Chief to consider, however, is that just because something feels good does not make it good, and just because someone's intentions are good does not mean there cannot be bad consequences.

For example, even if someone in a position of authority means well when complimenting a subordinate's physical appearance and may feel very good about doing so, depending on the context and the manner in which it is done, it may still end up making the subordinate feel threatened and disrespected.

If someone is told that the person or group their behavior is intended to benefit is instead offended or hurt by the behavior, it is neither wise nor honorable to continue engaging in the same behavior.

HOWARD BERENBAUM

Urbana