The Blackpool council has agreed to “explore options” for new paintings following complaints of racism from two Native Americans on a lighted display.
Located north of Blackpool Promenade, the 1960s ‘Wild West’ light show features six men wearing their hair around a totem pole.
A letter of complaint from the Chickasaw Nation tribe insists the panel describes Blackpool “as a community that supports racism and discrimination.”
The letter went on to say that “cartoons” such as these “reinforce racial stereotypes” of Native Americans.
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Blackpool’s board has responded to these concerns and agreed to explore “new options” for illuminated signage.
A spokesperson said, âOur officers had constructive discussions with two people of Native American descent who raised concerns about the painting.
âWe explained the background to the historical elements of the Illuminations exhibit and assured them that these were designed and created many years ago and intended to be a celebration of different cultures. Both have accepted this assurance.
âThe Illuminations are one of the UK’s most enduring family attractions and we would never do anything to offend. Of course, we’ll take the feedback we have received and consider what features should be included in next year’s post.
“We also agreed to explore options for a new painting that celebrates Native American culture with input from the UK-based network.”
Councilor Tony Williams added, âI believe this painting was made in the 1960s, when the only images and perceptions people had of Native Americans were in Western comics or movies.
âOf course, this perception was completely wrong and over time we learned by understanding better than in reality people’s perception was greatly distorted.
“The board claims that the painting is part of a mixed cultural display and that there was certainly no intention to offend and I accept that, however, I think more care needs to be taken and the placement understood. of this display and those of future illuminations events’ “.
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