Crufts 2022: dog handler’s Native American performance branded casual racism

A dog handler at Crufts 2022, Kristine Hodgson, was dressed as a Native American with a pig-tail wig and a wooden blade. She was acting as a Native American woman in her performance with her dog, a debutant border collie. Her performance was accompanied by the song Colours of the Wind, an Oscar-winning song from the 1995 animated film Pocahontas.

Crufts 2022 Pocahontas performance branded casual racism
Crufts 2022 Pocahontas performance branded casual racism. Video screenshot from Channel 4. The video has been removed by Crufts.

She was symbolically acting the Pocahontas story which is of a Powhatan woman who falls in love with an English man, Captain John Smith. The story is loosely based on reality which is much harsher namely that Pocahontas was married off to an old man who could have been her father and paraded around as a savage.

Hodgson’s performance in the main arena mimicked a Native American dance. She placed her hand over her mouth as if to make a war cry. It was filmed by Channel 4 and streamed online. Arguably, because of the modern woke movement, it has gathered criticism as being racist and reinforcing negative stereotypes. Critics have said that it trivialises and makes a mockery of marginalised cultures. I support the woke movement. At heart it is a good thing as it helps remove prejudice which runs through society.

I am not sure that we can blame Hodgson because she is the dog’s handler and was probably doing as asked. However, one dog breeder Bronwen Mills said that: “This sort of casual racism should not be allowed in 2022”. It is conceivable that the handler dreamt up the routine in which case it is her fault. The trouble is that the world has moved on. You have to leave your prejudices and stereotypical thoughts behind. You have to be cognizant of the woke movement. At its heart it is a good movement because there is far too much prejudice and racism in the world. It is just that sometimes enforcers of woke culture can be a little zealous. Perhaps they have to be in order to make the changes necessary.

And dog owner, Claire Walsh from Manchester said: “I am surprised and disappointed that, in this day and age, cultural appropriation is viewed as being acceptable. I also find it reprehensible that people are still glorifying the Pocahontas story, when you consider the hideous reality behind it.”

It looks like a genuine mistake. A lot of people do not know the Pocahontas story. I didn’t. I had to look it up. And no doubt the owner of the dog wanted to enhance their chance of winning this competition but in the modern era which is very woke, they made a mistake. And it’s been picked up and transmitted across social media like wildfire.

Crufts has apologised and pulled the offending video from his YouTube channel. Shame! I would have liked to have shown it on this website. I could not find it on any social media website.

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