“Yulefest” is a Cambridge, MA tradition of sorts, a Holiday-themed 5k race through the streets of Cambridge, ending at a big tent full of beer. It’s considered to be irreverent, silly, and (from what I’ve heard) an overall good time. “Creative holiday wear” and costumes are encouraged, and everyone has a grand ol’ time. Until now. Cause I’m not having a grand ol’ time after seeing their promotional materials.
Here’s the description from Cambridge 5k (the organizers):
Long before Christmas, there was a quirky winter festival named “Yule” that people really loved. Join us 12/18/11 for a 5K race that takes the holidays back to their old school roots!
Registration includes a great shirt + admission to our post-race Yulefest Party (21+) featuring great music, craft beers & awesome awards! > You will LOVE this race!
I’m not against fun. In fact, this sounds like a lot of fun. And I would totally participate, if I weren’t an overly-critically-fun-destroying-troll who finds joy in ruining your ignorance defense. I’m talking about the postcard above.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Two vintage-looking Indian women, waving/saying “how”, wearing stereotypical feather headbands, accompanied by a tipi wrapped around a Christmas tree. Fantastic. I assume they were going for “cute” “clever” maybe even a little “hipster” or “ironic”? Or maybe it’s a weird reference to the taking the “holidays back to their old school roots” in the description? But, what, I ask you, does the stereotyping of Native people have to do with running, or even the holidays for that matter?
So I tweeted it to the organizers, and here’s how it went down (it’s really not that exciting so don’t anticipate too much, but I included some snarky commentary from my followers too):
&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://storify.com/nativeapprops/cambridge-yulefest-postcard” target=”_blank”&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;View the story “Cambridge Yulefest Postcard ” on Storify&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;] …and the apology, of sorts. “Didn’t mean to offend anyone. Thanks for the schooling, we agree with you.” They only had 140 characters, so I can’t expect a novel. But admittedly, it was a little anti-climactic.
But did they agree with me enough to go pull the postcards from the various shops around town? or retweet my tweet to their followers? or post something on Facebook? That would probably be asking too much, right? Who knows.
Now, the overly-critically-fun-destroying-troll needs to get back to her end of semester grading. Hooray!
If you’d like to send them a note: