Reagan West is a student at the University of Oklahoma, who sparked outrage online and within her sorority regarding the photo of West’s Pocahontas costume for Halloween. West has been condemned by the governing body of her sorority for her actions, which have deemed as “cultural appropriation.” Reagan was even threatened with violence by one user on Twitter for her costume. The college student under the spotlight has Native American ancestry.
West has apologized for her cultural transgression and insisted that she didn’t intend to offend anyone. She also mentioned having some Native American ancestry, but this didn’t stop the outrage.
“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.”
Hostile Reactions to West’s Comments
After West posted a photo of herself dressed as Pocahontas, the internet blew up with cries of cultural appropriation and allegations of racism.
One Twitter user @lilnativeboy sends out a tweet directed as “Ms. West,” referring to her as “a racist rat.”
“Hey racist rat @reaganwest_xo,” said the @lilnativeboy. “I see you got on ur racist outfit like you always do.”
Ms. West mentioned having Native American roots, suggesting that if you knew her you would have known her family’s heritage. But that still didn’t stop the outrage…
the "i had a native ancestor" as a way to deflect being called out is tired. it takes space away from indig people trying to be heard
— lor.jpg (@lmarlene_) November 3, 2017
One Twitter user named lor.jpg wrote, “White people don’t get to decide what is and is not racist. Cultural appropriation isn’t a new concept. Rebecca knew she would offend.” She followed up that tweet with, “the “I had a native ancestor” as a way to deflect being called out is tired. It takes space away from indigenous people trying to be heard.”
Another Twitter user, who is really laying into Reagan West for her cultural appropriation costume, is a student from the University of Oklahoma with Native American heritage. Her Twitter account is @sydnerain. Her tweets are now private and protected from public view, but The Daily Caller captured some of her tweets against Ms. West.
In one tweet, @sydnerain is said to have suggested for her followers to “drag” the “white supremacist” sorority member as a way to kick off Native American Heritage Month.
“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 sent out. “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.”
Twitter user @sydnerain ended up locking her account after her thread earned hundred of likes and retweets.
Who is Reagan West?
Reagan West is the name of the transgressive sorority sister who dared don the apparel based on a Disney princess/real-life Native American woman named Pocahontas. West is from the Pi Beta Phi chapter. In a deleted tweet, West responded to a photo and caption instructing parents not to dress their children up as Moana, a Disney cartoon character who is ethnically Polynesian. West wrote, “Well, I’m being Pocahontas, so come at me.”
West has a relatively large social media following, with 240k followers on Instagram.
How did her sorority respond to the Pocahontas Costume?
Even the her own sorority the Pi Beta Phi has called out their scorned sister, Reagan West, for her transgressions against her collegiate-based PC faith.
“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.”
The president of the university’s Panhellenic Association, Nicole Krug oversees sorority life and has personally condemned West’s actions 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,” Krug’s 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 previously sent out notices to their members to steer clear of any cultural appropriating foolish this Halloween season.