POULSBO - The words are ugly and vicious, and they sent a chill through a local festival.http://www.komotv.com/news/story.as
Racist hate mail sent to Poulsbo is directed at a young African-American woman who is "Miss Viking Fest".
Campbell loves being this year's Miss Viking Fest. The yearly Poulsbo festival is a celebration of all things Scandinavian. In spite of its heritage, no one was surprised when the articulate, pretty young woman won this year's competition.
"You don't have to be of Viking stock," says Kathi Foresee, Viking Fest secretary, "I don't even know that all of us that work on the organization are of Viking stock," she laughs.
But then came the hate mail. At least a dozen racist e-mails - all from outside of Poulsbo - asked festival organizers how they could let a black woman represent a Viking Festival.
They say the words are ugly, vicious and racist, but what did these e-mails actually say? The article skirts around this issue in hopes that its readers are sensitive enough to the cry of racism that they wont ask questions. The local news paraphrased one of the messages as saying, "Why should this Negro be queen of a festival honoring mostly blond-haired, blue-eyed White people?"
My question is this: is that really such an outrageous question to ask? In a festival celebrating Viking heritage, how appropriate is it to crown a black woman as queen? And if they really dont care about the involvement of Viking stock, why call it a celebration of all things Scandinavian in the first place?
Lets say the shoe was on the other foot, and a white woman was crowned queen of an Afro-American festival. Would it be unreasonable for blacks proud of their heritage to call that inappropriate? Would it be ugly, vicious or racist, or is this simply an example of the oversensitivity of modern day political correctness; that Scandinavian whites are not allowed to ask questions, complain or be upset when a festival supposedly honoring and celebrating their culture and heritage misrepresents them?