The I Word

tagpic2Didymos finally up and did what they’ve known for ages they needed to do: changed the name of their popular i*dio weave to something less offensive. In this case, they’ve chosen “prima” meaning first, since the prima design was one of the first ever conceived of by Erika Hoffman. This is a long time in coming; “indio” is a racial characteristic used among ethnic Mexicans to mean those of Indian blood. According to the Oxford English Dictionary – the authority on official academic discourse – “indio” is “any member of the indigenous peoples of America or Eastern Asia in areas formerly subject to Spain or Portugual.” As a commenter points out, it was never the “term of endearment” that Didymos calls it, but a misused, misappropriated word. No one can argue that they chose the term because it sounds like “Indian.” No one.

But Didy gets points for doing the right thing here. They did it too late – they knew about the meaning for a long time before the change – but they did it. They changed their signature weave to reflect cultural sensitivity. I didn’t think it would ever happen, and I’m glad to see this day.

But as usual, it’s gotten nasty. Another commenter asks, “My kid has a teepee. Does it make us racist? Are we stealing from a culture? Do you SJ folks want us to sign a disclaimer acknowledging we know the origins of every single product/design/print we buy?” Mexicans are claiming they were “honored” by the term and are “sorry you are facing this disgusting campaign.” As of now, 188 people have liked that particular comment. Apparently, this is “all this hate.” “So sad for you as a company,” one person said. “You do not deserve all this hate.”

Basically, this is, as one person says, “White people not listening and being disrespectful and dismissive.” Didymos did the right thing. Now people – Trump voters? – feel the need to barge in and deny white privilege, dismiss PoC’s voices, and spout racism. Saying Didymos is getting “hate” for changing an offensive name? Racist. And not in that Avenue Q “everyone’s-a-little-bit-racist-sometimes” way. People are calling those who agree with the name change racists and hypocrites. It’s ugly. It’s nasty.

Didymos did a good thing. They may not have gone about it the right way, but they did it. No more do we have to cringe at the i-word. Kudos.

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