White people: Learn from Thor.
On Instagram, actor Chris Hemsworth posted a photo of himself in his Thor costume, standing with Taika Waititi and holding a sign in support of the Standing Rock protests. “Standing with those who are fighting to protect their sacred land and water,” wrote Hemsworth. But in the caption, he took a moment to apologize for his past racial insensitivities.
Hemsworth continued by saying he was at a New Year’s party last year with a “Lone Ranger” theme, and he and many other guests dressed up as First Nations people. “I was stupidly unaware of the offence this may have caused and the sensitivity around this issue. I sincerely and unreservedly apologise to all First Nations people for this thoughtless action. I now appreciate that there is a great need for a deeper understanding of the complex and extensive issues facing indigenous communities. I hope that in highlighting my own ignorance I can help in some small way.”
Lots of people are thanking Hemsworth for his honest apology, something that many celebrities called out for racist behavior never give.
Everyone makes mistakes out of ignorance, and nobody expects anyone to be perfectly unproblematic their entire lives. But what is expected, and what Hemsworth demonstrates, is a willingness to acknowledge mistakes, apologize, learn, and do better. That’s the minimum we should expect from anyone. The Thor costume doesn’t hurt, though.