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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2011-2014 Issues Gracing the Media

"I’ve always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.”
 ~Chimamanda Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story” (TED Talk) 


This is a great blog with a focus on appropriation.
Native Appropriations is a forum for discussing representations of Native peoples, including stereotypes, cultural appropriation, news, activism, and more.

No Doubt’s Controversial Video with Native American imagery.

Victoria’s Secret's Karlie Kloss’s overtly insensitive sexy Indian chief ensemble.
Wearing a Native American headdress, when you are not a Native American and/or have not earned it, is, at best, culturally insensitive, and, at worst, racist.  However, this is what the uneducated, insensitive think is okay because "nobody ever cared before."  I challenge you to think who that "nobody" is and what accurate Native American images you can see to counteract this inappropriate stuff.  Here's another article with the insensitive perspective.

Drink like an Indian and 28 Other Tasteless Thanksgiving Day Promotion.

Hooters advertising campaign.  And online COMMENTS
“It is America and you can wear whatever you want,” says Sarah Deer, Muscogee Creek of Oklahoma, assistant professor at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. “But this advertising campaign presents a problematic image. Hooters, which presents a sexualized image of women anyway, has perpetuated what I would call the fetishization of American Indian women, who are typically seen as really sexy. This is the only ethnic group in the country where women are generally seen as ‘hot.’ The truth is Native women are the poorest and most victimized population in the U.S.”

Long-time activist Gray Wolf, Yoeme Tribe, has called for a boycott of Hooters. “This is the sexualization of Native women at a time when one in three Native women is being raped and most of the rapes and other sexual abuse they suffer is committed by non-Native men. Hooters is expressing the conquest mentality that leads to that kind of victimization.” Furthermore, said Gray Wolf, “No Native woman would dress like that. It’s like dressing up in blackface and having an African-American Day.”

AIM Director for Southern California Corine Fairbanks, Oglala Lakota, says such forms of marketing are not only cultural appropriation, but cultural prostitution. “Corporations put out these images of Native peoples and get away with it because most people do not know about our issues and the corporations do not have a sense of moral responsibility. They wouldn’t do this with other ethnic groups. It’s socially irresponsible.” Fairbanks says an appropriate response would be for Hooters to make a formal apology and donate the proceeds from this promotion to help Native communities or to support domestic violence programs.

Jeff Gaer, assistant manager at Hooters of Greenwood just outside Indianapolis, said he received no negative feedback while the promotion was on yesterday, but he had received 50 or 60 phone calls by mid-afternoon today.

Gray Wolf says, “As we told Victoria’s Secret, Native headdresses are not a fashion statement.” He notes that AIM has been successful in making that point to corporate America. Gap pulled its “Manifest Destiny” t-shirt from shelves and issued what could be mistaken for an apology. Victoria’s Secret retracted a photo of supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Karlie Kloss wearing a headdress and not much else and issued an apology, saying the outfit would be removed from its December 4 fashion show broadcast.

Read more:


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Culture as Commodity

What’s the big deal? Native American imagery in pop culture

UNCC Apologizes for Sigma Kappa Redface Act, but Sorority Remains Mum 

On Friday April 11th, members of the Sigma Kappa Sorority at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte performed a “Disney Dancing with the Princesses,” for an event called "Air Band Dance," part of the campus' Greek Week activities.  The presentation included a Pocahontas dance in which sorority members wore in Indian costumes and were painted with "tribal" markings.

Photographs of the event hit social media and drew criticism from the school’s Native students as well as at a National level. In response to the event, Arthur Jackson, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs issued a statement via the UNCC Public Relations website that read, in part:

Regrettably, as part of the Pocahontas dance, the dancers wore Native clothing and displayed tribal-like markings on their faces and arms.  The symbolic representations proved offensive to Native Americans in North Carolina and nationally, some of whom have contacted the University or the Sigma Kappa sorority.

We apologize.  Although we have every reason to believe that the sorority intended no offense, we consider this a teachable moment for them and for our entire campus community to deepen our sensitivity on issues of race and culture, and to ensure that we maintain a welcoming campus environment for all people.

For entire article, read:

On March 6, Christina Fallin—Mary's daughter and the lead singer of the band Pink Pony—proudly posted a photo to Instagram that showed her wearing a headdress, seemingly unaware that it might anger scores of people in her mother's state, which is still 9 percent American Indian. In response to social media blowback against that picture, Fallin, who is 27, released a statement along with her band, asking Oklahoma's native community to "forgive us if we innocently adorn ourselves in your beautiful things."

If you've been to a music festival in the last few years, you've probably noticed young, white people parading around in traditional Native American headdresses. It is a gross bit of cultural appropriation. Because the drummer for the Flaming Lips thought so, he was kicked out of the band after 12 years, in a controversy that involves the daughter of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin.

Rather than shaming Fallin, the protests apparently egged her on. According to witnesses, Fallin, who was wearing a shawl with the word "SHEEP" stitched on the back, "performed a fake war dance while her boyfriend Steven Battles ridiculed the protestors and flipped them off from the stage."

On April 26, Pink Pony performed at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma. The crowd included not just festival attendees and those curious to see a band led by the governor's daughter, but also members of the activist group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, who had organized a protest of the set because of Fallin's recent history. At the festival, protestors held signs that said "NOT A FASHION ACCESSORY" and "CULTURE IS NOT COSTUME."