What About Elizabeth Warren???

Now they have a problem with white women wrapping themselves in buffalo hide?

Seriously?


Just look at those high…cheekbones! (What did you think I meant?)

This November, events nationwide celebrated the traditions, fashion and food of the nation’s 566 recognized Indian tribes as part of Native American Heritage Month.

But a few high profile missteps surrounding the use of indigenous cultural imagery made bigger national headlines than any heritage month event.

First it was the release of No Doubt’s Wild West-themed music video “Looking Hot,” featuring teepees, fire dances and singer Gwen Stefani on horseback, a feather crowning her long blond braids. Then, supermodel Karlie Kloss walked the runway in a floor-length feather headdress, skimpy leopard-spotted bikini and turquoise jewelry at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Both instances sparked allegations of “playing Indian” for profit, leading No Doubt and Victoria’s Secret to publicly apologize. The gaffes also reignited debate over where to draw the line between cultural appropriation and appreciation and the extent to which non-Natives should represent Natives in mainstream media and pop culture.

Apologize for what? Massachusetts just celebrated Native American Heritage Month by electing a Cherokee to the United States Senate! And she’s not even Indian at all! Not one drop! She lied about it, exploited it, played the victim card—you name it, even to the point of committing “spiritual genocide”.

Who should be apologizing?

Stay Indian, girlfriend.

2 Comments »

  1. Ashlee W. said,

    March 28, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    I heavily disagree with your opinion. I am Cherokee and Creek and by what i have witnessed in my short time on earth is that many people have always been “playing indian”, wearing what they believe is “honoring” or “depicting” us even though it is not doing either of those things. It is offensive to many, if not all Native Americans, our old ways are to be honored, not “modernized”, stereotyped, and falsified, you believe it is okay for non-natives to prance around dressing like what is pictured above because you do not understand what it is like to be Native American, what we go through to keep our traditions, way of life, as well as identity alive and to keep people like you from destroying the sacredness of our heritage. You ask “who should be apologizing?” i say everyone that has ever wronged the Native American people should apologize. Native American culture and beliefs are not to be used to entertain other ethnicities so they can feel like they look “cool’ dressing up and accentually “playing indian”. As an Indigenous people we are happy to share our heritage and culture with non-indiginouse peoples to allow them to learn why we hold our heritage and culture in such high esteem but we are not willing to share them if the price for doing so is ridicule and slander from other ethnicities. My question is, Why is it a big deal for indigenous people to care and honor their culture and heritage but not for a non-native to be offended by something they see derogatory about one of their ethnic backgrounds?
    Pople of Irish ethnicity have a problem with Saint Patricks Day, a honored day in the Irish culture, being made into a insane booze fueled party night by american society, yet this does not bring up any arguments, overblown stories or pompous airheads spitting out articles about it being “ridiculous” that the Irish people be offended by this. I believe if you do not know the culture and history behind a ethnicity’s point of view you should not be righting an article over it with out all of your facts. Though this is your opinion and freedom of speech is constitutional, sometimes it is appropriate to shut your mouth and set back when you only have limited information.

  2. Bloodthirsty Liberal said,

    March 29, 2014 @ 7:00 am

    Ashlee,

    This post is well over a year old, so hardly an issue for debate, but since you put so much effort and feeling into your post, I feel I owe you a response.

    Not only do you not “heavily” disagree with me, we couldn’t be more in agreement. This post was one of a long series on the outrage, the damnable lie, that Elizabeth Warren had one drop of Native American blood in her. (Look at the evidence, not her say-so, and you’ll see she doesn’t.) She was the one “playing Indian”. The post above that you object to so much was written in sarcasm, something I employ on this site probably too often. (But it’s my blog, so what the hey.) If Elizabeth Warren can wrap herself up in metaphorical buffalo hides and eagle feathers, and be celebrated for it (up to and including favorable mention as a presidential candidate), why can’t these attractive women above display their indigenous body parts on the runway for the Sacagawea’s Secret catalog? Or, to dispense with the sarcasm for a moment (as you’re our guest), if it’s offensive for these women to dress in caricatures of Indian garb (and I can see why it might be), why isn’t it offensive for an academic to further her career by casually adopting a Native American ethnicity when (and only when) it suited her professional fancy? To answer the question, let me quote a real Native American, Cole DeLaune, who dismissed Warren’s “playing Indian” thusly:

    In Warren’s model of ethnic distinction, neither practical experience nor community affiliation applies; one can simply appropriate the mantle of Cherokee lineage at personal discretion. Per this formulation, the disparities between discrete cultures are meaningless, and Professor Warren is effectively championing a subtle variety of spiritual genocide.

    “Spiritual genocide”. Them’s strong words, but they may capture the outrage you feel at my post. Now you know why I wrote it. You came in on the middle of a long rant and only heard part of the story. I hope this clears things up, and thank you very much for writing.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment