April 27, 2014

Christina Fallin calls Natives "sheep"

Christina Fallin, the headdress-wearing daughter of Oklahoma's governor, is in trouble again:

OK Governor’s Daughter Criticized for Performing in Native Regalia and Doing a Fake War Dance

By Levi RickertChristina Fallin, 27, the daughter of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, is back to misbehaving. This time she wore American Indian regalia as she performed at the Norman Music Festival in Norman, Oklahoma on Friday night.

The younger Fallin provides live mixes and dances during performances in Pink Pony, a Oklahoma City-based band.

This past March Fallin drew the ire of Indian country for posting a photograph of herself on social media sites in an American Indian headdress.

Part of Friday night’s regalia worn by Fallin was an American Indian-styled shawl with the word “Sheep” on the back as she performed a fake American Indian war dance.

Oklahoma Gov's daughter Performs Fake War Dance and Calls Natives "Sheep"Protestors led by Choctaw musician Samantha Crain staged a protest at the Norman Music Festival in Oklahoma and Native American's reaction via social media was outraged as Fallin wore a Native American-style fringed shawl with the word "Sheep" on the back and performed a fake war dance while her boyfriend Steven Battles ridiculed the protesters and flipped them off from the stage.

Earlier that day, Crain noted on her Facebook page, "Publicity stunt or not, even if they are lying, their attitudes, their insincerity, their irresponsibility, their general lack of caring about anything other than the advancement of themselves deserve a protest. So I will be at the Pink Pony show at NMF tonight. Midnight. black watch stage. Peacefully and quietly picketing with signs to tell them how I feel."

Some of the signs said, "culture is not a costume," "with all your power, what will you do?," "you still owe us an apology," "don't trend on me," "I am not a costume," and "please forgive us if we innocently oppose you". The last sign was a take on Fallin's non-apology after she posted a photo of her self misappropriating Native America regalia reserved for highly honored leaders for a glamour shot to promote her career. Faced with more Native American protests Fallin attempted to have Crain and supporters removed by security, but they were allowed to remain on private land adjacent to the stage.

According to a tweet by Chahta Summer, a Choctaw mother and recent law school graduate Fallin's shawl with "sheep" written on the back was a direct swipe at Native Americans. "Their supporters were calling us sheep the last time, saying we called her out to be PC, not thinking for ourselves."

With all your power, what would you do?: Christina Fallin's band, Pink Pony, protested at Norman Music Festival

A first-hand account of the Christina Fallin/Pink Pony protest at the Norman Music Festival.

By Louis Fowler
Eventually, the Norman PD showed up and said we had every right to protest there, but Lackey continued in her ranting. However, and kudos to Blackwatch for this, they allowed Crain on the other side of the partition where Fallin’s entourage stood mocking us, holding her sign with a courage and determination that inspired all of our tired arms to just hold our signs up higher, more stoic than ever.

Within minutes after that, Fallin took to the stage dressed in pantyhose, garters and an obviously Native-inspired shawl that read in big black letters “SHEEP.” This was in reference, it is theorized, that the protesters were easily-led morons for not believing what the band said in their non-apology regarding their “love of native culture” and whatnot.

This was painfully and brutally reinforced when, during one of their numbers, Fallin lifted her shawl over her head and did a perverse mockery of a native war-dance, twirling in circles as the drummer—anonymously wearing a “white-face” mask, mind you—tried desperately to keep the beat.

To see her reenact a sacred ritual like that in front of drunk, hateful hipsters literally caused the protesters’ collective jaws to drop. In essence, to me, it felt like Fallin was throwing it down and ultimately declaring war on Natives, not only the culture, but the people as well.

She really is like her mother.

Daughter Of Oklahoma Governor Provokes Protests Over Her Use Of Native American Symbols

The 27-year-old caused an uproar when she hinted she would wear full regalia at an Oklahoma music festival. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says she “[does not] approve of her behavior on that night or that of her band.”

By Lindsey Adler
Norman Music Festival has released a statement about the performance:The Norman Music Festival does not support the actions of Pink Pony, and in particular Christina Fallin, at our festival on Saturday night. We had no prior knowledge of the performance content, and we oppose her use and depiction of American Indian artifacts and symbols. We certainly understand that these actions do nothing but promote racism, cultural discrimination and religious discrimination. The Norman Music Festival is here to support artists and bring people together--not divide them. We apologize to anyone who was offended.Governor Mary Fallin released a statement Monday afternoon:On Saturday night, while performing at the Norman Music Festival, my daughter acted in a way that I believe was inappropriate. While she will always be my daughter and I love her very much, I don’t approve of her behavior on that night or that of her band. I have communicated that to Christina.

I have great respect for Oklahoma’s tribal members and I celebrate their traditions and culture. As governor, I work in hand in hand with tribal leaders on everything from disaster response to economic development. Tribal governments are important partners to our state government, and I value the good relationships my administration has cultivated with them.
This posting has a photo gallery and a brief video of Fallin's performance.

Christina Fallin at center of Norman Music Festival protests, festival apologizes for Pink Pony performance

You can't see enough of her "dance" to describe it. I don't know if I'd call it a "war dance." A better comparison would be with the shawl dances done at powwows.

I also don't know if I'd call the poncho a "Native-inspired shawl." She may have intended it as a cape: displaying her message in back while not obscuring her outfit in front. She may not have thought of Native shawls, which aren't especially well-known.

But if you take all the elements--the "shawl," the "sheep" message, the dance, and the band members in whiteface--together, Fallin clearly meant to taunt her critics. It was a big middle finger to the Natives and others who dared to question her blatant cultural appropriation and complete lack of apology. In other words, she was mocking them with her white privilege--saying she could do whatever she wanted and they couldn't stop her.

To be fair, she was labeling all her critics "sheep," not just her Native critics. But non-Native critics like me were only following the lead of Natives, echoing their arguments. So it's fair to say Natives were her primary target.

Even her right-wing mother the governor recognized the intended insult. Wow, kind of a burn when your own parent criticizes you in public with an official statement. Maybe that'll get through her thick white skull; let's hope so.

1 comment:

Rob said...

The best evidence yet of how Fallin intended to "honor" (i.e., insult) Natives:


Really? Wayne Coyne Supported Fallin With Picture of Dog in Headdress

An indie-rock icon weighed in on the Christina Fallin headdress controversy--and he wasn't asking her to be more respectful of the American Indians whose culture she is trivializing. No, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips showed his support of the Oklahoma Governor's daughter with a tasteless photo sent from his (now closed) Instagram account.