November 30, 2015

Depp goes "sauvage" in commercial

This Dior Sauvage commercial is a couple of months old, but I just saw it the other day. I think one or two people mentioned it when it came out, but it didn't register with me then.

Here's the scoop:

Some find new Johnny Depp commercial a little confusing

By Dallas FranklinDior recently debuted a new television commercial that has a lot of people talking.

Dior’s new spot for its cologne “Sauvage,” features Johnny Depp leaving a city in a vintage car.

“I gotta get out of here,” he says.

After seeing a buffalo out in the middle of nowhere, Depp pulls over and starts walking through the desert.

“What am I looking for?” he asks.

Then, he digs a hole in the desert and takes off all his accessories.

“It’s something I can’t see,” he says. “I can feel it.”

He ends the commercial saying, “It’s magic…Sauvage.”

Johnny Depp For Dior Sauvage Commercial Doesn't Skimp On Drama Or Eyeliner—VIDEO

By Renata Certo-WareDior has been teasing us all summer, first with news of a Hollywood leading man as the face of Sauvage, the house's first new fragrance in a decade, and then with a 15-second trailer for the commercial. Now, the Dior Sauvage commercial with Johnny Depp is finally here in full, and it's basically a Depp-fueled fashion fever dream.

There were a lot of distinctly Depp-ian elements at play here—eyeliner and rows of hoop earrings a la Jack Sparrow, an electric guitar solo evocative of his Viper Room days, and that goatee-and-purple-shades look that's been more or less omnipresent since right around the time Blow came out. Even the appearance of animals like a buffalo, a wolf, and a hawk seem to be referential of Depp's claims to Native American ancestry. Most striking, perhaps, are the undeniable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas vibes, from the sleek classic car making a lone desert crossing to the slightly hallucinogenic animal cameos.
Comment:  Certo-Ware notes the "Native" animal references, but I'd say the Native theme goes deeper than that. Indeed, I'd call the commercial a Native fantasy of sorts.

Let's recap:

  • Depp leaves civilization--represented by the big city--looking for something better.

  • He heads for the desert--the Mohave Desert, I believe--the stereotypical home of Indians.

  • He passes oil derricks, a common sight in Indian country (Oklahoma, North Dakota and Montana). Call it a transitional scene between the white man and nature.

  • He sees a buffalo, hawk, and wolf (or coyote), which together symbolize Native culture and only Native culture. Like stereotypical "spirit animals," they suggest he's on the right track.

  • He hears the hawk cry, a classic Native trope of movies and TV shows.

  • He sheds his accessories--basically everything that's loose and metallic. These items presumably stand for wealth or manufactured goods.

  • Finally, having left his material life behind, he declares his state "sauvage" (savage).

  • The commercial's message is clear: Depp = Indians = savages = people unconnected to civilization. Since today's Indians are lawyers and doctors, this is false and stereotypical.

    Depp the "star" presumably approved the commercial's plot and theme. This is more evidence that he knows little or nothing about real Indians. And doesn't care to alleviate his ignorance.

    Everything he says and does indicates he thinks of Indians as nothing but clichés. You know...the noble warrior, the wise elder, the trickster. Much like his portrayal of Tonto, his stereotypical thinking comes straight from the era of Sacheen Littlefeather and the crying Indian.

    For more on Johnny Depp, see Johnny Depp, White Man and Depp's Other Native Movies.

    November 29, 2015

    Conservatives project fears onto "others"

    This is the entire GOP plan: Credibility destroyed after Bush debacle, their only strategy is to scare us

    The party of security tanked the economy and unleashed Middle East disaster. Now they have nothing but fear itself

    By Paul Rosenberg
    Conservatives had always been comfortable with blacks as other, as containers for their most unwanted projections. But before blacks were demonized, the pattern was initiated with Native Americans. Another Kleinian theorist, Robert Young, has written about racism and projective identification (here and here, for example), noting that “the price of admission into a culture is the acquiring of its projective identifications.” Young cites the example of a 1503 decree by Queen Isabella citing Native Americans’ purported “hard habits of idolatry and cannibalism” as justification for authorizing slavery:

    The European charge of cannibalism was unfounded. Harmless and helpful natives were bad-mouthed as wild and bestial, thus legitimating the activities of a master race. The savagery of the conquistadors was projected onto their victims, who could then be seen as subhuman and could be treated in subhuman ways—which they extravagantly were.

    A similar dynamic applied to enslaved blacks, regardless of the colonizing power involved. The savagery of conquest was projected into the conquered. However, when situations allowed, there was often a place for a few “respectable” tokens who served a variety of different functions for white slaveholders, and later white leaders who followed them—to endorse their views, make them seem more reasonable, provide pacifying “leadership” for the masses, etc.

    Obama was threatening for a number of reasons, not least that he adopted a form of respectability politics, while remaining relatively loyal to the black base, and running as a Democrat, whose policies were anathema to movement conservatives. Hence, at the overt level, he disarmed the demonizing projective processes, particularly in courting conservatives outright—praising Ronald Reagan, inviting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, reaching out to conservative opinion writers, dining with them within weeks of taking office, etc.—but he would not validate the projection of otherness onto other blacks as a whole, which is a core purpose of the “respectable black” figure. And thus the need to otherize him (and project white evil acts, impulses, phantasies, etc. into him), as blacks had always been otherized, needed to find a new form, a new rationale. Which is precisely what the birther phantasy did. It said that everything about him was a lie, so nothing he did could make any difference. It invalidated any action he might take, leaving it to be reinterpreted by those who most despised him, without any regard to the facts.
    Comment:  For more on the subject, see Conservative Freakout Over Denali = Racism and What the Crusades Controversy Is About.

    November 28, 2015

    Designer uses sacred Navajo symbols

    Navajos calling for apology from London designer who used sacred symbol in Fashion Week showcase

    By Stephanie ClaytorIndigenous designs being showcased at New York Fashion Week has many in the Navajo Nation upset. They're calling for the designer, Marjan Pejoski, to apologize.

    Pejoski's show included a dress with a Yei Bi Chei. Navajos consider the Yei Bi Chei sacred and holy, and not to be used as a fashion statement.

    "I was appalled," said Jana Pfeiffer, a Navajo woman. "I was shocked to see something that I hold so sacred in our culture, to see it on the fashion runway."
    And:"It's an atrocity to see this designer misappropriate our cultural imagery of such an important holy being," said Morgan.

    Both ladies said even they do not have the right to draw a Yei Bi Chei. Pfeiffer said Navajos have to be ordained before they can depict them on sand paintings or rugs.

    That's why both of these women want the designer--Marjan Pejoski--to apologize for stealing a sacred piece of their culture.
    Comment:  For more fashion faux pas, see KTZ Copies Sacred Inuit Robe and Jennifer Lopez Wears "Tribal" Outfit.

    November 27, 2015

    Criticism of Saints & Strangers

    Saints & Strangers, the two-night National Geographic movie that aired last weekend, got a decent amount of publicity. Many noted how it presented the Native side of the "first Thanksgiving." But not everyone was happy with how it portrayed Indians.

    How ‘Saints & Strangers’ Got It Wrong: A Wampanoag Primer

    By Alysa LandryLess than 60 seconds into the film, a band of whooping Natives descends on the pilgrims and the two groups exchange fire—bullets from one side and arrows from the other. The scene exhibits many of what the four Wampanoag tribal communities are calling “cultural, historical and linguistic inaccuracies” in the film.

    “It’s completely irresponsible telling of history,” said Linda Coombs, director of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Cultural Center. “This is one of the most well-documented parts of history, but it is distorted for the purposes of sensationalism.”
    And:At another point in the film, the Wampanoag deliver to colonists the bloodied clothes of a child who had been lost, intimating that they had killed the boy because pilgrims had stolen their corn. That is grossly untrue, Coombs said.

    “That’s an outright lie,” she said. “The Wampanoag took care of the lost child. When they returned him, he was happy and healthy and probably bedecked with beads. There’s nothing in history about knocking the kid on the head and bringing the bloody shirt to the colonists.”
    And:[S]traying from the Wampanoag language proved to be Nat Geo’s biggest film gaffe, Coombs said.

    “Abenaki is not Wampanoag,” she said. “This is the stereotype of the interchangeable Indian. If you can’t find an Indian who does what you want, keep going until you find one who will. It doesn’t matter. Indians are generic.”
    Positive views

    Perhaps not surprisingly, the Native actors defended the production.

    “The Experience Was Incredible!” Kalani Queypo on NatGeo’s Saints & Strangers

    By Vincent SchillingThere has been some criticisms of the film, but what do you think people are neglecting to notice in the face of making progress for Native actors?

    : The history of the portrayals of Native people in cinema is terrible, there have been gross misrepresentations, often times romanticized and fictionalized caricatures, that have been perpetuated and accepted as truth by the mass public. But more and more, native filmmakers are coming up and telling their stories. Even non-native filmmakers are rising to the challenge and making efforts to explore Native characters and storylines with truth and integrity. That is progress.

    Having strong Native actors who are bringing rich portrayals to their roles is progress. Seeing more Native language being utilized in film is progress. Progress is always happening. It may seem like it is never enough, but portrayals of Native people in film have advanced.
    “It Was Once in a Lifetime” Tatanka Means on NatGeo’s Saints & Strangers

    By Vincent SchillingThere has been some criticisms of the film, but what do you think people are neglecting to notice in the face of making progress for Native actors?

    : This story has never been told on screen before. It is a hard story to tell. It is a sensitive subject matter and time in our history. I don't think any film based on our history will ever be as perfect as we would like unless tribal nations write and produce it ourselves. I believe the world deserves to know more of the truth of what really happened. This movie is exposing some of those truths in a more gritty and less fabricated way than ever before on screen.
    “It Was a Gift” Native Actor Raoul Trujillo on NatGeo’s Saints & Strangers

    By Vincent SchillingThere have been a lot of positive comments on social media--how does it feel to represent on such a large scale?

    : It's very powerful and something that makes you feel proud to represent culture and language of other people's but also to bring a humanity and multi dimensionality to historic real human beings as iconic as they are to us now.
    ‘Saints & Strangers’ Review: Close Enough is Great

    Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Wampanoag Side of Thanksgiving.

    KTZ copies sacred Inuit robe

    KTZ fashion under fire for using Inuit design without family's consent

    ‘This is my great-grandfather’s sacred garment copied right down to the tee,’ says Salome Awa

    By Sima Sahar Zerehi
    The U.K.-based fashion label KTZ's fall 2015 men's collection includes a number of garments based on traditional Inuit designs and a sweater that appears to be a replica of a shaman's jacket, which a Nunavut woman says was used without her family's consent.

    "I was in shock, I was furious, I was angry," said Salome Awa, who works as a morning show producer at CBC Nunavut.

    "This is my great-grandfather's sacred garment copied right down to the tee."

    It's the second year in a row that KTZ has been accused of copying a garment based on an indigenous design. Last year it came under fire for allegedly copying a dress from Bethany Yellowtail, a Northern Cheyenne/Crow designer from Montana. Twitter erupted with support for Yellowtail.
    Canadian retailer pulls 'stolen' sacred Inuit design from storesAfter our interview aired, we learned of a Canadian retailer that sells the KTZ sweater. The company is called CNTRBND and has stores in Toronto and Vancouver. They were selling the garment for $925 CDN.

    Owner Christopher Casuga says he was personally offended when he saw the story. On Thursday, Casuga pulled the sweater from his sales floor and removed it from the company's website.

    He says he didn't want to sell "anything that insinuates negativity toward native people. We want to make sure we are representing Canada in the best way possible."

    On Friday, KTZ issued an apology to Awa. You can read the letter here.
    KTZ apology for copying sacred Inuit robe 'bittersweet'

    'It's not right, they should have contacted us in the first place,' says Salome Awa

    By Sima Sahar Zerehi
    A Nunavut woman whose great-grandfather's sacred shaman robe was copied without consent by U.K.-based fashion label KTZ, says an email apology offered to her by the design firm is "bittersweet."

    "We sincerely apologize to you and anyone who felt offended by our work as it certainly wasn't our intention," stated KTZ in an email to Salome Awa this morning.

    The label's fall 2015 men's collection includes a number of garments based on traditional Inuit designs, including a sweater that appears to be a replica of a shaman's jacket, belonging to Awa's great-grandfather, used without her family's consent.

    "KTZ has always been inspired by and paid homage to indigenous cultures and tribes around the world," the apology said.
    Appropriation not a mistake

    Was this appropriation an innocent mistake that happened because KTZ didn't know the parka's significance? Probably not.

    In fact, probably the opposite. That is, KTZ probably knew of the coat and copied it precisely because it was famous.

    Inuit shaman parka 'copied' by KTZ design well-studied by anthropologists

    'It's the most unique garment known to have been created in the Canadian Arctic,' says Smithsonian researcher

    By Sima Sahar Zerehi
    An Inuit shaman's parka copied by KTZ, a U.K. design label, has been the subject of study for generations and is considered by experts as the "most unique garment known to have been created in the Canadian Arctic."

    The fashion label's fall 2015 men's collection includes a number of garments based on traditional Inuit designs, including a sweater that has a pattern almost identical to that on a shaman's caribou skin parka that dates back to the early 1900s.

    The design was used without the consent of the shaman's descendants in Nunavut. In response to a CBC News report last week, KTZ apologized to the family and pulled the sweater from its online stores.

    The story has sparked interest in the origins of the parka and the meaning behind its symbolic designs.
    Comment:  For more fashion faux pas, see Jennifer Lopez Wears "Tribal" Outfit and KTZ Rips Off Native Designs.

    November 26, 2015

    Indian costumes at annual Turkey Trot

    Native American Activists Plan to Protest Redface Runners at Long Beach Turkey Trot

    By Gabriel San RomanEvery Thanksgiving, runners head to Long Beach's annual Turkey Trot looking to put a dent in the calorie bombs sure to be gobbled up later in the day. They come by the thousands donning silly turkey hats with others wearing spoon and fork costumes. Too cute! Others, sadly, sport feather headdresses, sexy PocaHotties loincloths and war paint in a nauseating display of redface.

    Native American activists are planning to protest this year's Turkey Trot, though, to put the brakes on redface runners. "Conquering our image is another form of colonization that began with the theft of our lands," says protest organizer Tahesha K. Christensen. "Redfacing is racist and it is no different than blackface, or making fun of Jews, Asians, or any other cultural group."

    Christensen, a Native American of the Omaha Tribe, originally just wanted to find a charitable 5K around town to jog in when she heard about the Turkey Trot. Anna Christensen, Tahesha's mom and a Native activist in her own right, cautioned about the rampant redface she'd see. The would-be Turkey Trotter checked out the event's webpage and was mortified at all the photos of people playing Indian.

    "It made me very angry and it really was painful to see all of those people so disrespectful to our Native cultures," she says. Christensen made polite pleas on the Turkey Trot's promotional page only to get blocked from commenting further.

    And at the event itself:

    Protesters want no Native American costumes at Long Beach Turkey Trot

    By Andrew EdwardsA small group of protestors gathered near the beachfront site of the Long Beach Turkey Trot and called for ban against Native American-themed costumes at the event.

    The protestors consider the wearing of such costumes disrespectful to Native Americans and their cultures.

    “I got to speak with the organizer and I got to ask him if he would kindly ban the costumes, and he said he’s not in a position to do that just yet, but he understands our concerns,” said Gray Wolf, a protester who said he’s active with the American Indian Movement. “I think we made a little headway.”

    Such costumes were a rare sight at Thursday’s event. A reporter observed about five people among an estimated 4,000 attendees who donned feathered headware that somewhat resembled ceremonial Native American attire. Many more people wore hats resembling Thanksgiving turkeys.
    Comment:  The above image shows what past Turkey Trots were like. In fact, this photo may have inspired activists to launch a protest on Facebook and in person.

    November 25, 2015

    Peyote, "firewater" in Saturday Night Live

    Someone brought this old Saturday Night Live skit to my attention. I believe it appeared in Season 22, Episode 19, which aired May 10, 1997.

    John Goodman plays a pharmacist filling prescriptions for pill-popping crazy lady Collette Reardon (Cheri Oteri). The following exchange occurs near the end:

    Collette ReardonDon: I’m serious. All right, this one says 1000 buttons of religious-quality peyote.

    Collette: Dr. Steve Longshoe. Practices medicine on the reservation. Good kid. GOOD KID!

    Don: Mrs. Reardon, I’m not sure your HMO carries peyote, I’m not sure we even carry peyote, but why don’t you have a seat in our waiting area right over there—

    Collette: I know where it is, eye candy. Say, this may be the Benzedrine talking, but you’re a slice of man meat, and this prescription says take with food, huh?

    Don: Here’s a Whitman sampler on the house, now please, wait over there.

    Collette: Okay.

    Don: (on phone) Yes, Dr. Steve Longshoe, please. Uh, yes, doctor, I just wanted to check on a patient of yours, Collette Reardon?

    Collette: Tell him I said hi, Don.

    Don: (on phone) No, I didn’t mean to suggest anything, Dr. Longshoe. Okay. Yeah. Just stay off the firewater. No, I’m serious.
    Comment:  So Indians associated with peyote? Not good. I'm pretty sure a Native doctor wouldn't have access to peyote and wouldn't prescribe it. The only Indians who might have access to it are members of the Native American Church.

    Even worse, "firewater"? Don the pharmacist isn't even joking. He's straight-up telling the Native doctor not to drink.

    Holy stereotypes, Batman!

    For more on Saturday Night Live, see Blackhawks Logo in SNL's 40th Anniversary and Native Doll in Saturday Night Live.

    November 23, 2015

    Refugee cartoon for Thanksgiving

    Many people have posted Native-themed cartoons about immigration and refugees--especially around Thanksgiving. This one caught my eye because it's sweet and simple.

    For more on terrorism, see Conservative Christians Aren't Good Samaritans and Let's Deport White Men.

    November 22, 2015

    Jennifer Lopez wears "tribal" outfit

    Jennifer Lopez Wears "Tribal" Outfit for American Music Awards Opening Number

    By Rachel LubitzOn Sunday night, Jennifer Lopez opened the American Music Awards with a musical medley celebrating the year's top songs.

    As she shook her stuff on stage, fans took note of her signature ageless glow, her perfect caramel highlights and her "tribal" jumpsuit, which she paired with a Native-inspired fur coat.

    Although Lopez had several looks throughout the night—like a fun hot pink dress and a bright yellow jumpsuit—this was the one look that earned a certain kind of reaction. While most fans noted her impressive dance moves (and the fellow celebrity reactions), some viewers cited the outfit as an uncomfortable instance of cultural appropriation.
    There Was a Major Problem with Jennifer Lopez's Opening Performance at the AMAs

    This is something we should be paying more attention to.

    By Tyler McCall
    [W]e recognized the costumes' details from Italian label Dsquared2's controversial fall/winter 2015 collection. Nicknamed "Dsquaw," the line came under fire from Native American groups for cultural appropriation, not just because of the name ("squaw" is an derogatory word used to refer to Native American women) but because of the theft of their cultural heritage. DSquared2's designers Dean and Dan Caten are Canadian, which means they should be familiar to such sensitivities.

    This is how the original description of their line read:"The enchantment of Canadian Indian tribes. The confident attitude of the British aristocracy.

    In a captivating play on contrasts: an ode to America's native tribes meets the noble spirit of Old Europe. Magic and mysterious tribal influences meld with royal references in a bold, quite eccentric aesthetic, revealing luxurious materials and high-end, artisanal details.
    Comment:  Brown folks in cornrows, dreadlocks, and braids! So wildly outfitted and tattooed! They're fierce...savage...tribal!

    For more fashion faux pas, see Los Angeles Magazine's "Going Native" and KTZ Rips Off Native Designs.

    November 21, 2015

    Conservative Christians aren't Good Samaritans

    More on the conservative hypocrisy re refugees:Retweeted Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte):

    The way that so many Christians fall over themselves denying refuge to Syrians shows that their concept of Christian compassion is lacking.

    Retweeted Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte):

    To every self-identified Christian who denies Syrian refuge, I simply would ask them to read this:

    Luke 10:25-37 New International Version (NIV)
    The Parable of the Good Samaritan

    Retweeted Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte):

    And don’t tell me you’re afraid for your safety. Your own God told you to be afraid for your *soul* if you do not offer compassion.
    Be a Good Samaritan unless it's inconvenient or risky? Don't think that's what Jesus said.

    Above: All the Christian hypocrites who aren't Good Samaritans.

    The Republican Crisis Recycling Center: Syrian Refugee Edition

    What's the difference between the Ebola virus and a Syrian refugee? Nothing, according to conservatives.

    The Republican governors who are rejecting refugees are the same ones who allow our military veterans to be homeless and sleep on the streets and are willing to let poor people starve. They don't care about refugees because they don't care about humanity. They're cowards. Pitiful and despicable cowards.


    GOP Warns Refugees Likely To Be Driven To Terrorism By Way America Would Treat Them

    For more on terrorism, see Let's Deport White Men and Republicans Allow Guns for Terrorists.

    November 20, 2015

    Let's deport white men

    Let’s deport the white males: Will we coddle terrorists or rid ourselves of danger?An Open Letter to President Obama, and all candidates for President of the United States.

    The violence of recent months has brought America to a moment of reckoning. We must decide who we are as a people: whether we will coddle terrorists in the name of so-called civil liberties, or stand firm to protect our women and children. The recent attacks have been characterized by a barbarous sadism that can’t be attributed to any ideology. Rather its a streak of pure evil, what we might call suicidal — even tribal — bloodlust.

    Let me be clear: I am not a racist. I have friends of all races and religions. And yet political correctness can not erase the grim fact that the authors of these atrocities all belong to the same race, creed and gender.

    Columbine Massacre was committed by White Male Protestants

    Aurora Theatre massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    Sandy Hook Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    Tucson Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    Roseburg Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    Charleston Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    Oak Creek Sikh Temple Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    San Ysidro McDonalds Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    UT Austin Tower Massacre was committed by a White Male Protestant

    The Policy of Containment has Failed

    From its earliest days, America has pursued policy to confine this dangerous race to institutions — such as Ivy League universities, state legislatures, and the United States Congress — where they would do the least possible harm to women, children, and people of color. However, WMPs eventually infiltrated nearly every aspect of our society, successfully executing such heinous terrorist plots as: enslaving Africans for 400 years, stealing a continent and murdering millions of Indians, enforcing Jim Crow segregation with mob lynchings.

    Beginning in the 1950s, when it was evident that our great metropolises had been overrun with cells of WMPs, America began the most ambitious (and expensive) resettlement program of the modern era, shipping millions of white protestant boys, along with their sisters and parents, out of city limits to a ring of white-only colonies. Here, young WMPs were left to harmless diversions such as Little League, video games, and paintball contests, based on the theory that removing them from the threats constituted by the advances of women and brown people would mollify the murderous rage that had fueled their terrorism over the centuries.

    Alas, the experiment failed.
    Or as someone said to sum it up:How can we possibly evaluate every white male Christian to make sure he has no plans to murder women and children?For more on terrorism, see Republicans Allow Guns for Terrorists and Syrian Refugees = Jewish Refugees.

    November 19, 2015

    Republicans allow guns for terrorists

    Republicans bow down to ISIS, hint at shutdown over refugee funding

    Republicans are running out of things to shut the government down over. The next shutdown may be over parking privileges or trash pickup.

    Ted Cruz, ISIS propagandist: It’s almost like the GOP wants another massive Middle East war

    Republicans—who clearly see terrorism as an opportunity to score political points—are pandering as hard as they can.

    Thanks to the NRA Over 2000 Suspected Terrorists Were Able to Buy Guns in the U.S.

    We need a ban on terrorist guns to go along with a ban on terrorist refugees, said no Republican ever. ‪#‎hypocrites‬

    Texas GOP lawmaker: Keep Syrian refugees out of our state because it’s too easy to get a gun here

    Syrians are too risky! They could get guns and start shooting up schools and churches like Americans!Paul Ryan ‏@SpeakerRyan
    We should not bring Syrian refugees into this country unless we can be 100 percent confident that they are not here to do us harm.
    Fine, then we shouldn't let people buy guns unless we can be 100% confident they won't harm us.

    Can we deport Republicans if we're not 100% sure they won't harm us?

    For more on terrorism, see Syrian Refugees = Jewish Refugees and Republicans Afraid of Syrian Refugees.

    November 18, 2015

    Syrian refugees = Jewish refugees

    Comparing this refugee crisis with a previous refugee crisis, we see little has changed:Retweeted Avraham Bronstein (@AvBronstein):

    In the 1930s and 1940s enough Americans thought Jewish refugees may have included Soviet or German agents. ‪#‎NeverAgain‬ ‪#‎SyrianRefugees‬

    Retweeted Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani):

    I tweet this every day now, but 169,000 Bosnian Muslim refugees came to the US in the 1990s, from a radicalized warzone. Not one terrorist.

    Retweeted Terrell Lewis (@SgBz):

    Thank goodness the innkeeper wasn't a Republican Governor ‪#‎p2‬ ‪#‎tcot‬ ‪#‎Christian‬
    Retweeted Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani):

    America is literally formed as a country by people who ran away from persecution...

    Retweeted Historical Opinion (@HistOpinion):

    US Jan 20 ’39: Should the US government permit 10,000 mostly Jewish refugee children to come in from Germany?

    "If they're not white Christians," said America, "we don't care. Let 'em die in the Holocaust. They're not our responsibility."Retweeted southpaw (@nycsouthpaw):

    What benefits has the US ever gained from admitting displaced persons?
    Dr. Quimby on Twitter:

    America...founded by cowardly Europeans who couldn't take the heat.

    Retweeted Pete Fraser (@petefrasermusic):

    One of these was in today's Daily Mail and one is nazi propaganda. Take your time.

    If you're a Syrian refugee, you can move next door to me. I won't mind.

    For more on terrorism, see Republicans Afraid of Syrian Refugees and First Thoughts After Paris Attacks.

    November 17, 2015

    Republicans afraid of Syrian refugees

    Congressmen Pressure GOP Leaders To Strip Funding For Syrian Refugees

    The US is so paranoid about Syrian refugees that it’s letting barely any in

    Refugees aren't just slipping into the US. Screening takes two years, and it's nearly impossible for people to pass.

    They want a clash of civilizations: After Paris, we need grown-ups, not apocalyptic warriorsRepublicans are gleeful at getting to play war, except with real people's lives instead of toy soldiers. ‪#‎bomb‬ ‪#‎kill‬Fearing Fear Itself

    "An organized attempt to destroy Western civilization"? No, an organized attempt to sow panic, which is different.

    Do conservatives seriously think ISIS is going to bomb a million buildings or kill a billion Westerners? You have to be a blithering idiot to think they endanger our "civilization."

    Ann Coulter’s odious anti-Muslim rants: Of course she’s exploiting the Paris terror attacks to entertain racist, xenophobic fansShe happily conflates "Muslim," "refugee" and "ISIS," untroubled about maligning 1.5 billion practitioners of Islam.Chris Christie is winning the a**hole primary with his callous refugee stance: Not even “3 year old orphans” welcome

    Why exactly are conservatives afraid of a handful of terrorists? Because conservatives are cowards? Wimps? Children? They're literally cowering from 3-year-olds (Muslim) babies!

    Of course the conservatives cowards are mainly in red states. I thought that's why you had guns, you yellow bellies. So you could shoot the brown-skinned terrorists.

    Are you shivering and quivering too much to shoot straight? Afraid of shooting yourself in the foot or penis instead? Or what, exactly?

    Heartbreaking Photo Of A 4-Year-Old Syrian Girl ‘Surrendering’ To A Photojournalist

    Chris Christie wet his pants at the sight of this "terrorist"!

    Obama torches GOP on Syrian refugees: 'Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans'

    Republicans: Afraid of everything but white male Christians with guns!

    For more on terrorism, see First Thoughts After Paris Attacks and America the Biggest Loser.

    November 16, 2015

    First thoughts after Paris attacks

    Initial thoughts after the terrorist attacks on Paris:

    So many people suddenly enraged after not caring at all the day before. In other words, the sheer idiocy of changing your views after the ‪#‎ParisAttacks‬. So you admit you were ignorant about Islam, terrorism, immigration, surveillance, etc. until last week? Okay, geniuses, thanks for letting us know.

    So we hate ISIS. We hate Assad, who's fighting ISIS. And we hate the refugees fleeing ISIS and Assad. "Brown = evil," the Euro-American credo since 1492.

    WATCH: CNN Host Insists French Muslim Accept ‘Responsibility’ For Paris Attacks

    Yep, conservatives are racist hypocrites. You'll never hear them say this after a conservative Christian shoots a congregation or torches a church.

    For more on terrorism, see America the Biggest Loser and White People Aren't Called Terrorists.

    November 15, 2015

    Eddie Little Sky in Gilligan's Island

    Actor Eddie Little Sky appeared three times on Gilligan's Island--twice as Polynesian natives and once as a "witch doctor" with Mesoamerican roots. Here's more on him:
    Eddie Little SkyEddie Little Sky was born August 15, 1926, as Edsel Wallace Little on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Shannon County, South Dakota to Oglala Lakota parents, Wallace Little, Sr. and Wileminna Colhoff. He also served in the United States Navy and worked as a bull rider and bareback rider in the rodeo. As an actor, he took the name "Eddie Little Sky" and starred in numerous in numerous feature films and over sixty television shows, mostly Westerns, playing Native Americans at a time most Indians were often played by white actors under heavy make-up. He was one of the first Native American actors to play Native American roles and is best remembered for his performance as Black Eagle in "A Man Called Horse' (1970). He was also technical adviser for the movie "Soldier Blue."Comment:  For more on Gilligan's Island, see Indigenous Episodes in Gilligan's Island and Native Voodoo in Gilligan's Island.

    November 14, 2015

    Obama: Colonists were merely dissastified

    Obama Doesn't Understand American Indian History

    By Peter d'ErricoPresident Obama doesn't understand America's history with Indigenous Peoples. A careful reading of his recent conversation with author Marilynne Robinson on September 14, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa, shows he has serious misconceptions.

    In the midst of the conversation, Robinson referred to hearing people in America saying, "The system is failing." Obama responded: "That's part of what makes America wonderful, is we always had this nagging dissatisfaction that spurs us on. That’s how we ended up going west, that’s how we—'I’m tired of all these people back east; if I go west, there’s going to be my own land and I’m not going to have to put up with this nonsense, and I’m going to start my own thing, and I’ve got my homestead.'"

    That's pretty amazing. President Obama, so attuned to the "fault line of race," has it in his head that the Indian wars resulted from dissatisfied non-Indians, who, in order to feel better about their lives, "went west"!

    I guess the same explanation might apply all the way back: The Puritans were dissatisfied with their lot in England and Holland, so they went west to Massachusetts, and rounded up the Indians into "praying town" reservations. Other colonizers found their "own land" named "Virginia," where they became rich from tobacco plantations worked by indentured servants and slaves.

    And so on back even further: The conquistadors, "tired of all those people" back in Spain, went west to the "new world" and made it their "own land," and made the Indigenous peoples their "own slaves."

    Obama managed to skip over these gory details to get to his conclusion that "we" solved our "nagging dissatisfaction" and became a "wonderful" country. Who was "we"? It certainly didn't include the Indians. They were in "our" way.
    Comment:  What the colonizers really said:

    "I'm tired of all these people back east with their rules requiring payment for land. If I go west, there’s going to be my own land stolen from Indians and given to me.

    "If there's any trouble, the Army will protect me against the 'savages' who want their land back. I deserve these government handouts--free land and security--because I'm a privileged white man."

    November 13, 2015

    "Tolteca Aztec Indian" supports Redskins

    This "Native American" suggested we should take his support for the Washington Redskins seriously.

    Column: Vietnam veteran, Native American voices support for the Washington Redskins

    Why should we? Because:My son, Senior Airman Daniel P. Cortez II, stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah and I are proud American veterans and humble descendants of the Tolteca Aztec Indian tribe. We ARE Redskins.A Facebook response:Uh-huh. And no doubt, as closely identified with their 'Tolteca Aztec Indian Tribe' as these two clowns are, they've made repeated visits to their Native community as they fiercely cling to their heritage. (Question: What self-respecting Native refers to their Nation as an 'Indian Tribe'?)Alas, there's no such thing as the "Tolteca Aztec Indian tribe." The Toltecs and Aztecs were different cultures separated by hundreds of years. They were akin to empires or confederations containing many tribes.

    What I think he's trying to say is, "I'm a Mexican American, but that doesn't give me any credibility on Native issues, so I'll make something up."

    For more on the Redskins, see Davies: Mascot Foes Aren't Reasoning and More Boycotts of the Washington Redskins.

    November 12, 2015

    Review of Crazy Horse's Girlfriend

    Crazy Horse's GirlfriendMargaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

    About the Author

    Erika T. Wurth is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised on the outskirts of Denver. She teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and was a writer-in-residence at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

    Crazy Horse's Girlfriend: gripping, heart-wrenching narrative
    By Story Circle Book Reviews on September 1, 2014

    Sixteen-year-old Margaritte is constantly planning an escape route from her miserable circumstances. A mix of Apache, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and white, she finds her Idaho Springs, Colorado, home nothing less than depressing. Beyond ennui at home, Margaritte has to deal with the daily stress of her volatile alcoholic father and a mother who can be equally explosive, while helping care for her innocent six-year-old twin sisters. She's tired of living on the cusp of poverty, as well as being surrounded by teens who have no future aspirations. High on their chart of escapism is drugs and alcohol, while many girls succumb to teenage pregnancy--a statistic that Margaritte has no intention of becoming. Ironically, Margaritte, who drinks and smokes pot, sees the wads of cash she hopes to bring in as a drug dealer and her new love, Mike Walker, as the ticket out of her loathsome life. Yet the hope of a brighter future suddenly appears dismal when Margaritte learns that she's pregnant.

    In her debut novel, Wurth has created a plethora of hardened teens and their means of survival in unforgiving conditions. The story's protagonist narrator is Margaritte, whose insistence on not becoming a loser truly earmarks her as an underdog, as she struggles to go against the grain of her impoverished society. The language Wurth uses, which includes Lakota terminology, is raw and visceral, reflecting just how tough these teens are, especially Margaritte.

    Kudos to Wurth for producing a gripping and heart-wrenching narrative that is not only a must read for young adult and older readers, but also a wonderful addition to Native American literature.

    No heroes; just choices.
    By Elizabeth Harper on December 23, 2014

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it relevant, especially its description of the torment and ambivalence involved in making life decisions in messy, difficult, imperfect circumstances. The main character is engaging and sympathetic. Highly recommended for anyone interested in domestic violence, social policy, young adults, Native Americans, alcoholism, and drug addiction.

    The prose is gritty and hard, but soul is there as well.
    By D. S. Atkinson on October 4, 2014

    I love the voice in this book. The prose is gritty and hard, but soul is there as well. Whether you're in it for the grit or the soul, or in it for both like me, I don't think you can help but dig this one. It's particularly impressive for a first novel.
    Rob's review

    I'd say Crazy Horse's Girlfriend was a solid entry in the Native American category for YA fiction. It's about as good as it gets for depictions of gritty, urban Indian life. Perhaps because Wurth grew up in this environment, I could easily believe in it.

    A few problems in non-Native areas kept me from deeming this an exceptional story:

  • Her main support system is her cousin Jake and her best friend Julia, but these characters disappear for most of the novel. Margaritte ends up relying on secondary characters and predictably bonding with them.

  • Margaritte is supposedly an experienced drug dealer who hangs around with druggies, but doesn't recognizes the signs of drug abuse in her boyfriend Mike. If a straight arrow like me sees the problem before she does, that's bad.

  • Margaritte supposedly loves reading, but she's never shown reading and spends no significant time at it. As someone who was a 16-year-old reader like her, I can tell you: you don't finish thick Stephen King novels by osmosis. You have to spend a lot of time--e.g., six hours a day on weekends--to be a serious reader.

    Moreover, she says she doesn't know words such as "repugnant" and has to look them up in a dictionary. These words should be part of a teenage reader's vocabulary well before age 16.

  • Margaritte's overriding concern is to avoid becoming a teenage mom like her mother was. But when Mike proposes having unprotected sex because he did it once and the girl didn't become pregnant, Margaritte naively believes him. This badly contradicts what we know of her character.

  • The "everything's looking up" ending seems more appropriate for a sappy suburban tale than a gritty urban one. It's predictable enough for a cautionary "Afternoon Special."

  • The phrase "Crazy Horse's Girlfriend" is a slur applied to a gay Lakota man. It seems weirdly inappropriate to use it for a straight Lakota woman.

  • Despite these comments, I enjoyed Crazy Horse's Girlfriend. Rob's rating: 7.5 of 10.

    November 11, 2015

    1/64 Cherokee in Modern Family

    I'm not watching Modern Family anymore, but I saw a commercial for this week's episode, The More You Ignore Me. In it, Phil Dunphy says this as he runs to his car:I may be 1/64 Cherokee but I'm also 63/64 crazy white guy!Comment:  Wow, they're really going to the Cherokee well on this show. Following 1/16 Cherokee in Modern Family, it's the second time someone's claimed to be Cherokee.

    There's nothing wrong with this, exactly. Phil could well be 1/64th Cherokee by blood. More likely, someone told him his great-great-great-great grandmother was Cherokee and he swallowed the story uncritically. Which is how it goes about 63/64ths of the time.

    But the show has tried this gimmick twice, which makes the writers seem a little thoughtless and unoriginal. Not to mention desperate. Have they been listening to the critics who have pointed out how white the show is? Except for Gloria, who's a fiery Latina stereotype?

    What better way to inject some color--literally and figuratively--into their white-bread characters? Many people claim to have Cherokee ancestors who are difficult if not impossible to verify. It's a cheap way to imply a character isn't as white and privileged as he seems.

    If Phil is 1/64th Cherokee, you're supposed to feel 1/64th more sympathy for him, or something. The show can then proceed without confronting a single issue of race or culture. It's the TV equivalent of checking a box on a job application. "For the sake of the diversity police, we checked the ethnicity box for Phil this week. Done!"

    For more on Modern Family, see History Class in Modern Family.

    November 09, 2015

    Indigenous episodes in Gilligan's Island

    Some info on the indigenous-themed episodes of Gilligan's Island:

    NativesNatives" is the generic term for the local indigenous tribes that live in the area around "Gilligan's Island," small island nations of Polynesian and Papuan aborigines somewhere in the castaways proximity. These tribes worship a number of gods, possibly deified ancestors, and practice a number of rites including cannibalism, head-hunting and a practice resembling Voodoo of the Caribbean Sea.A list of the episodes:

  • Two on a Raft (Season 1, Episode 1): Each group of castaways fears that the other group is headhunters.

  • Waiting for Watubi (Season 1, Episode 10): A buried stone idol seems to carry a curse.

  • How to Be a Hero (Season 1, Episode 23): Gilligan thinks a real headhunter is the Skipper trying to boost his confidence.

  • Music Hath Charms (Season 1, Episode 26): Gilligan's drumming attracts natives who think it's a challenging war cry.

  • Three to Get Ready (Season 1, Episode 29): A native gem, the Eye of the Idol, seems to grant three wishes.

  • Gilligan's Mother-in-Law (Season 2, Episode 1): Gilligan must marry fat Native girl to get the castaways off the island.

  • Voodoo (Season 3, Episode 5): A witch doctor practices voodoo on the castaways to retrieve stolen artifacts.

  • Topsy-Turvy (Season 3, Episode 10): Gilligan's vision is on the fritz while headhunters stalk the castaways.

  • High Man on the Totem Pole (Season 3, Episode 23): Based on a "totem pole," headhunters think Gilligan is their god.

  • The Secret of Gilligan's Island (Season 3, Episode 25): An ancient stone tablet may show the castaways how to leave the island by boat.

  • Slave Girl (Season 3, Episode 26): Gilligan rescues native woman and she becomes his slave.

  • Gilligan the Goddess (Season 3, Episode 30): Natives want to toss a maiden "goddess" into a volcano.

  • Comment:  These episodes are racist and stereotypical, of course. The natives grunt or speak made-up gibberish. They do little more than kill and eat people. They're played by white actors, usually in brownface.

    If South Seas islanders were ever this savage and barbaric, it ended a century or two ago. You know, when white men conquered them and colonized their islands? Sent in the missionaries and forcibly converted them to Christianity and "good Christian" lifestyles.

    By the 1960s, many island peoples were dealing with their British and French occupiers, demanding self-rule or territorial status. With all the traffic in the area--people must've visited Gilligan's Island dozens of times--it's ridiculous to think the indigenous cultures would have continued untouched. The islanders would be selling goods and services to waves of tourists, not hunting heads in grass skirts.

    For more on Gilligan's Island, see Native Voodoo in Gilligan's Island Mohawk Astronaut in Gilligan's Island.

    November 08, 2015

    Pechanga wristband in The Simpsons

    As the Pechanga Casino tweeted:Pechanga Casino ‏@PechangaCasino Nov 9
    Pechanga was mentioned on @TheSimpsons last night on @FOXTV! #Pechanga #simpsons #thesimpsons #fox #foxtv

    The context is this:

    Episode Fact File: Friend with Benefit[T]his Sunday, November 8th, 2015, Fox aired “Friend with Benefit,” the 6th episode of Season 27, and the 580th episode to date.

    Episode Description:

    Lisa makes a new pal at school named Harper, whose internet billionaire father becomes buddies with a different Simpson: Homer. Soon, though, Lisa becomes worried that Harper is a little too entitled.


    At night, Homer gets angry about the [self-lifting] chair, complaining that he never gets the finest things in life. That’s when Lisa asks him to take her to an Australian boy band concert with Harper, as her father has bought the seats. Feeling unconfident, he takes Lisa to the show.
    When the concert runners give Homer a wristband, he shows the one he already has. Apparently the producers have a thing for Pechanga, as they mentioned it in Pechanga Muffins in The Simpsons.

    November 04, 2015

    Davies: Mascot foes aren't reasoning

    Columnist James Giago Davies previously criticized anti-racism activists with the extremely weak "don't they have anything better to do?" argument. Now he's back with a column on mascots--this time intended to prove he's superior to both sides.

    Why the Redskins controversy won’t die
    Back in the news cycle yet again

    By James Giago Davies

    True, he takes on the Redskins this time--perhaps because people excoriated him for supporting racism the last time. Redskin supporters argue thatsports teams intend to honor Indians by naming sports teams after them, but that is not reasoning that is rationalizing. They want to keep the name of the team as is, for reasons of tradition, a tradition established at a time when you could use openly racist epithets and it was socially acceptable. Calling the team the Redskins worked at the time because Redskins conjured up images of fierce warriors, but the intent was never to honor Indians.

    Were that the intent, if Indians really were something so honored and respected you would name a team after them solely for that reason, then present day Indian objections to having a team named Redskins would be just as honored and respected, and the name change to something less offensive to aboriginal Americans would have happened a half century ago, when the first serious objections to the team name made the national media.
    But he also wants us to know that anti-mascot activists who have said the same thing are still somehow wrong. According to him, activists argue thatnaming a sports team after Indians for any reason is demeaning to Indians, and is solely intended to mock and marginalize, but that is not reasoning, it is rationalizing.

    If the sole intent were to demean Indians, then why aren’t teams named the Chinks or the Niggers, why just the Redskins? They are equally demeaning racial epithets, aren’t they? We don’t call teams the Washington Weaklings or the Capitol Cowards. Teams are named after positive symbols, not negative ones.
    Rob's reply

    This is a straw-man argument that falsely characterizes what activists think and say. We've never said the team chose or intended the name to mock and marginalize Indians.

    The word "solely" is especially false, if that's possible. No one has said that everyone from George P. Marshall to Dan Snyder had and has a monomaniacal desire to demean Indians. We understand that they believe(d) their fantasy about "honoring" Indians.

    In contrast to your straw-man argument, here's what activists actually say. One, the name is a dictionary-defined racial slur. Two, it promotes the stereotypical notion of Indians as primitive people of the past. We're not addressing the name's intent, we're addressing its effect.

    To reiterate our argument, the name has the effect of marginalizing Indians regardless of the intent of owners and fans. People cannot see Indians as full-fledged members of modern society when they believe them to be savages in feathers and leathers. One view negates the other.

    Too bad the activist side of your argument--i.e., half your column--is wrong. Try again, and better luck next time. Perhaps read some of Tim Giago's columns to understand why the R-word is harmful to Indians.

    For more on the Washington Redskins, see More Boycotts of the Washington Redskins and Redskins Mascot = Confederate Flag.

    November 03, 2015

    Jenner and Hilton in stereotypical costumes

    For this year's offensive Halloween costumes, we have Kylie Jenner as an "Eskimo" and Nicky Hilton as a Pocahottie:

    Kylie Jenner and Nicky Hilton Wore Some Pretty Offensive Halloween Costumes This Year

    You can see the costumes there. A typical criticism:

    Bristol Palin defends Kylie Jenner's 'Eskimo' Halloween costumeHey @KylieJenner Eskimo is an Indigenous people NOT a Halloween costume #CulturalAppropriation #RacistHalloween

    — Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) October 31, 2015
    And speaking for ignorant conservatives, we have Bristol Palin with two common defenses of racism: "I'm part Native" and "lighten up."

    Bristol Palin Defends Kylie Jenner's 'Eskimo' Halloween Costume

    Comment:  For more offenses from the Jenner and Hilton clans, see Khloe Kardashian in a Headdress, Again and Paris Hilton as a Sexy Indian.

    November 02, 2015

    Gay skier in a headdress

    Gus Kenworthy Takes Down Culturally Insensitive Halloween Photo; Says He Was “Just Having Fun”
    The Olympic freestyle skier issued an immediate about-face after deleting thr controversial photo.

    By Evan Ross KatzNow that Gus Kenworthy has come out of the closet, among the legions of support being doled out comes the sharpening gaze of those looking to catch the out freestyle skier’s first big media debacle. They didn’t have to wait long. It happened yesterday.

    After posting his “sexy cop” photo on Halloween proper, Kenworthy took to Instagram the morning after to give fans a glimpse at his fourth costume (the second and third were not photographed, which might have been best considering where this story goes).

    [T]his is not the first time (nor, sadly, the last) that a blatantly unaware celebrity has taken the Native American Headdress and turned it into a costume.

    Kenworthy should surely be slapped on the wrist for not realizing this. But what makes his indiscretion doubly offensive is his blatant acknowledgment and swift disregard. Though he’s since issued an apology, the caption of his original post makes it clear that he knew the controversial waters in which he was wading.
    Gus Kenworthy: I apologize for my Native American-themed costume

    By LGBTQ NationInitially, he wrote that “for everyone giving me grief, I don’t really understand why this is racist or cultural appropriation.. it’s Halloween! Just having fun! :)”

    However, the Instagarm hordes weren’t satisfied with his statement, and their unremitting gush of negative commentary led Kenworthy to delete the photo and officially apologize:

    “Didn’t realize I was being offensive & didn’t mean to marginalize or appropriate Native American culture. Sorry! Pic deleted.”
    Comment:  Kenworthy's apology translated: "Sorry you caught me engaging in hipster racism. And sorry my ironic acknowledgement of hipster racism didn't inoculate me from criticism."

    For more on the subject, see Montreal Alouettes Stereotype Indians and Acadian Singer's Stereotypical Music Video.

    November 01, 2015

    Native people in "Indian" costumes

    Adrienne Keene talks about a Metis woman who received rude comments for wearing an Indian Chief costume for Halloween. Keene empathizes with the woman but ultimately takes the critics' side:

    To the Native people in “Indian” Costumes

    By Adrienne KeeneAs a Native person, or a person with Native ancestry, you are not somehow excused from criticism for a racist, stereotypical costume. The costume has no connection or relationship to actual Native regalia, and pieces like the headdress actually have deep meaning that you are mocking and erasing by donning them on a night made for make-believe. You are reifying stereotypes, collapsing hundreds of tribes into a set of characteristics that don’t represent the vast, vast diversity of Indian Country. Your tribe has its own distinct culture, regalia, and cultural practices, and chances are they look nothing like the mess you’re wearing for a party.

    Halloween is also the exact worst time to honor your heritage. Halloween is a time for people to dress up as characters, as fantasy creatures, and play pretend. Your culture is not pretend. It is real, and vibrant, and deserves respect–not for you to stand in faux-regalia with a red cup of Halloween punch drunkenly dancing to Monster Mash.

    I also support the harsh questioning from Native peoples you may have encountered, and believe their tone, anger, and dismissiveness is completely justified. When we angrily demand to know your nation and your connection to your community, it’s because we are asking ourselves, How could this have happened?? Who are you accountable to??

    The anger of Native people should be a signal to you. If you are a Native person, this is the community you are part of, and the relationships that you held are accountable to. If they are telling you that your actions are harmful, it would behoove you to listen.

    So while I offer you my empathetic understanding that it is truly difficult to be a Native person growing up without close ties or cultural groundings, I’m telling you now that it’s time to listen and learn, and to grow. Reflect on your choices, own up to your mistakes, swallow your shame and embarrassment, apologize, and move forward. If you are going to claim your heritage, do research. Find out what nation you are actually from (chances are, it’s not actually Cherokee), what your regalia actually looks like, and when the appropriate times and spaces are to wear it. Be humble, listen, and take small steps. Heritage is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Native identity is responsibility, pride, and accountability, and Native cultures are beautiful, complex, and again, deserve respect–which doesn’t and can’t come from a costume shop headdress and striped warpaint.
    Comment:  Your typical Indian costume--chief, "brave," or Pocahottie--is false and stereotypical. I'm not sure why any Natives think their heritage would change that.

    Say you're a full-blooded Navajo, Lakota, or Cherokee in a typical costume. Why should we care about your heritage? Your costume is still false and stereotypical. Even if you put Pocahontas, Tecumseh, or Geronimo in the would have no effect on the costume's authenticity. It still would be false and stereotypical.

    For more on Halloween, see "Indian" Listed in Halloween Assignment and British Model Dresses as Dead Chief.