Monday, September 10, 2012

'A Letter to Urban Outfitters' by Autumn White Eyes

♥ SHARE for the ignorant masses to see... and hopefully understand ♥

Skrillex & Native Appropriations

Today I saw the music video for "Make It Bun Dem" by Skrillex and Damian Marley.  My problem is not w/ the use of the rain dance in the video, but over the BIG COW people in the Native community are having over it.  Some people are saying that Skrillex is exploiting Natives by using our culture to make profit for himself. I think otherwise. 

First of all, if this video was an exploitation of Native culture, we might've seen visuals closer to Paul Frank's racist costume party... but, instead, the visuals are  powerful... and, dare I say, demanding respect? 

Second, the director, Tony T. Datis, collaborated w/ REAL Natives in the video.  That says a lot. If the director casted anybody else, say someone painted up in 'war paint' or wearing a head dress that was not Native, then a legitimate complaint could be lodged. But, he didn't. He used the real deal & for that, I am grateful.

Third, I appreciate the plot of the video. Not only does it draw attention to the EXISTENCE of Native people, but it exhibits the power and resistance of natives in modern America. We, too, are negatively affected by greedy, power-hungry Corporations… just like many Americans in 2012.  We, too, are feeling the effects of a down-turned economy.  And, though, we have become cultured in modern American lifestyles, we are still 100% NDN at heart & we are still strong & willing to fight back w/ what we have remaining of our culture and traditional ways.  We live on! We exist! We are not going to stop being who we are! We are always going to push forward for a good life! We are always going to push back against oppression!
View the video for yourself here ~>, tell us what YOU think :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Racist PowWow w/ Paul Frank

"Paul Frank celebrated Fashion’s Night Out with a neon-Native American powwow theme. Glow-in-the-dark war-painted employees in feather headbands and bow and arrows invited guests to be photographed on a mini-runway holding prop tomahawks." Barf!

(Pictures taken off Twitter)

Racism in candy colors is still racism.

For this company to use Native American imagery to make profit off of young, ignorant hipsters by exploiting indigenous cultures is insensitive and foolish. Considering the Urban Outfitters debacle from last year, you would think the fashion industry would be more cautious when using Native American-inspired designs… but, apparently that is hoping for too much.

A former-colleague of mine, Dr. Jessica Metcalf, founder of 'Beyond Buckskin', wrote to the Paul Frank Company and demanded an apology to the Native American population for the party and for the images it produced. Because imagery like that has a way of propagating ignorance and insensitivity, she felt that it was her duty as a member of Native America to voice her concerns.  I applaud her for that!

This is what she wrote on Paul Frank’s Facebook page:
“To whom it may concern:  
Thank you for removing the Powwow pictures from your Facebook page. However, the party still happened, and the images are still out there. We want an apology, Paul Frank. Since you are profiting off of a caricature of our cultures, a donation to a Native American youth arts program would be fitting to accompany your apology. 
Furthermore, if you are genuinely interested in Native American design, I suggest you collaborate with Native American designers in the future. Your actions are highly offensive, and it is ridiculous to see this level of racism still occurring in 2012.  
Sincerely,Jessica R. Metcalfe, PhD (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) 
Beyond Buckskin”
In response, Paul Frank apologized, stating:

"Paul Frank celebrates diversity and is inspired by many rich cultures from around the world. The theme of our Fashion's Night Out event was in no way meant to disrespect the Native American culture, however due to some comments we have received we are removing all photos from the event and would like to formally and sincerely apologize. Thank you everyone for your feedback and support."
Though, this is a small battle that has been figuratively ‘won’, the war against racism and exploitation continues.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Good Medicine

Sometimes you just gotta laugh to keep from crying... lol :)

Charlie Hill ->

Don Burnstick ->

Tatanka Means ->

Sh*#t NDN Girls Say ->

Red Power Squad ->

'Bad Indians' by Ryan Redcorn

" i was told by those old ones
that every song has a special time and a place where its sang
this is our song
and this our time
they used to say the only good indian is a dead indian
i must be a no good at being indian
cuz I feel alive and kicking
we are the bastard reject children of manifest destiny
the offspring of fornicating aimsters
raised by our grandparents who told us
not to confuse being warriors with gangsters
the edward curtis groupies get jazzed by anyone fitting the bill
and America gets jazzed by every Bury My Heart at Walmart film
here i stand before you
this crowd of nations
this life of sanctions
an awkward patience
like five hundred BIA buildings vs. a fathers' unfiltered hate
right next to the IHS building with a two and a half week wait.
a cinderblock battlefield where few are left standing
and the people its failing, its' marginalized estate.
i am armed to the teeth with words from the ivory tower
and those good indians told me its borrowed power if...
if i talk loud enough
if i talk clear enough
that i would be heard
that for some talking is singing
that for some singing is praying
but i guess that depends on who is doing the talking
and i guess that depends on who is doing the listening understand me in english,
you have been robbed of your tongues
the taproot of thought
in the middle of resisting
the language got caught
and she only shows her face during ceremony
like she's ashamed of her scars
like what she has to say is never really heard. at all.
and the violence she knows is enough to never sing again
but i killed the cameraman and stripped him of his lense.
i photographed the body and asked him to forgive.
forgive me as i cut out your tongue
forgive me as i put you in this powdered wig
forgive me when i put your body in a museum
forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
the balls of your forefathers will be traded for whiskey
to fuel the molotov cocktails to be tossed at your cities
and the breasts of your mothers severed and bloody
will be sold to the freak show for the revelers money
your children will witness their whole world collapse
as kidnapped siblings must erase names off maps
so forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
i was taught better than that
i have more respect than that
there is no history book with my story
there is no newspaper to give me my glory
because no one has heard this language in years
cept kokopelli, dream catchers and a trail of beers
my voice is a small pox blanket
that spreads like fire on the prairie
infecting both fist and hatchet
in the spirit of fucking crazy"

WATCH the performance of the poem here ~>