Paul Frank offends every Native person on the planet with Fashion Night Out “Dream Catchin’ Pow wow”

There are so, so many things about this event that are upsetting to me that I don’t even really know where to start. It is such a statement about the state of our society that this event was allowed to go off without a hitch. Think about how many layers of approval these things go through, and not one person at Paul Frank, or in the PR company they hired (Red Light PR), thought this was problematic.

One other troubling aspect to these photos is the number of people of color engaged in “playing Indian.” I don’t kid myself to think that these issues are limited to the dynamics of power between white folks and Native folks, but its honestly hard to see people from other marginalized communities jumping on the bandwagon to oppress another group. Definitely a bigger discussion for another time, but just wanted to draw your attention to it.

Other coverage of the party:

Beyond Buckskin: Paul Frank’s Racist Powwow
Indian Country Today: Paul Frank Offends with Dream Catchin’ Party
Oh No They Didn’t: Disney Stars (& Others) Attend Paul Frank ‘PowWow’ Mocking Native Americans
Uncle Paulie’s World: Designer Paul Frank’s Technicolor “Dream Catchin’ Pow Wow” Furthers Native American Stereotypes

nativeappropriations:

“Fire Water” brand whiskey and bourbon. Found in Barcelona, Spain. 
THIS IS NOT OK. 

nativeappropriations:

“Fire Water” brand whiskey and bourbon. Found in Barcelona, Spain. 

THIS IS NOT OK. 

"

I’m constantly told I’m not “Indian enough” to write this blog, which is frustrating, but admittedly comes with putting your thoughts and identity on the internet. I acknowledge that my white privilege has meant that I’ve been given hella opportunities, and am now in a privileged position to be able to sit here and write these ideas. But part of dealing with privilege is working actively to dismantle it. If I didn’t use my strange combination of oppression and privilege to openly question, critique, and start conversations, I’d just be playing into the system that benefits from Native subjugation and white privilege—and that would be something to be concerned about.

These interactions and comments admittedly made me feel ashamed. I felt ashamed that I had somehow disrespected my community, ashamed that I didn’t know how to defend myself better, ashamed that because of history of my ancestors and policies of the federal government, I ended up growing up away from my community and not being more of a “real Indian” in their eyes.

But instead of feeling ashamed, I’m trying now to turn the tables and think that I, instead, am the colonizer’s worst nightmare. Because history has tried to eradicate my people by violence and force, enacted every assimilating and acculturating policy against my ancestors, let me grow up in white suburbia, and erased all the visual vestiges of heritage from my face—but still tsi tsalagi (I am Cherokee). My ancestors gave their “x-marks”—assents to the new—so that I could be here, fighting back against misrepresentations, through a keyboard and the internet.

So I care about how Native people are represented, and I will fight for our right to be portrayed with accuracy, dignity, and respect. So while “real Indians” might not care about Tonto, I do, and despite what others might think, I’m just about as real as you can get.

"

via Native Appropriations

regarding harassment from producers and actors in the Lone Ranger movie, currently in production, which features Johnny Depp as “Tonto”

image reads:

[Playing Indian
What is cultural appropriation? What is wrong with it? Isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? On the blog Native Appropriations, Adrienne K. explains, “”Playing Indian” has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstral shows or dressing up in blackface. You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so…you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them.”
The appropriation of Native designs today is part of this ongoing tradition of erasing contemporary communities through seemingly benign imitation, meanwhile flouting the cultural connections and meaning imbued in these  original, handcrafted objects.]

Just wanted to put this out there. It’s from a display at Brown University’s Thawing the Frozen Indian, in which they give a shoutout to the Native Appropriations blog.
We bloggers make a real difference.
It will never be okay to appropriate in a world where people literally think we don’t exist.

image reads:

[Playing Indian

What is cultural appropriation? What is wrong with it? Isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery? On the blog Native Appropriations, Adrienne K. explains, “”Playing Indian” has a long history in the United States, all the way back to those original tea partiers in Boston, and in no way is it better than minstral shows or dressing up in blackface. You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so…you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them.”

The appropriation of Native designs today is part of this ongoing tradition of erasing contemporary communities through seemingly benign imitation, meanwhile flouting the cultural connections and meaning imbued in these  original, handcrafted objects.]

Just wanted to put this out there. It’s from a display at Brown University’s Thawing the Frozen Indian, in which they give a shoutout to the Native Appropriations blog.

We bloggers make a real difference.

It will never be okay to appropriate in a world where people literally think we don’t exist.