by Guest Contributor Adrienne Keene, originally published at Native Appropriations“Navajo Nations Crew Pullover“
A search for “Cherokee” on the Urban Outfitters website reveals 1 result. A search for “Tribal”: 15. A search for “Native”: 10. “Indian”: 2. But Navajo? 24 products have Navajo in the name alone.
This post started as a massive Urban Outfitters take-down, I spent an hour or so last week scrolling through the pages of the website, and adding anything to my cart that was “Native inspired” or had a tribal name in the description. I got through JUST the women’s clothes and accessories (no mens or apartment), and had 58 items in my cart. So, then, like any good researcher, I began to code my cart for emergent themes, and the one that jumped out far above the rest? Urban Outfitters is obsessed with Navajos.
I want to show you some examples, and then talk a little about the issues with using tribal names in products that are decidedly not-. Finally, I want to share what the Navajo Nation in particular is doing about it, and the action they’ve taken is pretty cool.
Without further ado, some of the “Navajo” products to grace the pages of Urban.
From the basic:“Title Unknown Techno Navajo Quilt Oversized Crop Tee” Truly Madly Deeply Navajo Print Tunic
To the totally random:Navajo Feather Earrings Continue reading
by Special Correspondent Wendi Muse
I go grocery shopping almost every day here in Brazil, but I rarely really study the packaging of the products I buy beyond checking out the price and the contents. However, a few weeks ago, while sitting down to remove my nail polish, I noticed that a grocery store purchase yielded a little more than I had bargained for: racist caricatures! Yes, ladies and gentelemen, racist caricatures, even on something as simple as nail polish remover!
After noticing this, I decided to take note of other products. Another one I found by accident happened to be on a small bag of rosemary I picked up to use at my friend’s house:
…little Chinese man (chinezinho) rosemary, that is.
In almost every country, racist caricatures have been used to sell every day products, but to still see such images in circulation is a bit troubling. It’s of little concern here in Brazil, but usually in the United States, these logos would bring forth quite a bit of criticism.
Have any of you seen any racist caricatures on grocery items in the States or abroad? How do they make you feel?