S.O.L.O. would like to commend Ms. Sasha Houston Brown for her eloquent condemnation of Urban Outfitter’s shameless use of “Navajo” design. In an open letter to the kingpin of pseudo-hipster stylings, Brown presents C.E.O. Glen T. Senks with her very own cease and desist notice:
“Urban Outfitters Inc. has taken Indigenous life ways and artistic expressions and trivialized and sexualized them for the sake of corporate profit. It is this kind of behavior that perpetuates the stereotype of the white man’s Indian and allows for the ongoing commodification of an entire ethnic group. Just as our traditional homelands were stolen and expropriated without regard, so too has our very cultural identity. On this day that America still celebrates as Columbus Day, I ask that do what is morally right and apologize to Indigenous peoples of North America and withdraw this offensive line from retail stores.”
If you have an extra minute, do check out the original posting of the letter on Racialicious. And if the topic really has you intrigued or ruffled, it wouldn’t hurt to check out the comment section of this article by Jenna Sauers on Jezebel. Google “Navajo Panty” and you’ll find a slew of other articles written in response (including The New York Times and Time). Congratulations and thanks are due Sasha. The conversation that stems from such outspoken and well-researched offense will be that which drives us all closer to the status of sovereign original land owners.