Ungelbah Davila: Most Americans know little about tribal people

"Did you get a chance to see No Doubt’s new music video for their song “Lookin’ Hot”? It was only out for a couple of days before they took it down and issued an apology to the American Indian community. I finally got a chance to hunt it down myself and take a look at it. Basically it consisted of a very bleach-blond Gwen Stefani in a stylized Plains Indian costume playing what can best be described as cowboys and Indians. My non-Native boyfriend made the mistake of asking what I thought about it. So here’s what I think about it.

I think that within this country a very unique sociopolitical demographic exists that is the country’s indigenous people, which is by and large misunderstood by the majority of American citizens because of a blatant lack of education and a bias history penned by ethnocentric colonizers. The result of this is a lack of sensitivity spawned from ignorance.

Am I angry at No Doubt? No. I think they are victims of an unbalanced political and historical dialogue. Rather, I am proud of them for taking responsibility for their ignorant approach and doing the honorable thing – taking down the video, which, in this situation, is perhaps the most powerful move they could have made. They’ve acknowledged that they were wrong, which validated their naysayers, which gives that much more power and credence to the American Indian voice and that of the global indigenous community."

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Ungelbah Davila: Gwen Stefani and No Doubt: Lack of Sensitivity Caused by Ignorance (Indian Country Today 11/8)

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