Dear Christina Fallin
Dear Christina Fallin,
Last night, someone tagged me in the comments of your post on Instagram, a picture of you wearing dark red lipstick and a coordinating warbonnet. Initially, I just rolled my eyes and closed the window, because since I’ve somehow become an “expert” on white girls in headdresses, I get sent pictures like yours pretty much every. single. day. Don’t believe me? Just glance at the “#indianheaddress” tag. But then I got an email, then another, and another, and another, and then realized that this one was different–because you, Christina, are the governor of Oklahoma’s daughter.
I’ve written a lot of these letters. I’ve written them to Drew Barrymore, to Paul Frank, to my local YMCA, to generic party-goers, and more. I’ve also written a whole post about why you can’t wear a hipster headdress. I’d encourage you to read these posts.
But you see Christina, while a lot of those folks I wrote those letters to came at this from a place of ignorance (which doesn’t excuse it by any means), you knew that putting on that headdress would be controversial. You titled your photo “Appropriate Culturation” which means you are aware of the concept of cultural appropriation, and knew that Native peoples would be hurt by your choice, and you did it anyway.