Africa and Aboriginal Tuesdays: Did Outkast Mock Native Americans?
I watched in absolute dismay the last OutKast performance on the Grammy Awards last night. OutKast in their green Peter Pan looking "Native American" outfits were a total disrespect to all Native Americans. To dance in front of a teepee, with the short skirts and bare stomachs hanging out with feathers in their hair was so unbelievably racist that I canít believe CBS Okíd the routine. If a Native American or any other non-black group would have performed a number painted in black face while mocking an ancient black tribal dance the NAACP, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson would now own the entire CBS network. Justin Timberlake stood up and apologized for his behavior at the Superbowl. I think OutKast and CBS should stand up and apologize for theirs.
Dawn Houle, Overland Park, Kan.
As a Native American I was very offended by the 2004 Grammy performance by the group OutKast of their hit "Hey Ya." They emerged from a tee-pee dressed up as "Indians" with green feathers and dancing and prancing all over the stage, and their keyboardist was even wearing a Chiefís bonnet! I love that song and was very happy that OutKast won, but I was so disappointed to view that type of mockery of our culture. I really wasnít able to enjoy their performance! It reminded me of old 30ís musicals representations of Native Americans, and the stereotypical characters in old "Hiawatha," Bugs Bunny type cartoons of the 40ís - 60ís.
Roxanne Chinook, Bellingham, Wash.
Editor's Note: Both of the above are letters to the editor published at Indian Country Today
Tuesday, February 10, 2004