Urban Outfitters’ headaches increased today, with a change.org campaign demanding they remove their “Navajo” collection from stores in Europe and other international locations.
A lot of words and phrases come to mind (see this blog’s tags). Poooooor Urban Outfitters. Excuse me if I fail to shed a single tear for them.
My response to this framing: [Dear Christina Binkley of the Wall Street Journal] your lead sentence is backwards. it was the Navajo Nation — and other natives — whose headaches increased because of Urban Outfitter’s incredibly disrespectful, insulting and poor taste.
[I] imagine if someone took my name — without my permission — and started using it to market (and profit from) products that had absolutely nothing to do with me, i’d feel a bit upset, too. i’d feel even more upset with it happening in the context of hundreds of years of genocide, ethnic cleansing and more subtle, chronic forms of oppression against my people.
i detest the implication that Urban Outfitter is somehow a victim in all this. if Urban Outfitter has a “headache,” (and are we really going to personify the corporation like that?) it’s from a hangover that is purely the fault of their poor decisions. Let’s take the analogy further: Let’s say Urban Outfitters threw the party from which they are currently suffering. Let’s say someone approached them with some feedback about how the party they threw sucked, and a lot of people got hurt because of them.
I hope this headache stays with Urban Outfitters for a long time, and that Urban Outfitters remembers it long after the headache finally subsides. Next up: Land o’ Lakes?