Representing the interests of American Indian and Alaska Native people, seven elected tribal leaders from the National Congress of American Indians speak out against the professional football team from Washington D.C. using the derogatory slur “Redskins” as a team name and mascot.
This video was created by AJ+, a digital news, politics, and current events channel by Al Jazeera Media Network, and features a range of Native Americans from different tribes talking about their thoughts on “illegal” immigration, which in 2015, has once again dominated the U.S. election season. At the beginning of the video, text is shown stating, “The current national debate on illegal immigration has left out the voices of the people who are native to this land – voices that challenge who exactly is ‘illegal.’” The Native Americans talk about how they dislike the word “illegal,” how they feel invisible, forgotten, and unrepresented, and one woman says, “I don’t think people realize that the first illegal immigrants were European settlers.” Similarly, another woman says that, “if we’re going to talk about illegal immigration, we need to go back in the last 350-500 years ago, of starting with Plymouth Rock and who had permission to come over to our lands.” In another section of the video, the women and men talk about national and state borders, how they impact their families, traditions, and ways of life, and what it would mean to certain tribes that would be split if these artificial boundaries were imposed on them. The video closes with the message that many Native Americans and indigenous people relate to land and the earth as “belonging” to no one, because people are seen not as owners, but as stewards of the land.
This 2014 advertisement for Nine West shoes came from the company’s website, under the category “shoe occasions,” of which there were two: one for the “First Day of Kindergarten” and the other for “Starter Husband Hunting.” The ad reads: “First day of kindergarten: the bus arrives and so do the waterworks. Then it hits you. Mommy now has the weeks off. Wipe those happy-sad tears…we got a shoe for that.” A woman’s lower half is shown in a pink overcoat with high-heeled black shoes. She is holding a tissue, and there are crumpled tissues strewn about her feet as if she has been using them to wipe away tears from crying.
This 2014 advertisement for Nine West shoes came from the company’s website, under the category “shoe occasions,” of which there were two: one for “Starter Husband Hunting” and the other for “First Day of Kindergarten.” The ad has a list of requirements for women when they go “starter husband hunting,” including needing a little black dress, smokey eyes, a wing-woman, and Nine West shoes, and shows a target with arrows in it, with a woman’s leg straddled across the target, wearing an animal print high heel. Her hand is also shown gripping a handful of arrows.
This 2015 short film made by Buzzfeed, a pop culture website, showcases people of color recreating the posters of popular movies. Minority groups such as South and East Asians, African Americans, and members of the LBGTQ community are featured in the re-creations, including movie posters for “Mean Girls” (2004), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961), “Titanic” (1997), “Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013), and “The Breakfast Club” (1985). In between posters, statistics about the underrepresentation of minorities in Hollywood and in the media play across the screen and over the images of the new “actors,” who are dressed in the original costumes that their white counterparts wore for their roles. While some of the statistical facts deal with the idea that minorities are underrepresented numbers-wise, the video also states that the “few roles that cast Asians rarely diverge from existing stereotypes,” which not only calls into question underrepresentation but misrepresentation and the larger issue of the lack of diversity of roles in Hollywood. At the end of the video, we see a collection of the new actors together with the words “Aren’t these movies beautiful in color?,” prompting viewers to think about the “color” (or lack thereof) they see in current films and what they would look like re-envisioned on a more diverse landscape.