Fallin had stated to the Associated Press that she feels a “deeper and deeper connection to the Native American culture” and that she had wore it out of respect and her love of wearing beautiful things.
Now, whether Fallin feels about what she is doing is respectful is her own belief, however, what she needs to realize and needs to be educated on is when you are not of a certain culture and are wearing a cultural centerpiece outside of its purpose, it is incredibly disrespectful.
A quote from Fallin and her partner Chrome Pony’s press release (above), “You can keep your distance from something your whole life out of fear that you might taint it or that it might taint you, or you can embrace it and let it affect you. We choose to live our life in the latter category.” What I feel Fallin admits here, is that she has tainted something and is choosing to embrace something that honestly you have to be invited into. What Fallin has done is disrespectful, and from what she has stated is knowingly acting against a culture and a large group of people.
The photo has currently been taken down from Facebook and a press release by Fallin and Pony has been posted in its place. Countless comments have been made on the offensive and inappropriate photograph as well as the insincere lackluster “apology.” Fallin clearly knew what she was doing not only from her photograph, her letter but also the fact that she lives in the heartland of Indian Country.
The fact is Christina and her group is one of many who have done culturally disrespectful actions like this. However, what Christina is also an example of is the large amount of white privilege that is an American epidemic. The idea that one does not need to take responsibility for certain actions and elicited emotional responses are astounding and a subject that needs to be addressed.