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Ugly gesture

We were watching ''Miss America Reality Check'' on the TLC channel and watched as Miss Alaska, Cari Makanani Villareal Leyva, had a makeover on the program.

After deciding that a haircut would be part of her makeover, the stylists proceeded to cut her hair, which had been fashioned into a braid. Immediately after cutting off her braid, the stylist gave it to Leyva, who then lifted the braid up and popped her mouth, making ''whoo whoo'' sounds like an ''Indian.''

How unfortunate that Miss Alaska would be so ignorant of the ongoing plight of not only the population of Native people in the United States and Canada, but more specifically and importantly, the Alaska Natives from her own state and that she would lower herself to such racist ignorance. One of the other Miss America contestants, Miss Washington Elyse Umemoto, is [an enrolled member] of the Yakama Nation.

Her actions were even more upsetting given the fact that she is running on a platform that states her desire to ''empower women of all ethnicities to embrace their cultures and promote self-actualization.''

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She most definitely did her platform, as well as the state of Alaska, a great disservice, and without question owes the Alaska Native community and the American Indian community at large a sincere apology!

- Litefoot

President, Litefoot EnterprisesSeattle, Wash.