Protester banned on FB as Spunky Squaw owner wears headdress, rep uses n-words
Last week, social media had been going full-speed as Brooke Adams, a 21-year-old Texas college student at Tarleton State University defended her online boutique store she named ‘Spunky Squaw.’
See related coverage: Social Media erupts as Native groups ask owner of ‘Spunky Squaw’ to change name
On the Spunky Squaw website are a selection of clothing items that include western and Native themes, but much of the merchandise has been removed. The Instagram account — which previously had about 6,500 followers — has been taken down. Their Facebook page also was deleted.
In the week since reporting about the online retail store, readers of Indian Country Today have sent a plethora of social media posts about the owner and store representatives.
In one email received by Indian Country Today, the owner of Spunky Squaw is in a photograph wearing a Native-style headdress and a shirt with the writing, ‘Powered by Whiskey.” the image has also been posted on social media.
One of the store representatives, @theboujieblonde on Instagram, and @berkeleyrudel on Twitter who has stated people are “too sensitive for the entire world,” has been called out for using the n-word (ending in a) in her tweets.
Screen capture Twitter @DontWriteDown
Printup on Twitter
“@Basslands @berkeleyrudel I was gonna upload a video going through it but this will have to do. The “I’m not racist” and “I didn’t know it was a slur” excuse has very much expired and won’t work anymore.....”
Though Jana J. Pruet at the Blaze called the reactions to Adams’ retail store, as being “attacked by hate groups alleging racism.” The only response or action taken thus far, is reportedly toward individuals protesting the retail store.
According to a report by the CBC, an Alberta woman, Rhiannon Babyn, found herself temporarily banned from Facebook this weekend after she called out Spunk Squaw, citing the name includes a racial and gendered slur against Indigenous women.
As Babyn was banned, the owner and store reps have been using racially motivated epithets toward people protesting the store. Other non-Native people on social media have also been coming to the owner’s aid.
One Twitter user Justine Gutierrez, posted a screen-captured video between herself and the store rep @berkeleyrudel on Twitter. The conversation became heated when people tweeted a comment form the girl’s boyfriend Chase Dale who stated “Remember what happened last time Indians and cowboys fought? It doesn't turn out good for you. Go back to ur Casino.”
The rep says “you are a c*nt” and that her boyfriend has a “freedom to write whatever he wants.” She later wrote “Please continue to tell me how racist I am for favoriting or retweeting funny tweets with the word “n*gga” in it that's a term throwing around DAILYYY in a comical non-racist approached and manner. None of those tweets were racist. Now if it had said the actual n-word that would be a completely different story. I have friends of all cultures I am not a racist.”
Justine Gutierrez on Twitter
“@wapshkankwet @Chris__James1 @garmon0518 @marshallbrown16 @hellisppl @berkeleyrudel @VinceSchilling @DelSchilling @thespunkysquaw https://t.co/2bnmc7qYcP”
The owner responded on Facebook that Spunky Squaw was not racist.
"There is absolutely no derogatory meaning in the word 'sq--w' … When I started my business I really did think I had chosen an empowering and fun name," Adams wrote on her Facebook page. "Until this week, I have never had a negative representation with a Native American / Indian / Indigenous Native American. I will not accept this a good [sic] representation of that culture."
A brand representative for "The Spunky Sq--w" store, Makayla Baker, responded to Indigenous women calling out the brand by calling them #YouDamnSquaw.
The Baker’s, the boujie blonde, and Adams' have not been suspended.
Currently there is a petition titled The Spunky Squaw Change Your Business Name which now has over 9,300 signatures.
Representatives from the Spunky Squaw have not responded to Indian Country Today’s requests for comments.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling
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