What's in a Name?

Urban Outfitters removes the word "Navajo" from its product line, but the cultural poaching is the same.

Urban Outfitters' formerly "Navajo" hipster panty. AP Photo/Matt York
U rban Outfitters, the retail mecca for once and future hipsters, recently scrubbed its website of all references to “Navajo.” What was once the “Navajo Print Fabric Wrapped Flask” is now the “Printed Fabric Wrapped Flask”; the “Navajo Hipster Panty” is now the “Printed Hipster Panty”; and so on. The items are still available for purchase, but they’ve all been renamed. AP Photo/Matt York Urban Outfitters' former "Navajo" hipster panty. The move comes on the heels of a Web-based campaign against the retailer’s marketing practices and official requests from the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. In June, the Navajo Nation sent a cease-and-desist letter to Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk, citing the company’s numerous registered trademarks for “Navajo” on clothing, footwear, household products, textiles, and online retail sales. This was followed by an open letter at the Racialicious blog by Sasha Houston Brown , a member of the Santee Sioux Nation, who assailed Urban Outfitters' “mass...

Pro-Prop 8 Effort To Disqualify Judge Walker Fails

Dahlia Lithwick writes about Prop 8 supporters effort to disqualify Judge Vaughn Walker , who ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional, because he is gay and in a committed relationship: And what of the argument that Judge Walker stood to benefit personally from his own ruling in the Prop 8 case? Wouldn't—by this logic—a straight judge similarly stand to benefit from a ruling upholding Prop 8? Certainly under the plaintiffs' theory of the case (i.e., that every last heterosexual in America will be harmed by legalizing gay marriage) wouldn't a straight judge have been forced to recuse herself as well to avoid the possibility of personally benefitting from her ruling? I made a similar argument when Prop 8 supporters filed the motion to vacate Walker's ruling. If same-sex marriage hurts straight marriages, then a straight judge has just as much as stake as a gay judge. Prop 8 supporters, by seeking to vacate Walker's ruling, are either implicitly conceding the point that same-sex marriage...