This joke of an apology appeared in Otep’s Twitter.
A few days ago, a bit of a melee broke out on my feed. Lots of heated rhetoric on both sides & things got ugly. I sincerely apologize for my part in it.
There’s bigger fights to fight & I’m sorry.
— 👑 OTEP SHAMAYA 👑 (@otepofficial) March 15, 2019
If you have any doubts that this is an empty apology, I present you with a fan who terms us slime and not human first…
As always, you teach the slime how to move closer to human. #Boss
— LABforPeace (@LaurieBrennan20) March 15, 2019
…and Otep’s uplifting that sentiment and appreciating it with a heart. I’d call that endorsement of that sentiment at the very least.
— 👑 OTEP SHAMAYA 👑 (@otepofficial) March 16, 2019
Natives and allies, she snowed her few fans. Look into this person and spread awareness that she’s a fake ally, a pretendian, and should not be in our spaces, speaking over us or trying to be a great white leader.
Check this thread and come back to continue.
This isn’t an apology. This is a mumbled, ‘please leave me alone’. This is utterly and completely empty. And it gets worse. A thread. https://t.co/RzOuJmxVvr
— Ali Watson (@aliwatson117) March 15, 2019
We’ll get back to what a real apology looks like, but first let’s explore her 47 minute ‘poor me’ video first.
Otep claims that @/wapshkankwet should have divulged that she had cancer. That she didn’t see it until she perused her timeline. This isn’t even two minutes in and it’s already a mess.
A Native woman with cancer does not need to inform you of that before engaging you at all. What does her status as a cancer patient have to do with the very valid arguments she presented? Given that Otep only seems to follow fake Native accounts, perhaps it’s only natural that she can’t associate us as people who can present arguments regardless of any handicap or disability. It doesn’t alter, lend weight or diminish what’s being said.
It continues with Otep claiming that she ‘gets a lot of these’ but doesn’t clarify what ‘these’ are. I can assure you it isn’t Natives challenging her anti-Indigenous beliefs. This is the only time in Twitter that I’ve seen Otep interact with any other Native and I doubt that what a single one of us got out of that debacle that she was on our side. Perhaps some obscure reference or exchange happened in the past, but nothing on the level the rest of us are used to engaging in solidarity.
Of course she also goes on about getting death threats from white supremacists. Like we don’t know what that’s like either.
Referring to Natives as people of Native descent suggests that we aren’t Native. People like Otep and Elizabeth Warren tend to cling to “Native descent” and “Native ancestry”.
“Without even asking–” Otep goes into a tirade about how no one asked about her family and does not have an iota of accountability of the fact that she jumped into a Native conversation and centered herself, which helped set off this whole mess.
On the supposed Lakota grandmother. It’s been covered already. What could be added at this point is that in the video, Otep claims that this ‘Lakota grandmother’ wanted to raise empowered women, four daughters who became English professors, but she didn’t speak or write English.
I have questions.
Before we move on, I’d like to point out how Otep doesn’t provide any clarification whatsoever of how this great (great) grandmother is Lakota and no longer Choctaw. Or Comanche. Or Cheyenne. That she made this video after blocking just about all of us and is speaking to her fans about what a victim she is and what a hate mob we are. This was not meant for us.
Around 9 minutes in, Otep begins bitching that some accounts ‘attacking’ her follow the Kardashians or Kanye and views it as some weirdly negative thing.
I followed Kaya Jones. I didn’t do it because I support an ex-wannabe Pussycat Doll who can’t get in her head that they don’t claim her either. I didn’t follow her because I believed her Apache claims or the clout chasing she does for trump. While I don’t follow any Kardashian or Kanye, I understand the reasons. We follow problematic people to watch them. Do you, Otep, Great White Hair, not understand how anti-Indigenous the Kardashians are? Did you prowl people’s follows and assume that they must worship those people? For someone who whines about being a Native ally, you really don’t know anything about how we work in Twitter. Or probably any space. People have called out your fake advocacy because you don’t actually support us. You like the idea of us and want to be us cuz someone told you that you had an ancestor who was Native and you believed them because the IDEA was beautiful.
Protip: Native allies don’t forge their way into Native spaces. Most that I have seen have respectfully listened and learned before joining in conversations. Some merely support by offering replies to ours rather than engage in arguments themselves because it’s easy to get something wrong if one is not as knowledgeable.
At 10:03, Otep says the one thing that still makes me laugh out loud at her. “What do you do?” It made me laugh right then too.
Where were you when we argued with real celebrities like William Shatner or Cher? Where was your solidarity for marches, for our hashtag boosting? Hell, why haven’t you spoken out against the other pretendian, #KayaJoke, who loves trump as much as you hate him? What activism have you done? Name one thing. Then everything for the last twenty years.
This part does too. “Don’t you dare assume you know about my family…”
You made assumptions about me personally to suggest that I’m not disabled. Your words were ‘let’s not talk about “if” anyone in our families has disabilities’. You assumed my disabled children weren’t disabled or that I was falsifying that for clout, remember?
Otep’s call to call white people European Americans is interesting. Because it attempts to remove the bite that the term ‘white’ has that’s packed with, among other things, privilege, entitlement and racism. Rather than owning her whiteness, Otep is trying to distance herself from it, at least in name, with this tactic.
The rest of this 47 minute soliloquy is little more than a victim tirade.
When Otep calls up the Wounded Knee massacre as well as the Sand Creek massacre, what she does with this as well as the previous mentions of ‘Indians discovering Columbus’ (protip: that’s not what happened), is that Otep is obsessed with our genocide, not so much us. The deaths of our ancestors are some shiny toy.
Blood quantum. Pointing out yet again that Otep keeps claiming to be a Native ally and activist for the last twenty years, yet doesn’t know anything about blood quantum, why it’s not an identifier between most Natives and why it’s used for enrollment. In fact, she even states, “I believe” when saying tribes use it but how she talks of it shows how she doesn’t have a clue.
Mount Rushmore. In a hilarious attempt at solidarity of sorts, Otep says that Mount Rushmore should be replaced with Natives. Remember that time we joked about getting rid of Mt. Rushmore? Returning our sacred hills to their original state or as close to it. Otep thinks she’s got a better idea in further desecrating the Black Hills, only we replace old white dudes with us. It may not be as big an issue in Indian Country, but there is even controversy with the Crazy Horse monument being built out there for some of the same reasons.
A random but interesting tangent from her video is when she said that the Black community and particularly Black rappers, need to have a warning in front of their songs or an intro telling white people not to use the N-word. Thus putting the burden of labor on Black people over what white people do or shouldn’t do. That’s already weird.
I wonder if she listens to herself. Or is wholly incapable of self reflection. I was going to do a more in depth take down of this comedy but let’s skip to what an actual apology might look like. Rough framework, feel free to tweak.
You engaged in conversations that you have abundantly illustrated over the last week that you have zero knowledge or expertise on yet spoke over Natives who have lived experiences. “I’m sorry for not taking the time to see the issue at hand and why it was problematic in the first place before inserting myself into the discourse.”
You prowled Twitter feeds for ammunition to use against the people replying or posting at you. You weaponized cancer and disabled children. With how many times you mention us and trump in the same sentence, you viewed and presented us as the enemy and your pathetic followers did your bidding in coming after us too rather than you realize that you were out of your lane and had no right to a conversation Natives initiated because of Milano. A lot of Natives don’t identify as left or right or republican or democrat either, by the way. “I was hostile and aggressive and I did uplift and promote people saying derisive bullshit against the people that I had hoped to connect with. I will not use my followers as my personal attack mob on Natives.”
Because of your fragility, you refuse to accept responsibility and refuse an actual meaningful apology. See above as the perfect illustration of what that looks like. You’re not actually sorry for the things that you did or said. You made a less than empty apology for your followers, not us. It was so they could praise you and tell you that you did no wrong. It worked too. A real apology for the shit you did is going to hurt. You don’t want to hurt. It’s understandable, but not an excuse to not do the right thing. “Copping out to feeling attacked wasn’t an excuse to weaponize what I perceived as weakness in others to exploit, such as cancer or disability. Using such things against another person is wrong. I was ableist and cruel and while I sincerely hope Natives will give me a second chance, I understand that I don’t deserve it and I won’t expect it from those I have hurt the most.”
Not a single bit of this is suggestions from other Natives. This is me doing you a solid you don’t deserve because at the core, education is important. In my opinion, you’re going to become toxic to our communities, manipulate and attempt to publicly cash in on cool shit you might do for Natives. Or the ones who don’t know about this mess. If you want to be an ally to Natives, this can be where it starts.
Now the harder part of this apology is that you don’t get to ask or expect a single person to apologize to you. You stepped into a conversation, you made this all about you and then when you were called out for it, you maliciously attacked without regard for whom you would hurt. If you were hurt by something, you get to present it for consideration.
Before we get to the end, take a good look at this tweet.
Look, bozo, my ancestors were Irish indentured servants — google that phrase — there’s nothing in my history that conincides with Colonization or Settlers. And my great grandmother was Lakota Sioux. I honor her every day. You’re losing the fight you picked https://t.co/Buub4JTcqU
— 👑 OTEP SHAMAYA 👑 (@otepofficial) March 10, 2019
“Things settlers say” provoked in Otep what it does with 99% of all white women stuck in Pretendian. It caused her to dig for any avenue that would give her oppression points to distant herself from her whiteness and privilege. You know. To better seem like “one of us”.
A talking colostomy bag, perhaps? https://t.co/HsapdFdzIN
— 👑 OTEP SHAMAYA 👑 (@otepofficial) March 11, 2019
Yeah, let’s use medical equipment as an insult.
As we close, I present you with this tweet in which Otep re-tweeted. What’s ironic is that it’s true and applies to her as well.
Words matter. So does silence.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 15, 2019
Your words matter, Bubba Otep. Your lack of an actual apology to the people that you hurt is seen.
In conclusion. Otep seems racist. I suggest no one support her and keep her out of our communities.