leave it to these folks to figure this out. BLECH!
The American Indian Studies Center of the University of California, Los Angeles – whom No Doubt claimed to have consulted prior to filming the video – released an open letter to No Doubt which noted "perceptions that American Indians are mere historical relics, frozen in time as stereotypically savage, primitive, uniquely-spiritualized and – in the case of Native women – hyper-sexualized objects to be tamed" and said the video "is replete with such highly offensive and destructive images of Native peoples in general and Native women specifically" and that is was "rife with imagery that glorifies aggression against Indian people, and, most disturbingly, denigrates and objectifies Native women through scenes of sexualized violence" but commended the band's decision to remove the video.
Note the UCLA AISC parts that Wikipedia (conveniently?) left out (Also the fact that nobody at the Center was contacted to their knowledge by No Doubt:"We also want to make clear that, while No Doubt’s apology claimed to have consulted “Native American studies experts at the University of California,” to our knowledge, no such person from UCLA was consulted about the video prior to its release." I smell a fib!):
Most importantly, however, the video is rife with imagery that glorifies aggression against Indian people, and, most disturbingly, denigrates and objectifies Native women through scenes of sexualized violence. Much like the 19th century paintings advancing the ethos of manifest destiny1 – the belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent, bringing civilization and light to a primitive people – the video draws on familiar tropes of the conquest of the continent and, concomitantly, the ravage of the Native female. As lead singer Gwen Stefani writhes, partially dressed (as an Indian) and shackled in ropes while overseen by domineering white men brandishing pistols, today real Native American women in the United States are in a state of crisis.
In Indian country today, Indian nations may not criminally prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes in Indian country, including violent crimes against Native women and girls. In the United States today, approximately one in three American Indian and Alaskan Native women will be raped in their lifetimes. A recent Amnesty International report, “Maze of Injustice,” details the barriers Indian women face in accessing adequate justice systems when they are the victims of violent crime. Additional research studies indicate that certain crimes – such as the rape of Indian women, for example – are primarily perpetrated by non-Indian men. And all American Indians experience victimization from violent crimes at rates more than twice the national average.
Also cf. No Doubt's love of bindhis in the '90s and cute Asian ladies: "oh if I could only climb a pretty white lady's blonde hair, how sweet of an escape from my imprisonment as a sidekick and exotic fashion accessory that would be, not to mention even a magical negro (in this case Akon), a la Rick Astley!"
p.s. Thank you, God, via Bobby Lee, for this wonderful thing. That's all there is to say.