Open Letter to Indy Editors

I am a local Santa Barbara songwriter and musician. Last week, the Independent had planned to publish a conversation with me about my new song, “Indian Wedding.”

After I did the interview, I was told that the title “Indian Wedding” might be offensive, so before the Independent could run a picture of the artwork with the song title, I was asked for my racial background. Let me repeat that: Before the Independent would publish the artwork for my single, I was asked what my race was. Apparently, if I answered with what they considered the correct race, then the album art could be posted. If I answered with what they considered the wrong kind of race, then a picture of the artwork would not be printed so as not to offend it’s readers. Of course, I refused to answer the question, seeing how it was not only irrelevant but also clearly inappropriate.

I just wanted to inform the staff of the Independent that there is a large country in Southern Asia called “India.” In this country, they occasionally have “weddings”. Also, I believe that the editorial staff at the ironically titled “Independent” have lost their minds.

Editor’s Note: As O’Keefe correctly asserts, members of our staff raised concerns his song title could be construed as cultural appropriation. Out of an abundance of caution when it comes to such charges, he was requested to provide another image if he were not of Indian or Native American descent. We regret that he’s chosen another route, as we believed our readership would enjoy the new song.


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