“Caucasians” T-shirt That Mocks Cleveland Indians’ Wahoo a Best-Seller

 Brian Kirby of Shelf Life Clothing in Cleveland designed the "Caucasians" logo T-shirt.
Brian Kirby of Shelf Life Clothing in Cleveland designed the “Caucasians” logo T-shirt.


Source: Indian Country Today, 8/4/14


A new sports-logo T-shirt has become a hot seller in Canada and parts of the United States.

The words “Caucasians” with the image of a grinning caricature (reminiscent of the Indians’ Chief Wahoo) across the front hints at how offensive Native mascots on professional sports teams can be. The Toronto Star reported that it is a “hot fashion item” in the Ontario First Nations community.

“People’s reaction has been all positive and they see the humour in it both on and off the reserve,” Tracy Bomberry, Six Nations of the the Grand River, told the Star.

Her inspiration to wear the shirt came after learning that Ojibwa singer Ian Campeau, aka, DJ NDN of A Tribe Called Red was accused of being a “racist hypocrite” for wearing one, the paper said.

Campeau from A Tribe Called Red wears the "Caucasians" T-shirt.  (cbc.ca)
Campeau from A Tribe Called Red wears the “Caucasians” T-shirt. (cbc.ca)


According to MetroNews.Ca, an email was sent anonymously to Westfest, a popular music festival in Ottawa, Canada, where Tribe Called Red was scheduled to perform. The individual who sent the email threatened to boycott the concert because Campeau was spotted wearing the T-shirt.

“I thought how hypocritical that he would be accused of racism for wearing a shirt that turns the tables in a satirical way of how our image as native people has been misappropriated by the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins and the like,” Bomberry said.

Campeau, his band, and staff members of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), including First Nations Chief, Shawn Atleo, filed a lawsuit to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario claiming that the Amateaur football team, the Nepean Redskins, use of the R-word was racially discriminatory, and sought to quell its use. The tribunal dismissed the complaint in March, but the team changed its name to the Nepean Eagles.

Brian Kirby of Shelf Life Clothing in Cleveland said that the interest in the T-shirt “skyrocketed” after the Campeau controversy. “We have been selling a modest amount of shirts to Canada for years … but nothing like the volume of the last month,” Kirby told QMI Agency in an email interview Tuesday. “We are a mom and pop business, working day and night to make sure everyone who wants a shirt gets one.”

RELATED: Cleveland Indians Slowly Phasing out Chief Wahoo

Kirby noticed the cultural effect of the Chief Wahoo logo in the Native community after moving to Cleveland from New York. He said that the overall interpretation of the shirt shifts. “Interpretation of the shirt ranges from a ‘reverse racism,’ ‘see how YOU like it’ intent, to a ‘see, I’m white and it doesn’t bother me to be caricatured!’ attitude,” Kirby told the Star.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/08/04/caucasians-t-shirt-mocks-cleveland-indians-wahoo-best-seller-156210

Native American group asks Nike to stop selling Chief Wahoo gear


The Native group "Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry" called on Nike to stop selling Cleveland Indians merchandise featuring the Chief Wahoo logo.
The Native group “Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry” called on Nike to stop selling Cleveland Indians merchandise featuring the Chief Wahoo logo.

By Allan Brettman | abrettman@oregonian.com
April 28, 2014

A Native American group on Monday called on Nike to stop producing products with that feature the Cleveland Indians’ mascot Chief Wahoo.

“We ask that Nike live up to its dedication to inclusion,” says a news release issued by the group called “Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry.” The release says the group includes “Native parents and their allies from across the country.”

“Profiting from Native Mascotry is not being diverse; it is not being inclusive,” the news release says. “Selling items, such as a zip-up jacket, that is dually marked with “Chief Wahoo” and the Nike ‘Swoosh’ makes a powerful allied statement about Nike’s stance. It strongly suggests that Nike is excluding legitimate Native American concerns about the derogatory and offensive nature of Native stereotyping.”

The news release also notes that Nike sells branded merchandise for the Washington, D.C., football team and Florida State University, both of which use Native imagery.

The news release says the group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry “will be holding local protests at the Nike World Headquarters this week in Beaverton, Oregon and conducting a social media campaign to trend the #Dechief hashtag begun by Cleveland Indians fan Dennis Brown.

The release was written by Jacqueline Keeler of Portland, who recently wrote in Salon.com in an article titled “My life as a Cleveland Indian: The enduring disgrace of racist sports mascots.”

Neither Nike nor the Cleveland Indians responded immediately to requests for comment Monday morning.

Keeler said in a follow-up email Monday morning that the organization has more than 600 members in a Facebook group. She said the group also has received support from the National Congress of American Indians and from Asian American allies at 18 Million Rising and Hyphen Magazine.

— Allan Brettman

Facing Off: Man in Redface Goes Toe-to-Toe With AIM Member




A Cleveland Indians fan, painted in redface and donned in a faux Native American headdress, justified his brazen actions Friday afternoon by stating his attire was not racist – just “Cleveland Pride.”

According to Deadspin, the man, who goes only by the name “Rodriguez,” approached Cleveland American Indian Movement member Robert Roche of the Apache Nation just before the season opener at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

The man allegedly proceeded to taunt Roche and the protesters by stating that Chief Wahoo is not offensive and that “it’s Cleveland pride,” Deadspin reported.

Photos posted on Clevescene.com show Roche and other protesters outside the stadium with banners that read, “People Not Mascots,” “WE ARE NOT HONORED” and “Little RED SAMBO Must Go!”

The photos also show Rodriguez and other Cleveland Indians fans approaching the protesters.

One of the photos was posted on Twitter by user @ClevelandFrowns, a Cleveland-based blogger and attorney. Social media users immediately retweeted the image and posted it to Facebook with the expected response of both disgust and approbation.

Michael Baldwin, a journalist at Cleveland’s ABC affiliate News Channel 5, simply tweeted “that is awful,” whereas Twitter user @killertech216 responded with “dude fuck the native [sic] Americans. Chief wahoo and the name the Indians stay.”

Along with Rodriguez’s comments and actions, protesters also faced piercing diatribes from fans making their way into the stadium from nearby bars.

Deadspin reported that fans hurled insults at the protesters. They flipped off the group, shouted “(expletive) off!” and “go back to the reservation.”

ESPN reported Wednesday that some fans were expected to arrive at the game sans the image of Chief Wahoo on their jerseys and hats.

A campaign to remove the image of Chief Wahoo, aptly titled “DeChiefing,” has gained momentum again as the 2014 season launched across the nation.

On March 11, Dennis Brown of Columbus, Ohio, tweeted an image of his Cleveland Indians jersey without the Chief Wahoo logo on its left sleeve. Brown allegedly removed it in protest of the mascot.

“It wasn’t easy but I de-chiefed my @Indians road jersey,” he wrote. Four hours later, Brown tweeted: “Overwhelmed by response to this picture, mostly negative, but I’m comfortable with my decision and position.”

There were no reports of any arrests or assaults following the confrontation Friday.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/06/facing-man-redface-goes-toe-toe-aim-member-154338?page=0%2C1


American Indian group releases simple graphic to show racism in sports logos


american-indiana-stereotype-hat-poster-570x367October 9, 2013

Ben Cornfield



The graphic you see here may look like something out of The Onion, but it is dead serious. The National Congress of American Indians has produced an image putting the racially-charged stereotypes of sports organizations into a pretty simple context.

No one would ever think to call a New York sports franchise “The Jews” and make its logo a giant smiling face of a man with dark hair and wearing a kippah. The same goes for a “Chinamen” team in San Francisco.

So why is it alright for the Major League baseball team in Cleveland to call itself the “Indians?”

Further, the red-skinned, big-toothed logo of an American Indian is not an imaginary, satirical illustration like the “Jew” and the “Chinaman.” Rather, it is actually the Indians’ team logo.

But it looks quite a bit like the first two, doesn’t it?