Using little more than the shirts on their backs, award-winning Canadian band A Tribe Called Red just sent a bold message: Native Americans aren’t here for your entertainment.
The shirt is part of the continuing controversy over the use of Native American imagery for the logos of professional sports teams like the Washington Redskins. Simultaneously sarcastic and witty, the shirt — a play on Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland Indians logo — draws attention to franchise names and mascots that demean Native Americans while simultaneously lampooning the creators and perhaps the most vocal supporters of such team mascots: Caucasians.
Sadly, the backlash to the band’s creative statement has already begun, as music festivals across Canada have reportedly been flooded by emails calling for A Tribe Called Red’s removal from the lineup. In an ironic twist, many of these critics claim that the t-shirt is “racist” against white people.
Let’s be very clear. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as “reverse” racism.
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