Skip to content

“Caucasians” t-shirts are hot sellers on Canadian Indian reservations

Jul 29, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

Caucasians

There’s a company called Shelf Life Clothing which makes T-shirts mocking the Chief Wahoo logo, changing the caricature to a white person with blond hair and writing “Caucasians” in the Cleveland Indians script. These shirts have been around a long time — I wrote about them at my old Shysterball blog back in 2007  — but they’ve recently made the news again.

Back in June, the DJ for a Canadian group consisting of three Ojibwa Indians called A Tribe Called Red wore the shirt in some publicity photos and it led to a bit of a dustup in which people called him racist. Which is a special kind of unhinged — calling the guy wearing the shirt which critiques and satirizes racism racist — but I’ve learned to never be surprised when it comes to this stuff anymore. The dustup has died down, but the effect of it has been fun:

A hot fashion item this summer on Ontario First Nations’ reserves is a T-shirt with the lettering “Caucasians” and the grinning logo of Chief Wahoo, the much-derided mascot of the Cleveland Indians major league baseball team . . . T-shirt maker Brian Kirby of Shelf Life Clothing in Cleveland said the “Caucasians” shirt has been his most popular seller since he began making them in 2007, but interest “skyrocketed” after the Deejay NDN controversy, especially after the story hit Reddit and Facebook.

“We have had over 3,000 shares on posts about the tee in the last month, and have been working around the clock to keep up,” Kirby said.

That’s unexpected. Because I’ve been told by so many people that, in reality, no one cares about Chief Wahoo, most Indians feel “honored” by their images and iconography being appropriated by sports teams and that the politics of race and sports mascots is purely a function of liberal white guilt and pinkos like me wishing to push our agenda.

Hmm. Guess not.

Latest Posts
  1. Cardinals shut down Jaime Garcia with more shoulder problems

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:49 PM EDT

    jaime garcia getty Getty Images

    Carlos Martinez time in the Cardinals’ rotation?

  2. Mets find a lefty, acquire reliever Alex Torres from Padres

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

    He posted a 3.33 ERA in 70 appearances for the Padres in a limited role, logging a total of just 54 innings with a 51/33 K/BB ratio.

  3. The Cubs assign Kris Bryant and Addison Russell to the minors, option Javier Baez as well

    Mar 30, 2015, 1:07 PM EDT

    Kris Bryant Getty Images

    Service time manipulation, the depth chart and hacktastic tendencies mean that the future is not quite here for three of the Cubs’ top prospects.

  4. Reds release left-hander Paul Maholm

    Mar 30, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT

    paul maholm getty Getty Images

    Maholm has indicated that he wants to continue starting, which likely sealed his fate in Cincinnati and limits his options going forward.

  5. It’s OK for ballplayers to be friendly with one another. Really.

    Mar 30, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.11.07 PM AP

    Baseball technically has a rule against “fraternization.” It’s a dumb rule.

  6. 2015 Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

    Mar 30, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT

    Chip Hale, Dave Stewart, Tony LaRussa AP

    New regime, different results?

  7. MLB owns a stake in daily fantasy sports

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Money Bag

    Daily Fantasy Sports is not, legally speaking, gambling. But it is somewhat surprising to see Major League Baseball taking a stake in it.

  8. Mets “still may try to trade Dillon Gee within the month”

    Mar 30, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Dillon Gee Getty Getty Images

    He’s owed $5.3 million for 2015 and is also under team control for 2016 via arbitration.

  9. Marlins release outfielder Reed Johnson

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs' Reed Johnson watches a 2-RBI against the Boston Red Sox during their MLB Interleague baseball game at Fenway Park Reuters

    Looks like the end of the line for the 38-year-old.

  10. The New York press is getting desperate in their search for A-Rod intrigue

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:36 AM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    A-Rod’s worst offense yet: not giving the press anything to be offended about.

  11. Brewers release former All-Star closer Chris Perez

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    chris perez getty Getty Images

    Perez was a back-to-back All-Star in 2011 and 2012.

  12. Players are taking home a much smaller percentage of revenue than they used to

    Mar 30, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    Tony Clark AP

    What, if anything, will Tony Clark and the MLBPA do about it?

  13. Vazquez insurance: The Red Sox acquire catcher Sandy Leon from the Nationals

    Mar 30, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Sandy Leon Getty Images

    Leon looks to have the inside track on the Sox’ backup catching gig.

  14. 2015 Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

    Mar 30, 2015, 8:33 AM EDT

    John Gibbons AP

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Blue Jays look like a club that’ll mash the hell out of the ball but have a hard time with run prevention.

  15. Is spring training “horribly, utterly broken?”

    Mar 30, 2015, 7:24 AM EDT

    Equipment Bags

    The first rule of solutions: make sure you’re employing them to address actual problems.

  16. Rangers release Ryan Ludwick

    Mar 29, 2015, 11:55 PM EDT

    Ryan Ludwick Getty Images

    Ryan Ludwick didn’t hit much during Cactus League play, resulting in the Rangers releasing him on Sunday.

  17. Nick Martinez wins No. 5 spot in Rangers’ starting rotation

    Mar 29, 2015, 11:20 PM EDT

    Nick Martinez AP

    Nick Martinez beat out the field to win the final spot in the Rangers’ starting rotation.

  18. Mike Pelfrey recants his comments about the Twins trading him

    Mar 29, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Mike Pelfrey Mike Pelfrey

    Mike Pelfrey took back his comments about being happy with a trade to a team that would use him as a starter.

  19. Video: Ben Revere robs Rajai Davis of a home run

    Mar 29, 2015, 9:20 PM EDT

    Ben Revere Ben Revere

    Ben Revere broke a promise to Rajai Davis when the Phillies’ left fielder robbed a home run.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Fernandez (4491)
  2. Y. Tomas (3834)
  3. S. Doolittle (3827)
  4. K. Bryant (3804)
  5. C. Rodon (3714)
  1. H. Olivera (3674)
  2. G. Richards (3661)
  3. A. Cobb (3620)
  4. T. Walker (3506)
  5. K. Jansen (3455)