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Opinion: Does this 'Caucasians' t-shirt make me look racist?

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: baseball, fashion, mascots, racism

The infamous Caucasians t-shirt. Photo from Facebook

Does wearing the “Caucasians” t-shirt make someone racist? Writer wonders about a popular fashion item:
I really want this shirt, but here is where some conflict arises. Clothes and personal style are shorthand guides to someone’s personality, opinions and worldview. Whether you appreciate it or not, people make judgments of you based on how you look, and clothing decides an overwhelmingly large proportion of these assumptions, regardless of whether you take an active or passive approach to your style.

Personally, I take an active approach. I pick and choose garments that I want to represent me and, by now, people know this about me. What I’ve come to learn, however, is that if you’re trying to make a statement, you better know what statement you’re making. The shirt itself makes an overwhelmingly agreeable critique of an offensive social norm: naming teams after racist epithets with racist mascots is, well, racist. The shirt isn’t revolutionary as much as it is, itself, opportunistic: it turns the tables on us white folks and is making some scratch off the idea in the meantime. So here I am, agreeing that that the Indians and Redskins teams are harmful for the image of the Native American and respecting the hustle of whoever designed this garb, so I should be cool to cop, right? Well…

My fear is that by wearing it, I will muddle the message. A really cool part of clothing is its transformative nature. The outfit takes on properties of the wearer. And while I obviously pay far too much attention to this stuff, other people subconsciously notice it too. Not everyone can be James Dean in a white tee and some jeans. Moving on.

Get the Story:
Danny Galvin: Does This T-Shirt Make Me Look Racist: Indians, Redskins And Caucasians (Neon Tommy 8/3)

Related Stories:
'Caucasians' t-shirt sees boost in popularity thanks to Native DJ (07/29)

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