Frederick Joseph, creator of the #BlackPantherChallenge, walked around New York City with a “Caucasians” T-shirt this week to experiment with white people’s hypocrisy. Joseph also intended to increase pressure on the NFL to change the Washington Redskins’ racist name as pre-season begins.
“The word ‘Caucasian’ is not a derogatory term and having a white guy on the shirt is not representing a white person in a negative light,” Joseph, founder of “We Have Stories,” told Teen Vogue. “So, it’s really interesting that people are reacting the way that they are.”
The reactions documented on Twitter ranged from being cursed at, stared at disapprovingly, snide comments, finger-pointing, and even an older white woman said the shirt was “disrespectful.”
When he asked her would she have the same reaction if he was wearing the team shirt or something else with a disrespectful logo, she replied, “No, because that’s the logo!”
The Hypocrisy of Racist Logos:
Last weekend I decided to wear this shirt, I figured it would catch some by surprise but I didn’t expect people to be as trash as they were. pic.twitter.com/DW5n6QEmOl
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) July 31, 2018
Native Americans have long been the victims of racist American sports’ logos, from the Redskins, to the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks.
When the Cleveland Indians decided in January to announce the end of “Chief Wahoo,” Change the Mascot campaign released a
statement, putting pressure on the NFL:
“Cleveland’s decision should finally compel the Washington football team to make the same honorable decision. For too long, people of color have been stereotyped with these kinds of hurtful symbols—and no symbol is more hurtful than the football team in the nation’s capital using a dictionary-defined racial slur as its team name.”
Dan Synder, owner of the Redskins has long refused to change the name, and
Roger Goodell has not put any pressure on him to reconsider. They claim polls say the majority of Native Americans aren’t upset, and that Snyder has done work to understand and honor the culture.
“Whether you don’t care, that’s your privilege, and if you’re ignorant, then that’s willful ignorance based on your privilege,” said Joseph.
Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter of the Change The Mascot campaign said Natives have “spoken with a clear and unified voice that promoting and profiting off of the R-word slur, which denigrates our heritage and harms our people, is most definitely offensive and certainly not an ‘honor’ as the team and league claim.”
Meanwhile, some on social media have asked Joseph where to get a shirt like his. The Redskins first game is next Thursday.