By Sarah Horner
The gesture came after Simon Shakad, owner of “I Love Duluth,” agreed Thursday to issue an apology to Blue Bird and all American Indians for selling the shirts in his store. The shop carries tourist merchandise as well as various “joke” T-shirts.
“It was the right thing to do,” Shakad said about making the apology. “I don’t want to offend anyone.”
“When shopkeepers sell these kinds of images, it perpetuates racism. … Our people are doctors, lawyers, all kinds of things,” DeFoe said. “The myth that American Indians are drunks is a lie. You have free speech, but how far should that go? No one should make a profit off lies and offending people. We deserve an apology.”
Shakad agreed last week to stop carrying the shirts after his shop was visited by Duluth Human Rights Officer Bob Grytdahl, but only after the last had been sold off the clearance rack. Blue Bird bought two of the shirts Wednesday after spotting them on a rack outside the store. Shakad said the last were gone by Wednesday evening.
For more racism against Indians, see Pizza Worker Calls Indian "Jackass," Money Talks in Rapid City, and Buchanan's Intellectual Dishonesty.
Below: "Simon Shakad (left), owner of the retail shop I Love Duluth, reaches an accord with Donna Blue Bird as the two work together to craft a public apology about some offensive T-shirts Shakad was selling. Shakad read the apology to the public afterward in front of the Canal Park store." (Bob King)