October 19, 2010

Stereotypical "Sioux me!" Teazshirt

T-shirts raise concerns

Former UND football player creates garment regarding logo retirement.

By Alex Cavanaugh
A recent entrepreneurial effort from former UND football player Zachariah Johnson and two colleagues has made waves with some students and administrators. Johnson's company, Teazshirts, created a t-shirt referencing the retirement of the Fighting Sioux logo, stating boldly: "If you don't like it, Sioux me."

According to Johnson, his intention for the product is to honor Native American culture and warrior tradition, but many disagree with his attempt and find the shirts offensive and detrimental to the transition process.

Johnson and his associates have sold approximately 600 shirts, which he say is only the beginning of his company's production line, although as of yet the Sioux Me shirt is the only product available. According to the group's website, teazshirts.com, "SIOUX ME! A teazshirt designed to pay tribute to the mighty Sioux tribe and commemorate the strife between UND and the NCAA over the use of the 'Fighting Sioux' as the schools mascot."

The shirt's front design features the words "UNDerstand we've been fighting since 1700," encased in feathers, and on the back of the shirt is a drawing of a referee in painted face wearing a war bonnet, holding his arms up, surrounded by the words "If you don't like it SIOUX ME!"
Comment:  It's nice when the critiques practically write themselves. This idiot creates a t-shirt with the image below, thus proving the stereotypes' existence and demonstrating their influence. His protest against eliminating UND's mascot shows exactly why UND should eliminate it.

No need to sue you, Johnson, when we can mock you instead. If you don't mind postings such as this one following you the rest of your life, I don't either. When your employer Googles you 10, 20, or 30 years from now, I hope you can explain why you mocked and stereotyped a racial minority.

For more on the subject, see Minorities Suffer Microaggression and Students Talk About "Fighting Sioux."

1 comment:

Burt said...

The Sioux tribes need to collect payments on this mans business so a precendent can be set to begin collecting ALL names, logos, icons and symbols that relate to natives.

Until then, no other tribe has a good argument against this.

Maybe then, non-natives will think twice about "honoring" Indians?