May 04, 2014

#Dechief Nike Twitterstorm

Nike's continuing sales of Chief Wahoo apparel and its failure to heed a Native protest led to another "Twitterstorm" of criticism.

Nike Responds to EONM ProtestIn a protest outside Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, on May 1, at least 15 protestors stood in front of the Nike swoosh image and held signs up saying “Nike No Wahoo” and the word “Racist” with Wahoo’s logo above the word. EONM also started a social media campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #Dechief and launched the Facebook event page “#Dechief Nike Twitterstorm.”

“We ask that Nike live up to its dedication to inclusion,” said the groups' co-founder Jacqueline Keller. “Profiting from Native Mascotry is not being diverse; it is not being inclusive. Selling items, such as a zip-up jacket, that is dually marked with ‘Chief Wahoo’ and the Nike ‘Swoosh’ makes a powerful allied statement about Nike's stance. It strongly suggests that Nike is excluding legitimate Native American concerns about the derogatory and offensive nature of Native stereotyping.”

Keeler's group plans to target companies that produce offensive gear and team owners, like Dan Snyder, who allow the use of Native imagery.

“The fact that Nike is selling items that feed into the hostility toward Native Americans is really troubling," Keeler said in a news release. "Major businesses profit off of caricatures of our people. It would not be acceptable for any other group to be portrayed like this."
Redskins not only team targeted for Indian nickname

By Erik BradyDennis Brown meticulously unstitched the Chief Wahoo emblem on the sleeve of his Cleveland Indians jersey a night before leaving to visit their spring training camp in March, mixing fashion statement with political manifesto.

The longtime Cleveland sports fan tweeted a picture meant mostly for his friends, as he had few followers. But re-tweets gave the missing logo larger circulation, where it struck a nerve. Angry Clevelanders called Brown a traitor and a moron and, oddly, a communist.

It wasn't just that Brown had "de-chiefed" the jersey—his term of art. The real power of the image resides in the outline of emptiness of the threads left behind. The mind's eye can still see the big-toothed, idiot-grinning, red-faced caricature, even if all that actually remains is its ghostly outline.

A grass-roots movement inspired by Brown gained momentum on social media over the weekend as thousands using the hashtag #DeChief called on the Cleveland team to retire Chief Wahoo—and on Nike to stop producing merchandise with that logo. Jacqueline Keeler, a founding member of an activist group called Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, said her group borrowed the DeChief idea from Brown and called on fans to make it a trending topic on Twitter. The hashtag was used 4,236 times from noon Saturday to noon Sunday.
A tiny sample of the Nike-related tweets:

.:Mags Uncivilized.: ‏@Creekleo May 4
#DeChief #Nike because many folks don't know Native Americans actually exist here and now! #NotYourMascot

☀️LadyJudi ✌️ ‏@LadyJudi May 4
So for @Nike to sell @Indians Wahoo gear goes against those values of the N7 fund and shows it is about the $ and not the people #DeChief

BlueCornComics ‏@bluecorncomics May 4
The logical conclusion of @Nike's argument is that they'd sell any derogatory mascot if asked to do so. #dechief

No comments: