Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Band’s shirt is being called racist and insensitive

Mastodon have found themselves on the awkward side of Thanksgiving storytelling after the release of their new holiday t-shirt. Billed as “the real Thanksgiving shirt,” the controversial new design has detractors calling it both racist and insensitive. One look at the design (above) should make it clear why.

Printed on a bright yellow tee, the design features a grinning pilgrim smirking as he points his blunderbuss at a submissive, scantily clad native woman who’s holding a big juicy turkey up for his approval. Earlier today, the band posted a non-apology for the shirt on Facebook:

"Regarding our thanks giving shirt, whether you choose to believe or not, the American Indians were massacred by the white settlers who became the Americans we are today.

this shirt represents this atrocity and celebrating in the face of this atrocity is chilling.

we may have a sick sense of humor, but we are far from being “Racist” as some of you who might not get it are calling us."

We get it. And we can see how it can be seen as funny in the crassest of ways, but this elaboration tells us nothing. Mastodon aren’t the first to open the public’s eyes to the atrocities of the holiday’s origins, and while we doubt they meant any harm with the shirt, framing it as some sort of statement might not be the right move.

Mastodon aren’t racists, and nobody should jump to the conclusion that they are. But funny as you (or they) might see it, this shirt is insensitive.


Everything is offensive to someone these days


Anonymous said...

The idiot who wrote that column stated that the holiday had its origins in atrocities when the truth is completely different.

That atrocities occurred in the relationship between the Early Americans and the later migrants is a fact but the roots of this holiday are based on a time when there was peace between the groups and plenty to share which they did with a celebration. There is no atrocity at the root of this celebration and to intimate otherwise is to be ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the particular details relating to the origins of the Thanksgiving Festival in America, it clearly has links with the many late Fall festivals in European countries when surplus lifestock that couldn't be over-wintered or sold off (because of lack of fodder then) were slaughtered, and some of the proceeds were used in a pre-winter feast.