‘Caucasians’ t-shirt goes viral for mocking NFL’s Redskins
No, this isn’t a new football team — just Twitter discourse at its finest.
A photograph of a presumably indigenous man wearing a red-and-gold T-shirt that reads “Caucasians,” a parody of the NFL team formerly known as the Washington Redskins, has sparked a viral debate on Twitter.
The photograph shared by @infamouschar appears to have been lifted from the original user, who was not credited, and the man in the image remains anonymous.
Nevertheless, the tweet has raked in more than 525,000 likes in 36 hours, with many in the replies vowing to buy a version of the novelty shirt for themselves.
However, others argued that the relatively tame irony didn’t go far enough to actually offend white people, pointing out that “redskin” is a racial slur against indigenous Americans, while team mascots such as the Vikings and the Celtics are not regarded as insults to white cultures.
Moreover, many white people are not aware that “Caucasian” means “of the Caucasus.” The term was incorrectly coined, by German philosopher Christoph Meiners in the 18th century, to describe all white Europeans. Meiners created the term with the intent to rank humans in order of skin color — Caucasians being at the top of his list.
Indeed, white folks may be actually be flattered by the gesture.
One Twitter user predicted that white people would “actually think it’s pretty badass.” This was proven later in the replies, with a follower who asked, “Is this supposed to be offensive?? Cause it’s not! Atleast to me! I think it’s great,” adding a few smirking face emojis.
@FF_Wheeler, a fantasy-sports blogger, submitted three reimagined versions of the tee with a new team name: the Rednecks. “Maybe better?” the writer suggested.
This isn’t the first time the same satirical shirt has caused a stir on social media. In 2018, writer Frederick Joseph wore the same shirt for a day out in the city, and described the people who challenged his fashion choice as “trash.”
In a thread, Joseph went on to describe several awkward interactions with white people, who demonstrated a shocking lack of self-awareness. An “older white lady” who called the shirt “disrespectful” believed that “redskins” was used legitimately as a logo thanks to the NFL’s corporate sanction. Johnson shared the anecdote alongside a GIF of a seemingly frustrated Kermit the Frog.
He added that many others “looked at me and rolled their eyes, pointed, [and] made snide comments.”
“Basically, I was being shamed as a black person for wearing a non-disrespectful shirt with a white person logo on it,” Joseph tweeted.
“I was fairly surprised by the reactions of people because again, there are so many disrespectful and racist representations of minorities used for brands and they don’t even think twice,” he said. “But, it goes to show how fickle and hypocritical people can be.”