An Inclusive Litany

3/11/02

To make a point about ethnic stereotyping in sports team names, a Native American-dominated intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado decided to rename itself the "Fightin' Whites." The team marketed a line of Fightin' Whites T-shirts, which features an image of the team's mascot, a 1950s-style caricature of a middle-aged white man wearing a sport coat and a diagonally striped necktie, along with the phrase "Every thang's gonna be all white!"

The company that handles Internet sales for the product says that thousands of orders have poured in from around the country, greatly exceeding expectations, with no reports yet of complaints from Caucasians. While sales profits will go to an as-yet undetermined American Indian organization, Solomon Little Owl, the player who came up with the idea, complained of the product's success: "Some people don't realize what we're trying to do."

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