Um, Not Make Believe.

May 9, 2011 — 18 Comments

Spotted this on Pinterest, comes from a company in Omaha called Make Believe Clothing Co. Best part? it’s called the “Geronimo” shirt. Here, I wrote them a note, and re-designed their shirt for them:

Dear Make Believe Clothing Company,

You might need to sit down for this news. It might come as a shock. Guess what? American Indians are not “make believe.” There are real Indians alive today! Omg, I know, right? Your shirt seems to imply that we’re pretend or fantasy characters, so I thought I’d clear that up for you. When I first saw your shirt, I rolled my eyes and sighed really loud in the library. Like this. But then I decided that maybe you weren’t totally ignorant, and maybe you were trying to make some sort of social commentary about how this particular stereotyped image of a Native person is make believe and only bears minimal resemblance to the millions of Native peoples alive today, or even to Geronimo. Cause then that would be borderline cool! But you might need to make it a little more explicit. So I decided to help. Here’s my version of your shit shirt (typo, oops! lol!) :

Ok thanks. 

                 Sincerely,

                 Adrienne K. (a real, live Indian!) 

Adrienne K.

Posts

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00026932249954835182 K

    Well done.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10071915180423432468 julia aka garconniere

    at first, i was aghast at how this could actually exist. and then, i was inspired by your reasoned and direct critique of it.

    you do such important, great work adrienne. thanks for calling these terrible things to our attention, and suggesting a course of action. <3

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08102589512678118004 agleska

    very nice.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17212858542669605195 Megan E Thompson

    Make Believe is actually the clothing company’s name, but yes, I rolled my eyes hard when they released this shirt.
    I love your blog.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03690108815237185885 Meredith

    I want to buy YOUR T-shirt!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03554983893239282225 Robin

    You’re amazing.

  • https://openid.aol.com/opaque/85251bcc-7b83-11e0-8402-000bcdcb5194 85251bcc-7b83-11e0-8402-000bcdcb5194

    Lovely response.

    And that picture, geez. He was a distinctive looking man. You’d think if somebody wanted a “Geronimo graphic” they could have actually used his appearance.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13152296449265876292 J

    interested to hear their response.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11954832174809120089 The CBear

    woohoo! Tsalagi girl got her claws out! Osdahige!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09201030685132704499 W

    I’m not sure how effective the tone of that letter is going to be. It comes off as rather unprofessional.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04901157820779687718 Adrienne K.

    @W-I can do professional. (see this post about a facebook game), but professional gets tiring sometimes. I feel like snark and sarcasm can sometimes make the ridiculousness of some of these appropriations even clearer.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09201030685132704499 W

    I was hoping my comment and your response would still be here this morning. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reply last night from a friend’s phone.
    Still, I would be interested to hear if this approach was at all effective.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04901157820779687718 Adrienne K.

    @ W, Blogger was down almost all day yesterday, so it looks like it might have ate our comments. Weird. But I’ll keep you posted, and thanks for your interest!

  • moral compass

    This is not a “terrible thing”. It is creativity. The company is called Make believe, it’s not referring to the image. Relax, and move on to something more important.

  • moral compass

    This is not a “terrible thing”. It is creativity. The company is called Make believe, it’s not referring to the image. Relax, and move on to something more important.

  • AV

    This is an immensely moronic blog post. This is like the people that practice Judaism that sue airports for having Christmas trees. Why in the world would you ever take this shirt as “Indians are fake figments of our imagination”? It’s the brand name, and nothing more. Stop reaching for bullshit arguments over nothing.

  • AV

    This is an immensely moronic blog post. This is like the people that practice Judaism that sue airports for having Christmas trees. Why in the world would you ever take this shirt as “Indians are fake figments of our imagination”? It’s the brand name, and nothing more. Stop reaching for bullshit arguments over nothing.

  • Rwan2k

    yes , It is not terrible thing