Photo by Pat Bolduc, courtesy A Tribe Called Red
Ian Campeau, aka Deejay NDN, wears a shirt that an irony-impaired critic has called 'racist.'

Is This Shirt 'Racist'? A Tribe Called Red Threatened With Boycott


Ian Campeau, better known as Deejay NDN of A Tribe Called Red, is an outspoken cultural critic, both as official mouthpiece of the DJ trio and a twitter provocateur. Campeau was instrumental in getting the Nepean Redskins football club to change its name (they're now the Nepean Eagles), and sports mascots is one of his favorite topics to discuss.

It has to be a sign that you're being heard when an irony-impaired curmudgeon calls for a boycott.

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In a recent Instagram post, Campeau shared a note apparently written to the organizers of Westfest, a music and arts festival taking place June 13-15 in Ottawa's Westboro Village. A Tribe Called Red is scheduled to play the final concert Sunday night.

"So we're supposed to play Westfest next Sunday," Campeau wrote. "The organizers have been receiving thinly-veiled threatening emails in protest to me performing. Here's one of them. This is my hometown. So disappointing."

Here's the image of the letter, in which a critic complains, anonymously that the group is "divisive" and that Campeau is a "racist hypocrite" who wears a "racist t-shirt":

A letter calling for a boycott of Westfest over A Tribe Called Red's

We've seen Campeau in a few different ironic t-shirts over the years, but the one that this individual is referring to is likely the "Caucasians" design (sold by Shelf Life Clothing), featuring a white version of the Cleveland Indians' controversial Chief Wahoo mascot. Campeau wears the shirt in some frequently-used publicity photos:

A Tribe Called Red (left to right): DJ Bear Witness, DJ Shub, Deejay NDN (Ian Campeau). Photo by Pat Bolduc.

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scd's picture
Submitted by scd on
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? ARE YOU SERIOUS? RACIEST? RACIEST? What the hell is different between this and the Chief Wahoo mascot? I will tell you…IT IS WHITE! So that is raciest, because it is depicting a white and the Chief Wahoo mascot is not raciest because it is Tribal? That anonymous poster should have their head examined. I wish I had the money to do this, because, on opening day in 2015 at the Cleveland baseball game, I would have T shirts, flags printed up and would GIVE them away with the “Caucasians” logo on them. In all sizes and colors. Let us see how many whites would take issue with that! I have that same logo, and I think it is pretty fitting. Campeau be you! Steve Fire Heart

teyuna's picture
Submitted by teyuna on
the pic of these 'suspects' made me laugh out loud. they look so happy i think i'd forgive them for almost anything. ;) but p.s. No, this is not racist. It's commentary. It's analysis. It's satire. It's poking a stick in the eye of the Cleveland Indians' owners.

Tracy M's picture
Tracy M
Submitted by Tracy M on
He's upset about this and he's in Ottawa, far from the Land O' Wahoo, no less. This guy will be really annoyed to learn that my friends and I in Cleveland not only find this hilarious, some of us are ordering the shirt to wear around town. If we white Cleveland baseball fans get the satire here, what's his excuse? If anything, it helps us make the point that our beloved baseball team has got some changes to make.

choctawgirl's picture
Submitted by choctawgirl on
Muhahahahaha Where can I buy that shirt? No it's historically correct and politically accurate. Not racist in the least. How can it be? White isn't a race. It's a recessive trait. He is actively speaking out against the red skin's logo which is still in use. It's not hypocritical at all.

Shelley TSivia Rabinovitch
Shelley TSivia ...
Submitted by Shelley TSivia ... on
That tshirt is exactly as racist as the baseball team's tshirt is. If the shirt fits....! BRAVO Ian!!!

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I find it mildly amusing that racists often lack the intellect to comprehend satire or parody.

Catfish101's picture
Submitted by Catfish101 on
Call me what you want. Wear what you want. Doesnt bother me one bit. Everyone needs to get thicker skin. We will have nothing if we take away everything that offends some.

Rob__'s picture
Submitted by Rob__ on
Give me a break - clever design and thoroughly valid social commentary. Anyone getting so worked up over this likely wouldn't have a good time at Westfest anyway - I hope the organizers encourage this boycott, as it'll be a better event for it. Tribe are a GREAT group of guys and I hope they brush off the criticism, but either way, they've added their voice to yet another important conversation - good for them!

Murica's picture
Submitted by Murica on
Listen, I'm pretty white and I not only think that that shirt isn't racist, I think it's completely apt. I'm not really okay with sports teams being labelled racial slurs (or at best outdated terms). When The Cleveland Indians change their name and logos, you might have a case for that whole "racism" thing (since the cause for satire would be over) but until then you can't really point the finger at one while the other (the root of the problem actually) still exists. Live and let live

value116's picture
Submitted by value116 on
"Irony impaired" and satire challenged! He should stay home along with others of his unilluminated mentality. He definitely missed the point by more than a mile! Anybody selling the t-shirt in NYC???

rockymissouri's picture
Submitted by rockymissouri on
I think it is COMPLETELY APPROPRIATE ...considering...!!!

aliberaldoseofskepticism's picture
Submitted by aliberaldoseofs... on
Dat feel when white people don't get that you're pointing out their own hypocrisy.

cjpetoskey's picture
Submitted by cjpetoskey on
Well, I am part white(No kidding) and I do not think this is racist. It accurately portrays the colonists and I think it is an honor. Wear on! Be strong!