Activist and ICTMN columnist Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, was scrolling through Facebook Friday morning when a disturbing image cropped up on her feed.
It was a caricature of a Native American — the logo of the Washington football team — and next to it were the words, “THIS TEAM MAKES ME DRINK.”
Blackhorse said none of her Facebook friends had posted the image; instead, it was sponsored content on Facebook.
Blackhorse immediately posted images of the T-shirt to her wall, which set off a firestorm of criticism of the shirt.
Blackhorse’s Facebook friends began excoriating the shirt, calling it “very inappropriate!” and “disgusting!”
“A lot of people are up in arms about it,” she said.
The clothing manufacturer that makes the shirt, Shirts Are Cool, based in Gainesville, Florida, does not market the product on its Facebook wall, but it does on its website. The shirt is being sold for $20 and $22.
Ironically, scroll down on the company’s wall and a shirt reading “CAUCASIANS” crops up. It was posted on November 11, 2014.
According to Facebook’s page about sponsored content, the website “uses an algorithm to rank content based upon the likely interest to a user to help deliver the most relevant content.” That is, the more users view content about a specific subject the more advertisements similar to the content will creep up into a user’s feed.
Blackhorse later posted on her wall that she encourages people to contact the company and “let them know what you think.”