Published Nov 29, 2013Atlanta metalheads Mastodon have stirred up some controversy over a Thanksgiving-related T-shirt deemed by critics as racially insensitive.
As you can see up above, the seasonally specific clothing item features a bearded pilgrim bearing a blunderbuss pointed directly at a native woman holding up a trimmed-up platter of turkey. The bright yellow shirt features the slogan "Happy Thanksgiving."
Over on the group's Facebook page, fans were divided over what to think of the item. Some labelled the piece outright racist for its portrayal. "Probably not the best shirt idea for a band with only white people in it. A pilgrim with a gun to a kneeling native's head... smh," one person wrote.
Others believed that while in poor taste, Mastodon may have been attempting to look at Thanksgiving satirically, pointing out the oftentimes glossed over Native American genocide associated with the holiday.
Earlier today (November 29), the band defended the artwork, noting that they aren't racist and are indeed pointing out the historical atrocities linked to Thanksgiving.
"Regarding our thanks giving shirt, whether you choose to believe or not, the American Indians were massacred by the white settlers who became the Americans we are today," they said in a statement. "This shirt represents this atrocity and celebrating in the face of this atrocity is chilling. We may have a sick sense of humor, but we are far from being 'Racist' as some of you who might not get it are calling us."
In less contentious Mastodon news, the group's concert set Live at Brixton arrives digitally December 10 through Warner.