Sunday, July 20, 2008

Obama is my...Slave?

This afternoon, I checked my email and found another disheartening story about ignorance in connection with Barack Obama. (thanks to Naima for bringing this to my attention)

Doron Braunshtein, an Israeli-born designer, created a $69 t-shirt that says "Obama is my Slave". WHAT?! According to the New York edition of Metro News, a 25 year old graduate student was wearing the T-shirt in UNION SQUARE and was confronted by 4 teenage girls. They pushed her, pulled her earphones out of her ears and spit on her. Now this person wants to sue the designer for "all he's got". So much is wrong with the whole situation, I don't even know where to begin.

I understand that everyone doesn't support Obama, but I don't understand why people would feel that this reference to slavery is an appropriate way to display their displeasure with his candidacy. At least create a T-shirt about legitimate concerns like his 'lack of experience'. Why insult him and Black people everywhere with such an awful slogan? In the Metro News article, the designer, which here means, placing not-so-witty phrases on t-shirts and selling them for 3 times what they're worth, claims that "his outrageous design reflects not his views but those of 'ordinary WASPs'.” Later in the article, we learn that he "can't stand Obama" because he reminds him of Adolf Hitler. Wow.

Moving on to the alleged beat-down of the lovely lady wearing the shirt. Maybe it's naive idealism on my part, but I highly doubt that an educated person would wear a shirt like this. In Union Square of all places. It just doesn't make sense. If she did, I'm not sure why she'd sue the designer of the shirt. He didn't force her to wear the shirt that day. And I can't imagine why she'd be surprised that people were upset about the shirt. In fact, she's pretty lucky that something worse didn't happen to her. Some of the other bloggers think this may all just be a publicity stunt, but either way people are still buying this and other awful, overpriced shirts. Braunshtein claims he's sold 1,200 shirts that say "Who Killed Obama?" Clearly, there's a lot more ugliness to be unveiled before this election is over.

Original article:

Other blogs posts:


Naima said...

great post, ivy!

what struck me most about this whole ordeal is how the shirt designer admits to disliking obama but denies that his dislike has anything to do with race.

if it had nothing to do with race, why are you calling obama a slave?

thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and for all the links to other articles on the issue.


Kevin B. said...

great post.

I meant to comment on this ages ago when I had time. Now I'm doing it as I have mad work to do.

Nonetheless, I agree with your point about people referencing slavery to show their displeasure with a candidate. I feel as if some of these people use their personal dislike for Obama as an excuse to be racist. And of course, they have the right to be racist...but others have the right to speak out against it.

Again, great post.