In today’s segment of “How can we offend Black people?” a t-shirt manufacturer actually created and a national retail store actually put on display for sale, a garment that has the words “Hang Loose” on them with an image of a noose in the center.
Hello? Is this thing on?
It seems no one in white America is listening. Black people are not muses or play toys for white people to affront on a whim. The excuse that it was unintentional is hollow at best and insulting at worse. And yet it continues to happen.
In this case, it is mind-blowing thinking people could create such an image and, further, actually print the t-shirts and put them on sale.
Almost 4,000 Black people were lynched by whites from 1877 to 1950, according to an Equal Justice Initiative study that was released last month.
See why there is no humor in that whatsoever?
And yet, there was the shirt, manufactured by beachwear company Tavik of Irvine, Calif., whimsically portraying the hurtful symbol of lynching as it if were cool. Black people bombarded Twitter with images of the item and harsh words for those responsible for it.
Of course, those responsible passed the blame on to others or chalked it up to human error or, in TJ Maxx’s case, did not respond at all.
“We sincerely apologize for any offense caused by this t-shirt,” Tavik’s public relations manager, Kelly McElroy, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “This item was released without going through proper protocols and has zero relation to anything other than surfing. We will be pulling this item from retailers immediately.”
A website called backcountry.com described the shirt as “pleasantly provocative” and continued to sell it for $13.17 online.
Some Twitter responses:
* PsychoGF_ shared a picture of the T-shirt with a TJ Maxx price tag. She added some text in a bar across the bottom: “Why is this a shirt?”
* MIKEBROWNCOVER: “I can’t comprehend who would even make a shirt like this. It’s repulsive.”
* KoBae: “This shirt is disgusting by @tavik. I can’t believe you would carry it @TJMaxx.