Bil Browning

Are These Rap T-Shirts for White People Racist?

Filed By Bil Browning | May 23, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: offensive shirts, racist jokes, t-shirts


Many of you know that I have quite the extensive t-shirt collection. Many of them are funny, a few are borderline offensive, and a couple are only worn on special occasions since they're flat-out wrong.

These Rap Shirts For White People (yes, that's the name of the brand!), have folks talking online today so I thought I'd throw them out for your opinion. Gawker, for example, quotes James Harris from Complex Style on the mini controversy:

It may be kind of a stretch, but, for example, isn't it weird that the shirt that says "My Self-Respect Brings All the Boys to the Yard," which, being for white people," implies that the positive notion of self-respect is exclusive to its white wearer? If these are shirts for white people, then what does it assume shirts for non-white people would say? Regardless of what you think or what slander you leave in the comments, there's no getting around the fact that you kinda suck if you wear these, but at least you'll start a conversation as you puff out your chest in a Rap Shirt for White Person tee (now sleeveless) and bellow for another Natty Light.

Gawker goes on to chastise the company further (while still showing more photos of other shirts, because yeah!), but then adds an update to the end:

In a grand gesture of white guilt, Tim Blount, the creator of Rap Shirts For White People, emailed to tell us that he will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to various charities associated with the original artists. "My hope," he wrote, "is to clear the air about what may be some misperceptions about the shirts and my overall intentions." Tim also left me a tweet explaining (IN ALL CAPS) that this decision was an "act of good faith 4 all people" and that he's not a racist, after which he added #just4lols. If you say so, Tim.

So... What's your take? Racist? Funny? Both? Let's hear it.

PS - Yesterday I almost bought a new shirt that said, "Fuck you and your non-offensive t-shirt." Because if you can't offend someone with a piece of cloth on your chest, how can you offend them?

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