White folks, including racist people, have reacted to sweatshirts carrying racially charged messages, being sold by students in Wisconsin.
The Inquisitr reports that: Controversy has erupted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus after it emerged that several black and non-white students were wearing sweatshirts that displayed racially charged statements. One of the sweatshirts had a caption that read “All white people are racist,” while another shirt had a caption that seems to have been directed at cops. The second caption read, “If I encounter another cop with a God complex, I’m going to have to show the world that they are human.”
These sweatshirts were reportedly created by an individual identified as Eneale Pickett, who is a second-year elementary education major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Pickett has in an interview with a local news station confirmed that the intention of these racially charged sweatshirts was to make racist people uncomfortable.
Fusion narrates that: Eneale Pickett, a second-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was done with polite, comfortable conversations about race, so he debuted an in-your-face clothing line with shirts and hoodies featuring slogans like “ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACIST.” Now, he’s getting death threats.
UW Madison student makes “All White People Are Racist” Hoodies…get em while they’re hot… https://t.co/gMhxxArqHy
— 1nvisibleman (@opticaldensity) October 14, 2016
Pickett told UW’s student paper, The Badger Herald that he started Insert Apparel after another black student was spit on and called racial slurs in one of the university’s on-campus dorms in March.
But when he posted the first “white people” hoodie on Sept. 30, Pickett said Facebook suspended his account for four days. On Facebook, he documented some of the hate-filled vitriol users have sent him on the site, along with Twitter and his Etsy page.
He also said fellow students who’ve misunderstood his message have lodged hate and bias reports with the university, saying that calling white people racist amounts to hate speech.
Abc13 relays that: “I made these sweatshirts initially to start a conversation, and now it’s to shift a conversation because people have been talking about race, sexuality and gender, but now I’m doing it to make them uncomfortable. Because in this country, no one really wants to talk about these issues unless they’re truly uncomfortable.” Pickett said.
— abc13 Houston (@abc13houston) October 14, 2016
Pickett says the shirts have gotten responses everywhere from death threats to words of encouragement.
Dane County Boys and Girls Clubs President Michael Johnson saw an online article about the shirts and says the messages are divisive and while he says he understands the underlying issues that may have motivated Pickett to create the shirts; he says Pickett’s statements are false and misguided.
“Even though the constitution says people can say what they want to say, utilizing hoodies and wearing shirts like this, it’s just not right.” Johnson said. Michael Johnson says he hopes to meet with Pickett to discuss different ways to express his message.
The Daily caller states that: Eneale Pickett launched a page called, “Insertapparelshop on Etsy.” The shop offers hoodies for $30 carrying four different messages. One reads, “All White People Are Racist,” with the product description describing how this is allegedly the case.
“Racism has little to do with hatred and mostly to do with who has power,” the page says. “White folk or those who see themselves as white are given said power inherently regardless of socioeconomic class, education etc. This is why white men created race in the first place–to maintain power. Racism gave birth to the idea of race.”
— Michael Gray (@graywolf) October 6, 2016
The Inquisitr further unveils that: Several people who do not agree with Pickett’s way of “starting a conversation” also posted replies on Facebook in which they explained why they disagreed with his way of painting all whites as racist. One of the comments of a Facebook post by Pickett read the following.
“I just don’t understand this. Everyone is giving everyone a bad name. There are whites supporting the BLM movement, and some who say ALM. I understand the movement, in an appropriate way. But by saying all white people are racist doesn’t make you any better than the people saying all blacks are criminals. All I see is segregation once again, that’s not how it should be.”
As a reply to the above comment, another person commented this.
“Negative. To be racist you need to be in a position of power… Which is currently held by the white community. Black people can be prejudiced towards white people, but it won’t affect them getting a job, car loan, etc etc like how racism affects the black community.”
At the same time, he says he has also received words of encouragement from others. A female commenter on one of Pickett’s posts wrote the following.
“The only white people who are offended are the ones who are ACTUALLY racist people. How in the hell are you going to be mad at someone for being racist then attack them with racist comments?”
Meanwhile, Pickett revealed that he has managed to sell more than 40 sweatshirts on Etsy. However, the website has on multiple occasions removed the listings – only to be relisted by him again. At the time of publishing this article, the controversial hoodies were not listed on Etsy.
Pickett’s words might have been a bit exaggerated, but that doesn’t hide the fact that too many whites are racist people. And they have to be called out because a lot of them actually disrespect and hate African-Americans. He used available means in order to get people’s attention and make them react, which he has successfully done. When it hurts it gets noticed – the same can be said about protests. Unfortunately, for now, the young rebel might need protection, as we all know the extent to which racist people and white supremacists could go to shut someone who’s ready to stand against them up.