The Agony of the Tees

by Latoya Peterson

Talk about hipster racism:

Livesteez recaps

A 25-year-old New York City graduate student is threatening to sue a T-Shirt designer after being assaulted for wearing one of his designs. [Ed Note – The designer of the shirt is pictured above.]

The woman bought a $69 shirt from Apollo Braun’s Manhattan boutique that bore the words, “Obama is my slave.” When she wore the shirt on Tuesday, four teenage girls accosted her – shoving her, pulling out her earphones, and spitting in her face, according to the New York edition of Metro News.

The unnamed woman is reportedly seeking solace by suing Braun – born Doron Braunshtein – for “all he’s got,” the designer claims. He, of course, is shirking any responsibility for the incident and says that the shirt reflects the views of “ordinary WASPs.”

“For a lot of people, when they see Obama, they see a slave. People think America is not ready for a black president,” the Israeli-born designer said.

Well, that should take care of the “it’s not racism, it’s satire!” counter argument I am sure is lurking around the corner. The shirt was made with racist intent. And in case it isn’t blatantly clear, check the last line of the Livesteez article:

The designer has sold several other anti-Obama styles from his boutique, including shirts with slogans such as “Jews Against Obama,” “Obama = Hitler” and “Who Killed Obama?”

Someone call me when they decide to make a “Slave Blood” shirt.

On the positive stereotypes side of things, I came across this shirt browsing Karmaloop:

To cop from the Disgrasian blog, I’ll extend a great big congratulasians to America’s Next Top Minority!

Asian readers, what will you do with your new found role as the purveyors and ultimate authority on cool?

Edit: My focus in this piece were on the tees and not necessarily Braun’s publicity stunt, but I should add that many commenters have pointed out the “girl beat up by angry minorities” angle was a little too good to be true. Gawker confirms that something is amiss.

(Thanks to Kelkeev66 and Kelly for the tips!)

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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