Fashion Statement.

You wear it well.

I have a colleague who says that, if one were to sum up the relationship between white people and non-white people, from white people to non-white people, globally, the best way to describe it, in toto, would be with what he calls the Three T’s: Tacky, Trashy, and Terroristic.

Defiant!I thought of his words when I saw this stylish little number, above on the web: A hoodie with the words, “WHO KILLED OBAMA?” emblazoned across the chest. (I missed this, somehow, when the blogosphere started covering the subject in March.) It’s the creation of Doron Braunshtein, an Israeli designer, above, and left, and also the owner of a store called Apollo Braun, here in New York.

Wrote YNetNews,

In creating this controversial clothing line, the designer had hoped to wed the political and fashion scenes, and comment on various societal phenomenon surrounding the heated election campaign. The “who shot Obama?” slogan is a throw back to popular 80’s TV show, Dallas, which featured the immortal line “who shot J.R.?”

What was supposed to be a limited clothing line for New York’s youth soon caught fire, however, and became a fashion phenomenon all throughout the United States. With success came fierce debate and public scrutiny, as millions of Americans saw the shirts as blatant incitement against Obama and as a call for his assassination.


Ironically, the shirts have lead to numerous death threats against the designer and a multitude of angry phone calls to his store and home. Braunshtein’s boutique window has also been spray painted and vandalized by people enraged by his clothing line. Conversely, many see these shirts as a defiant statement decrying American preoccupation with skin color as part of the presidential campaign, as well as the looming threats on Senator Obama’s life.

In an article for New York Press, Braunshtein

explained that he supports Obama and saw this as a way of expressing what so many are already discussing over dinner conversations. “Everyone talks about it. I put it on a shirt.” Instead of seeing it as fashion, Braun feels it is a form of performance art. And it all relates to his “opposites theory,” which is about the clash of different motifs to cause something to new to be created. “I’m very punk rock,” Braun explains….

While I was talking to him on the phone a passerby commented that he liked the shirt. “It’s wild,” he said, as Braun put him on the phone. The design doesn’t come cheap. Braun explains that the T-shirts and hoodies, which are decorated with safety pins and sequins to make them “one-of-a-kind” items, sell for $129-$250.

Barack Obama began receiving Secret Service protection on May 3, 2007, “the earliest such move for a presidential candidate who was not an administration veteran,” noted The Washington Post on the following day. As a point of comparison, MSNBC pointed out that

In the last election, Democratic candidates John Kerry and John Edwards received their protection in February 2004 as they were competing for the party’s nomination. Obama’s detail comes nine months before the first votes are cast.

Braunshtein should send some of these hoodies to Obama’s campaign headquarters. Think he’d appreciate hearing from a supporter?



There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment