Decent People Action Alert


This afternoon one of my Twitter-friends tweeted about a racist t-shirt for sale at Zazzle.com. The design is one of the “top ten viewed designs” on Zazzle.com.

Because I don’t want to get sued for copyright infringement, I have not posted the t-shirt on my blog, but you can see it by clicking this link.

As you can see (once you click the link), the t-shirt uses a nonstandard version of the word “renege” to slyly–but not sly enough–refer to President Obama by the “n-word.” Other examples of nonstandard words would be “irregardless” or “conversate”—only this nonstandard word signifies something mean and low down about a Black person. Maybe this seems like a small thing, but I am not yet desensitized to blatant racism just yet.

The seller keeps leaving comments about “free speech” and “patriotism” but there is a difference between someone being a “patriot” and someone being a racist. Or even someone being a Republican and someone being a racist.

Trust me, I know. I once was in love with someone who voted for George W. Bush. Twice. Yes, he was Black, and yes, I do wonder what was wrong with him, first, and then me for loving him, but still, he wasn’t a racist.

Several Twitter-friends and I have posted comments objecting to the offensiveness of the t-shirt, but the seller  just keeps deleting the comments, including the one I posted telling him/her that I was an English teacher and had looked up the word in the Oxford English Dictionary, only to find it was nonstandard. So, clearly, it is time for Decent People Action.

I am asking that the readers of this blog contact Zazzle’s Customer Service by phone or email to complain and ask that they take this racist t-shirt down for sale. Also, I hope y’all would encourage others to do the same.

Please call 1-888-8ZAZZLE (892-9953) or (408) 983-2800 during the hours of Mon – Fri: 8AM – 6PM PST(11AM – 9PM EST) and complain. To email, click this link and fill out the form and complain

Either way, please complain–and often, until the t-shirt is taken down for sale. When you contact Zazzle’s customer service PLEASE BE VERY POLITE AND DO NOT CUSS ANYBODY OUT. The last thing we want is to act rude when we’re complaining about someone else’s rudeness.

14 thoughts on “Decent People Action Alert

  1. This is a sad case of “free speech” being used as a license for hate speech. Zazzle.com is probably correct that they are within their rights. But that’s a woeful cop-out. If they don’t understand the implicit racist overtones of their diction, they are too dangerously naive to be in the t-shirt business. And I agree, callers should be *polite*. And they should jam those motherf***ers phone lines with polite requests to stop this jiveass racist bullshit.

  2. I just sent my email. I didn’t curse, but I did point out that I was confused by Zazzle’s willingness to support an attack on an entire race of people. I also added that until the problem is resolved, I won’t be able to support Zazzle anymore.

  3. hi honoree:

    this is great. glad to see that the protest is picking up speed. i sent in my complaint yesterday and received an email today. i have since tried to search the website to see if the t-shirt is still for sale, but i can’t seem to locate it. perhaps they took it down already, or perhap they have found a “clever” way to keep it from public view. not sure.

    this is what i received in my inbox from zazzle customer support a short while ago:

    Hello ,

    Thank you for reporting a suspected marketplace violation. It’s Zazzlers like you that uphold our community ideals to provide a great venue for creativity and originality.

    Your submission will be reviewed by our Content Management Team. If we determine that the product is in violation of our policies, it will be removed from the Marketplace.

    Thanks for being a part of the Zazzle community!

    Best Regards,
    Content Management Team
    Zazzle Inc.

    anyway, let’s hope that the movement was effective.

    cheers,
    xobolaji

  4. Zazzle.com seems to have removed all the “Renig” merchandise from their online store. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the t-shirts themselves are gone. Keep calling them and ask that the offensive t-shirts be stripped of their language and recycled.

    Meanwhile, there are other companies selling the same shit. A place called CafePress has them as well: 877-809-1659.

    The fight is not over.

  5. As soon as I saw this via a FB friend this morning, I both emailed the content review address on zazzle and phoned their customer service. The representative I spoke with this morning was very apologetic & registered my complaint and registered one of his own, also, while he was on the line with me. I just checked and the t-shirt has been removed. You did a good think informing decent people, because it’s gone, at least for now! Decent people must stick together!

  6. Just started following your blog last night and wanted to say that I really appreciate your perspective and the work that you’re doing in print and here on the web.

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