A student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has sparked much debate on campus and social media after creating and selling hoodies with the text “ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACIST.”
Eneale Pickett and several other students created shirts with controversial texts written on the front. One sweatshirt in particular has garnered much attention for allegedly condoning violence against police officers.
“If I encounter another cop with a God complex, I’m going to have to show the world that they are human,” reads the shirt.
Although many assume the shirts have literal meaning, Pickett said that the shirts are only made to promote conversation. He also admits that yes, he does want to make people uncomfortable with his designs.
"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,” Pickett told ABC 13. “Because in this country, no one really wants to talk about these issues unless they're truly uncomfortable."
Pickett sold the shirts on Etsy, which has removed his listing several times. He also explained that he has received death threats for some of his shirts, yet it does not appear to faze him.
Some of his other designs include statements encouraging Black men to also be feminists and for social reformers to also stand up to homophobia.
Michael Johnson, president of the Dane County Boys and Girls Clubs, believes that the shirts are well intended, yet the language is a too divisive.
"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.
Johnson hopes to meet with Pickett to brainstorm other ways to get his message across.
What do you think of his shirts? Let us know in the comment section.
(Photo: Saja Abu-Hakmeh & Alexandria Lazenby via Eneale Pickett)